Movie Monday: The Long Hot Summer 1958
An exiled man on the heels of an arsen trial, Ben Quick enters into a small Mississippi town and finds himself a job on a plantation with two beautiful women, one jealous young man, and a rough and tumble landowner, Mr. Varner, who is used to getting his way. But Mr. Quick, armed with a reputation as a barn burner, is quite used to having his own way as well.
Ben’s a comer, as the men of the town say. He swindles his way into Mr. Varner’s good favor, charms, or rather fumbles his way into the heart of the steely Miss Varner, and riles up the whole entire town in the process. You’re never too sure of what to think of this Ben Quick fellow, and it’s awfully tempting to judge his character just as the rest of the town does.
Appearing in their first cinematic pairing, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward easily make sparks fly during The Long, Hot Summer. Their union lasted until Newman’s death in 2008, and is still remembered as one of the longest lasting marriages in Hollywood history. Knowing how much they loved each other in real life, and watching them play through their characters’ teasing, shunning, and longing for eachother, makes watching this film even more enjoyable.