Suddenly, Last Summer (1960)

UK, USA, 1959
35mm, black and white

A British/American borderline horror film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and scripted by Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams from the latter's play. Filming began on 25 May 1959.

Plot Summary

In the summer of 1936, Sebastian Venable dies in horrific circumstances while on holiday in Europe with his cousin Catherine, who seems to go mad in the aftermath. A year later, Sebastian's mother plans to finance the building of a new psychiatric wing, but only if Dr Cukrowicz will perform a lobotomy on Catherine…


Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
© MCMLX [] Horizon Pictures (G.B.) Ltd.
Sam Spiegel presents a Horizon Pictures (G.B.) Limited production in association with Academy Pictures and Camp Films. Released through Columbia Pictures Corporation
Produced by: Sam Spiegel
Screenplay by: Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams
Adapted from the play Suddenly, Last Summer by Tennessee Williams
Director of Photography: Jack Hildyard
Editor: Thomas G. Stanford
Editorial Consultant: William W. Hornbeck
Music Composed by: Buxton Orr and Malcolm Arnold
Makeup: David Aylott
Hairdresser: Joan White
Photographic Effects: Tom Howard
Production Designed by: Oliver Messel
Made at: Shepperton Studios, England, UK

Elizabeth Taylor (Catherine Holly)
Montgomery Clift (Dr Cukrowicz)
Katharine Hepburn (Mrs Venable)
Albert Dekker (Dr Hockstader)
Mercedes McCambridge (Mrs Holly)
Gary Raymond (George Holly)
Mavis Villiers (Miss Foxhill)
Joan Young (Sister Felicity)
Patricia Marmont (Nurse Benson)
Maria Britneva (Lucy)
David Cameron (young blonde intern)
Sheila Robbins (Dr Hockstader's secretary)
Roberta Woolley [patient – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Äkkiä viime kesänä – Finnish title
Bruscamente no Verão Passado – Portugese title
Improvvisamente l'estate scorsa – Italian title
Plötsligt i somras – Swedish title
Plötzlich im letzten Sommer – German title
Pludselig sidste sommer – Danish title
De repente el verano – Venezuelan title
De repente, el último verano – Spanish title
Soudain l'été dernier – French title

Suddenly, Last Summer (1993)

Extracts included in
78/52 (2017)
The Celluloid Closet (1995)
Happy Birthday Elizabeth: A Celebration of Life (1997)



  • Daily Variety 28 August 1959 p.8 – credits (Daily Variety film production chart)
  • Kine Weekly vol.512 no.2729 (21 January 1960) p.17 – note (Renters' news by Josh Billings)
  • Kine Weekly vol.517 no.2750 (16 June 1960) p.15 – note (Your films by Josh Billings)
  • Kine Weekly vol.517 no.2751 (23 June 1960) p.11 – note (Your films by Josh Billings)
  • Kine Weekly vol.517 no.2752 (30 June 1960) p.11 – note (Your films by Josh Billings)
  • The Movie p.1140 – credits, review
  • Sight & Sound vol.28 no.7 (July 2018) p.89 – review (Home Cinema: New Releases by Kate Stables)
  • Studio July/August 1988 p.21 – review (by Pascal Merigeau)


  • British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928-1959 by David Quinlan p.382 – credits, synopsis
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.99, 350
  • by Walt Lee p.467 – credits