Much like "Separate Tables" (also released in 1958), this film gets a lot of mileage from its powerful and well-written melodrama, boundary-pushing subject matter, and quality acting (with Newman, Taylor and Ives each giving uniquely strong performances). Even if it does suffer from the fact that Williams' play tells more it shows, the film never lets the audience too far out of its grip.
The performers play their roles with such gusto, they redeem this dubious and closeted adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play. You get frustrated (definitely the right word) with their cluelessness, but you have such affection for them. Even the no-neck monsters.
3.5? I really want to love this movie, but the censorship enacted under the Hays Code and the quashing of Williams' critique of homophobia and misogyny renders the dynamics of the film bewildering. However, the actors' performances are strong and don't betray the same censorships as the screenplay. Something of the play's intent remains intact through them.
It is a pity that Hollywood censorship toned down the homosexual theme of the play. Tennessee Williams - and also Paul Newman, was so famously unhappy about it that, although he had to do the rewrites for the screenplay, he urged people not to see the film. However, just for the acting, it is a feast. Taylor, after a few decorative roles, is at last given a role worthy of her talent. Burl Ives is amazing.
Adaptação claramente censurada da peça de T. Williams: o guião simplifica e tergiversa, omitindo as sugestões freudianas e homoeróticas do texto original, infantilizando muitos dos diálogos. Apesar disso, as interpretações são brilhantes e o filme trouxe luz a crises profundas da sociedade norte-americana até então geralmente encobertas no cinema "comercial".