Suddenly Last Summer

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by samsloan, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. samsloan

    samsloan Guest

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871876209
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ISBN=4871876209

    Suddenly Last Summer

    by

    Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams

    Introduction by Sam Sloan

    Tennessee Williams was the most successful playwright of the modern
    era and Suddenly Last Summer is the most successful of his plays. It
    has gone through many performances and revivals, two movies and a made
    for TV movie. A new revival is reportedly underway.
    Tennessee Williams left his plays upon his death to the University of
    the South in Swanee, Tennessee, which claims a royalty upon any
    performance of his plays.
    Tennessee Williams was homosexual and left no wife nor children. Many
    of his plays involve themes of homosexuality, including three of his
    plays that were made into movies: A Streetcar Named Desire (1948), Cat
    on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and Suddenly Last Summer (1958). However, the
    production codes of that time would not allow explicit references to
    homosexuality, so the viewer is left to guess that this is what is
    going on.
    After Suddenly Last Summer was made into a movie starring Elizabeth
    Taylor, Tennessee Williams complained that the movie producers and
    directors had butchered it. He was unhappy. One of his main complaints
    was that Elizabeth Taylor was too beautiful for the part, an odd
    complaint. The basis for this complaint involves the lead character,
    Sebastian Venable, who is already dead when the play starts. The play
    is about the circumstances of his death in 1935. What the audience
    eventually realizes, although it is never specifically stated, is that
    Sebastian was homosexual.
    Early in the play, his mother, Mrs. Violet Venable, says that
    Sebastian was “Chaste” when he died at age 40. Not many men are able
    to make it to 40 without having sex, so we are already able to guess
    that he might have been homosexual.
    Sebastian had been making trips to Europe every summer with his
    extremely wealthy mother, played in the movie by Katharine Hepburn.
    However, on his last trip, he had decided not to take his mother but
    instead to take his cousin, Catharine Holly, played in the movie by
    Elizabeth Taylor. Then, during the trip to Europe in Cabeza De Lobo, a
    resort area in San Sebastian, Spain, “Suddenly Last Summer”, Sebastian
    had died and Catharine Holly had simultaneously gone insane. Catharine
    Holly had been shipped back to America and locked up in a mental
    hospital.
    Catherine was making delusional ravings about the death of Sebastian.
    Mrs. Venable wanted to stop these mad ravings about the death of her
    son. She had read about the procedure of Lobotomy, which involves
    cutting some connections inside the brain, and how much good it had
    done for people who were otherwise hopelessly insane. Therefore, she
    wanted this procedure performed on Catherine. However, the mental
    hospital where Catherine was currently hospitalized was either
    unwilling or unable to perform this procedure, so Mrs. Venable wanted
    Catherine to be transferred to a smaller, local mental hospital that
    would be able to do it.
    This small mental hospital was in financial difficulty and in danger
    of being forced to close. As a very wealthy woman, Mrs. Venable was
    willing to make a very large financial contribution to the hospital,
    subject to the condition that the hospital perform this lobotomy on
    Catherine. Dr. Cuckrowicz, played in the movie by Montgomery Clift,
    regularly performed these operations, but was reluctant to do it as a
    pre-condition to a substantial financial contribution.
    Sebastian had left in his will $50,000 to each of Catherine Holly, her
    brother George and their mother Mrs. Holly. However, Mrs. Venable, the
    sister of Mrs. Holly, was contesting the will. She was agreeing to
    drop the contest of the will and thus to allow George, Catherine and
    their mother to get the $50,000 each, only provided they sign the
    papers agreeing to the lobotomy of Catherine.
    The mystery is: Why is Catherine Holly said to be delusional? What is
    she saying about the death of Sebastian and why is Mrs. Venable trying
    to have her lobotomized to stop her from saying it?
    Whet we finally learn at the end of the movie is that Sebastian
    Venable had been taking his mother to Europe every year to use her as
    a lure to attract boys, whom he wanted to use for homosexual purposes.
    However, his mother had had a stroke and was now in a wheelchair. In
    the movie version, she was simply getting older and was no longer able
    to attract boys. Therefore, on this final trip, Sebastian had brought
    Catherine Holly with him instead. He had gotten Catherine to wear a
    revealing one-piece bathing suit to the beach. It was a thin white
    swimming suit that made her appear completely naked when she went into
    the water. She did not want to wear it but Sebastian made her do it.
    This scene produced the picture of Elizabeth Taylor in a swimming suit
    shown on the cover. This is one of the most famous photos of Elizabeth
    Taylor ever taken.
