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A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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 hoidy-toidy act as putting on airs, Stanley, a plant worker, believes she may really have sold Belle Reve and is withholding Stella's fair share of the proceeds from them. What further affects the relationship between the three is that Stella is in the early stage of pregnancy with her and Stanley's first child. Soon after her arrival at the Kowalskis, Blanche starts to date Mitch, one of Stanley's friends and coworkers who is a little softer around the edges than most of Stanley's friends. Mitch does not hide the fact that he is looking in general to get married because of a personal issue, he wanting Blanche ultimately to be his wife. Mitch is somewhat unaware that Blanche has somewhat controlled their courtship to put herself in the best possible light, both figuratively and literally. But in Stanley's quest to find out the truth about Belle Reve and Blanche's life in Auriol, the interrelationships between Stanley, Blanche, Stella and Mitch may be irrevocably affected, with any revelation about that life which may further destroy what's left of Blanche's already damaged mental state.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Troubled former schoolteacher Blanche DuBois as she leaves small-town Mississippi and moves in with her sister, Stella Kowalski and her husband, Stanley, in New Orleans. Blanche's flirtatious Southern-belle presence causes problems for Stella and Stanley, who already have a volatile relationship, leading to even greater conflict in the Kowalski household.

    - Written by Jwelch5742
  • Blanche is in real need of a protector at this stage in her life when circumstances lead her into paying a visit to her younger sister Stella in New Orleans. She doesn't understand how Stella, who is expecting her first child, could have picked a husband so lacking in refinement. Stanley Kowalski's buddies come over to the house to play cards and one of them, Mitch, finds Blanche attractive until Stanley tells him about what kind of a woman Blanche really is. What will happen when Stella goes to the hospital to have her baby and just Blanche and her brother-in-law are in the house?

    - Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>
  • Set in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the restless years following World War Two, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE is the story of Blanche DuBois, a fragile and neurotic woman on a desperate prowl for someplace in the world to call her own. After being exiled from her hometown of Laurel, Mississippi, for seducing a seventeen-year-old boy at the school where she taught English, Blanche explains her unexpected appearance on Stanley and Stella's (Blanche's sister) doorstep as nervous exhaustion. This, she claims, is the result of a series of financial calamities which have recently claimed the family plantation, Belle Reve. Suspicious, Stanley points out that "under Louisiana's Napoleonic code what belongs to the wife belongs to the husband." Stanley, a sinewy and brutish man, is as territorial as a panther. He tells Blanche he doesn't like to be swindled and demands to see the bill of sale. This encounter defines Stanley and Blanche's relationship. They are opposing camps and Stella is caught in no-man's-land. But Stanley and Stella are deeply in love. Blanche's efforts to impose herself between them only enrages the animal inside Stanley. When Mitch -- a card-playing buddy of Stanley's -- arrives on the scene, Blanche begins to see a way out of her predicament. Mitch, himself alone in the world, reveres Blanche as a beautiful and refined woman. Yet, as rumors of Blanche's past in Auriol begin to catch up to her, her circumstances become unbearable.

    - Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>
  • Blanche Dubois goes to visit her pregnant sister and husband Stanley in New Orleans. Stanley doesn't like her, and starts pushing her for information on some property he know was left to the sisters. He discovers she has mortgaged the place and spent all the money, and wants to find out all he can about her. Even more friction develops between the two while they are in the apartment together...

    - Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>
  • 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.

    - Written by Tom Benton

Synopsis

Elia Kazan,who directed the Broadway play on which the black and white film is based, invited Marlon Brando...

See full synopsis » (Warning: contains spoilers!)

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