Recently I was contemplating making a list of my favorite scenes in film, but I decided that instead of just…
A Streetcar Named Desire
...Blanche, who wanted so much to stay a lady...
A Streetcar Named Desire is the film adaptation from the play by Tennessee Williams and directed by Elia Kazan. The film tells the drama story of the conflict between run down southern states and the exemplary industrial states in the north. Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.
I had forgotten how complex this film was. I saw it some 30 years ago and did not remember much from it. When watching it now I felt like I was left with more questions than answers.
What I did get from the film is that it is about (among many things) the crashes of desires. Stella wants to please her husband and sister. Stanley wants to have respect and enjoy his life with his wife. Blanche wants to live in her fantasy world, free from her past and under the protection of her sister. These desires crash with such furiosity that no one is going to get unharmed from it. Such is life. We may believe we have full…
**Part of the Best Picture Project**
While A Streetcar Named Desire is notably Tenessee William's play, it is most definitely Elia Kazan's film. William's play is about Blanche's inability to face the truth of her situation, and Kazan takes this basic premise and turns it into a film about the decline of melodrama and the birth of realism.
It's almost too appropriate that Vivien Leigh is the one to play Blanche DuBois, an aged Southern belle (Belle Reve could easily be another name for Terra) comes to the home of her sister, Stella, and meets her rough hunk of a husband, Stanley. While it's Leigh who represents the dying state of melodrama, Brando is the figure of realism that towers…
Film #25 of 25 in the Exploring My Birth Year challenge
Three of the four stars here earned Academy Awards for their performances: Vivien Leigh for Beast Leading Actress as Blanche Dubois, who is gradually succumbing to madness; Kim Hunter for Best Supporting Actress as her pregnant sister Stella; and Karl Malden for Best Supporting Actor as Blanche's erstwhile boyfriend Mitch, torn between his desires and sensibilities.
Only Marlon Brando, who was nominated for Best Leading Actor, failed to come up with an Oscar, but it certainly wasn't for lack of character. He plays Stella's crude but honest husband Stanley Kowalski. In fact, Brando nails the role and shows a wonderfully volatile nature in his second feature appearance,…
Sadly I have never had the pleasure of reading Tennessee Williams play let alone ever seeing it performed. After learning of the differences between play and film, I've kind of staggered a bit due to this extreme form of censorship. When I think of it, I can only envision it making the film all the better if these differences were included. But when it comes down to it, with having no previous knowledge of these drastic changes until now. I can still safely say A Streetcar Named Desire is a perfect film on its own and separate from its theater counterpart.
Rewatching this has cemented in my mind, that this film above all others is indeed Kazan's best film and…
"I thought you were straight."
"Straight? What's 'straight'? A line can be straight, or a street. But the heart of a human being?"
Tell me about it, sweetie.
I tried writing a review for a solid thirty minutes and nothing came to mind, so I'm leaving you with that gay joke up there, and a bullet list of random, disorganized thoughts because for some reason I cannot currently coherently string them together:
- Holy shit this movie is dark. Especially considering it's a 1950s Hollywood movie. Damn.
- This thing has got a remarkable atmosphere. Really. I've never been to New Orleans, let alone New Orleans in the 1950s, so I cannot comment on how accurate the feel of the…
"Now that's how I'm gonna clear the table."
Classic in every sense of the word. Brando is impeccable, to no one's surprise. Interesting to see his new age method acting clashing with Leigh's more classical theatrical acting style. Normally that might be jarring, but the two characters work really well under the different styles. There are some changes here from the play that definitely are odd (most noticeably, Stella leaving Stanley at the end.) but overall it's still a fantastic adaptation. Kazan's direction is excellent as well. The black and white cinematography and chiaroscuro lighting look absolutely wonderful. This is a film to soak in. I look forward to revisiting it.
both this film and marlon brando are the definition of masterpiece thank u jesus
wow this movie is way ahead of its time! i normally can't connect with old style acting but vivian leigh brought SO much to the character and her style in contrast to the rest of the cast heightened the divide of class commentary.
brando fucking ruled as well.
Brando was great but I couldn't get past Vivien Leigh's mannered performance. Completely spoilt the film for me, and confirmed my aversion to movies from the deep south.
Wow. Vivien Leigh was truly incredible in this role. Her depiction of such a complex character slowly deteriorating psychologically was just amazing. There's such an interesting back-and-forth journey between feeling sorry for Blanche and the life she's had to endure, and then being reminded by Stanley that she is continually hiding behind this facade.
It's pleasing to recall just how crucial Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) is to the literal text of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire". This is one of the finest examples in using filmic elements to break down the mental decline of a protagonist. Whether it's character conflict, symbols, lighting or music—they all serve a purpose, to form an arc on this Southern belle who's stuck in the direst of circumstances.
Blanche has a desperate self-consciousness as a means to purify herself. She fishes for compliments on her lavish clothes and is constantly bathing. But on the latter point, as if this film isn't already a thematic beaut—it uses her ghastly past in Belle Reve to be vanquished from…
My second consecutive Tennessee Williams based movie, which was pure coincidence. Similar to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , this was a slow burn, heavy dialogue movie. Unlike a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, this movie did not feel like a play and the last 40 minutes really took off. In other words, I enjoyed this movie more even though I had to turn on the closed captions because I could not understand a word that Marlon Brando said.
I'd forgotten how utterly depressing this Tennessee Williams play is, but it's all broken people in desperate circumstances heading towards tragic inevitability. It's like the Requiem for a Dream of the 50s.
Blanche Dubois became the iconic figure and Vivian Leigh brings the theatrical fragile vulnerability but this version belongs to Marlon Brando in his justly legendary breakthrough, perfectly personifying the raw masculine sexuality of the hateful yet magnetic blue collar brute Stanley. Hard to believe that beautiful man became the weird insane fat white blob of his later years. Like Elvis to Fat Elvis, only far worse.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!