    After using Catherine and her see-through swimming suit to attract
    boys, Sebastian would disappear into the bath houses with the boys.
    This was obviously for homosexual purposes. However, Sebastian's plan
    to use Catherine Holly to attract boys for sexual purposes proved to
    be too successful. When Sebastian wanted to leave, the boys had chased
    Sebastian up the hill onto a cliff. With no way to escape, the
    homeless boys had surrounded Sebastian, killed him and had literally
    eaten his body parts (including probably his dick).
    The boys themselves were heterosexual and thus were attracted to
    Catherine. However, they were poor, homeless boys who needed money and
    thus would prostitute themselves into homosexual acts with Sebastian.
    Catherine reports that Sebastian said “that gang of kids shouted vile
    things at me”, which means that they probably called him “queer”. This
    helps explain why they killed and ate him.
    Catherine Holly had been running up the hill to try to catch and help
    rescue Sebastian and had arrived in time to see Sebastian being
    gobbled down by the boys. (It must have been a good meal!) Catherine
    had gone crazy. Ever since, every time Catherine had tried to explain
    what had really happened, the doctors had said that her delusions were
    the result of her being crazy. However, this time, the doctor has
    given her injections of sodium thiopenthal, —a "truth serum"—, so we
    know she is telling the truth. Finally, at the end of the movie, we
    realize that actually Mrs. Venable is crazy. Catherine Holly is normal
    and what she is saying is what really happened.
    Tennessee Williams went on to denounce the film and denied having any
    involvement with the script despite being credited on-screen for it.
    He felt that Taylor was miscast as Catherine, telling Life magazine in
    1961, "It stretched my credulity to believe such a 'hip' doll as our
    Liz wouldn't know at once in the film that she was 'being used for
    something evil'.” Williams told The Village Voice that the film "made
    [him] throw up" and that the script moved too far away from his
    original play.
    However, these complaints must be discounted because Williams made
    similar complaints about all of the movies that were based on his
    plays. He had retained artistic control over the productions and could
    have stopped the films from being made. The copyright notice to the
    play insists that there be no changes in the script. He made millions
    from these movies and did not offer to return the money. A chess-
    playing friend of mine went to see one of these movies and saw
    Tennessee Williams himself sitting in the audience watching it.
    One difference between the script and the movie is that in the movie
    is appears at times that Catherine really is crazy. In the cigarette
    scene near the beginning, when the nun orders Catherine to put the
    cigarette out, Catherine burns the cigarette into the palm of her own
    hand, thus burning herself. This is something only a crazy person
    would do. However, in the play, Catherine sticks the cigarette into
    the hand of the nun, burning the nun. This was certainly not a good
    thing to do, but not proof that she was crazy. She was just angry at
    the nun for not allowing her to smoke.
    The performance of Elizabeth Taylor in the movie version proves that
    she was one of the greatest actresses of our times. In the movie, she
    must go from being a mad lunatic in a mental institution to being a
    perfectly normal but hysterical woman horrified by the sight of her
    cousin being killed and eaten. Her acting must range to every place in
    between.
    However, the movie also proves, in my view, that Elizabeth Taylor was
    not really as beautiful a woman as she was said to be. She merely had
    the most talented and expensive make-up artists and fashion designers,
    and wore the most beautiful wardrobe. In the early scenes in the
    movie, when Elizabeth Taylor is locked up in the psychiatric ward, she
    is wearing no makeup and her hair is not done. She looks like, at
    best, a woman of average appearance, and certainly is not especially
    beautiful. Indeed, she is hardly recognizable.
    She complains about this, saying “you can't have a compact or
    lipstick” inside the psychiatric ward.
    However, in a later scene, after they have allowed her to get her hair
    done, she re-appears as the fabulously beautiful Elizabeth Taylor we
    all know.
    In my view, if you want to see a woman just as beautiful if not more
    beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor, all you have to do it walk down and
    street or take a public bus or train. There you will see lots of women
    just as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. Today, with all kinds of hair
    and skin products readily available (but at high prices) almost any
    girl can be just as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. (I know, because my
    five daughters are always trying to get me to buy this expensive stuff
    for them.)
    Although you can easily find a girl just as beautiful as Elizabeth
    Taylor, see if you can find one who can act as well as she can? I do
    not believe that you can find one.
    Sam Sloan
    Ishi Press International
    461 Peachstone Terrace
    San Rafael California 94903
    August 1, 2011

