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A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

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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.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

Tennessee Williams (screen play), Oscar Saul (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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2,607 ( 280)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vivien Leigh ... Blanche DuBois
Marlon Brando ... Stanley Kowalski
Kim Hunter ... Stella Kowalski
Karl Malden ... Harold 'Mitch' Mitchell
Rudy Bond ... Steve Hull
Nick Dennis ... Pablo Gonzalez
Peg Hillias Peg Hillias ... Eunice Hull
Wright King ... Newspaper Collector
Richard Garrick ... The Doctor
Ann Dere Ann Dere ... The Matron
Edna Thomas Edna Thomas ... The Mexican Woman
Mickey Kuhn ... The Helpful Sailor
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 December 1951 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Un tranvía llamado deseo See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite giving the definitive portrayal of Stanley Kowalski, Marlon Brando said he privately detested the character. However, it should be added that Brando was an eccentric character who loved misleading people and playing pranks. See more »

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. 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 »

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. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Die Hard 2 (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Varsouviana Polka/Warsaw Polka
(uncredited)
By Anna Slezakova
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"Classical" vs. "Method"
27 March 2003 | by harry-76See all my reviews

Now that this filmization of "Streetcar" is over a half century old, it can be looked at in a more objective manner than that of the early fifties. The "classical/traditional" acting style of Vivien Leigh, which was placed in stark contrast to the rest of the production personnel, continues to hold its own brilliantly.

It's probably hard today for some to imagine the strong opposition Leigh's casting faced back in 1950, when this prim actress from England was chosen (mostly by studio chief Jack Warner) over "method" Broadway actress Jessica Tandy.

A goodly number of cast and production people from the hit play directed by Elia Kazan were engaged by the director for the film version, and they were not at all enthusiastic about risking a "clash" of acting styles in the leading, pivotal role of Blanche. Kazan himself was reportedly very pro-Tandy, and quite disappointed in the studio's decision.

Yet, Warner and his staff felt Tandy wasn't that well known to the general movie going public--especially in contrast to Leigh, whose marquee name was by then almost magical. In recent interviews, Kazan admitted that working with Vivien was "a real challenge."

In looking at the film today, however, it's Leigh who emerges as a genuine "star" of this production. True, her facial expressions, vocal inflections and body gestures may be the result of careful, deliberate planning, but so what? It's also the aspect that commands attention and draws the viewer to her portion of the screen throughout this film.

Her southern accent, so well learned and retained from her work as Scarlett in "GWTW," is convincing and very beautiful to hear. It also fits Blanche perfectly, as does Leigh's stylized "choreography," which was undoubtedly retained from her long-running London stage performance.

Not all the combined, formidable talents of "method" giants as Karl Malden, Kim Hunter, Marlon Brando or Kazan can diminish the hypnotic work of Leigh here. It may not have excited "Gadge" Kazan, but it remains a highlight performance in film history (and impressed the Academy enough to bestow an "Oscar" to Vivien.)

It also didn't hurt to have Alex North's pungent score, which remains this composer's finest hour.


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