Suddenly, Last Summer

Synopsis: A wealthy harridan, Violet Venable, attempts to bribe Dr. Cukrowicz, a young psycho-surgeon from a New Orleans mental hospital that is desperately in need of funds, into lobotomizing her niece, Catherine Holly. Violet wants the operation performed in order to prevent Catherine from defiling the memory of her son, the poet Sebastian. Catherine has been babbling obscenely about Sebastian's mysterious death that she witnessed while on holiday together in Spain the previous summer.
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

Gentlemen, I wanna welcome

you medical schoolmen... our new operating theater.

Although, as you can see,

it isn't exactly what you'd call new.

Used to be a library

when this was a school...

...and maybe before that

some kind of a sugar warehouse.

But makeshift or not, the important

thing is that we got it.

The first to be devoted

to psychosurgery in this state.

And that is a great step forward.

Now you're going

to witness an operation...

...never performed before

in this state.

A lobotomy on the brain of a woman...

...suffering from acute

schizophrenic withdrawal.

Our new staff member,

Dr. John Cukrowicz from Chicago...

...will perform this operation.


Sew up, will you?

You have just witnessed a delicate

operation on the human brain...

...performed under the most

primitive surgical conditions...

...that I hope any of you

will ever encounter.

Excuse us, please.

-Son, I know just how you feel.

-For six months...

...I have listened to you

promise me this and that.

-But I am not...

-I know, I know, I know.

You are not the state board of health.

Well, I am not a witch doctor.

I need properly trained assistants.

I need an operating room

that doesn't fall apart.

At least lights that stay lit.

I know, but this is

a state hospital...

...and there isn't

enough money for us.

I can't promise you

that there ever will be enough.

I'll go back to Chicago

or someplace where there is.


Before you do that... this.

Who is Violet Venable?

You reveal your ignorance

of our fair city...

...of which Mrs. Venable

is the richest lady.

At one time,

her husband owned most of it.

Now she's a widow and she owns it.

"...and was very interested

in the work of your Dr. Cukrowicz."

She must have read your write-up

in the Herald.

"And I wonder if the foundation

I am establishing...

...might be of some assistance."

Son, with one signature

on one check...

...she can solve

all the problems we got.

"Also there is a matter

of some urgency...

...I should like to discuss with him.

Would 4:
30 on Tuesday be convenient?"

That's today.

What is her urgency, do you know?

No, but I know what ours is.

Lack of money. Her money.

She is serious?

I can tell you this much.

I've been trying for years

just to see the Venable lawyers.

You've been invited by her.

That's a command performance.

That's how serious I think it is.

And this is serious too.

More than 1 200 mental cases

Lions View can't afford to handle.

Good afternoon.

-Dr. Cukrowicz.

-Yes, sir.

Take a seat, please.

Thank you.

Mrs. Venable?

I am Miss Foxhill,

Mrs. Venable's secretary.

And you are Dr. Cukrowicz?

Your appointment was for...?


You are 23 seconds early.

Sit down, please.

Thank you.

Sebastian always said,

"Mother, when you descend...'s like the goddess

from the machine."

-Mrs. Venable's on her way down.

-I feel just like an angel...

...coming to earth

as I float, float into view.

Sebastian... son, Sebastian, was

very interested in the Byzantine.

Are you interested

in the Byzantine, Dr...?


I don't know very much

about the Byzantine.

The emperor of Byzantium,

when he received people in audience...

...had a throne which,

during the conversation...

...would rise mysteriously

in the air... the consternation

of the visitors.

But as we are living in a democracy,

I reverse the procedure.

I don't rise. I come down.

How do you do, Dr....?

Oh, I'm sorry, your name?


It's a Polish word meaning "sugar."

Am I only wearing one earring?

Have I forgotten my lip rouge?

Excuse me, I...

I guess I had been told

you were a widow.

I am. I'm in mourning.

White was my son's favorite color.

Perhaps, Dr. Sugar... expected an old widow.

With a garnet brooch, a cane

and an ear trumpet.

Well, I have all that

to look forward to.

Life is a thief. Sebastian always

said, "Life steals everything."

I want to show you his garden.

Are you sure you should go out,

Mrs. Venable?

Quite sure.

They treat me like an invalid.

You see, last spring I had a slight...

...a tiny convulsion

of a tiny blood vessel.

What did your doctor call it?

A malady of living.

After all, I've buried a husband

and a son. I'm a widow and a...

Funny, there's no word.

Lose your parents, you're an orphan.

Lose your only son and you are...



Where are they?

I put them in the patio.

They sent them parcel post from

Pensacola. That's why they were late.

Another day and we'd have starved

to death. Come on, doctor.

In your letter,

you said an "urgent" matter.

I must say, you're handsomer

than your photograph in the paper...

...without that awful paraphernalia

you doctors wear.

Your son's favorite color, white.

Such extraordinary eyes.

So like his.

You must...

I almost said, "You must meet

my son, Sebastian." Force of habit.

Is he the son who died?

Yes, last July, in Europe.

He must have been young to die.

All poets...

...whatever age they may seem

to others, die young.

It's unexpected.

Like the dawn of Creation.

It was Sebastian's idea.

Part of his lifelong war

against the herbaceous border.

Not unlike a well-groomed jungle

and, frankly, a little terrifying.

So was Creation.

So is Creation.

Listen to them buzz, buzz.

What's in there?

This way, before our poor Lady

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Gore Vidal

Eugene Luther Gore Vidal (; born Eugene Louis Vidal; October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012) was an American writer and public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing.Vidal was born to a political family; his maternal grandfather, Thomas Pryor Gore, served as United States senator from Oklahoma (1907–1921 and 1931–1937). He was a Democratic Party politician who twice sought elected office; first to the United States House of Representatives (New York, 1960), then to the U.S. Senate (California, 1982).As a political commentator and essayist, Vidal's principal subject was the history of the United States and its society, especially how the militaristic foreign policy reduced the country to a decadent empire. His political and cultural essays were published in The Nation, the New Statesman, the New York Review of Books, and Esquire magazines. As a public intellectual, Gore Vidal's topical debates on sex, politics, and religion with other intellectuals and writers occasionally turned into quarrels with the likes of William F. Buckley Jr. and Norman Mailer. Vidal thought all men and women are potentially bisexual, so he rejected the adjectives "homosexual" and "heterosexual" when used as nouns, as inherently false terms used to classify and control people in society.As a novelist Vidal explored the nature of corruption in public and private life. His polished and erudite style of narration readily evoked the time and place of his stories, and perceptively delineated the psychology of his characters. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), offended the literary, political, and moral sensibilities of conservative book reviewers, with a dispassionately presented male homosexual relationship. In the historical novel genre, Vidal re-created in Julian (1964) the imperial world of Julian the Apostate (r. AD 361–63), the Roman emperor who used general religious toleration to re-establish pagan polytheism to counter the political subversion of Christian monotheism. In the genre of social satire, Myra Breckinridge (1968) explores the mutability of gender role and sexual orientation as being social constructs established by social mores. In Burr (1973) and Lincoln (1984), the protagonist is presented as "A Man of the People" and as "A Man" in a narrative exploration of how the public and private facets of personality affect the national politics of the U.S. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Suddenly, Last Summer" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <,_last_summer_19053>.

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