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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  38,566 ratings  ·  536 reviews
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof first heated up Broadway in 1955 with its gothic American story of brothers vying for their dying father’s inheritance amid a whirlwind of sexuality, untethered in the person of Maggie the Cat. The play also daringly showcased the burden of sexuality repressed in the agony of her husband, Brick Pollitt. In spite of the public controversy Cat stirred u ...more
Published June 1st 1958 by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (first published 1955)
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Steve Sckenda
“All happy families are alike, but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion.” (Leo Tolstoy, "Anna Karenina," 1876)

Living with someone you love in a household of lies can be lonelier than living entirely alone. Lies are the harvest on the 28,000-acre Delta plantation that is the setting of this Tennessee William’s play, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. Everybody flatters the patriarch, Big Daddy, because he is worth $10 million and dying of cancer without a will. The fam
...more
Carol
Set on a large, rich and successful Mississippi plantation in the heat of a 1950's summer, family members come together to celebrate a big birthday party and bring along their avarice and greed as well as their mendacity in hopes of acquiring a big piece of inheritance when Big Daddy kicks the bucket.

I have always loved the movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman thus decided to find out if the play was similar and was surprised at two major differences....(view spoiler)

...more
Carol Storm
I loved this play as a teenager -- the feverish pace, the soaring poetry of the big speeches, the way Big Daddy was everything my father wasn't and the way Maggie keeps sighing over Brick. But after thirty years of living, I just don't read this play in the same way. There are so many things I swallowed whole as a teen that seem laughably far-fetched as an adult.

Brick is a thirty year old man. Not a fifteen year old boy. Yet he still doesn't know if he's gay or straight? I mean, come on! His se
...more
Sue
Very powerful, enjoyable read. I particularly liked having the very specific stage directions, so meticulously explained and set out by Williams for readers as well as directors and performers. Also enjoyed the accompanying essays about the development of the play along with director Elia Kazin and Williams' own essay about the play.

These are not people I would want to spend time with; they don't want to spend time with each other. The way Williams lets the anger, frustration, thwarted love, hat
...more
Maxwell
What a terribly, messed-up family. I loved every minute of it. This is one I would definitely enjoy seeing performed. My third Williams play, and possibly my favorite. Though how can you compare Maggie to Blanche DuBois. Nonetheless, excellent play.
Connie
Tennessee Williams amazes me with this powerful play. Greed, jealousy, homosexuality, indifference, alcoholism, and desire are all laid bare in one way or another in this play. Maggie the Cat is full of life and is honest if she does come from a poor family and feel that she is walking on a hot tin roof all the time. Some of the other characters in the play may not be as full of life as Maggie. What she wants most of all is a baby from her husband Brick because she knows Brick is Big Daddy's fav ...more
Robert
On a sultry summer evening family meets and secrets are revealed...so far, so a zillion other plays. Here, it's not really what the secrets are that's interesting, it's who the characters are and where the author's sympathies lie.

