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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
2,887 ( 1,317)
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:

...Blanche, who wanted so much to stay a lady... 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

During her birthday dinner, Blanche begins telling a joke which Stanley interrupts. In the play, she finishes the joke, which told of an old maid who had a parrot with a lot of profanity in its vocabulary. The joke goes, "The only way to silence the parrot was to cover its cage with a cloth so it would think it was night time and go to sleep. One morning, the pastor comes to visit the woman right after she uncovered his cage, so she had to immediately cover it again. The pastor came inside and heard the parrot say, 'G**damn, that was a short day!'" See more »

Goofs

When Mitch embraces Blanche, she puts her arm around his shoulders, which changes between shots, either her left one or her right one. 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 What's Happening!!: The Burger Queen (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

The Japanese Sandman
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Ray Egan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"I've Always Depended On The Kindness Of Strangers."
20 October 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When the history of American theater is written for the 20th Century the two most prominent names will be Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams. Both men pushed the exploration of the human soul to the very limit in their work. Writing drama will never be the same because of the work of these two men.

Williams's masterpiece is A Streetcar Named Desire which ran over 860 performances in three years. When Warner Brothers bought the film rights, they did the highly unusual thing of bringing almost the entire Broadway cast over. That included Marlon Brando for whom this was his second film. Brando was not a movie name yet and the decision was made to recast the female lead with Vivien Leigh instead of Jessica Tandy who played Blanche Dubois on Broadway.

In doing so this gave Vivien Leigh the very unique position of having played opposite the two men who are held up as male acting icons for the last century, Marlon Brando and Leigh's husband at the time Laurence Olivier. Certainly Blanche Dubois was unlike anything she ever did opposite Olivier.

In fact Blanche is opposite that other southern belle that Leigh got her first Oscar for, Scarlett O'Hara. Scarlett may come on like a spoiled brat at first, but she turns out to be made of some real stern stuff when the chips are down.

Blanche Dubois however retreats into her own fantasies when trouble brews. She's left the plantation home in a small Mississippi town where she doubles as an English teacher and comes to live with her sister Stella and her husband Stanley Kowalski.

Brando is Kowalski and for years impressionists did him by yelling from the pit of their abdomens, "STELLA, STELLA." That is until The Godfather and then they stuffed their cheeks and said how one day a favor would be asked in return.

But impressionists only make a living because of the impressions made by the players. On Broadway and Hollywood, Stanley Kowalski made Marlon Brando a superstar and an icon for a couple of generations. Kowalski as done by Brando is a force of nature, primeval impulses that bubble to the surface in all of us sometimes.

Kim Hunter as Stella Kowalski and Karl Malden as Mitch Mitchell also won Oscars in the Supporting categories to go with Leigh's. Hunter is a torn women fighting both suspicions about her husband and her sister. The real reason why Blanche has come to live with them and the affect her silly flirtations are having on her husband and their marriage.

Malden as Mitchell starts out as passive and as nice as Jim Connor, the gentleman caller from that other Tennessee Williams masterpiece, A Glass Menagerie. But he proves to be something less than meets the eye in his dealings with Leigh.

A Streetcar Named Desire won all kinds of Awards, the three acting Oscars, one for Elia Kazan as Best Director and a whole bunch of technical ones. But An American In Paris won for Best Picture and Hollywood decided young Brando could wait for his and they gave it that year to Humphrey Bogart for The African Queen.

This film is still the best adaption to the screen of a Tennessee Williams play and is an absolute must to see.


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