MovieChat Forums > Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) Discussion > Gore Vidal on Suddenly, Last Summer

Gore Vidal on Suddenly, Last Summer


From the documentary "The Celluloid Closet"

"...And I met this head-on in a movie called Suddenly, Last Summer, from a Tennessee Williams play. The Legion of Decency, headed by this...sort of shark-like Jesuit priest—I must have had five meetings with him.
'Well, you can't say this, you can't say that.' By the time we started to cut it, it was making no sense at all.
It was like working under the Kremlin, like writing for Pravda.

You did learn how to write between the lines or photograph between the lines. You'd do it with a look or something. There'd be a take on Hepburn's face as Elizabeth Taylor would be telling her. Getting closer and closer to the truth which the Legion of Decency wouldn't let us say.

Did Sebastian like boys or not? Well, the fact that he's eaten up at the end by—admittedly, Tennessee occasionally went over the top with his dramatic effects.

So Suddenly, Last Summer opens, and the New York Times is going to destroy this degenerate film, the work of degenerates.
So you've got a review from Bosley Crowther that if you like incest, rape, sodomy, cannibalism, degeneracy, this is the movie for you, this sickening picture. Everybody in the country went to see it."

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