The first act slowly winds up to a very dramatic finish and tensions are racked up higher still in act 2. Then something strange happens - act 3 occurs twice! Williams has included his original draft of act 3 and the performance version, modified in response to the orig
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
مگی میگوید: «میدانی من چه احساسی دارم؟ همیشه حس میکنم مثل یک گربه روی یک شیروانی داغ هستم.» بریک در پاسخ میگوید: «پس، از روی شیروانی بپر پایین مگی! گربهها از روی شیروانی میپرند پایین، و هیچ صدمهای نمیبینند. این کار را بکن. بپر!» مگی میگوید: «بپرم کجا؟ به چه امیدی؟» بریک پاسخ میدهد: «یک عاشق گیر بیار.» مگی: «مستحق این کار نیستم. جز تو هیچ مردی را نمیبینم، حتی با چشمهای بسته فقط تو را میبینم.»ا.ش ...more
Mounir
Beautiful and strong play: The psychological defenses revealed through multiple confrontations to be witnessed by the audience without any social cover. It is my first time to read anything by Tennessee Williams. I like his style, especially the way he uses the talk or actions of minor characters and the sounds in the background in a way similar to the chorus of the Greek theater, commenting on or stressing what is going on. I liked also his lengthy stage directions, which are much more than sta ...more
Jennifer
I had only seen the movie several times because I worship Paul Newman. Always have and always will. That said, I did not know about the homosexual undertone of the play... because the movie makers chickened out and turned the whole admiration between Brick and Skipper upside down. There is no mention of the 'old bachelors' from whom Big Daddy inherited the plantation. There is no hint at homosexuality in the play, maybe once in an ironic smile of Big Daddy. And in the film Brick actually desires ...more
Amy
I have seen the film version of this play with Paul Newmann and Elizabeth Taylor as the main characters and it is truly one of my all time favorites. Of course, this is why I wanted to read the play. Apparently, (as per the editors notes in the book) Williams did approve several different changes in his play for some stage productions and the film production. I will say that I believe I enjoyed reading this play having already seen it as, of course, there is not much more than simple dialouge to ...more
Ramin Azodi
بيشتر از باغ وحش شيشه اي دوستش داشتم و كمتر از اتوبوسي به نام هوس.
تنسي ويليامز ثابت كرد؛ اگه داستان جذابي هم براي گفتن نداشتيد با شخصيت پردازي قوي ميتونيد مخاطب رو همراه خودتون بياريد و در مواردي حتي ميخ كوبش كنيد.
Melaslithos
So much has been said on this play already, I don't think I'll be able to add anything of interest, but here are a few thoughts.

Our English teacher made us watch the movie in class when I was in high school, and I found it fantastic. So I went to read on several other Tennessee Williams plays after that, but for an unknown reason, I never got to this one. I finally corrected this.

It's quite a different experience to watch the movie and read the play. Both are great, but reading the play adds to
...more
Yani
Antes de que pregunten: no vi la película. Y lo agradezco. Sinceramente, me había hecho una idea de esta obra y al empezar a leerla me di cuenta de que estuve muy equivocada. Insertándola en su contexto puede funcionar como una crítica o un retrato de las familias sureñas de los Estados Unidos de la época (la obra fue estrenada en 1955 y después la adaptaron al cine), pero quitándola de ahí no son más que tres actos en donde un grupo de gente que no se tolera entre sí pasa la mitad del tiempo gr ...more
Katsumi
If there is a problem in a marriage it is right here" big mamma says while pointing at a bed. That is just what this play is about; a problemd marriage between a drunken husband and a wife despertly seeking his love.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof involves a lot of screaming, airy Southern talking, and weak and useless characters. I couldn't find a point in the play, and there is no moral to speak of unless it aims to convert a moneybag grubber into a Christian saint. The pages just keep going on and on
...more
Connie
The family of Big Daddy Pollitt have gathered at their Mississippi plantation home to celebrate the 65th birthday of the seriously ill man. The play is set in the bed/sitting room of Maggie and Brick, the younger son. Brick has been heavily drinking since the suicide of his best friend, Skippy.

Maggie, the title character, feels like she's a "cat on a hot tin roof." She is nervous, jumpy, lonely, and frantic from living with a man who acts indifferent to her. She wants to be loved and desired by
...more
محمد ذهني
لم تكن في مستوى رائعة تينيسي وليامز الأخرى "عربة اسمها الرغبة" ولكنها مسرحية جيدة غرضها كما قال وليامز نفسه في قلب المسرحية نوع التجربة التي يمر بها مجموعة من الناس والتصرفات التي ينتج عنها جو عاصف وأزمة مشتركة. و مع ذلك فما لم يقصده ويليامز كان هو الأفضل. أعني شخصية برك المحبوبة والتي نجح ويليامز في جعلها محبوبة تماماً مثلماً كانت شخصيتي أخيه وزوجة أخيه بغيضتين. علاقة برك بسكيبر "أساس أزمته" و شخصية مارجريت العنيدة ونجاح وصول ويليامز لإحساس القارئ بمدى شهوانيتها وأيضا كم هي جميلة وشهية. هذه الق ...more
Alex
"Living with someone you love can be lonelier - than living entirely alone!
- Margaret, Act 1

"Life has got to be allowed to continue even after the dream of life is - all - over..."
- Margaret, Act I

So here is Tennessee Williams coming out, with his customary rage and insight. And darkness.