    PS The title to the movie is "Suddenly, Last Summer" with a comma
    included. However, the title to the play is "Suddenly Last Summer"
    with the comma omitted.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871876209
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ISBN=4871876209
     
    samsloan, Jul 31, 2011
    #1
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  2. samsloan

    Bill Steele Guest

    In article
    <>,
    samsloan <> wrote:

    > In my view, if you want to see a woman just as beautiful if not more
    > beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor, all you have to do it walk down and
    > street or take a public bus or train. There you will see lots of women
    > just as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. Today, with all kinds of hair
    > and skin products readily available (but at high prices) almost any
    > girl can be just as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. (I know, because my
    > five daughters are always trying to get me to buy this expensive stuff
    > for them.)


    Elizabeth Taylor was beautiful as a child. As an adultI find her even
    more attractive when she appears with less makeup.

    Please direct me to these streets and busses and trains you've been
    visiting.
     
    Bill Steele, Aug 1, 2011
    #2
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  3. samsloan

    samsloan Guest

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871876209
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ISBN=4871876209

    Suddenly Last Summer

    by

    Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams

    Introduction by Sam Sloan

    Tennessee Williams was the most successful playwright of the modern
    era and Suddenly Last Summer is the most successful of his plays. It
    has gone through many performances and revivals, two movies and a made
    for TV movie. A new revival is reportedly underway.
    In his will, Tennessee Williams left his plays upon his death to the
    University of the South in Swanee, Tennessee, which claims a royalty
    upon any performance of his plays.
    Tennessee Williams was homosexual and left no wife nor children. Many
    of his plays involve themes of homosexuality, including three of his
    plays that were made into movies: A Streetcar Named Desire (1948), Cat
    on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and Suddenly Last Summer (1958). However, the
    production codes of that time would not allow explicit references to
    homosexuality, so the viewer is left to guess that this is what is
    going on.
    After Suddenly Last Summer was made into a movie starring Elizabeth
    Taylor, Tennessee Williams complained that the movie producers and
    directors had butchered it. He was not happy. One of his main
    complaints was that Elizabeth Taylor was too beautiful for the part,
    an odd complaint. The basis for this complaint involves the lead
    character, Sebastian Venable, who is already dead when the movie
    starts. The play is about the circumstances of his death in 1935. What
    the audience eventually realizes, although it is never specifically
    stated, is that Sebastian was homosexual.
    Early in the play, his mother, Mrs. Violet Venable, says that
    Sebastian was “Chaste” when he died at age 40. Not many men are able
    to make it to 40 without having sex, so we are already able to guess
    that he might have been homosexual.
    Sebastian had been making trips to Europe every summer with his
    extremely wealthy mother, played in the movie by Katharine Hepburn.
    However, on his last trip, he had decided not to take his mother but
    instead to take his cousin, Catharine Holly, played in the movie by
    Elizabeth Taylor. Then, during the trip to Europe in Cabeza De Lobo, a
    resort area in San Sebastian, Spain, Suddenly Last Summer Sebastian
    had died and Catharine Holly had simultaneously gone insane. Catharine
    Holly had been shipped back to America and locked up in a mental
    hospital.
    Catherine was making delusional ravings about the death of Sebastian.
    Mrs. Venable wanted to stop these mad ravings about the death of her
    son. She had read about the procedure of Lobotomy, which involves
    cutting some connections inside the brain, and how much good it had
    done for people who were otherwise hopelessly insane. Therefore, she
    wanted this procedure performed on Catharine. However, the mental
    hospital where Catharine was currently hospitalized was either
    unwilling or unable to perform this procedure, so Mrs. Venable wanted
    Catharine to be transferred to a smaller, local state mental hospital
    that would be able to do it.
    This small mental hospital was in financial difficulty and was even
    having trouble paying the electricity bill. As a very wealthy woman,
    Mrs. Venable was willing to make a very large financial contribution
    to the hospital, subject to the condition that the hospital perform
    this lobotomy on Catherine. Dr. Cuckrowicz, played in the movie by
    Montgomery Clift, regularly performed these operations, but was
    reluctant to do it as a pre-condition to a substantial financial
    contribution.
    Sebastian had left in his will $50,000 to each of Catherine Holly, her
    brother George and their mother Mrs. Holly. However, Mrs. Venable,
    whose late husband had been the brother of Mrs. Holly, was contesting
    the will. She was agreeing to drop the contest of the will and thus to
    allow George, Catherine and their mother to get the $50,000 each, only
