Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
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
Mickey Kuhn, who plays the young sailor who helps Vivien Leigh onto the streetcar at the beginning of the film, had previously appeared with Leigh in Gone with the Wind (1939) as Beau Wilkes (the child of Olivia de Havilland's character Melanie), toward the end of that film when the character was age 5. When Mickey Kuhn mentioned this to someone else on the set of "A Streetcar Named Desire," word got back to Leigh and she called him into her dressing room for a half-hour chat. In an interview in his seventies, Kuhn stated that Leigh was extremely kind to him and was "one of the loveliest ladies he had ever met." See more »
During the conversation about the Napoleonic Code between Stella and Stanley, the plate Stanley has been eating off of disappears off of the top of the trunk, which is suddenly open. See more »
Can I help you, ma'am?
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.
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If great performances is what you desire, hop on this streetcar.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tennessee Williams, 'A Streetcar Named desire' is set in post World War II New Orleans and centers around a young married couple attempting to keep their bond despite a noted class distinction. Stanley Kowalski, played by Marlon Brando in perhaps one of the greatest performances ever to project off the big screen, is a young Polish American living in a cozy apartment with his quasi-newlywed bride. Stella, a magnolia fresh off a Southern plantation, portrayed with equal panache by Kim Hunter. Things seem to be going along pretty well until Stella's older sister shows up on the doorstep. Blanche Dubois, ( Vivian Leigh ) is a figure as obnoxious as she is tragic, and almost from the very start she is despised by her Polish brother-in-law. Kowalski suddenly discovers that his middle class roots, which hadn't seemed like a much of a point of contention with his new wife, are the subject of snide insinuations and clandestine conversations rolling off the tongue of his sister-in-law. Who, it turns out, is not without considerable baggage herself. That's when the once toasty love nest ( Complete with the memory of twinkling Christmas lights ) turns into a war zone. Things are further complicated when Stanley's Army/factory buddy, brilliantly portrayed by Karl Malden, suddenly takes a shine to Miss Dubois, The incredible thing about 'Streetcar' is not just the quality of the acting, but the way the actors approach the complex and beautiful dialog. Brando combines dynamic sexual magnetism with passionate anger, possessive love and cynicism. Vivian Leigh's tragic character perhaps mirroring the insanity she suffered through in her own life, is portrayed with raving vanity one minute and fleeting youth the next. As she often hears and sees flashbacks which the audience does not. William's dialogue manages to do the impossible, that is to blend in poetic imagery with normal conversation, while not sounding sickly sentimental or downright ridiculous. This is as much a credit to the actors themselves, especially Leigh, who really had to do the bulk of the tough solo
scenes in which Blanche begins to lose her mind for good. But Brando is simply too hard to beat. Stanley Kowalski is fully rounded in every sense when this great American actor delivers his lines. Perhaps the only injustice is that Brando did not receive the Oscar for this film, while his costars Hunter, Leigh and Malden all did. Numerous attempts have been made to remake this film, both on the stage and for television. But no one has been able to execute the premise like this wonderful quartet. A fantastic and moving American classic. 10 out of a possible 10 T.H.
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