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The Long, Hot Summer (1985) DVD

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The Long, Hot Summer (1985)


Stuart Cooper


William Faulkner (stories), Rita Mae Brown


Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Judith Ivey
The made-for-TV The Long Hot Summer was based on the 1958 theatrical film of the same name-which, in turn, was based on two William Faulkner short stories. Don Johnson plays Ben Quick, a Southern drifter who is under suspicion as a "barn burner." Ben secures a job at the Mississippi mansion of town-boss Will Varner (Jason Robards). Varner's daughter Noel (Judith Ivey) and daughter-in-law Eula (Cybill Shepherd) vie for the handsome Ben's attention, while the patriarch's weakling son Jody (William Russ) seethes. When a few local barns are burned, Ben is the primary suspect-and no one is more suspicious than Noel. A murder trial and lynch mob both figure into the second half of the two-part The Long Hot Summer; the film originally aired October 6 and 7, 1985.

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  1. Great for a TV remake of a classic 4 Star Review

    Posted by on Aug 19th 2020

    The original starring Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward is a great movie so I thought I would try this version. The acting is really very well done. Jason Robards is superb. The story is 80% the same as the 1958 version. The chemistry between Don Johnson and Judith Ivey is not as good as Newman & Woodward but it works. I would recommend it and I did purchase a copy as a birthday gift for a friend.

  2. not as good and Paul Newman version, but still very entertaining 4 Star Review

    Posted by on Aug 23rd 2019

    Of course, no one could help comparing this made-for-TV film with the classic Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward version, but I liked this movie's expanded storyline (shown in two parts on TV). It was fun to see how much the same and how very different were the characters portrayed. The main role of Ben Quick was excellently and flawlessly played by Don Johnson, and in fact, I liked the touch of vulnerability that Johnson added, different from Paul Newman's hard core tough guy. Most of the other roles were wonderfully played, too. The only thing wrong was the character of Clara. Judith Ivey is woefully miscast here. She is a fine actress and I've enjoyed her in other things, but she did not fit the image of a feisty but soft spoken Southern lady. The character of a big city lawyer or office manager comes to mind -- tough as nails boss. Not right for Clara. I think it's a tribute to Johnson that he could make the love story part of the plot work. Aside from that one quibble, enjoyed the movie very much, and I recommend it.

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