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joefilmone

"Suddenly Last Summer"

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The film was a hit because like Sebastian- the studio used the image of Taylor in that white bathing suit - to lure the audience to this horror show of homosexual depravity. The "children" might have killed Sebastian out of revenge- they did not like being used by him. I can imagine the plan was to use Taylor in that swim suit to attract men and then Sebastian would pay them to have sex ( or perhaps he promised them a night with Liz and when he fails to deliver they decided to kill him)

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The white bathing suit was definitely a lure used by Columbia; it was in most of the advertising and it's a very brief scene. Also, in the famous still shot of her kneeling on the beach and looking up at an angle, she's actually looking up at a guy, also in a brief (by 1950's standards) white bathing suit, staring down at her with his hands on his hips. They knew exactly who they were luring...everybody.

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The white bathing suit was definitely a lure used by Columbia; it was in most of the advertising and it's a very brief scene. Also, in the famous still shot of her kneeling on the beach and looking up at an angle, she's actually looking up at a guy, also in a brief (by 1950's standards) white bathing suit, staring down at her with his hands on his hips. They knew exactly who they were luring...everybody.

 

Click to see the still:

 

http://thesensorycart.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/suddenly2.jpg

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Thinking about htis movie and using the women as a lure...

With his mother, Sebastian must have enjoyed a much higher class of "luree" (is that even a word?) than with Catherine. I wonder how he felt about lowering his standards?

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I always figured that Sebastian read some of his godawful poetry to

those beach kids. Maybe they weren't highly educated, but even they

knew the stuff was baddd. So they decided to make sure the world was

not exposed to any more of his tripe. They did take things a bit too far,

but I can understand their motivation.

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If you need to use a woman to attract men you really can't go wrong with Taylor- after all she attracted Paul Newman....

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What wouldn't work is trying to use Kate Hepburn as bait. She doesn't have much of a women's figure and her features are kind of harsh.

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Hi,

 

Katharine Hepburn - and thus, Violet venable - was quite attractive in her youth and although I'm not really a KH fame per say, I would have dated her.....

Remember, Sebastian dumped her after she grew older and wasn't able to 'attract' anymore - thus Elizabeth is recruited....

I don't know whether they 'attracted the same type'; and maybe Sebastian was now looking for less fussy rough trade types now, who would degrade themselves for - money, food, shelter?????

Perhaps the former "upper class toy-boys" were no longer intersted in Sebastian - for as Violet grew older, so too Sebastian.....

Just a thought!!!!

 

And, thanks to whomever for mentioning Mercedes McCambridge for her hysterical and desperate money-grubbing mother role.

She should have gotten an Oscar nomination at least.

"I just don't understand why everybody is being SO mysterious" is my favourite line in the film... I laugh out loud every time...

The poor befuddled woman......

 

Larry

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Well how many years was it since Sebastian used his mother as 'bait'? (Or how many years had he been using his cousin instead?)

 

Based on what I gather from the story only a few years. Even if it was 5 years, Violet, 5 years younger still wouldn?t have been much bait especially for younger men (the type I assume Sebastian was trying to catch). But maybe it was longer than 5 years (but one would think Liz's character would of tired of being used as bait for that many years).

 

Note that central to the story is that it didn't matter if the 'boy toys' where attracted to Sebastian or not. I assume they were NOT gay (which is why Liz was so useful as bait) and therefore wouldn?t be sexually attracted to him to begin with. It was only his money that they found attractive.

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Hi James,

 

I confess that I don't know how many years Violet was "used", but I surmised that it was up until "Last Summer", when he turned to ET....

 

It's been some time since I've seen the picture, so I'm guessing really, but I thought she said that Sebastian had written 13 poems but none that "Last Summer".....

Doesn't she show Montgomery a book of poetry? Were there 13 poems in it - I don't know...

 

In 1959, Katharine Hepburn would have been 50'ish; and so 13 years before she probably would have been an attractive 36, 37, 38....

Her films from 1946, show her an attractive woman....

And yes, I agree in S,LS she does look angular and harsh; that's what Violet turned into.

 

Also, I've always wondered about Gary Raymond's character in relation to Sebastian!! Both he and Elizabeth were younger cousins; and maybe GR thought those clothes were rightly earned!!!

