Blu-ray Review: SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER

SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz from a story by Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams and stars Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift, Mercedes McCambridge, Albert Dekker and Gary Raymond. The score is by Malcolm Arnold and Buxton Orr.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz directs this 1959 adaptation by Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams of Williams’ provocative play, Suddenly, Last Summer. Elizabeth Taylor stars as a young woman who knows such terrible truths about the death of her cousin Sebastian that his mother (Katharine Hepburn) is determined to have her lobotomized; Montgomery Clift is the psychiatrist brought in to evaluate the lovely, profoundly disturbed patient. Both Taylor and Hepburn received Best Actress Oscar® nominations; the film, denounced as obscene, was a hit at the box office.

Violet Venable (Katharine Hepburn) brings in Dr. John Cukrowicz (Montgomery Clift) to evaluate her niece Catherine Holly (Elizabeth Taylor) who was laeft traumatized after she witnessed her cousin’s tragic death during their European vacation. Violet sort of lives in denial but still blames Catherine for the death and wants her niece lobotomized because of it. Getting this done to Catherine is a way for Violet to get back at her niece. The thing is, once the young doctor starts meeting with Catherine he sees that she’s not as crazy as her aunt says she is and maybe some of this is simply for show or to cover something up.

Not only does Dr. John Cukrowiczun begin to uncover the facts about this mysterious death when digs deep into Catherine’s psyche but he also starts to see a different side of her and it’s a much more grounded and sane side that she keeps heavily guarded. Ultimately, Catherine reveals the nightmarish events that lead to her cousin’s untimely death that she’s tried to keep buried deep inside her mind. During this discovery, her aunt also finally reveals a much more unstable side of her own. Dr. John Cukrowicz has finally uncovered the shocking truth about what actually happened on that dreaded trip that scarred this family forever.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about Suddenly, Last Summer by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this B&W high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. This is another fantastic high-def release by Twilight Time!

Bottom line is, Suddenly, Last Summer was yet another first time watch for me but this is a movie that I had been aware of for over the years. I have to admit that I completely enjoyed this old classic that boosts a wide range of emotions that’s orchestrated by this talented cast of legendary actors. The movie plays like a dark drama that has elements of psychological thriller as well as a shock factor that’s revealed in the end. To me Suddenly, Last Summer was way before its time and that’s probably why it was labeled as obscene back in the day because it dealt with some controversial issues. These days this movie would be considered pretty tame so it’s funny how things have changed over the years. Anyway, this was a really entertaining piece of classic cinema and it definitely deserves this pristine high-def release by Twilight Time. This 1959 dramatic psychological thriller is now available on Blu-ray and has a Limited Edition run of 3,000 Units. Be sure you check this one out, especially if you’ve never seen it before.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 114 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) /  B&W / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features:

  • Isolated Music & Effects Track
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (02:51)

 

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