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Encyclopedia > Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Written by Tennessee Williams
Characters Maggie Pollitt
Brick Pollitt
"Big Daddy" Pollitt
"Big Mama" Pollitt
Mae Pollitt
Gooper Pollitt
Mae & Gooper's children
Date of premiere 1955
Country of origin  United States
Original language English (Deep south dialect)
Subject Illness, Mendacity, Homosexuality, Relationships & Alcoholism
Genre Drama
Setting The Pollitt household on a plantation in Mississippi.
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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a Tony-nominated play by Tennessee Williams. The play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Illness (sometimes referred to as ill-health) can be defined as a state of poor health. ... For other uses, see Deception (disambiguation). ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ... See: relational model personal relationship mathematical relationship, including: inverse relationship direct relationship relation (mathematics). ... Alcoholism is the consumption of, or preoccupation with, alcoholic beverages to the extent that this behavior interferes with the drinkers normal personal, family, social, or work life, and may lead to physical or mental harm. ... For other uses, see Drama (disambiguation). ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This is an article about the movie adaptation. ... What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater, primarily honoring productions on Broadway in New York. ... Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. ... The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was first awarded in 1918. ... See also: 1954 in literature, other events of 1955, 1956 in literature, list of years in literature. ...

Contents

Plot

It is the story of a Southern family in crisis, focusing on the turbulent relationship of a wife and husband, Maggie "The Cat" and Brick Pollitt, and their interaction with Brick's family over the course of one evening gathering at the family estate in Mississippi, ostensibly to celebrate the birthday of patriarch and tycoon "Big Daddy" Pollitt. Maggie, through wit and beauty, has escaped a childhood of desperate poverty to marry into the wealthy Pollitt family, but finds herself suffering in an unfulfilling marriage. Brick, an aging football hero, has neglected his wife and further infuriates her by ignoring his brother's attempts to gain control of the family fortune. Brick's indifference and his near-continuous drinking date back to the recent suicide of his friend Skipper. Big Daddy is unaware that he has cancer and will not live to see another birthday; his doctors and his family have conspired to keep this information from him and his wife. His relatives are in attendance and attempt to present themselves in the best possible light, hoping to receive the definitive share of Big Daddy's enormous wealth. This article is about the U.S. state. ...


Themes

The theme of the play is mendacity, a word Brick uses to describe his disgust with the world. Moreover it revolves around the lies in the aging and decaying Southern society. With one exception, the entire family lies to Big Daddy and Big Mama, as do the doctors. Big Daddy lies to his wife. A lie is a statement made by someone who believes or suspects it to be false, in the expectation that the hearers may believe it. ... The U.S. Southern states or The South, known during the American Civil War era as Dixie, is a distinctive region of the United States with its own unique historical perspective, customs, musical styles, and cuisine. ...


The play alludes to the presence of homosexuality in Southern society and examines the complicated rules of social conduct in this culture. Tennessee Williams himself was unclear about the nature of Brick's feelings for his friend Skipper while developing different versions of the play. Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. ...


There are two versions of the play, one of which was influenced by director Elia Kazan, who directed the play on Broadway, and another which was performed for the first time in London, England. Elia Kazan, (Greek: Ηλίας Καζάν, IPA: ), (September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003) was a Greek-American film and theatre director, film and theatrical producer, screenwriter, novelist and cofounder of the influential Actors Studio in New York in 1947. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


