Suddenly, Last Summeri is a trainwreck of a film.
First, to get Taylor out of the way -- she's smoking hot, and very, very competent. She looks about nineteen notwithstanding she's about 26 at the time of the shooting, her tits carry the camera throughout the painful tedium of this nonsense, and her presentation shotii is credible. Certainly credible for '59. The fact that she can actually act stands in brilliant contrast to Hepburn's utter mummified inability.
Do you know what a hurdy-gurdy is ? One of those broken down boxes the homeless used to hand crank on street corners a century or so ago ? That's Katharine Hepburn through and through, she just won't stop yakking in that unbearable tinny monotone god fucking help us.iii
Not that Clift's any better, he just does Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace throughout. What the fuck is with the 50s and the chicken-headed male lead, anyway ?iv
The original Tennessee Williams play is marginal to begin with, but the butchering Gore Vidal applied to it should perhaps be studied as a pinnacle of hackdom. Really, the white silk suit clad scapegoat, bla bla ? It's terrible!
Very, very bad film. The only reason is still exists is Elizabeth Taylor, gaze upon this sad trainwreck of a shitshow and weep for wasted youth. It is wasted on the young, yes, but in Taylor's case through no fault of her own. In her case, through the fault of everyone else.
I have a lengthy list of people from the 50s who should feel very, very ashamed in their graves for wasting the time of a jewel of a girl back when she was twenty. You understand nobody gives them their twenties back, do you ?
Don't be that waster.———
- 1959, by J. L. Mankiewics, with Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift. [↩]
- That's when they have her naked. There's usually one per movie. [↩]
- She does the exact, but I mean the exact same schtick as everywhere else. At least in say Lion in Winter in was plot-adequate, you immediately understood why Eleanor had to be locked up in the tower all year long by watching Hepburn droning half a minute. [↩]
- If you never understood the "chicken acting human" Animaniacs segment before, now you do. [↩]