I stayed home from work today because I was sick this morning. I thought a couple of times about trying to find a movie to watch, but nothing really jumped out at me, so finally, almost at random, I clicked “play” on The Long Hot Summer thinking I would just let it run in the background. A half hour later, I was glued to the screen. Boy, can that stuff suck you in. Southern lit is so hardcore. Extreme like classical Greek drama, but more relatable, it represents the apotheosis of the soap opera, and movies like The Long Hot Summer show just how good melodrama can be when based on works by people like Faulkner and Tennessee Williams and acted by people like Orson Wells and Paul Newman, who absolutely owns the screen any time he’s on it. One critic on Rotten Tomatoes describes the ending perfectly as “an unconvincing cop out,” and it is. Being a cop out doesn’t make it altogether unwelcome though.