Monday, September 24, 2012

The Long, Hot Summer

One of the best things about Hollywood movies from the 1950s is that some of them are brimming with enough raw sexuality to stun an elephant. The fact the stars of the era displayed such a feat didn't help to tone it down much.

Martin Ritt's The Long, Hot Summer is one such movie. The reason? It stars future Hollywood couple Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and you can just see the sparks flying between them. (The script by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. is to thank.)

This movie isn't just about the sparks between Newman and Woodward. It also chronicles simple life in a small Mississippi town. But it's more about the people of the town, not just the many goings on. (That's just Ritt trying to maintain the wholesome 1950s image.)

The rest of the cast is pretty good. Among the names are Anthony Franciosa, Orson Welles, Lee Remick and Angela Lansbury. They're all quite good, but the MVPs of The Long, Hot Summer are Newman and Woodward. (Though I did like Franciosa a bit too.)

The Long, Hot Summer is typical Hollywood fare with the smoldering leading man and the fine supporting cast, but I don't mind. It's good entertainment. (Especially for one scene of Newman clad in boxers. Yum.) Just watch this, and you'll see why Newman and Woodward were married for fifty years.

My Rating: ****

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