Claw your way into the "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" quiz

By: Olivia Cantor

About This Quiz

The 1958 dramatic film, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," was as controversial as the themes it wanted to depict in the story. Directed by Richard Brooks, the film made headlines and money at the box-office. Wanna scratch the surface of what this film is about? Then take this quiz and leap away!

What is Brick’s obvious vice, from the start to the end of the story?

Brick obviously has a drinking problem, obvious by that drink he always has in his hands. He likes drinking it on the rocks.

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" was based on material created by Tennessee Williams. In what original form was this material produced?

Tennessee Williams wrote many stage plays that were turned into films, such as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." However, he was reportedly against the rewrites done with his material for the cinematic adaptation of this one.

What is Maggie’s main frustration about her marriage to Brick?

Maggie is so frustrated that Brick doesn’t find her attractive anymore, or at least attractive enough to be sexually intimate with her. Brick doesn’t seem to care, even if Maggie is a bombshell, as others see it.

The whole story takes place inside the huge plantation household of the Pollitt family. In which southern state is this household located?

The Mississippi plantation household of the Pollitt family shows the vast expanse of their wealth and influence. This plays well with the story’s themes and the characters’ objectives, both good and bad.

Maggie is "the cat” referred to in the title, for the troubles she’s feeling. Which classy Hollywood star played her?

Elizabeth Taylor played the role of “Maggie the Cat” in this stage play-turned-film. Critics cite this as one of her best films.

Maggie the Cat is married to Brick Pollitt, a son from the Mississippi plantation family. Which classic Hollywood heartthrob played him?

Brick was played by Paul Newman, one of the leading men of 1950s Hollywood. He was a household name back then, and also now, with some consumer products bearing his name.

A drunken Brick was seen in the track field of a high school one night, trying to jump hurdles. However, he failed. What happened to him, as a result?

If you’re drunk and try to jump hurdles, it’s no surprise that you’d get a broken ankle in the process. That’s what happened to Brick.

Maggie and Brick drove to visit Brick’s family estate in Mississippi to celebrate this event.

Maggie and Brick drove from New Orleans to celebrate a family birthday. With Brick’s broken ankle, a crutch helped, so they went along with their travel plans.

Unlike Big Daddy, a self-made man, he said his father was merely one of these kinds of penniless nomads.

Big Daddy’s father was apparently a hobo, who traveled with him in tow. But he learned a lot of lessons from those days, and from that man.

Since it’s Big Daddy’s birthday, a deluge of birthday greetings from important people arrived in his house. In what form were these greetings presented?

Big Daddy received a lot of telegrams containing birthday greetings. In those days, a telegram was the fastest way of communicating printed matter.

A birthday celebration is evident in the Pollitt estate. Whose birthday is it?

Big Daddy Pollitt’s mansion is decorated to celebrate his birthday. Big Daddy was played by Burl Ives, who also played the role on Broadway.

Since Maggie felt like a cat on a hot tin roof, what did Brick reply to that feeling?

Brick told Maggie that cats jump off the roof all the time, and they land unharmed. So this is what Brick retorted when Maggie was complaining for the nth time about their lack of intimacy.

Maggie confessed that she got very lonely when Brick was emotionally unavailable for intimacy. What does her husband suggest she get?

Take a lover, advised Brick, when Maggie complained that she got very lonely. If a husband is ready to give his wife away like that, then something’s not really right!

Brick’s older brother, Gooper, has a wife named Mae who always paraded this fact in front of the Pollitt household.

Mae, Gooper’s wife, always paraded the fact that they have lots of kids. This is in comparison with Brick and Maggie, who are childless.

What does Maggie call Mae and Gooper’s unruly rambunctious kids?

The “no-neck monsters” act as spoiled brats around Maggie and Brick. It’s obvious that these kids need to be taught some manners.

At the beginning, Big Daddy is seen arriving from someplace else after fulfilling some activities. Where did he come from?

Big Daddy Pollitt was due for a thorough medical check-up since they had detected something irregular in his body. But he was released from the hospital with a clean bill of health, for now...

Yes or no: Is Big Daddy really healthy?

It’s strange for Big Daddy’s doctor to cite professional ethics as the reason why he didn’t tell his patient of his true condition. No, Big Daddy is not healthy, and the doc tells this to Brick directly.

What is Big Daddy’s disease?

No one knows Big Daddy’s cancer diagnosis except for his doctor. But he tells Brick and Gooper later on that the cancer is malignant and terminal, so he’s not expecting Big Daddy to last for more than a year.

The athletic Brick is currently jobless since it was revealed that he left this kind of job. What media job was it?

