Apr 1, 2021 in Analysis

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The work Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has been one of the most successful pieces ever written by Tennessee Williams. This play was opened on Broadway in 1955. It won all the awards and obtained the love of the audience. Moreover, it has brought its author Tennessee Williams the second Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Adaptation of this play appeared in 1958, and was directed by Richard Brooks. It has to be assumed that creating an adaptation for such a famous play was a great responsibility, as the director was obliged to show all the nuances portrayed in the original and preserve the plays shades of meaning. This work aims at analyzing the role of the sequence of actions for the viewers understanding of the work and for the manifesting of the hidden inner rivalry and confrontation, which has existed between the main characters.


Sequence of scenes plays the vital role in this movie, as the narrative itself is organized around a series of intense exchanges, which concern the family and sexual life. The culmination of the play provides the shades of accusation and revelation, and it was extremely essential that the director understood it and rendered it in a right way, in order not to distort the gist of the film. It has to be assumed that the movie alters the sequence of actions. It lacks the excessive and resonant mise-enscene. The symbolic references, which are applied in the work lack dynamism. The director introduced new scenes and visual elements, which condition the sequence of the movie. The movie has made the original work smoother, as the original play was marked by the sharp dialogues, where tension and constant confrontations were felt. The movie rendered the connotations of confrontation, but these emotions were manifested not in the direct words, but in the masterful play of the actors.

The movie represented how the character move from one scene in the house to another. One of the most essential scene was homecoming. In the movie, it was represented in the milder way. The original play exhibited the severe rivalry, which existed between Gooper and his Mae, and Bricks wife Maggie. The movie scene managed to show the strength and vulnerability of Big Daddy, as well as his pejorative treatment towards his wife. The following citation confirms this fact: Oh, yes, I do, oh, yes, I do, I mean it! I put up with a whole lot of crap around here because I thought I was dying. It confirms the toughness of Big Daddy and his lack of fear to say truth.

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Unfortunately, the movie was substantially different from the sharp original play. The original work did not include the part, where the Maes daughter threw ice-cream to Maggie and where Maes prepared kids towards the Big Daddys arrival. The play just started from the Maggies exclamation about the kids throwing into her the hot butter biscuit. Moreover, the play was deprived of the scene in the airport. It was the initial element of homecoming, created in the movie. It has to be assumed that despite the fact that this scene has been the idea of the movies director, it played the essential role for the smooth sequence of actions and increased understanding of the audience of the situation within the family. The scene in the airport revealed Gooper and Maes desire to please Big Daddy, and Maggies hidden paternal love, which she felt towards the father of her husband. In the play, Big Daddy appeared for the first time in the second act. He was portrayed as a tall man with fierce an anxious look. In the movie, the character of Big Daddy was already known to the audience. The audience has seen him in the airport, and during his trip home. The fact of knowing of this character ruined the connotation of surprise. Starting from the beginning of the play, nearly all the conversations were dedicated towards this character, and the target readership was intrigued by him and had a great desire to see him. In the movie, appearance of Big Daddy turned out to be the normal thing, and nobody was actually surprised by it. The actions, which followed coincided in the movie and in the play. However, it has to be assumed that understanding of the inner confrontations, which existed between siblings and their wives was more evident in the movie adaptation. The actors represented it in such a way that even their sights manifested the inner irritation and rivalry.

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It has to be assumed that the sequence of actions in the original and movie adaptation was different, as the director made an attempt to create certain background scenes in order to make the flow of the movie logical and understandable even to those individuals, who have never seen the performance or read the play. However, it has to be assumed that movie adaptations sequence prepared the viewers towards the forthcoming scenes. In other words, the movie rendered who was who. In the play, the truth about the characters was veiled. For instance, at first sight Mae seemed to be the ordinary woman and mother. In the movie, her tone, her outer appearance, and her actions revealed her inner personality. Mae tried to show that her condition was more essential than that of Maggie.

Despite the fact that their existed alterations in the sequence of actions in the movie, it remained faithful to the themes and issues, represented in the play. Certain things were changed due to the strict censorship regulations. The director was obliged to delete the scenes, which hinted towards Bricks homosexuality. The desire to hide certain topics lead to the movie transformations, which also seriously distorted the sequence of scenes. For instance, in the play, a scene in the bedroom was dedicated towards explaining the reasons of Bricks alcoholism. Brick emphasized that he grieved because of the departure of his friend Skipper, and tried to humiliate Maggie, stating that she called that relations dirty: Not love with you, Maggie, but friendship with Skipper was that one great true thing, and you are naming it dirty.

In the movie, this scene was omitted. The audience was later explained that Brick experienced severe psychological pain because of the suicide of his friend and his affair with his wife. However, the audience was unaware of the fact that Maggie has deliberately slept with Skipper in order to show his desperateness and emphasize that she wanted him to stop loving her husband. Ommiting of the scene, where Brick and Maggie discussed the fact of Bricks homosexuality altered the sequence of the movie, and did not show the audience the real truth, which the author wanted to state to the mass audience. In such a way, the movie failed to portray the fact of homosexuality existence within the American society.

In conclusion, it has to be assumed that the sequence of actions played the vital role for understanding of the gist of the work. The director Richard Brooks have added certain scenes and deleted some of them due to the fact that he wanted to explain the viewers the situation and render the gist of the story. It should be emphasized that additions and alterations conducted towards the sequence of scenes have made the movie adaptation smoother and more logical. However, they turned out to be unable to render the vulgarity and severe tensions, presented in the original play. Tennessee Williams has attracted the attention of the audience by the constant change of scenes and by the increasing stress and psychological pressure. Despite the fact that the movie did not manage to show all the shades of meaning to their full extent, it still preserved the crucial themes and features of the original work.


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