This is a great drama adapted from a powerful stage play. With 1958’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, we get adult drama at its finest. We have stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, and Burl Ives giving some of the best performances ever put on film. Even though the movie strays a little bit from the source material by Tennessee Williams, it’s still a great movie to enjoy. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” proves to be a marvelous film adaptation that needs to be seen.

The story revolves around Big Daddy (Ives), who is coming home for his 65th birthday. He’s coming home to see his sons Brick and Cooper (Newman and Jack Carson), along with their wives Maggie and Mae (Taylor and Madeleine Sherwood). Little does Big Daddy know that he is going to die of a serious condition that’s bothering his colon. It’s up to the family to coax him to figure out what’s going to happen in the future as well as knock some sense into Brick for not believing in him.

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” sticks to the stage play quite well. The direction and the editing make the movie quick and easy to understand. The sets are look amazing, even for a Hollywood production. But where this film really shines is in the acting. All of the leads and this is especially true with Ives, who created the role of Big Daddy on stage, do fantastic jobs in their parts at a grand scale. It seems like you believe Taylor is Maggie and Newman is Brick. Speaking of these two actors, after this movie was a box office success, both Newman and Taylor went on to more successful films, both critically and financially. (With the exception of the 1963 disaster of “Cleopatra” of course.) It’s a movie where the performances really stand out above the rest.

Now, the one minor problem that I had with the film in general is that it looks a lot like the stage play. What I mean by this is that the way the film presents itself is like a stage play. But the big difference that the filmmakers made from the stage to the screen is with the character Brick. Because in the play, Brick presents himself as a homosexual, as he had a relationship with another man named Skipper. In the film, as it was unlawful to not feature homosexuality on film, they make Brick’s sexual tensions pass off as a friendship with Skipper. It’s just a minor change, so it’s not a big deal.

Overall, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is a great adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play that, had it not been for the times, could have stuck to the source material a lot better. But you got to respect the time it came out, and the Hollywood Production code that limited strong adult material like homosexuality was going to die, just like Big Daddy. I highly recommend this for any adult film collector out there.