Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958)

In Richard Brooks' powerful drama adapted from Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning play:

  • the frequent image of a sexually-frustrated and sensual Maggie "the Cat" (Elizabeth Taylor), usually in a slinky slip or white dress - fighting with presumed homosexual husband Brick (Paul Newman), an alcoholic ex-football player, when she described her obsessed, passionate feelings for a husband who wouldn't bed her or touch her: ("You know what I feel like? I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof...Just stayin' on it, I guess. As long as she can") - he urged her: ("Then jump off the roof, Maggie, jump off it. Now cats jump off roofs and they land uninjured. Do it. Jump")
  • on his occasion of his 65th birthday, Big Daddy's (Burl Ives) confessional speech about "mendacity" to his drinking son Brick: ("Mendacity. What do you know about mendacity? I could write a book on it...Mendacity. Look at all the lies that I got to put up with. Pretenses. Hypocrisy. Pretendin' like I care for Big Mama, I haven't been able to stand that woman in forty years. Church! It bores me. But I go. And all those swindlin' lodges and social clubs and money-grabbin' auxiliaries. It's-it's got me on the number one sucker list. Boy, I've lived with mendacity. Now why can't you live with it? You've got to live with it. There's nothin' to live with but mendacity. Is there?")
  • the confrontational scene in the cellar and in the rain when Brick revealed to his "Big Daddy" that his father's medical reports were falsified and that he would be dying soon: ("Lies like birthday congratulations and many happy returns of the day when there won't be any..."); Brick's father then accused his son of being an irresponsible, immature thirty-year old man; Brick admitted his own self-disgust and self-deception, and that he was drunkenly drowning in self-pity regarding the suicidal death of his best friend and teammate Skipper
  • the final revelation that Maggie was pregnant with Brick's child: "I have Brick's child in my body. And that is my present to you", and her subsequent reconciliation with Brick - Brick commanded her to join him in the bedroom, and she thanked him: "Thank you for keepin' still, for backin' me up in my lie." Brick told her that they would make the lie come true: "Maggie, we are through with lies and liars in this house. Lock the door!"; the film faded out on their embrace and kiss as the entered their bedroom to make love - he tossed his pillow from the couch onto their bed - the one that they would now share

Maggie and Brick

"Mendacity" Speech

Confrontational Scene in the Pouring Rain

Final Reconciliation Between Brick and Maggie


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