Oscar Movies: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

(Avon Productions)

Opening on Broadway on March 24, 1955, Tennessee Williams’ play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” enjoyed a run of 87 weeks, or 694 performances. Made into a film with an all-star cast turned Williams’s play into a remarkable success at the box-office, one of the biggest grosser of 1958, and the tenth biggest hit MGM has ever had.

Oscar Nominations: 6

Picture, produced by Lawrence Weingarten
Director: Richard Brooks
Screenplay (Adapted): Brooks and James Poe
Cinematography (Color): William Daniels
Actor: Paul Newman
Actress: Elizabeth Taylor

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context

One of the biggest Oscar losers, in 1958, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof competed with four other films for the top award: the musical “Auntie Mame,” “Stanley Kramer’s “The Defiant Ones” (arguably his greatest directorial achievement), Minnelli’s musical “Gigi,” which swept most of the Oscars (including Best Director), and the old-fashioned melodrama, “Separate Tables.”

In 1958, David Niven won Best Actor for “Separate Tables,” and Susan Hayward Best Actress for “I Want to Live!”

Burl Ives, who was not nominated for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” received a nomination and won for playing another patriarch, in “The Big Country.” The feeling in the industry was that Ives won the Supporting Actor for both films.

The Cinematography Oscar went to Joseph Ruttenberg for “Gigi,” which also won the Adapted Screenplay for Alan Jay Lerner.