    provided they sign the papers agreeing to the lobotomy of Catherine.
    The mystery is: Why is Catherine Holly said to be delusional and
    insane? What is she saying about the death of Sebastian? Why is Mrs.
    Venable trying to have her lobotomized to stop her from saying it?
    Whet we finally learn at the end of the movie is that Sebastian
    Venable had been taking his mother to Europe every year to use her as
    a lure to attract boys, whom he wanted to use for homosexual purposes.
    However, his mother had had a stroke and was now in a wheelchair. In
    the movie version, she was simply getting older and was no longer able
    to attract boys. Therefore, on this final trip, Sebastian had brought
    Catherine Holly with him instead. He had gotten Catherine to wear a
    revealing one-piece bathing suit to the beach. It was a thin white
    swimming suit that made her appear completely naked when she went into
    the water. She did not want to wear it but Sebastian dragged her into
    the water and thus made her do it. Immediately a crowd of boys
    gathered to watch. We too have been watching it ever since, because
    this scene produced the picture of Elizabeth Taylor in a swimming suit
    shown on this cover. This is one of the most famous photos of
    Elizabeth Taylor ever taken.
    After using Catherine and her see-through swimming suit to attract
    boys, Sebastian would disappear into the bath houses with some of the
    boys. This was obviously for homosexual purposes. However, Sebastian's
    plan to use Catherine Holly to attract boys for sexual purposes proved
    to be too successful. When Sebastian wanted to leave, the boys had
    chased Sebastian up the hill onto a cliff. With no way to escape, the
    homeless boys had surrounded Sebastian, killed him and had literally
    eaten his body parts (including probably his dick).
    The boys themselves were heterosexual and thus were attracted to
    Catherine. However, they were poor, homeless boys who needed money and
    thus would prostitute themselves into homosexual acts with Sebastian.
    Catherine reports that Sebastian said “that gang of kids shouted vile
    things at me”, which means that they probably called him “queer”. This
    helps explain why they killed him and then ate him.
    Almost certainly what really happened is that these boys had found out
    that Sebastian had been paying young boys for sex. This would almost
    certainly produce exactly the reaction shown in the movie. Knowing
    that Sebastian had been having sex with little boys, the crowd almost
    certainly would have chased him up the hill, killed him and
    dismembered him.
    Nowadays the public is more tolerant of homosexuality than it was in
    1935, but even today the kind of activity in which Sebastian was
    engaging would not be considered advisable. Gay bashing still takes
    place and the killing of gays or gays killing each other still occurs.
    Catharine Holly had been running up the hill to try to catch and help
    rescue Sebastian and had arrived in time to see Sebastian being killed
    and gobbled down by the boys. (It must have been a good meal!)
    Catharine had gone crazy. Ever since, every time Catharine had tried
    to explain what had really happened, the doctors had said that her
    delusions were the result of her being crazy. However, this time, the
    doctor had given her injections of Sodium Pentothal, —a "truth
    serum"—, so he knows she was telling the truth. Finally, at the end of
    the movie, we realize that actually Mrs. Venable is crazy. Catharine
    Holly is normal and what she is saying is what really happened.
    Tennessee Williams went on to denounce the film and denied having any
    involvement with the script despite being credited on-screen for it.
    He felt that Elizabeth Taylor was miscast as Catharine, telling Life
    magazine in 1961, "It stretched my credulity to believe such a 'hip'
    doll as our Liz wouldn't know at once in the film that she was 'being
    used for something evil'.” Williams told The Village Voice that the
    film "made [him] throw up" and that the script moved too far away from
    his original play.
    However, there is little basis for his complaints. There were almost
    no changes except for a few changes in the order of the events. Almost
    every line in the movie comes directly from the script. There are only
    minor changes. One change is that in the movie, the first interview by
    Dr. Cuckrowicz of Catherine Holly takes place in the office of the
    psychiatric hospital where Catherine Holly is being kept. However, in
    the script, the same interview takes place in the home of Mrs.
    Venable. Otherwise, the words are mostly the same. Also, Catherine
    Holly gives Dr. Cuckrowicz a kiss on the cheek and, later in the
    movie, gives him a full frontal kiss. Can one expect Elizabeth Taylor
    to go through an entire movie without at least a few kisses?
    These complaints must be discounted because Williams made similar
    complaints about all of the movies that were based on his plays. He
    had retained artistic control over the productions and could have
    stopped the films from being made. The copyright notice to the play
    insists that there be no changes in the script. He apparently wanted
    no changes at all, not even small changes. He made millions from these
    movies and did not offer to return the money. A chess-playing friend
    of mine went to see one of these movies and saw Tennessee Williams
    himself sitting in the audience watching it.
    Like many of the plays by Tennessee Williams, this one was to some
