Saturday, September 24, 2005

Tennesse Williams

"Kate is a playwright's dream--a dream actress. She makes dialogue sound better than it is by a matchless beauty and clarity of diction and by a fineness of intelligence and sensibility that illuminates every shade of a meaning in every line she speaks. She invest every scene--each bit--with the intuition of an artist born into her art. Of the women stars that belong to a generation preceding that of the method, Katharine Hepburn impresses me as having least needed that school of performance in depth. Like Laurette Taylor before her, she does by instinct what years of method training [have done] for her juniors. She is limited only by her ladylike voice and manner. Miss Hepburn could never play a tramp or a tenement housewife. No matter. There will always be parts for ladies and we need Kate Hepburn to play them.

"I don't think [she] was happy with the part of the poet's mother in the screen version of Suddenly, Last Summer--brilliantly constructed as the screen version by Gore Vidal is--it still made unfortunate concessions to the realism that Hollywood is often too afraid to discard--and so a short morality play in lyrical style was turned into a sensationally successful film that the public thinks was a literal study of such things as cannibalism, madness, and sexual deviation. But I am certain Kate knew that what the drama was truly concerned with was all human confusion and its consequence."

[It's not clear, from her behavior and from how was quoted, that Hepburn "knew that..."]

quoted in Anne Edwards' A Remarkable Woman, p. 318
reportedly as Williams "told The New York Times shortly after the film's release." [I haven't been able to find the original quote.]