Brick Pollitt played by Paul Newman in the movie “Cat on a hot tin roof is an alcoholic and an ex- football star athlete who has returned home for his father’s 65th birthday. Once home Brick is haunted by the memories that he and his wife left behind. Brick is frustrated with the fact that he believes that his wife, Maggie, seduced his best friend Skipper after a big game. Since then Brick and Maggie have had an estranged marriage. Brick still holding on to this belief will not make love to Maggie and will not spend anytime with her.
In this movie money really doesn’t play a big part with Brick and Maggie. Brick’s father, Big Daddy, is in fact a wealthy plantation owner and is dying of terminal cancer within the days after his birthday. His brother, Gooper, has returned home as well insight of their father’s illness to try to gain control over the estate and inheritance. However Big Daddy and his favorite son Brick are able to overcome their differences in the end after Brick finds out that his father is ill. They are able to reconcile and Brick realizes that his father does love him. Once Brick and his father reconcile this opens up the opportunity for Maggie and him. They are both able to open up to each other and state the truth about what really happened that one fateful evening. They come to terms with the truth and are both able to start over in their marriage and within themselves.
Walter Lee Younger played by Sidney Poitier in the movie A raisin in the Sun is a young African-American that is struggling with his current status in life. Walter feels like his life is an imprisonment of current circumstances dealing with the wealth of his family. His family and he are struggling in their economy. He lives in a small apartment on the south side of Chicago with his wife, son, sister and mother. Walter believes that this is as good as it gets for him and his family. Money has become such an issue for him that it frustrates him. Until one fateful day his mother Lena Younger gets a check for $10,000 from the insurance company of her late husband and father to Walter.
Walter decides that his mother should let him take the money from the insurance company and let him invest in a liquor store. He believes that he could make a good living from this and wants to improve his family’s situation by this investment. However his mother has a different idea of what she would like to invest with the money. Lena wants to use the money to buy a house and help pay for medical school for his sister, Benetha, so that she may finish. In which Lena does make a down payment on a house in a white neighborhood. This idea frustrates Walter even more.
With Walter so enraged by his mother’s decision to purchase a house he storms out of the apartment and stays away for three days. He doesn’t even go to work. His mother eventually finds him in a bar and does offer him the rest of the money which totaled $6,500 to make amends with him for being so angry with her. Walter becomes excited again about the chance to make a difference in his situation. With everyone back together the family gets ready to move into their new home; however the improvements association has other plans. A representative of this organization comes to the Younger family and tries to purchase the home back at a higher price to preserve the all white community and not let the family move in. With the money that Walter’s mother had given to him he did decided to invest it in the liquor store and is swindled by the investor. After Walter realizes that he lost his mother’s money and thrown away the opportunity for his sister to finish her medical schooling he starts thinking about the offer that the improvement associations offered his family. He does decide not to accept the offer after realizing that this would take them a step backwards in the life he would like to have for them.
These two movies Cat on a hot tin roof and “A raisin in the Sun” relate to each other by both of them having to deal with issues of the love that they feel for their families and parents receiving or having money. With Cat on a hot tin roof, Brick’s father was a multi-millionaire who was dying. His father built his plantation from the ground up and when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Brick is about to inherit part of this estate. Along with this inheritance Brick is facing the past as he and his wife returns home. Brick has to face the fact that he and his father need to make amends before it is too late and also needs to repair the relationship with his wife. With this movie Brick is able to overcome the past and start to mend the relationships that were once lost to him.
The movie “A raisin in the Sun” Walter is facing the fact that his current economic situation is not stratifying him and he wants more. Walter has a chance when his mother receives a check from the insurance company after his father death. He wants to take this opportunity to invest the money into a liquor store that he believes will give them a better life. When his mother has other plans for the money Walter becomes enraged with his family and decides to leave their home. After a few days he and his mother to reconcile and realizes that family is more important than money. In the end both of these movies portrays characters that need to look deep within them to see what is important in their lives. With the addition of money into their lives this gives both of them opportunities to see what type of man they really are. One of them ends making amends with his father and his wife. And the other finds out the hard way that money sometimes is not the answer to having a better life.
Weingarten, L. (Producer), & Brooks, R. (Director). (1958). Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [Motion Picture]. Los Angeles, CA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
Susskind, D., Rose, P., Cogan, D. (Producers), & Petrie, D. (Director). (1961). A Raisin in the Sun [Motion Picture]. Los Angeles, CA: Columbia Pictures Corporation