Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
I suspect they had to keep extra fire extinguishers on hand in the projection booth when they screened this sizzling, steamy Tennessee Williams drama — Taylor and Paul Newman do everything but set each other alight with Roman candles as they battle, embrace and nearly destroy each other. As Maggie the Cat, Taylor brings an urgent sexuality that must have seemed mighty daring in 1958. It's her tent pole performance of an unmatched four-year period that saw her get Oscar nominations for Raintree County (1957), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Suddenly Last Summer (1959) and BUtterfield 8 (1960), for which she finally won the statuette.
Then came 1963's Cleopatra, the movie disaster that nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox and came close to sinking Taylor's career.