Brick apparently quit his job sportscasting, and focused on drinking all the time. Big Daddy wasn’t so happy hearing about this development.

Being in sportscasting, it was clear that Brick was an athletic guy. But he was also once an athlete working on becoming a professional one. What sport did he play?

Brick used to be a promising football athlete. But all that ended after the demise of a good friend of his.

The absent character: Who is Skipper?

Everyone seems to know Skipper, an absent person whose memory is very present in the Pollitt household. Skipper was Brick’s best friend.

From the family conversations, it is revealed that Skipper is already dead. How did he die?

Skipper apparently jumped from a hotel building where he had been staying temporarily. He was undergoing emotional turmoil that sucked in Brick and the rest of the Pollitt family.

Maggie assumed that Brick was blaming her for Skipper’s death. Why is that?

Brick’s misdirected anger at Maggie was interpreted by his wife that she’s being blamed for seducing Skipper. But there’s something missing in this formula, as Maggie and Big Daddy thought...

Gooper, the eldest child of the Pollitt family, took up this profession.

Gooper became a corporate lawyer so he could one day take care of the legal financial matters of their family’s estate. But he’s being constantly overlooked in favor of the favorite Pollitt child, Brick.

Mae and Gooper were making fun of Brick’s failed athletic past, mentioning that he was once set to play in one of the bowl games. What was that bowl game?

The Cotton Bowl is a huge college football event. It seems that Brick and his best friend, Skipper, were once football athletes who traveled and played together in such games.

A true alcoholic: What did Brick say he was waiting for the alcohol to deliver in his head, to reach a peaceful state?

That click in Brick’s head is what delivers the peaceful feeling all over him. But he only gets the click when he’s downed so much alcohol, which alarms Big Daddy.

Aside from recognizing his grandchildren, what did Mae and Gooper really want from Big Daddy?

Gooper became a corporate lawyer so he could properly get control over the plantation, especially when Big Daddy dies. Mae wants that financial security, too, but also wants to cut off “dead wood” in the family, namely Brick and Maggie.

When Big Daddy finally confronted Brick about what’s wrong with his life, Brick said he was disgusted with this concept. What concept was it?

Brick’s disgust with mendacity prompts him to escape reality via alcohol. Mendacity, to him, propagates all the lies around his life, which he can’t handle very well.

Brick finally admitted that he couldn’t live with himself because he did this to his best friend Skipper.

Skipper apparently called Brick frantically after the incident with Maggie and the seduction. However, Brick hung up on him, and never picked up Skipper’s call again, which led to his friend’s devastation and ultimate death.

When Brick finally told Big Daddy about his real medical condition, the Pollitt head of the family went sulking to this part of their mansion.

Big Daddy tried to face his own cancer facts and went down to the cellar to be alone. But Brick followed him there, and they finally had a long talk about life.

In the cellar, Big Daddy admitted to Brick that he wanted to leave his legacy and money to his kids, because he himself didn’t get anything from his own father, except for this one item. What was that item?

Big Daddy’s father was a poor man who only left him with a suitcase. Inside the suitcase was his father’s military uniform from the Spanish-American war.

Looking around the cellar at all the unpacked souvenirs from Big Daddy and Big Mama’s European trip, Brick said that Big Daddy gave things to her and them, but not this. What was that thing that one Big Daddy didn’t give them all?

"You gave her things, not love,” accused Brick. He knows Big Daddy can’t buy love, and the old man is only realizing that now.

In order to make it, Big Daddy’s doctor prescribed him some morphine to alleviate this.

Big Daddy finally faced facts and asked for the morphine to kill his pain. He also told Brick, "I have the guts to die. Do you have the guts to live?” which shook the younger Pollitt as well.

More mendacity: To quiet their critics, Maggie told the biggest lie of the night and announced this to everyone. What was this lie?

Everybody knew that Maggie was lying to appease the people around them, and to protect Brick’s interest in the family estate, when she announced that she was pregnant. But Big Daddy, Big Mama, and even Brick went with it, to her surprise and delight.

Unspoken undertones: What was Tennessee Williams’ main underlying theme in the play, which the film hinted at from time to time, about Brick and Skipper?

Brick and Skipper were supposed to have nurtured a homoerotic relationship, or at least trying to face the fact that they were gay. This led to Brick’s rejection after Skipper’s admission, which in turn led to his dejection and death. It was Big Daddy who tried to unearth this with Brick, and Maggie already knew, since she seduced Skipper to test this reality. But the film code of the 1950s watered down this theme, which made the playwright unhappy with the ​cinematic rewrite.

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