Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Movie Poster

Trivia for Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

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  • George Cukor turned down MGM's offer to direct this movie because the references to Brick's homosexuality had been removed.
  • Burl Ives was only one year older than Jack Carson, who played his eldest son, and sixteen years older than Paul Newman, who played his youngest.
  • This movie was originally to be filmed in black-and-white, as was the standard practice with "artistic" movies in the 1950s. (Virtually all movie adaptations of the plays of Tennessee Williams had been in black-and-white up to that time.) However, once Paul Newman and Dame Elizabeth Taylor were cast in the leads, Writer and Director Richard Brooks insisted on shooting in color, in deference to the public's well-known enthusiasm for Taylor's violet and Newman's strikingly blue eyes.
  • Ben Gazzara, who originated the role of Brick on Broadway, turned down the role for this movie version.
  • Due to a musicians union strike, the movie lacks a traditional musical score composed especially for this movie. Instead, a "canned" score, comprised of pre-recorded pieces from the MGM music library, is used. Most of this music, including the evocative main theme, was originally composed by André Previn for MGM's Tension (1949).
  • The play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1955.
  • Playwright Tennessee Williams so disliked this adaptation that he told people in line, "This movie will set the industry back fifty years. Go home!"
  • When Paul Newman agreed to play the role of Brick Pollitt, he was under the impression this movie would simply adapt the original script into a screenplay. When the screenplay deviated wildly from the stage text over Tennessee Williams' objections, Newman expressed his disappointment.
  • One of the top ten box-office hits of 1958.
  • Tennessee Williams wrote the role of "Big Daddy" Pollitt with Burl Ives in mind. Prior to the original stage production, Ives was known primarily as a folk singer, and many within the theatre community questioned Williams' decision. Ives won rave reviews in the role on stage and screen, and went on to a long and prestigious acting career.
  • Although Elia Kazan directed "Cat" on Broadway, he was not involved in this movie, despite having two cinematic successes with Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and Baby Doll (1956). Kazan had had trouble with Williams, demanding that he re-write the third act of the play to bring "Big Daddy" Pollitt back on stage. He also was tired of having critics call him a "co-author" of Williams work, which he knew he was not. He eventually directed one more Williams play on Broadway, Sweet Bird of Youth (1962), but that movie was also directed by Richard Brooks.
  • Lana Turner and Grace Kelly were considered for the part of Maggie Pollitt, the "Cat".
  • The references to homosexuality in the original play were removed from the screenplay to comply with the Hollywood Production Code.
  • Dame Elizabeth Taylor proceeded with filming, even though her husband Mike Todd was killed in a plane crash on the same day shooting began.
  • Burl Ives and Madeleine Sherwood repeated the roles they had originated on Broadway in the 1955 production directed by Elia Kazan. (Ben Gazzara played Brick Pollitt and Barbara Bel Geddes played Maggie Pollitt the "Cat" in that version.)
  • The original stage play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" by Tennessee Williams premiered at the Morosco Theater in New York City on March 24, 1955 and ran for six hundred ninety-four performances. It was nominated for the 1956 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Play. Elia Kazan directed the production, and amongst the replacement cast members during its long run was Jack Lord as "Brick".
  • Don Murray was considered for role of Brick Pollitt.
  • Montgomery Clift turned down the part of Brick.
  • Robert Mitchum turned down the role of Brick Pollitt.
  • James Dean was considered to play Brick, but died before production began.
  • Marilyn Monroe sought the role of Maggie Pollitt, the "Cat".
  • Elvis Presley turned down the role of Brick Pollitt.
  • After the sudden death of her husband, Dame Elizabeth Taylor developed a severe stutter when speaking normally. However, when she spoke on-screen in the southern accent of Maggie, it had, luckily, abated.
  • Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman), at one point, takes up Maggie's (Dame Elizabeth Taylor's) nightgown and buries his face in it, to demonstrate his heterosexuality, although this movie implies strongly that his friend Skipper is Newman's true love. During rehearsals, as a gag, Newman tore off his pajama jacket and stepped into the nightgown, howling, "Skipper, Skipper!"
  • Writer and Director Richard Brooks had wanted Tony Franciosa and Ava Gardner to headline this movie.
  • Eventually, Paul Newman, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, and Burl Ives turned in comic characters in the same universe: Newman was used as the visual inspiration for superhero Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Taylor was Carol Ferris/Star Sapphire (Jordan's love interest and occasionally enemy as her alter-ego) and Ives was Hector Hammond, one of Jordan's most important foes.
  • The name of Burl Ives' character, "Big Daddy", is said one hundred four times during this movie. That is practically once every movie minute on average.
  • The supper scene required several shootings, because the cast were concerned about Dame Elizabeth Taylor's not eating after the death of her husband. One can sense this concern on the faces of the other cast members as Dame Elizabeth slowly eats her food, after innumerable takes.
  • Despite being really affected by her husband Mike Todd's death, Dame Elizabeth Taylor resumed her job in a very professional way, without any delay on the set. Everyone was astonished by her determination.
  • Paul Newman and Dame Judith Anderson appeared on Playhouse 90 (1956).
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