Rent The Long Hot Summer (1958)

3.7 of 5 from 76 ratings
1h 52min
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When suspected barn burner Ben Quick (Paul Newman) drifts into a town dominated by Will Varner (Orson Welles), he is recruited to husband Varner's spinster daughter (Joanne Woodward) so that Varner can keep an eye on him. But the two men soon lock horns, and a chain of events leaves them all changed forever.
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William Faulkner, Irving Ravetch
Classics, Drama, Romance
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1958 Cannes Best Actor

Release Date:
Run Time:
112 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1

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Reviews (2) of The Long Hot Summer

Southern Melodrama. - The Long Hot Summer review by Steve

Spoiler Alert

One of many fifties southern dramas influenced by Tennessee Williams,  which employ similar archetypes: the photogenic drifter; an ailing, corpulent patriarch obsessed with legacy; a cerebral, inhibited (but beautiful) ice-maiden; and a hot, earthy coquette. Plus the sickly remnants of southern aristocracy.

 All these are present in The Long, Hot Summer, which is freely adapted from short stories by southern laureate William Faulkner. These opulent, atmospheric films are soundtracked by orchestral scores and the chirping of crickets. Usually there is the cry of a lonesome steam train, though here it is a paddle-steamer.

 Paul Newman is charismatic as the ambitious, mysterious stranger, ingratiating himself into the secrets and lies of a rich family of cotton planters while romancing a repressed schoolteacher (Joanne Woodward). Lee Remick plays a sexy and manipulative siren married to the shiftless son of Orson Welles' overbearing patriarch.  

This is a dreadful performance from the hugely overweight Welles. He is unintelligible. But I really like this genre, full of poetic, philosophical digressions and obsessed with sex. The film has a wonderfully rich, dreamy ambience but it's a mostly a star vehicle for the young, handsome Paul Newman.

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Review - The Long Hot Summer review by sw

Spoiler Alert

We had real trouble understanding the dialogue and unfortunately there were no subtitles so we gave up after half an hour. Probably quite a good film!

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