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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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Popularity
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

The play takes place entirely in the Kowalski's apartment and their front square. The movie adds more locations, such as a bus station, a bowling alley, a dance hall, a dock, and Stanley's plant. See more »

Goofs

When Stanley and his friend bring Blanche's trunk into the apartment, Stella hides behind a curtain because she is not yet dressed and wearing her slip. Yet as soon as Blanche asks her to retrieve her "blue net," she loses her modesty and walks freely in front of the same guy she had just hidden herself from. 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

The scene in which Blanche and Stanley first meet was edited a bit to take out some of the sexual tension that both had towards each other when the film was first released in 1951. In 1993, this footage was restored in the "Original Director's Version" of the film. The three minutes of newly-added footage sticks out from the rest of the film because Warner Brothers did not bother to restore these extra film elements along with the rest of the movie, leaving them very scratchy due to deterioration. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dukes of Hazzard: Heiress Daisy Duke (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Antebellum Delusions
16 October 2005 | by LechuguillaSee 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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