For decades – beginning with National Velvet (1936) – Elizabeth Taylor was a major film star. One of the things I admired most about her was that seemed to regard “movie queen” as her job. She accepted her status, seemed comfortable with the perks and demands, and often used her power very wisely.
I can just imagine audiences -- who were watching I Love Lucy and Bonanza at home and listening to Dion and The Belmonts on the car radio -- filing into theaters over that last Christmas holiday of the Eisenhower 1950s. To them, Suddenly, Last Summer probably seemed like a safe bet for a few hours of quality entertainment. After all, it boasts sure-handed direction by Joseph L. Mankewicz and an amazing, Oscar-recognized cast – Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift, Mercedes McCambridge and, as the tormented Catherine, Elizabeth Taylor.