Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tennessee Williams and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


Tennessee Williams was one of American greatest writers.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. In addition, The Glass Menagerie (1945) and The Night of the Iguana (1961) received New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. His 1952 play The Rose Tattoo (dedicated to his lover, Frank Merlo), received the Tony Award for best play.

Williams was gay, but it is not immediately obvious from viewing his plays and films.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is about a family living on a plantation in Mississippi.

There is a turbulent relationship between Maggie and her husband Brick Pollitt.

Brick does not seem to be sexually attracted to his wife.

Brick's beloved friend Skipper has killed himself.

Skipper was sexually attracted to Brick. Brick rejected Skipper's advances. Brick tries to hide his own gay feelings.

(The Hays Code limited how clearly the film could portray Brick's past sexual desire for Skipper)

Brick and Maggie are living in the room once occupied by Jack Straw and Peter Ochello, the founders of the plantation now run by Big Daddy Pollit.

Straw and Ochello were gay.

Big Daddy hints he had a gay relationship with his former bosses, Straw and Ochello.

Big Daddy sees Brick's rejection of Skipper as a betrayal.


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