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The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama | 18 May 1958 (West Germany)
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Accused barn burner and con man Ben Quick arrives in a small Mississippi town and quickly ingratiates himself with its richest family, the Varners.

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

William Faulkner (novel), Irving Ravetch (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Newman ... Ben Quick
Joanne Woodward ... Clara Varner
Anthony Franciosa ... Jody Varner
Orson Welles ... Will Varner
Lee Remick ... Eula Varner
Angela Lansbury ... Minnie Littlejohn
Richard Anderson ... Alan Stewart
Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall ... Agnes Stewart
Mabel Albertson ... Elizabeth Stewart
J. Pat O'Malley ... Ratliff
Bill Walker ... Lucius (as William Walker)
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Storyline

Sixty-one year old widower Will Varner, in ill health, owns many businesses and property in Frenchman's Bend, Mississippi, including a plantation. To him, his children are a disappointment, they who he sees as not being able to carry on the Varner name in the style to which he has built around it. Son Jody Varner has no ambition and does not work, spending much of his time fooling around with his seductive wife, Eula. Twenty-three year old daughter Clara Varner he finds clever, but he feels she also wastes her time on more contemplative pursuits. While most of her contemporaries are married, Clara has been dating Alan Stewart, a genteel mama's boy, for six years. Will would not mind Alan so much if he too thought Alan had a bit of a forceful man in him, which he could demonstrate by actually asking Clara to marry him. Conversely, Jody laments that nothing he does is ever good enough for his father, while Clara plain does not like the way he treats them. Into their lives comes Ben ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NOTHING - BUT NOTHING !...WILL BE WITHHELD!...when this searing expose of this Southern family comes boldly to the screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 1958 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Der lange heiße Sommer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jerry Wald Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name Ben Quick also pops up as a saw mill owner in the Playhouse 90 production of "Tomorrow", based upon another Faulkner story. See more »

Goofs

When Will Varner drives through town in the ambulance he covers some of the same distance and passes the same parked car twice. See more »

Quotes

Clara: Mr. Quick, I am a human being. Do you know what that means? It means I set a price on myself: a high, high price. You may be surprised to know it, but I've got quite a lot to give. I've got things I've been saving up my whole life. Things like love and understanding and-and jokes and good times and good cooking. I'm prepared to be the Queen of Sheba for some lucky man, or at the very least the best wife that any man could hope for. Now, that's my human history and it's not going to be bought ...
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Connections

Referenced in Home Improvement: Reel Men (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Long, Hot Summer
Performed by Jimmie Rodgers
Written by Sammy Cahn and Alex North
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good drama written by William Faulkner with magnificent performance , story, and direction by Martin Ritt
27 December 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Interesting and thought-provoking melodrama with marvelous acting from the entire cast , and outstanding Paul Newman as a stranger bringing with him a reputation for burning people's barns if they cross him . As Ben Quick (Paul Newman) , a young opportunist dirifter arrives in a little town and problems brewing . On the basis to get a job , Ben makes a strong impression on his landlord Will Varner (Orson Welles, he was 42 years old, but was cast as a 61 year old man due to his weight ) , the town bigwig and he meets his match in his sassy daughter Clara Varner (Joanne Woodward) . As Ben quickly ingratiates himself with its richest family, the Varners , formed by father , Will Varner (Welles) and sons : Clara , Eula Varner (Lee Remick ) married to Jody (Anthony Franciosa) .



This tense and well performed adapatation is based on two short stories and part of a novel by Nobel winner William Faulkner , set in a small Mississippi town . The picture shot Paul Newmans as a man taken under a Southern patriarch's wing , his wife Joanne Woodward , and Lee Remick to stardom . Newman and his real-wife , Woodward , luckily carry the whole movie as the main roles . This is the first on-screen pairing of Newman and Woodward ; in fact , a month after production wrapped, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward got married in Las Vegas. In this movie there is betrayal , scheming, seduction, improbable luck , suspicion, vengeance , heroism, compassion, and redemption . The locations, the soundtrack by Alex North , cinematography by cameraman Joseph LaShelle and the dramatic moments as well as the love stories between characters deliver an attractive and interesting flick . When the drama emerges there takes place incident and passion , and there's plenty of both . Paul Newman gives a fine acting as an accused barn burner and con man . Joanne Woodward is first-class as the spinster daughter Clara and one of the best characters . Support cast is pretty nice . Anthony Franciosa is fine as Welles' wimpish son who schemes a relentless vendetta . Orson Welles provides a boisterous and top-notch acting as the tyrannical Mississippi ¨pater familias¨ on his larger-than-life role . Lee Remick is wonderful as his sweet-natured daughter ; besides , Angel Lansbury as Will's longtime mistress . Being remade for TV in 1986 by Stuart Cooper with Don Johnson , Cybill Shepard , Jason Robards and Judith Ivey .

The motion picture was well directed by Martin Ritt . The smash hit of the film helped Martin Ritt reestablish himself as a major director. Martin was one of the best and most sensitive American directors of all time, was a director, actor and playwright who worked in both film and theater. He was born in New York City. His films reflect, like almost none other, a profound and intimate humane vision of his roles . Ritt went on to direct 25 more films, including such classics as Black orchid (1958) , Hud (1963), The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) , Hombre (1967) ,The Great White Hope (1970), Norma Rae (1979) and Murphy romance (1985). He was Blacklisted in the 1950s for his alleged support of causes deemed to be "Communist" by the House Un-American Activities Committee


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