A southern house divided between patriarchal dominance and hypocrisy, rendered effectively despite censorship and a screenplay that bogs midway. The performances are the thing in this film version of the Tennessee Williams stage triumph, led by Ives, repeating his stage role like a force of nature. Taylor and Newman make a handsomely unhappy husband and wife, with just enough sexual chemistry to justify the union. Mike Todd's plane crashed during filming, and the camera seems to capture Taylor's pent-up energy, but she isn't directed well enough to unleash it. This is fine throughout most of the film, but her catharsis is finally lacking and her little vengeances come off less like a satiated alley cat than a pampered prize kitty. The homosexual overtones are just about laundered out of Newman's role, but his pantherine eyes and profile suggest unplumbed depths between the lines. Jack Carson and Dame Judith Anderson are just right, and Madeleine Sherwood is absolutely definitive as Sister Woman.