The Long, Hot Summer is best remembered for Paul Newman's stellar performance as the incendiary Ben Quick, and for the seamless way in which writers Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr. combined several William Faulkner stories into one compelling screenplay. It's great fun to watch the top-notch cast work together, particularly in the scenes that feature Newman and Orson Welles. Familiar faces dot the supporting cast, from Angela Lansbury to Lee Remick. It takes a while for the film to gain its footing, but, once it does, the energy level builds to a walloping climax. For much of the 1950s, director Martin Ritt was a victim of Hollywood's blacklist, and Summer helped re-establish his career, sparking a series of successful collaborations with Newman. This was also the first film to co-star Newman and wife Joanne Woodward. Though it received no Oscar nominations, Summer fared better in Europe, where Newman won Best Actor honors at the Cannes Film Festival.
by Richard Gilliam review