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: Big Daddy! Now what makes him so big? His big heart? His big belly? Or his big money?
Maggie: The heat has made you cross.
Brick: Give me my crutch.
Maggie: Why don't you put on your nice silk pajamas, honey, and come on down to the party? There's a lovely cool breeze.
Brick: Give me my crutch, Maggie.
Maggie: Lean on me, baby. [He turns and stiffly ignores her. She warmly hugs him from behind] You've got a nice smell about you. Is your bath water cool?
Brick: No.
Maggie: I know somethin' that would make you feel cool and fresh. Alcohol rub. Cologne.
Brick: No thanks. We'd smell alike. Like a couple of cats in the heat.
Maggie: It's cool on the lawn.
Brick: I'm not goin' down there, Maggie, not for you and not for Big Daddy.
Maggie: At least you can give him his present that I remembered to buy for you for his birthday. Do you think you could write a few words on this card?
Brick: You write somethin' Maggie.
Maggie: It's got to be your handwritin'. It's your present. It's got to be your handwritin'.
Brick: I didn't get him a present.
Maggie: Well, what's the difference?!
Brick: Then if there's no difference, you write the card.
Maggie: And have him know you didn't remember his birthday?
Brick: I didn't remember.
Maggie: Well, you don't have to prove it to him. Just-just write 'Love, Brick' for heaven's sakes.
Brick: NO!
Maggie: You've got to.
Brick: I don't have to do anything I don't want to! Now you keep forgettin' the conditions on which I agreed to stay on livin' with you.
Maggie: I'm not living with you. We occupy the same cage, that's all. You know, that's the first time you've raised your voice in a long time. Crack in the stone wall? I think that's a fine sign. Mighty fine.


Brick: Skipper and I were friends. Can you understand that?
Big Daddy: Gooper and Mae said that Skipper...
Brick: [interrupting] Skipper is the only thing that I've got left to believe in. And you are draggin' it through the gutter!
Big Daddy: Now just a minute!
Brick: You are making it shameful and filthy, you...!
[Brick lashes out at his father and misses - and falls to the floor.]
Big Daddy: You and Skipper played football together. Made a few touchdowns. Does that make him God Almighty?
Brick: I could depend on him.
Big Daddy: On the football field?
Brick: At any time, anywhere, anyplace, I could depend on him.
Big Daddy: Are you sure of that?
Brick: Yes sir. Sure.
Big Daddy: Bull. Why did your big strong man fall apart? Why did Skipper crack up?
Brick: All right. You're askin' for it. We're gonna have that talk. That straight true talk. It's too late to stop now.

Brick: Somethin' hasn't happened yet.
Big Daddy: What's that?
Brick: A click in my head.
Big Daddy: Did you say, 'click'?
Brick: Yes sir, the click in my head that makes me feel peaceful.
Big Daddy: Boy, sometimes you worry me.
Brick: It's like a switch, clickin' off in my head. Turns the hot light off and the cool one on and all of a sudden, there's peace.
Big Daddy: Boy, you're, you're a real alcoholic!
Brick: That is the truth. Yes sir, I am an alcoholic, so if you'd just excuse me...
Big Daddy: [grabbing him] No, I won't excuse you.
Brick: Now I'm waitin' for that click and I don't get it. Listen, I'm all alone. I'm talkin' to no one where there's absolute quiet.
Big Daddy: You'll hear plenty of that in the grave soon enough. But right now, we're gonna sit down and talk this over.
Brick: This talk is like all the others. It gets nowhere, nowhere, and it's painful.

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.

Brick: Why you heard what Big Daddy said? 'That girl's got life in her body.'
Mae: That's a lie.
Brick: No. No, truth is something desperate and Maggie's got it. Believe me, it is desperate and she has got it.
Mae: [to Gooper] Why don't you say somethin', honey?
Gooper: All right, honey. Shut-up!
Brick: Maggie?
Maggie: Yes?
Brick: Come on up here.
Maggie: Yes sir.
...
Maggie: Thank you for keepin' still, for backin' me up in my lie.
Brick: Maggie, we are through with lies and liars in this house. Lock the door!

Dixie: Why were you jumpin' hurdles?
Brick: Because I used to jump them, and people like to do what they used to do after they've stopped being able to do it.
Maggie: That's right, and that's your answer. Now go away little girl. [Dixie fires her cap pistol at Maggie] Stop it! You little no-neck monster.
Dixie: You're just jealous 'cause you can't have babies!
[Dixie cruelly sticks her tongue out at Maggie and sashays past her with her stomach stuck out.]
Maggie: See? They and Gooper gloat over us being childless - even in front of their little no-neck monsters. Brick. I went to a doctor in Memphis, a gynecologist. He-he says there's no reason why we can't have a child whenever we want. Brick? Are you listening?
Brick: Yes, Maggie, I hear you. But how in hell on earth do you imagine you're gonna have a child by a man who cannot stand you?
Maggie: That, boy of mine, is a problem I'll just have to work out.

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'...

Maggie: [abput Big Daddy] You've got no cause to dislike him.
Brick: Do I dislike him?
Maggie: Well, it's obvious to everybody, especially to him. What's he ever done to you? What? Why do you hate him so much? What's he ever done to you?
Brick: Nothin'.