Stage productions

The original Broadway production, which opened in 1955, was directed by Elia Kazan and starred Barbara Bel Geddes as Maggie; Ben Gazzara as Brick; Burl Ives as Big Daddy; Mildred Dunnock as Big Mama; Pat Hingle as Gooper; and Madeleine Sherwood as Mae. Bel Geddes was the only cast member nominated for a Tony Award, and Kazan was nominated for Best Director of a Play. Both Ives and Sherwood would reprise their roles in the 1958 film version. The cast also featured the southern blues duo Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry and had as Gazzara's understudy the young Cliff Robertson. Elia Kazan, (Greek: Ηλίας Καζάν, IPA: ), (September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003) was a Greek-American film and theatre director, film and theatrical producer, screenwriter, novelist and cofounder of the influential Actors Studio in New York in 1947. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Ben Gazzara (born Biagio Anthony Gazzara on August 28, 1930, in New York City) is an American actor in television and motion pictures. ... Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (14 June 1909 –14 April 1995) was an Academy Award winning American actor and acclaimed folk music singer and author. ... Mildred Dunnock (born January 25, 1901; died July 5, 1991) was an American theater, film and television actress. ... Pat Hingle (born July 19, 1924) is an American actor. ... Madeleine Sherwood (born Madeleine Louise Hélène Thornton on November 13, 1922 in Outremont, Quebec) is a Canadian actress, best known for her role as the Reverend Mother Superior on the sitcom The Flying Nun. ... What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater, primarily honoring productions on Broadway in New York. ... Walter Brownie McGhee (November 30, 1915 - February 16, 1996) was a folk-blues singer and guitarist, best known for his collaborations with the harmonica player Sonny Terry. ... Sonny Terry performing live at Nambassa festival 1981. ... Cliff Robertson. ...


A 1974 revival featured Elizabeth Ashley, Keir Dullea, Fred Gwynne and Kate Reid. Ashley was nominated for a Tony Award. In that same decade, John Carradine and Mercedes McCambridge toured in a road company production as Big Daddy and Big Mama, respectively. Elizabeth Ashley is an American actress who first came to prominence in the Broadway play Take Her, Shes Mine, which earned her a Tony award as Best Featured Actress in a Play. ... Keir Dullea (born May 30, 1936) is an actor best remembered for his role as astronaut David Bowman in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey and in 1984s 2010: The Year We Make Contact. ... Frederick Hubbard Gwynne (July 10, 1926 – July 2, 1993) was an American actor, known for starring in the television sitcoms Car 54, Where Are You? and The Munsters. ... Kate Daphne Reid (4 November 1930 – 27 March 1993) was a Canadian actress. ... What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater, primarily honoring productions on Broadway in New York. ... John Carradine (February 5, 1906 – November 27, 1988) was a Daytime Emmy Award-winning American actor, perhaps best known for his roles in horror films and Westerns. ... Mercedes Agnes Carlotta McCambridge (March 16, 1916 – March 2, 2004), nicknamed Mercy, was an Academy Award-winning American film actress, also known for her acting in radio dramas. ...


A 1990 revival featured Kathleen Turner in her Broadway debut. Charles Durning, as Big Daddy, received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. Daniel Hugh Kelly was Brick, and Polly Holliday was Big Mama. Both Turner and Holliday were also nominated for Tonys. Mary Kathleen Turner (born June 19, 1954) is an Academy Award-nominated American actress. ... Charles Durning Charles Durning (born February 28, 1923 in Highland Falls, New York) is an American actor of stage and screen, born to an impoverished Irish American Catholic family, which he left as soon as possible to ease the financial pressure on his mother. ... What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater, primarily honoring productions on Broadway in New York. ... Daniel Hugh Kelly (born on August 10, 1952 in Elizabeth, New Jersey) also known as Daniel Hugh-Kelly is an American film and television actor. ... Polly Dean Holliday (born July 2, 1937 in Jasper, Alabama) is an American actress, best known for her role as Florence Jean Castleberry (Flo) on the television series Alice, and later on her own show, Flo. ...


A 2003 revival received lukewarm reviews despite the presence of film stars Ashley Judd and Jason Patric. Only Ned Beatty, as Big Daddy, and Margo Martindale, as Big Mama, were singled out for impressive performances. Martindale received a Tony nomination. Ashley Judd (born April 19, 1968) is an American actress. ... Roger Ebert, Peter OToole, and Jason Patric at the 2004 Savannah Film Festival. ... Ned Thomas Beatty (born July 6, 1937) is an Academy Award-nominated American character actor. ... Margo Martindale (born July 18, 1951, in Jacksonville, Texas) is a Tony Award-nominated stage, television and film actress. ...


A 2004 production at the Kennedy Center featured Mary Stuart Masterson as Maggie, Jeremy Davidson as Brick, George Grizzard as Big Daddy, Dana Ivey as Big Mamma, and Emily Skinner as Mae. The Kennedy Center as seen from the Potomac River. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... George Grizzard (b. ... Dana Ivey (born August 14, 1942) is an American actress. ... Emily Skinner (born June 29, 1970) is an American musical theatre actress known for her roles in Broadway productions. ...


