From a Tennessee Williams play, an outrageous, melodramatic shocker touching on madness, homosexual prostitution, incest, disease and cannibalism, replete with enough imagery to sustain an American Lit seminar for months. On film, with Taylor as the woman who saw something nasty and Clift as the psychiatrist trying to probe her trauma, the one-act material is stretched perilously thin; but it works for Hepburn as the incarnation of civilised depravity, the matriarch trying to keep the lid on things by persuading Clift to lobotomise her niece (Taylor, whose performance suggests that surgery has already taken place).
Cast and crew
Joseph L Mankiewicz
Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams
Katharine Hepburn Gary Raymond Elizabeth Taylor Montgomery Clift Albert Dekker Mercedes McCambridge