Ranks just below Huston's big 3 (Maltese, Sierra Madre, and Man Who'd Be King). Burton owns the screen, Kerr is solid per usual, and provides great chemistry for Burton and Gardner to work off. Here, Gardner gives her most memorable performance outside of The Killers, steals most scenes. One of better Williams adaptations Ive seen. Very cinematic, w/ beautiful location photography. Recommended very highly. 4.5 stars
2.5 stars. I think the film is a mess. It is sometimes incoherent or just plain boring and yet it holds you. Gabriel Figueroa's cinematography has something to do with it. Also Burton, who struggles through his role but achieves moments of power. Deborah Kerr is not quite inside her character. Ava Gardner is good, however. She lets go. This is one of her best performances.
" - I still say I'm not a bird, I am a human being. And when one of that unique species builds its nest in the heart of another, the questions of permanence and propagation aren't the first, or even the last things to be considered. What is important is that one is never alone." ("An intercourse not well designed For beings of a golden kind Whose native green must arch above The Earth's obscene, corrupting love.")
Great film. Burton's panicky character can take a while to get used to, but from then on it's a perfect film. The performances and the screenplay are stupendous. Those are probably the showiest and best elements. Ava, Ava, Ava. Such a perfect person, actor, character. Figueroa's photography was perfect, like always. Tennessee William's source play must be great... I'll get to reading it soon.
Good Tennessee Williams adaptation. The good surprise of the film is Ava Gardner who's not as hieratic as she seems after all, thanks to John Huston. Nonetheless, Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Suddenly, Last Summer remains the reference among Tennesse William's adaptations. Recommended.