    extent autobiographical or depicted characters he knew in real life.
    Lobotomies were a procedure performed in the period 1935 to 1954. More
    than 20,000 were performed in the United States alone. This practice
    was stopped after medicines were developed to treat psychosis. Rose,
    the sister of Tennessee Williams had had this procedure performed on
    her. A more notorious case was Rosemary Kennedy, sister of future
    President John F. Kennedy, who was lobotomized in 1941 with tragic
    results as she was turned into a vegetable where she remained until
    she died in 2005.
    One difference between the script and the movie is that in the movie
    it appears at times that Catharine really is crazy. In the cigarette
    scene near the beginning of Scene II, Catharine sticks the cigarette
    into the palm of the hand of the nun, burning the nun. This was
    certainly not a good thing to do, but not proof that she was crazy.
    She was just angry at the nun for not allowing her to smoke. Later in
    the movie, Catharine is upset because she finds out that her mother is
    willing to agree to have her lobotomized, just so the mother can get
    the $50,000. Catharine escapes onto a railing that overlooks the
    woman's psychiatric ward and prepares to jump, to kill herself.
    However, she is rescued before she can jump. This scene is not in the
    script at all.
    A disturbing incident had occurred at “Dueling Oaks”. This is
    described in Scene IV in the play and much earlier in the movie.
    Catharine recounts how she was taken to a party by a young man who got
    so drunk he could not take her home, so another man had offered to
    drive her home. However, he did not take her directly home. Instead he
    took her to Dueling Oaks at the end of a street. She asked him “What
    for?” but then she realized what he wanted. She did not resist and in
    fact had gotten out of the car and gone to the grass even before he
    did. It is clear in the play that they had sexual intercourse,
    although the script does not specifically say so. In the movie, it is
    suggested that they perhaps just went for a walk on the grass,
    although subsequent references to this incident at various times in
    the movie indicate that there was sex involved. Later in the movie
    this incident is referred to as “rape”.
    After the sex was over, he had said that he was married and his wife
    was pregnant so they had better just forget that this had ever
    happened. He had taken her home. However, after she had been left off,
    she went back to the party and found that he had gone back there too.
    She went up to him and started beating him in the face and chest. Her
    entire family found out what had happened and this had been used as
    further evidence that she was crazy.
    An interesting question concerns the association of Elizabeth Taylor
    with male homosexuals. In several of her most famous movies, including
    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and Suddenly Last Summer (1958), her
    counterpart in the script was a homosexual man. In Suddenly Last
    Summer, the two male leads, including Montgomery Clift, were
    homosexual in real life. Late in life she was best known for
    campaigning for AIDS research, even though she did not have the
    disease herself. When asked about this, Elizabeth Taylor declared:
    “Without homosexuals there would be no theater, no Hollywood, no
    Art!”.
    The performance of Elizabeth Taylor in the movie version of Suddenly
    Last Summer proves that she was one of the greatest actresses of our
    times. In the movie, she must go from being a mad lunatic in a mental
    institution to being a perfectly normal but hysterical woman horrified
    by the sight of her cousin being killed and eaten. Her acting must
    range to and from every place in between.
    However, the movie also proves, in my view, that Elizabeth Taylor was
    not really as beautiful a woman as she was said to be. She merely had
    the most talented and expensive make-up artists and fashion designers,
    and wore the most beautiful wardrobe. In the early scenes in the
    movie, when Elizabeth Taylor is locked up in the psychiatric ward, she
    is wearing no makeup and her hair is not done. She looks like, at
    best, a woman of average appearance, and certainly is not especially
    beautiful. Indeed, she is hardly recognizable.
    She complains about this, saying “you can't have a compact or
    lipstick” inside the psychiatric ward.
    However, in a later scene, after they have allowed her to get her hair
    done, she re-appears as the fabulously beautiful Elizabeth Taylor we
    all know.
    In my view, if you want to see a woman just as beautiful if not more
    beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor, all you have to do it walk down any
    street or take a public bus or train. There you will see lots of women
    just as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. Today, with all kinds of hair
    and skin products readily available (but at high prices) almost any
    girl can be just as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. (I know, because my
    five daughters are always trying to get me to buy this expensive stuff
    for them.)
    Although you can easily find a girl just as beautiful as Elizabeth
    Taylor, see if you can find one who can act as well as she can. I do
    not believe that you can find one.
    Sam Sloan
    Ishi Press International
    461 Peachstone Terrace
    San Rafael California 94903
    August 1, 2011