Maggie: [after Brick tells her that Big Daddy has terminal cancer] Oh, poor Big Daddy. I'm fond of him. I'm genuinely fond of that old man. I really am, you know. Oh, when he finds out. I wouldn't want to be the one to tell him. That's why you want to go now.
Brick: Yeah, that's why I want to leave now. You gotta do this for me, Maggie, please.
Maggie: And leave the field to Gooper and that wife of his? No sir. Let's face facts, baby. You're a drinker, and that takes money.
Brick: I don't want his money.
Maggie: Are you ready to settle for ten cent beer? 'Cause that's just what Gooper will dole out to you when they freeze you out. They got a plan, baby. Oh you should have heard them layin' it on Big Daddy - a mile a minute. Big Mama's already on their side. You're a drinker and I'm childless. We got to beat that plan. We just got to. I-I been so disgustingly poor all my life. That's the truth, Brick.
Brick: Have you, Maggie?
Maggie: You-you don't know what it's like to have to suck up to people you can't stand just 'cause they have money. You don't know what it's like. Never havin' any clothes. That dress I married you in was a hand-me-down from a snotty rich cousin I hated. You can be young without money, but you can't be old without it. Where did I fail you? Where did I make my mistake? Make that your last drink until after the party, please honey!

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.

Maggie: I think I made my mistake when I tried to tell you about Skipper. That's where I made my fatal error.
Brick: Maggie...
Maggie: I never should have confessed...
Brick: Maggie, now you shut-up about Skipper. I mean it, you got to shut up about Skipper.
Maggie: The laws of silence won't work about that. Not about Skipper and us. It's like lockin' the door on the fire in hopes of forgettin' the house is burnin' - but not lookin' at a fire doesn't put it out. This time, I'm gonna finish. That night in a hotel room, Skipper and I...
Brick: I don't want to hear about it.
Maggie: Why won't you face the truth just once about Skipper? About me? About yourself?
Brick: Do you want me to hit you with this crutch?
Maggie: You're still blamin' me for Skipper's death.
Brick: [advancing] Now don't you know that I could kill you with this crutch?
Maggie: Good Lord, man, d'you think I'd care if you did?
Brick: Skipper and I had a friendship. Now why won't you let it alone?
Maggie: It's got to be told.
Brick: But I don't want to hear it.
Maggie: It's got to be told and you never let me tell it. I love you, and that's worth fightin' for. Not Skipper. Skipper was no good.
Brick: Maggie!
Maggie: Maybe I'm no good either - nobody's good. But Brick, Skipper IS DEAD! And I'M ALIVE!
Brick: Maggie!
Maggie: Maggie 'the Cat' is ALIVE! I'M ALIVE! Why are you afraid of the truth?
Brick: Truth! [He hurls his crutch at her, misses, and pitches forward to the floor.]

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'.

Maggie: Why are you looking at me like that?
Brick: Like what, Maggie?
Maggie: Like you were just lookin'.
Brick: I wasn't conscious of lookin' at you, Maggie.
Maggie: [seductively] I was conscious of it. [He coldly turns from her and rises on his crutches] If you were thinkin' the same thing I was...
Brick: No, Maggie.
Maggie: Why not?!
Brick: Will you please keep your voice down?
Maggie: No! I know you better than you think. I've seen that look before. And I know what it used to mean. And it still means the same thing now.
Brick: You're not the same woman now, Maggie.
Maggie: Oh, don't you think I know that? Don't you think I know that...
Brick: [cooly detached] Know what, Maggie?
Maggie: That I've gone through this horrible transformation, that I've become hard and frantic and cruel...Oh Brick, I get so lonely.
Brick: Everybody gets that.
Maggie: Living with somebody you love can be lonelier than living entirely alone - if the one you love doesn't love you.
Brick: ...Would you like to live alone, Maggie?
Maggie: No! No, I wouldn't.

Maggie: Why can't you lose your good looks, Brick? Most drinkin' men lose theirs. Why can't you? I think you've even gotten better-lookin' since you went on the bottle. You were such a wonderful lover...You were so excitin' to be in love with. Mostly, I guess, 'cause you were... If I thought you'd never never make love to me again... why I'd find me the longest, sharpest knife I could and I'd stick it straight into my heart. I'd do that. Oh Brick, how long does this have to go on? This punishment? Haven't I served my term? Can't I apply for a pardon?
Brick: Lately, that finishin' school voice of yours sounds like you was runnin' upstairs to tell somebody the house is on fire.
Maggie: Is it any wonder? You know what I feel like? I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Brick: Then jump off the roof, Maggie, jump off it. Now cats jump off roofs and they land uninjured. Do it. Jump.
Maggie: Jump where? Into what?
Brick: Take a lover.
Maggie: [angrily] I don't deserve that! I can't see any man but you. With my eyes closed, I just see you. Why can't you get ugly Brick? Why can't you please get fat or ugly or somethin' so I can stand it?
Brick: You'll make out fine. Your kind always does.
Maggie: Oh, I'm more determined than you think. I'll win all right.
Brick: Win what? What is, uh, the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?
Maggie: Just stayin' on it, I guess. As long as she can.

[about Big Daddy] I think it's mighty fine the way that ole fellow on the doorstep of death still takes in my shape with what I consider deserved appreciation.