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In the late 1950s, 28 states still prohibited inter-racial marriage.
The picture was banned in Memphis, Tennessee, and the KKK protested against its showing in Jacksonville, Florida.
There was another inter-racial romance between two others, with only the slight touching of hands and an aborted kiss (reflecting a double standard regarding the black male), who were unable to show any physical affection: Boyeur never touched Mavis in the final version of the film.
The film's steamiest moment was when they drank from the same coconut.
The controversial film further chipped away at and defied the Production Code standards that forbid miscegenation.
The tension between the two was one of unhappiness and sexual discontent - Maggie and Brick no longer shared a marital bed in their passionless marriage, since he refused to sleep with her. (As she caressed the brass bedframe) You were such a wonderful lover... In another similar scene, the sex-starved seductress rolled around on the bed while Tony undressed behind his closet door.
She was intensely frustrated by her husband's rejection. She also defended her sultry behavior to a conservative teacher Arlene Williams (Jan Sterling): Martin Ritt's sultry southern romantic melodrama adapted a melange of William Faulkner stories.
The action occurred on the occasion of the 65th birthday of 'Big Daddy' Pollitt (Burl Ives reprising his stage role) - the patriarchal plantation head (who was secretly suffering from terminal cancer), when the greater Pollitt family gathered and inevitably quarrelled - greedily - over the granting of the expected inheritance. Brick commanded her to join him in the bedroom, and she thanked him: "Thank you for keepin' still, for backin' me up in my lie." Brick told her that they would make the lie come true: Platinum blonde sex starlet Mamie Van Doren was one of the leading sex symbols of the day, known as one of the three M's (the others were Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield).
Elizabeth Taylor co-starred as the passionate, provocative, sexually-frustrated and deprived feline Maggie ("The Cat" in the film's title). She had earlier starred as Penny Lowe in a late 50s teen movie hit titled Untamed Youth (1957) -- a women's prison farm musical.