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A Streetcar Named Desire (1995)

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 ... See full summary »

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frederick Coffin ...
Steve (as Fred Coffin)
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The Doctor (as Jerry Harden)
Patricia Herd ...
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Collector (as Matt Keesler)
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The Neighbor
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Carmen Zapata ...
Flower Seller
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Storyline

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... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

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Passion and desire ignite in a smoldering new production of an American classic. As shocking today as it ever was.

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Drama

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29 October 1995 (USA)  »

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A vágy villamosa  »

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1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Diane Lane later appeared in Man of Steel (2013), which also featured a character previously played by Marlon Brando. John Goodman played Brando himself on Saturday Night Live. Goodman and Alec Baldwin played Robert De Niro, who succeeded Brando in the role of Vito Corleone. His father was also one of Tennessee Williams's lovers. Jessica Lange appeared with De Niro in Cape Fear (1991) and Night and the City (1992). See more »

Quotes

Blanche: They told me to take a streetcar named 'Desire',transfer to one called 'Cemetery',ride six blocks and get off,at Elysian Fields
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Connections

Version of Great Performances: A Streetcar Named Desire (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Lange and Baldwin's stage performances captured on film
20 November 2004 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

This made for TV movie of the classic Tennessee Williams play was produced following the Broadway revival starring Jessica Lange and Alex Baldwin, that was not critically well-received. Given the Hollywood marquee names of the stars, the idea that a film would be made with them is not too surprising, though we were deprived of Amy Madigan's Stella. (Ironically Lange's performance on stage had been criticized as being 'for the camera').

Given the gay context of Blanche DuBois as a fading old maid at 30, Lange is too old to play her, and her sturdy physicality works against the standard interpretation of Blanche as an Ophelia-ish lightweight. (Lange's waist makes the idea that Blanche has not gained weight in 10 years unintentionally funny). However Lange provides redemptive brilliant touches, that make her Blanche more accessible than that of Vivien Leigh in the 1951 feature, with Leigh's theatrical Gothic Blanche looking as if she would fit into The Munsters. (Don't get me started on Ann-Margret and the way she threw away Williams' lines in her TVM). Lange has fun with the southern accent, and makes you appreciate the beauty and wit of Williams' language. Witness what she does with Blanche's story of the death of her first husband, which director Glenn Jordan rewards her with a close-up for the climax, where she is touching in her hesitance and sorrow. Lange also looks very beautiful in half-shadow when Blanche confesses her indiscretions, though she is lit so well otherwise that the idea that Mitch has never seen Blanche 'properly' reads as silly. The mature Lange mannerisms - her giggling, whispering, preening and fidgeting - draw attention to the performance, and she does not use her low vocal tones enough, but still, this is a performance we should be glad has been captured.

Baldwin does not repeat the mistake of Treat Williams in the A-M TVM. He does not try to imitate Brando, but rather underplays his Stanley, which also does not detract from the character's cruelty. Baldwin shows his attraction to Lange's Blanche, which Brando never really did with Leigh, and his hairy chest still alludes to the hunk appeal that Stanley has for Stella. John Goodman's casting as Mitch was presumably at the suggestion of Lange, since he has appeared with her in many films, and he supplies delicate line readings. I suppose Diane Lane was cast as Stella for her earthiness, but she doesn't really match up as Lange's sister, and doesn't suggest the breeding Stella is supposed to have had.

Jordan doesn't get in Lange's way for the most part, and he succeeds in translating the piece fluidly from theater into film, though one shot of Blanche and Mitch standing apart on a porch makes us imagine how this would look on stage. The only time we are aware of the camera-work is in the last scene, where he repeats a shot of Blanche as she screams, somewhat gratuitously. That last scene is handled simply, with Blanche's fate and Lange's casting inevitably drawing parallels with Frances Farmer.

Although this version of the play allows for what was censored in the original production eg Blanche's husband's being a 'degenerate, thematically the treatment still has some trouble spots. Here Blanche seems to offer little resistance to Stanley's rape, and Stella does not reject Stanley once her sister is taken away. That rape remains as an in-balance in the power struggle - something you would think to be unforgivable by Stella, and certainly undeserving to Blanche. She may have been a relative overstaying her welcome, but is Blanche believable as a force that could destroy Stanley's marriage?


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