Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof quotes

37 total quotes (ID: 114)

Big Daddy
Maggie the Cat
Multiple Characters


Brick: That's what you hated. Bein' shut out.
Maggie: Not by the crowds, baby. By you, by the man I worshipped. That's why I hated Skipper.
Brick: You hated him so much that you got him drunk and went to bed with him.
Big Daddy: [After a long pause] Well, is that true?
Maggie: Oh Big Daddy, you don't think I ravished a football hero?
Brick: Skipper was drunk.
Maggie: So were you most of the time. I don't seem to make out so well with you.
Brick: Are you? Are you trying to say that nothing happened between you and Skipper?
Maggie: You know what happened!
Brick: I don't know what happened. I don't know, Maggie. Now I wasn't there. I couldn't play that Sunday. I wasn't in Chicago. I was in the hospital...
Maggie: But Skipper played. Oh, he played all right. Played his first professional game without Brick...Without you, Skipper was nothin'. Outside - big, tough, confident. Inside - pure jelly. You saw the game on TV. You saw what happened.
Brick: But I didn't see what happened in Skipper's hotel room. That little episode was not on TV. Go ahead, tell Big Daddy why you were in Skipper's room.
Maggie: He was sick, sick with drink and he wouldn't come out. He busted some furniture and the hotel manager said to stop him before he called the police. So I went to his room. I scratched on his door and begged him to let me in. He was half-crazy, violent and screamin' one minute and weak and cryin' the next. And all the time, scared stiff about you. So I said to him, maybe it was time we forgot about football. Maybe he ought to get a job and let me and Brick alone. I thought he'd hit me. He walked toward me with a funny sort of smile on his face. Then he did the strangest thing. He kissed me. That was the first time he'd ever touched me. And then I knew what I was gonna do. I'd get rid of Skipper. I'd show Brick that their deep true friendship was a big lie. I'd prove it by showin' that Skipper would make love to the wife of his best friend. He didn't need any coaxin'. He was more than willin'. He even seemed to have the same idea. I was tryin' to win back my husband. It didn't matter how. I would have done anythin' - even that. At the last second, I-I got panicky. Supposin' I lost you instead. Supposin' you'd hate me instead of Skipper. So I ran. Nothin' happened. I've tried to tell him [Brick] a hundred times but he won't let me. Nothin' happened.
Brick: Hallelujah - Saint Maggie! [He raises his drinking glass]
Maggie: I wanted to get rid of Skipper but not if it meant losin' you. [To Big Daddy] He blames me for Skipper's death. Maybe I got rid of Skipper. Skipper went out anyway. I didn't get rid of him at all. Isn't it an awful joke, honey? I lost you anyway.


Big Daddy: What are you runnin' away from? Why'd you hang up on Skipper when he called you? Answer me. What did he say? Was it about him and Maggie?
Brick: He said they'd made love.
Big Daddy: And you believed him.
Brick: Yes.
Big Daddy: Then why haven't you thrown her out? Somethin's missin' here. Now, now why did Skipper kill himself?
Brick: 'Cause somebody let him down. I let him down. When he called that night, I couldn't make much sense out of...There was one thing that was sure. Skipper was scared. Scared! It would happen that day on the football field, that I'd blame him, scared that I'd walk out on him. Skipper afraid - I couldn't believe that. I mean inside, he was real deep-down scared. And he broke like a rotten stick. He started cryin': 'I need you.' He kept babblin': 'Help me! Help me!' Me help him? How does one drownin' man help another drownin' man?
Big Daddy: So you hung up on him.
Brick: And then that phone started to ring again. And it rang and it rang and it wouldn't stop ringin'. And I lay in that hospital bed. I was unable to move or run from that sound and still, it kept ringin' louder and louder! And the sound of that was like Skipper screamin' for help. And I couldn't pick it up.
Big Daddy: So that's when he killed himself.
Brick: Yep. 'Cause I let him down. [Tears well up in his eyes] So that disgust with mendacity is really disgust with myself. And when I hear that click in my head, I don't hear the sound of that phone ringin' anymore. And I can stop thinkin'. I'm ashamed, Big Daddy. That's why I'm a drunk. When I'm drunk, I can stand myself.

Big Daddy: But it's always there in the morning, ain't it - the truth? And it's here right now. You're just feelin' sorry for yourself. That's all it is - self-pity. You didn't kill Skipper. He killed himself. You and Skipper and millions like ya are livin' in a kid's world, playin' games, touchdowns, no worries, no responsibilities. Life ain't no damn football game. Life ain't just a bunch of high spots. You're a thirty-year old kid. Soon you'll be a fifty-year old kid, pretendin' you're hearin' cheers when there ain't any. Dreamin' and drinkin' your life away. Heroes in the real world live twenty-four hours a day, not just two hours in a game. Mendacity, you won't...you won't live with mendacity but you're an expert at it. The truth is pain and sweat and payin' bills and makin' love to a woman that you don't love anymore. Truth is dreams that don't come true and nobody prints your name in the paper 'til you die...The truth is, you never grow'd up. Grown-ups don't hang up on their friends...and they don't hang up on their wives...and they don't hang up on life. Now that's the truth and that's what you can't face!
Brick: Can you face the truth...?
Big Daddy: Try me!
Brick: You or somebody else's truth?
Big Daddy: Bull. You're runnin' again.
Brick: Yeah, I am runnin'. Runnin' from lies, lies like birthday congratulations and many happy returns of the day when there won't be any...
Big Daddy [realizing that Brick is telling him he is dying] I'll outlive you. I'll bury you. I'll buy your coffin...It's death, ain't it?
Brick: You said it yourself, Big Daddy, mendacity is a system we live in.