A new all-star, all-African-American production opened on Broadway in March 2008. Debbie Allen is signed to direct. Film star Terrence Howard will make his Broadway debut as Brick, alongside stage veterans James Earl Jones (Big Daddy), Phylicia Rashad (Big Mama) and Anika Noni Rose (Maggie). Debbie Allen (born Deborrah Kaye Allen on January 16, 1950 in Houston, Texas) is an American actor, choreographer, film director, television producer and a member of the Presidents Committee on the Arts and Humanities. ... Terrence Dashon Howard (born March 11, 1969) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and stage actor. ... James Earl Jones (born January 17, 1931) is an American Academy Award-nominated, Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actor of film and stage well known for his deep basso voice. ... In a Mothers Day survey, Rashads character on The Cosby Show, Claire Huxtable, was named, TV mom closest to your own mom in spirit. ... Anika Noni Rose (born September 6, 1972 in Bloomfield, Connecticut) is a Tony Award winning American singer and actress. ...


Film and television adaptations

The big-screen version of the play was made in 1958 by MGM, and starred Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Judith Anderson, Jack Carson. Burl Ives and Madeleine Sherwood reprised their stage roles. The Hays Code limited how clearly the film could portray Brick's past sexual desire for Skipper, and thus diminished the original play's critique of homophobia and sexism. Although it was very discreet in referring to the supposed homosexual themes, and although it had a somewhat revised "third act", it was highly acclaimed and was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman both received Oscar nominations for their performances, and most critics agreed that the film provided both them and Burl Ives with their finest screen roles up to that time. Curiously, Burl Ives was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor that year, and won, but not for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He won it for his role in the epic Western The Big Country. Reportedly, MGM executives had mistakenly put Ives' name in the wrong category during the Academy Award nominations process, although Ives could certainly be said to have played a supporting role in Cat. It is possible that Cat may have been too controversial for the Academy voters - the film won no Oscars, and the Best Picture award went to Gigi that year. This is an article about the movie adaptation. ... Jan. ... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ... This article is about the American actor and race team owner. ... For other persons named Elizabeth Taylor, see Elizabeth Taylor (disambiguation). ... Dame Judith Anderson, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1934 Dame Judith Anderson, AC DBE (February 10, 1897–January 3, 1992), born Frances Margaret Anderson-Anderson, was an Tony award and Emmy winning stage and film actress who was also nominated for a Grammy and an Oscar. ... Jack Carson (October 27, 1910 – January 3, 1963 was a Canadian actor. ... Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (14 June 1909 –14 April 1995) was an Academy Award winning American actor and acclaimed folk music singer and author. ... Madeleine Sherwood (born Madeleine Louise Hélène Thornton on November 13, 1922 in Outremont, Quebec) is a Canadian actress, best known for her role as the Reverend Mother Superior on the sitcom The Flying Nun. ... The Production Code (also known as the Hays Code) was a set of guidelines governing the production of motion pictures. ... A protest by The Westboro Baptist Church, a group identified by the Anti-Defamation League as virulently homophobic. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Gay bashing Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the awards are voted on by other people within the industry. ... For other persons named Elizabeth Taylor, see Elizabeth Taylor (disambiguation). ... This article is about the American actor and race team owner. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (14 June 1909 –14 April 1995) was an Academy Award winning American actor and acclaimed folk music singer and author. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress is an accolade given by a group of film or theatre professionals in recognition of the work of supporting and character actors. ... The epic film is a film genre typically featuring expensive production values, an emotionally moving music soundtrack, and dramatic themes. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Big Country was a 1958 American movie starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston, Burl Ives, Charles Bickford, and Chuck Connors. ... Gigi is a 1945 novel by the French sentimental romance writer Colette about a wealthy cultured man of fashion who discovers that he is in love with a young Parisian girl who is being groomed for a career as a grande cocotte, and eventually marries her. ...


In 1976, a television version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was produced, starring the then husband-and-wife team of Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner, and featuring Lord Laurence Olivier as Big Daddy and Maureen Stapleton as Big Mama. It was largely panned by the critics. Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Natalie Wood (July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981) was a three time Academy Award nominated American film actress. ... For other persons named Robert Wagner, see Robert Wagner (disambiguation). ... Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM, (IPA: ; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and four-time Emmy winning English actor, director, and producer. ... Maureen Stapleton. ...