Once again, I'm surprised. This is the most I've seen homosexuality dealt with, so far; EM Forster hinted at it, and there was Oscar Wilde, but it was all innuendo and shadows before. This feels very bold, and I
...more
Mike Jensen
Some works of literature, even some of the great ones, wear out their welcome. I have read or seen this one too many times, and it now just seems loud, bitter, and destructive without something for me to like anyway, such as a character to care about. Everyone is screwed up, everyone is hurtful, and I'm tired of plays and books like that. Three stars for Williams magnificent dialog which so often seems like poetry, otherwise I'm finished with it.
Lavinia
Having seen (and forgotten, as it often happens after a certain age :D) the film many years ago, I sort of knew the plot, but I was nonetheless rewarded with a great deal of domestic drama. I especially enjoyed the first two acts: the confrontation between Maggie and Brick (Act I) with their marriage on the rocks - excellent double meaning btw, (see Brick's alcohol problems) and the confrontation between Big Daddy and Brick (Act II), the climax, which reveals that mendacity is the system that go ...more
Ape
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
This is a riveting play, even just reading it. I do like The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire better, but I can easily see why this is up there with those as some of the more famous work of Williams. I don't think I've gotten to see any of these three staged, but I'd jump at the chance. This one almost as much as the others.
John
Didn't care much for the story, but Williams' outstanding writing made CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF a powerful experience for me. This is one of those stories where the impending death of a disgustingly rich patriarch has people rushing out of the woodwork for one final attempt to schmooze him into upgrading their status in his will. Bickering, screaming, and overall general unpleasantness ensue. I probably wouldn't pay to see this play performed live (all that squabbling would likely give me a headach ...more
Martina
It's no secret that I'm fond of the movie adaptation of Cat on a hot tin roof. I've watched the film several times and it's among my favorite movies ever. Granted, I knew that Tennessee Williams himself had been displeased with the alternations and compromises Richard Brooks had had to make in order to get the movie out... Actually, that was the reason which motivated me to read the play - I wanted to see how much the 1958. film diverges from Williams' original idea.

That said, I kinda expected t
...more
Ireisha
4.5 stars

This is a loud, loud play, with people practically screaming and shouting and overlapping others' words with their own words. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is practically a mess, and it is an intended one, as everyone is at the end of the rope.

I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof!

Maggie the Cat is a wife to Brick Pollit, the son of Big Daddy, "the biggest cotton-planner in Delta". Big Daddy is going to die of cancer (although no one dares to tell him his diagnosis) and this...caus
...more
Jen
What I love about Tennessee Williams is the beautifully tragic characters he creates. It's difficult to decide who, if anyone, you like, and by the end you realize that liking or not liking them makes no difference anyway. There's a brutal realness in the way his plays go that you can probably relate to them to some extent, but wish that you couldn't. He shows an ugly side of humanity that we like to pretend is not there but get some sick fun from reading about anyway.
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
Man! I must say that Tennessee Williams is a genius!
This book reflects a section of the society with the challenges they face in their families. Love, money, children and appearances.

Margret, a woman in love with her husband who is a drunkard and does not reciprocate the love. How many people, leave alone women, are suffering this kind of disease in silence. In silence, keeping the law of silence. As if the silence will make the problems go away.

And you live on hope! Hope that things will be bet
...more
(Lonestarlibrarian) Keddy Ann Outlaw
What a topnotch play! This is one of Tennessee Williams' works that I have not seen on stage or screen. We will be discussing it at my library's book club next month. I have not read any plays in awhile and had forgotten how great they can be to experience off stage. These characters are larger than life and you immediately begin to picture every scene. I found myself hearing the dialogue with tones, accents and certain cadences. The subject matter of marriage, family and sexual issues, sibling ...more
Nazish
My first play of Tennessee and hits right up on my favourites shelf. Though I would say, this Southern king of plays could've done better which I yet have to find out.
Halley Sutton
Five stars again--glad I re-read, it means more to me now.
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Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ...more
More about Tennessee Williams...
A Streetcar Named Desire The Glass Menagerie Suddenly Last Summer The Night of the Iguana (Acting Edition) Summer and Smoke

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“I've got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?” 2486 likes
“What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?—I wish I knew... Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can...” 112 likes
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