Maggie: Oh please, Brick, I just can't stand the way that Mae and Gooper...
Brick: What? Try to grab off this place for themselves. Well, let 'em. Let 'em have it all. And if you want to fight for a piece of the old man's carcass, why you go right ahead, but you're gonna do it without me.
Maggie: All right, I deserve that. But not this time, this time you're wrong. What I can't stand is not losing this place, it's-it's Big Mama. I know what it's like to lose somebody you love.
Brick: Careful Maggie, your claws are showin'.

Mae: Gooper is your first born. Why, he always had to carry a bigger load of the responsibilities than Brick. Brick never carried a thing in his life but a football or a highball.
Gooper: ...The point is, I'm not gonna see this place run into the ground by a drunken ex-football hero. [about Big Daddy] For him, it was always Brick, always. From the day he was born, he was always partial to Brick. Why? Big Daddy wanted me to become a lawyer. I became a lawyer. He said: 'Get married.' I got married. He said: 'Have kids.' I had kids. He said: 'Live in Memphis.' I lived in Memphis. Whatever he said: 'Do!' I did all right. I don't give a damn whether Big Daddy likes me or don't like me, or did or never did or will or will never. I've appealed for common decency and fair-play. Well, now I'm tellin' ya. I intend to protect my interests. I'm not a corporation lawyer for nothin'...

Big Daddy: I suddenly noticed that you don't call me Big Daddy anymore. Ah, if you needed a Big Daddy, why didn't you come to me? You wanted somebody to lean on, why Skipper and why not me? I'm your father! I'm Big Daddy. Me! Why didn't you come to your kinfolks - the peoples that love ya?
Brick: You don't know what love means. To you, it's just another four letter word.
Big Daddy: Why you've got a mighty short memory. What was there that you wanted that I didn't buy for ya...
Brick: You can't buy love! You bought yourself a million dollars worth of junk. Look at it. Does it love you?
Big Daddy: Who'd you think I bought it for? Me? It's yours. The place, the money, every rotten thing is yours!
Brick: I don't want things! [He pushes down and smashes vases, an old athletic trophy and other accumulated objects]...Waste! Worthless! Worthless! ...[He destroys a life-sized poster of himself throwing a football and then breaks down in a fit of uncontrollable tears]
Big Daddy: Don't son. Please don't cry, boy. That's funny. I never saw you cry before. How's that? Did you ever cry...?
Brick: Can't you understand? I never wanted your place or your money or any-...I don't wanna own anything. All I wanted was a father, not a boss - I wanted you to love me.
Big Daddy: I did and I do.
Brick: No. Not me, and not Gooper, and not even Mama.
Big Daddy: That's a lie. I did love her. I give her anything, everything she wanted...
Brick: Things. Things, Papa. You gave her things. A house, a trip to Europe, all this junk, some jewelry, things. You gave her things, Papa, not love.
Big Daddy: I gave, I gave her an empire, boy...
Brick: The men who build empires die, and empires die too.
Big Daddy: No. No it won't. That's why I've got you and Gooper.
Brick: Look at Gooper. Look at what he's become. Is that what you wanted him to be? And look at me. You put it very well indeed. I'm a thirty year old kid and pretty soon, I'm gonna be a fifty year old kid. I don't know what to believe in. Now what's the good of livin' if you've got nothin' to believe in? There's gotta be some, some purpose in life, some meanin'. Look at me, for the sake of God, look at me before it's too late. For once in your life, look at me as I really am. Look at me. I'm a failure. I'm a drunk. On my own in the open market, I'm not worth the price of a decent burial.
Big Daddy: You and Gooper and the rest of ya, blamin' me for everythin', huh?
Brick: Nobody, just...We've known each other all my life, and we're strangers. Now you own twenty-eight thousand acres of the richest..., you own ten million dollars, you own a wife and two children, you own us but you don't love us.
Big Daddy: In my own way, I've...
Brick: No sir. You don't even like people. You wanted Gooper to have kids. You wanted me to have kids. Why?
Big Daddy: 'Cause I want a part of me to keep on living. I won't have an end with the grave. Look. This is what my father left me. A lousy old suitcase. Now on the inside was nothin'. Nothin' but his uniform from the Spanish-American War. This was his legacy to me. Nothin' at all. And I built this place from nothin'.
...
Big Daddy: [about morphine, as the pain hits] I'm not gonna stupify myself with that stuff. I wanna think clear. I wanna see everything and I wanna feel everything. I won't mind goin'. I've got the guts to die. What I want to know is, 'Have you got the guts to live?'

Maggie: [lying] An announcement of life beginning. A child is coming. Sired by Brick out of Maggie the Cat. I have Brick's child in my body and that is my present to you.
Big Daddy: Yes indeed. This girl has life in her body. And that's no lie.