Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a 1958 film directed by Richard Brooks. The movie is an adaptation of the play of the same name by legendary playwright Tennessee Williams which earned the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. The movie met with success both commercially and critically, becoming one of the top ten box office hits of the year and earning six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. In addition to inexplicably losing to Gigi for Best Picture, the film was shut out in every other category.
Like all previous adaptations of Tennessee Williams plays for the screen, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was originally slated to be filmed in black and white, which was the preferred choice for movies deemed “serious fare” in the 1950’s. However, once the final casting was completed with the famously violet eyes of Elizabeth Taylor and the soon-to-be famous blue eyes of Paul Newman, director Brooks decided to take full advantage of stroke of luck.
Although the film connected with audiences and critics were willing to overlook the signature loss in the translation from stage to screen, Tennessee Williams was quote vocal with his displeasure with final product. In order to get the film past a Hollywood Production Code right on the verge of collapsing, but not quite there, the producers had to agree to remove all references to the homosexuality of Newman’s character, Brick, as well as significantly altering the original ending.