- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Vivien Leigh in The Performance of a Lifetime
Vivien Leigh is among a handful of players who sank their teeth into meaty roles as older actresses. She was brazen, brash, and beautiful as Scarlett in Gone With The Wind. Here she channels the hopelessness, delusion, depression, and abandonment of pitiful Blanche. Similar to Liz Taylor in Virginia Wolf and Betty Davis in Baby Jane, the pain of Leigh's performance is difficult to watch. But it's impossible to look away. One minute, she needs comforting. The next minute, she deserves a slap. In learning more about Leigh's real life at this stage in her career, she was suffering from untreated manic depression. It would not be overstated to say she gives the performance of her life here. Brando is abusive and irritating as Stanley. His co-star Kim Hunter Oscar-ed for supporting actress as his wife. But this film belongs to Vivien Leigh and her Best Actress Oscar was well-deserved. Classic.
- Arch Stanton
"A Streetcar Named Desire" is essentially a highly stylized, feature-length episode of the Jerry Springer Show. Brando's "method acting," like James Dean's, was garbage.Spoiler alert: There's a lot of pointless hollering and breaking of things (mostly by a sweaty idiot whose shirts keep getting ripped with inexplicable ease), but through it all, nothing interesting happens.On a positive note, this film/play is slightly less obnoxious than the equally vapid soap opera "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
A Streetcar Named Desire
- Michael Whitty
Winner of 3 acting Academy Awards and almost a fourth for Marlon Brando as this became Brando's breakout film as we see Stanley Kowalski make do with his sister-in-law Blanche in New Orleans. Director Elia Kazan, who later won again with Brando in "On The Waterfront", lets Brando go with the rage and temperament that Stanley displays with wild tantrums. Actually Vivian Leigh as Blanche gives a classic performance but this film might be more remembered for Brando.
A Peep Show Called Cheap Fire
It is like watching the sleazy fighting that sometimes goes on in low/no income housing projects (sans les tattoos) from the comfort of one's home!
Brando Fan Here !
- DON RILEY
John Gresham can dislike Brando all he wants. Fine ! But, I would like him to search the theater companies and films since where anyone performed the role of Stanley Kowalski on par with Brando. I would like to know about that ? Brando's performance is only eclipsed by Leigh's performance ( very possibly the finest ever by a female in a Film role). Brando's Stanley is the equal to any ten polished professionals attempting to duplicate Tennessee Williams's complicated ape.
Thank you England! Breathtaking, perfect performance by Vivian Leigh.
The Emperor Has No Clothes
- Joella Lyndon
Watching this movie for the 3rd time the Hans Christian Andesen story: "Keiserens nye Klder" came to mind. Marlon Brando and Tennessee Williams are 2 of the most over-rated celebrities ever to receive pop culture accolades.In this film Brando sounds as though he needs emergency nasal surgery for a deviated septum. Or perhaps just hard core saline nasal lavage. Because I have never read the actual story, based on his pseudo accent, I assumed Brando's Kowalski character originated from the Cheese State, and it was simply overlooked when writing the movie script. Now there's a culture shock: Cheese State Kowalski goes to New Orleans French Quarters. It was widely reported that Marlon Brando hated Kowalski's sex symbol label vicariously given to him by the pop culture at the time. And then we have Thomas 'Tennessee' Williams. This man's mostly parentless childhood and openly homosexual adulthood was the definition of troubled which resulted in a skewed vision of humanity and a perverted understanding of all things sexual. Yet based on the popularity of his works and the adoration of today's critics one would think he was a combination of Shakespeare and The Pope incarnate. Mr. Williams pen debased all that was good. His women were victims of their minds and of their men. His leading men were mostly brutish or addicted to some type of substance (usually alcohol). He reveled in the 'sins' of humanity. He brought his audences and readers down to his compromised and confused thought-life. He tore down our hopes and dreams rather than lifting us up to something of which we could strive. Thus directly setting the trend of modern prose, theater, and films. The reality is quite different than the populist creation of this actor and author. Which leads us to ask: are all populist icons worth our adoration? Do we truly think about what we're allowing into our mind > to mold and conform? And most importantly: are we deceived?
I love this movie !
One of the top ten movies ever filmed. The cast is excellent.
Vivien Leigh in a Streetcar Named Desire
Vivien Leigh is perfection in the role of Blanche. She is so delicate and broken that no other actress could have played this character and make you feel such sympathy for her. The entire cast is wonderful. The film is mesmerizing.
Overwrought acting in a schmaltz film!
I despise this film and the acting within it. Karl Malden is about the only actor in it that doesn't go over the top. I've watched the film twice, the second time just to see if I had the wrong impression the first time. I didn't. As sexually attractive as Brando is here, his use of the method in his acting always turned me off, as it does with James Dean's method acting and all the others who thought "the method" was worth studying for hours on how to project if you were a tomato! I fully realize I am the only reviewer with these views but to each his own and this is simply not my idea of acting OR entertainment! The truly great actors, Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Claude Raines, et al, did not need a contrivance to be believable!