    ISBN 4-87187-620-9
    978-4-87187-620-9
    Copyright © 2011 by Sam Sloan

    Notes: The title to the movie is "Suddenly, Last Summer" with a comma
    included. However, the title to the play is "Suddenly Last Summer"
    with the comma omitted.
    In the play, her name is spelled Catharine but in the movie it is
    spelled Catherine.
    In the movie, these events take place in 1937 but in the play it is
    1935. This probably relates to the fact that lobotomies as a medical
    procedure first became established in the USA in 1935.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871876209
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ISBN=4871876209
     
    samsloan, Aug 2, 2011
    #3
  4. On 31 Jul., 20:46, samsloan <> wrote:
    > http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871876209...dnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ISBN=4871876209
    >
    > Suddenly Last Summer
    >
    > by
    >
    > Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams
    >
    > Introduction by Sam Sloan
    >
    > Tennessee Williams was the most successful playwright of the modern
    > era and Suddenly Last Summer is the most successful of his plays. It
    > has gone through many performances and revivals, two movies and a made
    > for TV movie. A new revival is reportedly underway.
    > Tennessee Williams left his plays upon his death to the University of
    > the South in Swanee, Tennessee, which claims a royalty upon any
    > performance of his plays.
    > Tennessee Williams was homosexual and left no wife nor children. Many
    > of his plays involve themes of homosexuality, including three of his
    > plays that were made into movies: A Streetcar Named Desire (1948), Cat
    > on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and Suddenly Last Summer (1958). However, the
    > production codes of that time would not allow explicit references to
    > homosexuality, so the viewer is left to guess that this is what is
    > going on.
    > After Suddenly Last Summer was made into a movie starring Elizabeth
    > Taylor, Tennessee Williams complained that the movie producers and
    > directors had butchered it. He was unhappy. One of his main complaints
    > was that Elizabeth Taylor was too beautiful for the part, an odd
    > complaint.


    This is not an odd complaint. The character she plays is not supposed
    to
    be beautiful, she is supposed to be attractive but not so beautiful
    that
    people would go out of their way to view her beauty.


    >The basis for this complaint involves the lead character,
    > Sebastian Venable, who is already dead when the play starts. The play
    > is about the circumstances of his death in 1935. What the audience
    > eventually realizes, although it is never specifically stated, is that
    > Sebastian was homosexual.
    > Early in the play, his mother, Mrs. Violet Venable, says that
    > Sebastian was “Chaste” when he died at age 40. Not many men are able
    > to make it to 40 without having sex, so we are already able to guess
    > that he might have been homosexual.


    Homosexuals have sex. Just not with women.

    > Sebastian had been making trips to Europe every summer with his
    > extremely wealthy mother, played in the movie by Katharine Hepburn.
    > However, on his last trip, he had decided not to take his mother but
    > instead to take his cousin, Catharine Holly, played in the movie by
    > Elizabeth Taylor. Then, during the trip to Europe in Cabeza De Lobo, a
    > resort area in San Sebastian, Spain, “Suddenly Last Summer”, Sebastian
    > had died and Catharine Holly had simultaneously gone insane. Catharine
    > Holly had been shipped back to America and locked up in a mental
    > hospital.


    She had not gone insane. She told people what had happened to her
    cousin
    Sebastian up there on the hill, and Sebastian's mother had her locked
    up
    so people wouldn't know. She had seen starving children tearing bits
    of
    flesh out of a man.

