Oscar Movies: Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

In Joseph Mankiewicz's “Suddenly, Last Summer,” based on a Tennessee Williams one-act play, adapted to the screen by him and writer Gore Vidal, the protagonist is Katharine Hepburn, playing Mrs. Violet Venable, a wealthy Southern matron and mother of Sebastian, a brilliant young poet, who became a victim of cannibalism.

Oscar Alert

“Suddenly, Last Summer” received three Oscar nominations:

Actress: Katharine Hepburn

Actress: Elizabeth Taylor

Art Direction-Set Decoration: Oliver Messel, William Kellner, and Scott Slimon.

Oscar Context

“Suddenly, Last Summer,” is one of the few films in which two women, Katharine Hepburn and Liz Taylor, were nominated for the Best Actress award, just like “All About Eve,” in 1950, or “The Turning Point” in 1977. French thespian Simone Signoret won the Best Actress Oscar for the British drama “Room at the Top”; Signoret would again be nominated in 1965 for “Ship of Fools.”

Hepburn had already won an Oscar for “Morning Glory” (1933) and would win three more awards in the decades to come. Liz Taylor received her first Best Actress in 1960 for “Butterfield 8,” and a second one in 1966, for “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf”

George Stevens' “The Diary of Anne Frank” won the Art Direction-Set Decoration.