Another television version was produced in 1985, starring Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones, Rip Torn, Kim Stanley and Penny Fuller. This version brought back all the sexual innuendoes that the 1958 film had muted. Both Stanley and Fuller were nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special, and Stanley went on to win. This article is about the year. ... Jessica Phyllis Lange (born April 20, 1949) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress. ... For the musician, see Tommy Lee. ... Rip Torn (born February 6, 1931) is an American Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning television and film actor, who is perhaps best known for his role as Artie on the HBO comedy series The Larry Sanders Show. ... Kim Stanley photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, 1961 Kim Stanley (February 11, 1925 – August 20, 2001) was an American actress. ... Penny Fuller (born July 21, 1940) is an American actress. ... An Emmy Award. ...


Famous quotations

  • Brick: One man has one great good true thing in his life. One great good thing which is true! I had friendship with Skipper. You are namin' it dirty!
  • Big Daddy: What's that smell in this room? Didn't you notice it, Brick? Didn't you notice the powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?
  • Maggie: I'll win, alright.
    Brick: Win what? What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?
    Maggie: Just staying on it, I guess. As long as she can.
  • Maggie: I'm not living with you! We occupy the same cage, that's all.
  • Mae: The only thing Brick can carry is a football and a highball.
  • Brick: Maggie, you are ruinin' my liquor.
  • Maggie: And nothing's more determined than a cat on a hot tin roof. Is there? Is there, baby?
  • Brick: Wouldn't it be funny if that were true?
  • Big Mama: When the marriage is on the rocks, the rocks are there! (pointing at the bed)

A highball glass is a type of drinking vessel. ...

External links

Internet Broadway Database The Internet Broadway Database (IBDb) is an online database of Broadway theatre productions and their personnel. ... Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. ... Not about Nightingales is a play by Tennessee Williams that was written in 1938 for the Group Theatre in New York City but was rejected and remained unproduced until 1998. ... Orpheus Descending is a play by Tennessee Williams. ... Stairs to the Roof is a play by Tennessee Williams, the last of his apprentice plays. ... The Glass Menagerie is a play by Tennessee Williams. ... A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1947 play written by American playwright Tennessee Williams for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948. ... Summer and Smoke is a play by Tennessee Williams which tells the story of a lonely, unmarried ministers daughter who is courted by a former love, a wild, undisciplined doctor. ... The Rose Tattoo is a Tennessee Williams play. ... Camino Real(pronounced: Kam-uh-no Reel) is a play by Tennessee Williams. ... Orpheus Descending is a play by Tennessee Williams. ... Suddenly, Last Summer is a play by Tennessee Williams. ... Sweet Bird of Youth is a 1959 play by Tennessee Williams which tells the story of a drifter, Chance Wayne, who returns to his home town with a faded movie star, Princess Kosmonopolis, hoping she can help him to break into the movies. ... A play by Tennessee Williams about two couples, one young the other middle ages, both experiencing pains and difficulties in their relationships. ... The Casa Iguana hotel in Mismaloya The Night of the Iguana is a play by Tennessee Williams about American tourists in Mexico. ... Was adapted into the 1968 film, Boom, with the help of Gore Vidal - starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Noel Coward. ... The Seven Descents of Myrtle is a play by Tennessee Williams. ... Small Craft Warnings is a play by Tennessee Williams. ... The Red Devil Battery Sign is a drama written by American playwight Tennessee Williams, produced during his lifetime in Great Britian. ... Clothes for a Summer Hotel is a Tennessee Williams play about novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. ... The Notebook of Trigorin is Tennessee Williams free adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. ... Something Cloudy, Something Clear is an autobiographical play by Tennessee Williams that was originally written in 1941 as a short unproduced play titled The Parade, or Approaching the End of a Summer. ... One act plays by Tennessee Williams is a list of the one act plays written by American playwright Tennessee Williams. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958) (1829 words)
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (1958) is the powerful, highly-charged, moving story of a neurotic, dysfunctional Southern family with its rivalries, tensions, and avarice.
I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Big Daddy's arrival at the airport is met with a fanfare from Gooper, Mae, their children, and Maggie.
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