A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

PG   |    |  Drama


A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Poster

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.

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  • Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • Marlon Brando in the studio gym during shooting of "A Streetcar Named Desire"
  • Marlon Brando and Peg Hillias on the set of "A Streetcar Named Desire"
  • Marlon Brando with Rudy Bond during filming of "A Streetcar Named Desire"
  • Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

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Reviews & Commentary

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21 May 2003 | Mayesgwtw39
10
| Vivien Leigh Gives One of Cinema's Greatest Performances
Tennessee Williams himself wrote of Vivien Leigh"s performance in "Streetcar Named Desire": "She brought everything I intended to the role and even much more than I had dared dream of".

Brando is wonderful as Stanley Kowalski, but the new viewers to the film seem to come away with the haunting greatness of Vivien Leigh in what is one of the most harrowing and shattering pieces of acting ever committed to film.

Although some have expressed regret that Jessica Tandy did not repeat her stage performance, it is probably good to note that her husband Hume Cronyn and Elia Kazan (the director of the film and play) both never felt that Tandy quite got the character right. If you listen to the radio performance of extracted scenes that Tandy gave on the occasion of the Pulitzer Prize award, it will reenforce the perfection of Leigh's inflections and innate understanding of the role. This inner and complete understanding is what Brando praises Leigh for in his autobiography. He agrees that she plays this Hamlet of female roles better than anyone because he felt she was quite like the character...sadly.

If anyone is interested in great acting check out "Streetcar" for Vivien Leigh's Academy Award winning performance. The supporting cast is outstanding from Kim Hunter and Karl Malden (both Oscar winners for the film)to, of course, the iconographic T-shirt-torn Brando.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of March 2017, Mickey Kuhn, who was 18-19 years old, and Wright King, who was 27-28 years old when the film was shot, are currently the only confirmed surviving cast members of this film.


Quotes

A Sailor: Can I help you, ma'am?
Blanche DuBois: Why, they told me to take a streetcar named Desire and then transfer to one called Cemetery and ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields.


Goofs

When Stanley comes back from taking Stella to the hospital, he is looking for a bottle opener. He finds it on the mantelpiece, shakes up a bottle of beer, and opens it. The beer foams up and spills on his trousers. But if you watch at the moment when he swings himself up to sit on the table - before he opens the bottle - you can see that the front of his trousers are already wet. Apparently they re-shot it without him changing into dry trousers.


Alternate Versions

Kazan was forced to cut several seconds from the scene where Stanley calls Stella down from Eunice's apartment, particularly the shots of Stella lingering at the top of the stairs and regarding her husband with a look of pure lust on her face before slowly making her way down and meeting him in a passionate embrace. Instead, several prints had Stella shadowed, opening the door to exit the apartment, and following with a shot of her already halfway down the steps. The music cue was also different: the raw, sultry jazz score was replaced with a more flowery romantic one. Both the full scene and the original music cue were restored in the "director's cut" DVD.


Soundtracks

It's Only a Paper Moon
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by
Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg and Billy Rose
Sung by Vivien Leigh while doing her hair

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