“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

By David Rauch

This is Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman in their prime. This peerless play by Tennessee Williams was concisely interpreted for the screen by Richard Brooks, director of classic “Blackboard Jungle.” In summary, the production follows the revival of a haunted, alcoholic Newman. The play is an expert study of mendacity, the lies one lives with in social life in order to go on day to day – a subject so subtle and all pervasive that most authors shrink away from the task. Taylor plays the unimaginable role of a neglected wife, and the tumultuous chemistry between Newman and Taylor serves as an interesting meditation on love and how barren a landscape it can settle on. The movie is true to its source yet capitalizes on its movie format with lavish southern mansions and a sense of realism only dreamt of on the stage.