A Streetcar Named Desire

D: Elia Kazan
Warner Bros (Charles K. Feldman)
US 1951
125 mins


W: Tennessee Williams & Oscar Saul [based on the play by Tennessee Williams]
DP: Harry Stradling
Ed: David Weisbart
Mus: Alex North
PD: Richard Day
Cos: Lucinda Ballard

Marlon Brando (Stanley Kowalski), Vivien Leigh (Blanche DuBois), Kim Hunter (Stella Kowalski), Karl Malden (Mitch)

It's almost ironic that Marlon Brando was the only one of the four principals to miss out on Oscar glory, since it's his performance which practically steals the film, although all the performances here are perfectly on point.
Based on Tennessee Williams' most famous play, Blanche DuBois, a neurotic widow visits her sister, Stella, in New Orleans and is taunted by her husband, Stanley, a brutish hunk, whose treatment of her pushes her slowly towards insanity.
This was amongst the first pieces of work to tackle the subject of domestic violence, and though its treatment of the subject is through old-fashioned eyes, the film holds up pretty well over the test of time, mostly due to the scintillating performances of the four main actors, but also in respects of cinematography and production design, especially of the exterior shots, which really capture the seedy side of The Big Easy in the early 1950's.

Vivien Leigh & Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire
Vivien Leigh & Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire