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A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

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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(screen play), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
...
Rudy Bond ...
Nick Dennis ...
Peg Hillias ...
Wright King ...
Newspaper Collector
...
The Doctor
Ann Dere ...
Edna Thomas ...
The Mexican Woman
...
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Storyline

Blanche DuBois, a high school English teacher with an aristocratic background from Auriol, Mississippi, decides to move to live with her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski, in New Orleans after creditors take over the family property, Belle Reve. Blanche has also decided to take a break from teaching as she states the situation has frayed her nerves. Knowing nothing about Stanley or the Kowalskis' lives, Blanche is shocked to find that they live in a cramped and run down ground floor apartment - which she proceeds to beautify by putting shades over the open light bulbs to soften the lighting - and that Stanley is not the gentleman that she is used to in men. As such, Blanche and Stanley have an antagonistic relationship from the start. Blanche finds that Stanley's hyper-masculinity, which often displays itself in physical outbursts, is common, coarse and vulgar, being common which in turn is what attracted Stella to him. Beyond finding Blanche's delicate ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE PULITZER PRIZE PLAY of New Orleans' Latin Quarter...of a Lonely Girl...of Emotions Gone Savage! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 December 1951 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Un tranvía llamado deseo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Blanche was first offered to Olivia de Havilland, whose wage demands proved to be too excessive. See more »

Goofs

Stanley says he served in the 241st Engineers and fought in the Battle of Salerno. However the 241st Engineer Combat Battalion fought in the Asiatic-Pacific Area, not in Europe. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Peter Boyle/Al Jarreau (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight, Ladies
(1847) (uncredited)
Written by Edwin P. Christy
Played as background music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Antebellum Delusions
16 October 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Blanche DuBois reminds me of Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. (1950). Both characters succumb to their alter egos, and descend into their own worlds of fantasy and half-truths.

In "A Streetcar Named Desire", Blanche travels from her antebellum roots in Mississippi to New Orleans, to see her sister Stella. But, upon arriving in the Big Easy, Blanche must confront Stella's husband Stanley, a greasy, poker-playing neanderthal lout who knows a thing or two about reality. It's the clash between Blanche's stately delusions and Stanley's gritty realism that soups up the drama in this Tennessee Williams play, converted to film classic by director Elia Kazan.

The drama is absorbing. But the performances of Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, as Stanley and Blanche, are what make the film the cinematic powerhouse that it is. Excellent B&W lighting and jazzy background music amplify the seedy, sleazy atmosphere, which adds depth and texture to the story and the acting. And, of course, the claustrophobic, steamy French Quarter makes a perfect setting.

As one would expect for a film derived from a play, "A Streetcar Named Desire" is very talky. Generally, I don't care for films burdened with a ten thousand page script. But this talk-fest is an exception. Overwhelming what I would otherwise consider a weakness, the acting of Brando and Leigh alone are enough to justify a two hour investment, and render an enjoyable and memorable cinematic experience.


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