The Long, Hot Summer (1958)
The Long, Hot Summer is a 1958 film directed by Martin Ritt. The screenplay was written by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr., based in part on three works by William Faulkner: the 1931 novella "Spotted Horses;" the 1939 short story "Barn Burning;" and the 1940 novel The Hamlet. The title is taken from The Hamlet, as Book Three is called "The Long Summer." Some characters, as well as tone, were inspired by Tennessee Williams' 1955 play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a film adaptation of which - also starring Paul Newman - was released five months after the release of The Long, Hot Summer. The plot follows the conflicts of the Varner family after ambitious drifter Ben Quick arrives in their small Mississippi town. Will Varner, the family's patriarch and the owner of most of the town, has doubts about the abilities of his only son, Jody, and sees Ben as a better choice to inherit his position. Will therefore tries to push Ben and his daughter Clara into marriage. Clara is initially reluctant to court Ben, and Jody senses that Ben threatens his position.