Tennessee Williams

Born Thomas Williams in Mississippi in 1911 into a poor family, he was given the nickname 'Tennessee' by college classmates poking fun at his strong southern accent. Williams wrote flawed characters and exposed dark family secrets - sometimes too dark for Hollywood who often toned down his works for film. Being gay and suffering from depression and later alcoholism, Williams had his fair share of secrets to draw from. He won two Pulitzer Prizes in Drama - "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1947) and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1954) and was quoted in Elia Kazan's autobiography as saying, "There are no 'good' or 'bad' people. Some are a little better or a little worse but all are activated more by misunderstanding than malice. A blindness to what is going on in each other's hearts... Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos." A hugely influential character on the American cultural stage, his film works are gathered below. "Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going." - Tennessee Williams

Elizabeth Taylor: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof / Butterfield 8 / Father of the Bride / The Sandpiper (1965)

Director: Daniel Mann, Richard Brooks, Vincente Minnelli
Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Richard Burton, Spencer Tracy

Elizabeth Taylor Box Set: 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' (1958) - Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize play thunders across the screen in a powerful film adapt... Read more

A Streetcar Named Desire ( Blu-ray ) (1951)

Director: Elia Kazan
Starring: Karl Malden, Kim Hunter, Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh

Blanche du Bois, the magnificently brooding Vivien Leigh, a faded descendant of the once-proud Southern gentry, comes to live with her matter-of-fact... Read more

The Fugitive Kind (1959)

Director: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, Maureen Stapleton, Victor Jory

Marlon Brando is Val Xavier, a guitar playing, snakeskin jacket wearing drifter who wanders into a small southern town after giving up a life of crime... Read more

Boom! (1968)

Director: Joseph Losey
Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Noel Coward

Hollywood royalty Taylor and Burton star in this outrageous tale of the richest woman in the world, kept company in her last days by an equally indulg... Read more

The Glass Menagerie (1973)

Director: Anthony Harvey
Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Sam Waterston, Michael Moriarty, Joanna Miles

After what producer David Susskind called, "the longest wooing for a part in a lifetime of dealing with stars," four-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepbu... Read more

A Streetcar Named Desire (1984)

Director: John Erman
Starring: Ann-Margret , Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo

A remake of the much-loved Tennessee Williams classic about family strife in 1940s New Orleans. Strong, vibrant acting by Ann-Margret and Treat Willia... Read more

Sweet Bird Of Youth (1962)

Director: Richard Brooks
Starring: Shirley Knight, Paul Newman, Geraldine Page, Ed Begley, Rip Torn, Mildred Dunnoc...

An expert adaptation of Tennesse Williams' critically acclaimed play. Geraldine Page excels as a former movie queen whose career has given way to acho... Read more

The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone (1961)

Director: Jose Quintero
Starring: Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty, Lotte Lenya, Jill St John, Coral Browne

Vivien Leigh stars as a middle-aged actress whose husband dies on their way to an Italian vacation. Electing to remain in Rome, Leigh's trip takes an... Read more

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Director: Richard Brooks
Starring: Judith Anderson, Jack Carson, Burl Ives, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Madelein...

Adapted from the Tennesse Williams' Pulitzer-winning play which lifts the lid on the emotional tangles of a rich southern family. Some of the more con... Read more

Baby Doll (1956)

Director: Elia Kazan
Starring: Carroll Baker, Karl Malden, Rip Torn, Eli Wallach, Mildred Dunnock

Tennessee William's drama of a backwoods child bride, her obsessive husband and the stranger who enters their lives was the most controversial film of... Read more