Elizabeth Taylor sizzles as sexually frustrated Southern belle Maggie the Cat in this Oscar-nominated adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
This Oscar-nominated adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play proved a fateful shoot for Elizabeth Taylor: falling ill a week into filming, she decided not to accompany her husband Mike Todd in his plane Lucky Liz, which crashed en route to New York, killing everyone aboard. The distraught actress nevertheless managed to deliver one of her best performances as the feline, scheming Maggie, sexually frustrated wife of Paul Newman’s booze-sodden Brick Pollitt. A one-time football star and scion of a moneyed Southern clan, Brick now nurses a broken leg and a secret hurt (a homosexual attraction to friend Skipper in the original play, but not in this bowdlerized version) while the rest of his dysfunctional clan plot to inherit the estate of expiring family patriarch Big Daddy (Burl Ives, immense in every way). Spitting catty barbs about her avaricious in-laws and their “no-neck monster” children, Maggie torments Brick with her simultaneously unfettered and thwarted sexuality, flaunting Big Daddy’s attraction to her: “I think it’s mighty fine the way that ol’ fellow on the doorstep of death still takes in my shape with what I consider deserved appreciation.” Meow!
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