    > Catherine was making delusional ravings about the death of Sebastian.


    These were not delusional. It was the truth about what can happen if
    you
    make poor, starving kids come to service you, attract them to you with
    money, and then think you can just send them away when you grow tired
    of them. They were not tearing his flesh because they were hungry,
    they
    were tearing it out because he had rejected them after leading them
    on.

    In the French Revolution 1789 - 1795 or 6, people were seen to carve
    bits of flesh out of the dead and restaurants served human meat.

    > Mrs. Venable wanted to stop these mad ravings about the death of her
    > son. She had read about the procedure of Lobotomy, which involves
    > cutting some connections inside the brain, and how much good it had
    > done for people who were otherwise hopelessly insane.


    That's a good one. Since when did lobotomy ever do any good thing for
    anyone.


    >Therefore, she
    > wanted this procedure performed on Catherine. However, the mental
    > hospital where Catherine was currently hospitalized was either
    > unwilling or unable to perform this procedure, so Mrs. Venable wanted
    > Catherine to be transferred to a smaller, local mental hospital that
    > would be able to do it.


    They were unwilling because it was ethically wrong.

    > This small mental hospital was in financial difficulty and in danger
    > of being forced to close. As a very wealthy woman, Mrs. Venable was
    > willing to make a very large financial contribution to the hospital,
    > subject to the condition that the hospital perform this lobotomy on
    > Catherine. Dr. Cuckrowicz, played in the movie by Montgomery Clift,
    > regularly performed these operations, but was reluctant to do it as a
    > pre-condition to a substantial financial contribution.


    He was reluctant to do it because it was ethically wrong.

    > Sebastian had left in his will $50,000 to each of Catherine Holly, her
    > brother George and their mother Mrs. Holly. However, Mrs. Venable, the
    > sister of Mrs. Holly, was contesting the will. She was agreeing to
    > drop the contest of the will and thus to allow George, Catherine and
    > their mother to get the $50,000 each, only provided they sign the
    > papers agreeing to the lobotomy of Catherine.
    > The mystery is: Why is Catherine Holly said to be delusional? What is
    > she saying about the death of Sebastian and why is Mrs. Venable trying
    > to have her lobotomized to stop her from saying it?
    > Whet we finally learn at the end of the movie is that Sebastian
    > Venable had been taking his mother to Europe every year to use her as
    > a lure to attract boys, whom he wanted to use for homosexual purposes.
    > However, his mother had had a stroke and was now in a wheelchair. In
    > the movie version, she was simply getting older and was no longer able
    > to attract boys. Therefore, on this final trip, Sebastian had brought
    > Catherine Holly with him instead. He had gotten Catherine to wear a
    > revealing one-piece bathing suit to the beach. It was a thin white
    > swimming suit that made her appear completely naked when she went into
    > the water. She did not want to wear it but Sebastian made her do it.
    > This scene produced the picture of Elizabeth Taylor in a swimming suit
    > shown on the cover. This is one of the most famous photos of Elizabeth
    > Taylor ever taken.
    > After using Catherine and her see-through swimming suit to attract
    > boys, Sebastian would disappear into the bath houses with the boys.
    > This was obviously for homosexual purposes. However, Sebastian's plan
    > to use Catherine Holly to attract boys for sexual purposes proved to
    > be too successful. When Sebastian wanted to leave, the boys had chased
    > Sebastian up the hill onto a cliff. With no way to escape, the
    > homeless boys had surrounded Sebastian, killed him and had literally
    > eaten his body parts (including probably his dick).


    It doesn't say that and sheds a bad light on you to mention it.

    > The boys themselves were heterosexual and thus were attracted to
    > Catherine. However, they were poor, homeless boys who needed money and
    > thus would prostitute themselves into homosexual acts with Sebastian.
    > Catherine reports that Sebastian said “that gang of kids shouted vile
    > things at me”, which means that they probably called him “queer”. This
    > helps explain why they killed and ate him.
    > Catherine Holly had been running up the hill to try to catch and help
    > rescue Sebastian and had arrived in time to see Sebastian being
    > gobbled down by the boys. (It must have been a good meal!) Catherine
    > had gone crazy. Ever since, every time Catherine had tried to explain
    > what had really happened, the doctors had said that her delusions were
    > the result of her being crazy. However, this time, the doctor has
    > given her injections of sodium thiopenthal, —a "truth serum"—, so we
    > know she is telling the truth. Finally, at the end of the movie, we
    > realize that actually Mrs. Venable is crazy. Catherine Holly is normal
    > and what she is saying is what really happened.