He seemed to be knowledgeable and giggly when asked about Sebastian.

 

Larry

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When I think of Violet and Sebastian travelling about "attracting" people, I have always pictured them as leading a sort of travelling salon, full of rich young (and maybe not-so-young) people, all knowledgeable about the Arts and books and Classical Music and so forth. And in that group were likely to be some "Bright Young Things" who knew the score and who maybe had tastes that were bigger than their allowances (if they even had allowances). I always pictured Sebastian as a sort of Oscar Wilde wanna be, except without the drive and talent.

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We never see Sebastian's face so perhaps he wasn't good looking enough to attract men and if was using women as bait he was obviously interested in rougher types not sensitive artistic ones who he could have easily seduced. Gary Reymond giggles because he seems to know Sebastian's true nature ( if its from personal experience it's raise the story's perversion factor to another level) Passolini had a Sebastian like death when he was murdered by young hustler- and there was the recent gruesome case of the older Portuguese man who was killed by his demented young lover in NYC.

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Your vision of Violet and Sebastian travel exploits makes a lot of sense. They got their flies using intellectual tools. Once Violet wasn?t able to do that, Sebastian had to try a very different type of bait. He was lucky to have a cousin as well suited (pun intended!), as Liz!

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Havent been on the thread for awhile, but it was mentioned (By Liz and Kate) that she had accompanied him on his trips until "last summer"....

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Well, somebody had to stop this guy before he put pen to paper again.

I guess it would have been more appropriate for the Pulitzer Prize

committee to put something in his Brandy Alexanders, but the beach

kids were probably less squeamish.

 

One wonders about the crowd that Violet Venable would have have drawn.

Considering her towering ego and meanness, they must have been gluttons for punishment. It didn't hurt that the old dame had a big wad of

cash.

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I agree that Liz was used as bait only one the last year (which is why everything went south "Suddenly Last Summer").

 

I also wondered how Violet (Hepburn), would of been useful as bait based on a comparison of attactiveness between Hepburn and Taylor.

 

But Tracey give a very solid explaination of the differences in the type of bait each was good at and what that bait would likely catch.

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As another poster already said, it was likely that Violet brought in people as the head of a literary salon instead of using physical attractiveness

in order to draw in the men/boys. I pity the poor bystanders who had to put up with her attitude, unless she restrained herself for her son's sake.

 

Tracy may have found her figure cherce, but the man on the street would likely have been more interested in Liz's 'what you see is what you get' look.

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Note that when I mentioned Tracey I meant poster Traceyk65 and NOT Spenser Tracy! (but any confusion is understandable).

 

See her post below. It mentions similar points to the ones you make. So we agree on how Violet likely lured the prey.

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Oops, I should have read that more carefully. I was thinking of the movie

where Spencer remarks that there isn't a whole lot of Kate, but what there

is is 'cherce.' There was a whole lot of Liz. Yes, Violet likely had to lure

them in with a little grey matter talk. If anybody asked her to shake it,

she likely would have been making a martini.

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Well, somebody had to stop this guy before he put pen to paper again

 

Do we know that Sebastian was a bad poet? According to Violet, he did not want his work published until after his death because he did not want public attention. While he was alive, he printed the work himself and distributed it only among his circle. Is any of Sebastian's poetry read in either the play or the movie?

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I didn't watch it this time around, so my memory may be wrong, but I

think she might have quoted a few lines from one of his poems. I

wouldn't trust Violet's opinion because she obviously had a strong

bias in Sebastian's favor.

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His "poems of summer" seem to have been a big part of Sebastian's identity, so the fact that he didn't write one last summer shows that his identity as well as his life had probably begun to unravel. People have mentioned that Violet was no longer young enough to attract men for him, which must mean that Sebastian himself was aging beyond his ability to attract on his own or to follow through with what was being reeled in for him by Violet or Catherine. As for the poems, I don't remember if there are any examples in the play. I remember that the "final poem" which the old poet struggled to write in "Night of The Iguana" was succinct and touching, so Williams was certainly capable of writing poetry appropriate to a character. It might be the insight we need into Sebastian's character, but on the other hand he could have been as disingenuous in his writing as he seems to have been in social situations.

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I dont think she did, but I took your comment as being tongue in cheek! :D

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