Knowing How to Swing

Revisited some of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Liz Taylor and Paul Newman.


How gorgeous and weird a production it is, and what a knockout she is in her silken white dress with its deep vee.


And, something I’d totally forgotten, what an amazing crutch walker is Newman’s Brick.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof blouse skirt

It’s not a real broken ankle, Gil reminds me. But still, to be able to swing around the room like that, spilling nary a drop of his whiskey, a single wooden crutch under one arm?

newman crutches

His real crutch of course his his addiction to alcohol.

Or what about the incredible gymnastics that occur when Newman takes a swing at Taylor’s Maggie with the crutch, ending up on the rug, the both of them smiling ruefully. Why is Uncle Brick on the floor? asks one of the little no-neck monsters. Because I tried to kill your Aunt Maggie, says Brick. But I failed. And I fell. Eyes of blue, achilles heel.

newman floor

I wonder if Tennessee Williams ever had to go around on crutches.



Filed under Culture, Fashion, Film, Home, Jean Zimmerman

2 responses to “Knowing How to Swing

  1. Worth watching half an hour for the glowering, beautiful agony of it all.


    I see what you mean about the crutches, etc. (YOU must just keep on keeping on.) But I’ve never seen the movie or the play, so I read a little bit about it (my Hollywood fix for the day, though a few items lack citations on Wikipedia):
    First… Ben Gazzara played Brick in the stage production and rejected the film role, as did Elvis Presley.
    And… Lana Turner and Grace Kelly were both considered for the part of Maggie before the role went to Taylor.
    And… filming was delayed because of her husband MIke Todd’s death in a plane crash.
    And… well, I knew nothing about the story, before, so now I do. I’ve never been a fan of T. Williams, and never will be, I guess.

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