    Mrs. venable is not crazy. She is a conservative person who lived for
    and idolized her son and does not want anything to tarnish his
    reputation. She wants to stop Catherine from telling the truth.
    Nowadays, she'd probably just hire a killer.

    > Tennessee Williams went on to denounce the film and denied having any
    > involvement with the script despite being credited on-screen for it.
    > He felt that Taylor was miscast as Catherine, telling Life magazine in
    > 1961, "It stretched my credulity to believe such a 'hip' doll as our
    > Liz wouldn't know at once in the film that she was 'being used for
    > something evil'.” Williams told The Village Voice that the film "made
    > [him] throw up" and that the script moved too far away from his
    > original play.
    > However, these complaints must be discounted because Williams made
    > similar complaints about all of the movies that were based on his
    > plays. He had retained artistic control over the productions and could
    > have stopped the films from being made. The copyright notice to the
    > play insists that there be no changes in the script. He made millions
    > from these movies and did not offer to return the money. A chess-
    > playing friend of mine went to see one of these movies and saw
    > Tennessee Williams himself sitting in the audience watching it.
    > One difference between the script and the movie is that in the movie
    > is appears at times that Catherine really is crazy. In the cigarette
    > scene near the beginning, when the nun orders Catherine to put the
    > cigarette out, Catherine burns the cigarette into the palm of her own
    > hand, thus burning herself. This is something only a crazy person
    > would do.


    No, this is something an angry girl would do; but instead of hurting
    the nurse - Catherine does not want to hurt anyone, which is why she
    is repeatedly used and abused - first by the married guy who has sex
    with her at the dance, then by Sebastian, and then Mrs. Venable tries
    to use her and discard her - Catherine instead hurts herself. This
    is better theatre than hurting the nun. If Catherine had been that
    kind of angry, aggressive girl, she would never have been abused.

    >However, in the play, Catherine sticks the cigarette into
    > the hand of the nun, burning the nun. This was certainly not a good
    > thing to do, but not proof that she was crazy. She was just angry at
    > the nun for not allowing her to smoke.
    > The performance of Elizabeth Taylor in the movie version proves that
    > she was one of the greatest actresses of our times. In the movie, she
    > must go from being a mad lunatic in a mental institution to being a
    > perfectly normal but hysterical woman horrified by the sight of her
    > cousin being killed and eaten. Her acting must range to every place in
    > between.
    > However, the movie also proves, in my view, that Elizabeth Taylor was
    > not really as beautiful a woman as she was said to be. She merely had
    > the most talented and expensive make-up artists and fashion designers,
    > and wore the most beautiful wardrobe. In the early scenes in the
    > movie, when Elizabeth Taylor is locked up in the psychiatric ward, she
    > is wearing no makeup and her hair is not done. She looks like, at
    > best, a woman of average appearance, and certainly is not especially
    > beautiful. Indeed, she is hardly recognizable.
    > She complains about this, saying “you can't have a compact or
    > lipstick” inside the psychiatric ward.
    > However, in a later scene, after they have allowed her to get her hair
    > done, she re-appears as the fabulously beautiful Elizabeth Taylor we
    > all know.
    > In my view, if you want to see a woman just as beautiful if not more
    > beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor, all you have to do it walk down and
    > street or take a public bus or train. There you will see lots of women
    > just as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. Today, with all kinds of hair
    > and skin products readily available (but at high prices) almost any
    > girl can be just as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor. (I know, because my
    > five daughters are always trying to get me to buy this expensive stuff
    > for them.)
    > Although you can easily find a girl just as beautiful as Elizabeth
    > Taylor, see if you can find one who can act as well as she can? I do
    > not believe that you can find one.
    >                         Sam Sloan
    >                         Ishi Press International
    >                         461 Peachstone Terrace
    >                         San Rafael California 94903
    >                         August 1, 2011
    >
    > PS The title to the movie is "Suddenly, Last Summer" with a comma
    > included. However, the title to the play is "Suddenly Last Summer"
    > with the comma omitted.
    >
    > http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871876209...dnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ISBN=4871876209
     
    Melanie Sands, Aug 4, 2011
    #4
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