The Pinnacle of Perfection
This is the one to emulate when it comes right down to raw emotion in ensemble movie-making. From start to finish, EVERYTHING about this movie is pure PERFECTION. Truly one of the most compelling portrayals of pure humanity at its most primitive, deep level. Never grows old. My favorite is the end when Blanche says "I always did rely on the kindness of strangers." JUST GREAT!!!
Light hearted, casual and fun...no, but entertainment none-the-less. To watch a woman's descent into madness, to feel and understand her anguish only serves to intensifies the insanity that overwhelms her, closing in on her as the movable walls embrace her on the set...Leigh IS magnificent, a beauty no matter her age, yet her reality was not too different from that of Blanche's. Brando...is Brando...no more need be said...To watch it many times is needed, the nuances are such that they need to be seen, to be felt, to become one with the magic.
Great film for film lovers and critics.
This is an excellent film. So is Citizen Kane. However they both lack the quintessential reason the majority of the majority spend time and money. And that is to entertained, not informed. The world is a gritty place, and gritty films that accurately portray that fact are to be commended as intellectual triumphs. I give this film 4 stars on that basis. However, I will not watch this film tonight, Nov 5, 2013 because I want to laugh and be entertained. That means a film which stars someone like Cary Grant, who never won an Oscar, or a film that will make me laugh (again) and one of my grandkids laugh for the first time.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Overall-4/5Lead Performers-5/5Supporting Cast-4/5Director-5/5Score-4/5Screenplay-4/5Cinematography-2 1/2 out of 5Importance-4/5Recommendation for fans of the genre-4/5
Kazan, Williams, Masterpiece!
- Herbie Harwell
A masterpiece! Young Brando as Stanley is caged within himself, Stella is the caring sister who found twisted love, Mitch falling for Blanche, but rejecting her because of his conditioning, and then there's Blanche...A weak aging lady who was forced to be strong until she broke. Kazan's style is distinctive and his trademark portrait is brilliant! Hunter and Mauldin are perfect, the young Brando is wonderful. This classic is my favorite Williams and loaded with atmosphere, sometimes crossing into disturbing yet powerful illusion. I highly recommend this film for all movie lovers. Vivien Leigh was labeled the greatest film actress in the world for her work in "Gone With the Wind"... In "A Streetcar Named Desire", she proves it!
a street car named
- john randall
this movie makes my skin crawl. hot, muggy, sweaty, dirty, humid yuck. i can take about two minutes of this dark depressing boring stuff and its run, go take a nice shower and go find something fun and cheerful to do.
Overwrought in parts...
Yes, solid performances all around, but it gets 4 stars from me for crossing over into melodrama one too many times. This is as sexy as Brando will ever get (they tailored his white T-shirts to get that close fit), Karl Malden's turn as the rejected suitor is heartbreaking,and Blanche's descent into madness is palpable. Maybe it didn't come across as overwrought when it was performed on stage; I had the same problem with "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Film is so up close and personal in a way the stage isn't, so I think stage plays translated to film can be tough, since you almost have to "under-act" your lines for the big screen...
vivien mary hartley
viviens performance in this film is the greatest female perf of all time...everything about this film is top drawer but her tender and patethic portrayal are not to be equaled...they say that genius is one stop away from madness...truer words were never spoken...rest in peace dear vivien, you deserve it. :(
Adored Vivien Leigh in Streecar but she was at her best in Ship of Fools (her character was worried about getting old in this film as well) She was so believable in the scene when she starts dancing all by herself in the ship's hallway but when she lets Lee Marvin's character have it was even more laughable. Talented, beautiful, comedic; yes she was magical all by herself. Brando should have received the Oscar for sure. He was robbed... He makes my Phi Beta Kappa key jump!
"I don't want realism I want magic!"
- Dan O'Callaghan
"So cries the desperate, cornered Blanche DuBois, and as portrayed by Vivien Leigh this is one of the most extraordinary film performances of all time. Although all the cast is superb, Ms. Leigh's brilliance remains long after the film is over, haunting and heartbreaking. Along with her legendary Scarlett O'Hara, these are two towering achievements from one of the most exquisite, talented and tormented actresses of all time. Today would be her 99th birthday, Happy Birthday Vivien! Also, many thanks to the best network on television TCM for this all day birthday celebration!
A Streetcar named Desire
- Dashiell Barnes
A near-flawless adaptation of William's play. The first film to win 3/4 acting awards, the honouree's were Leigh whose magnificent as DuBois, as well as Malden & Hunter in their supporting performances. Brando was the only person overlooked for a sensational, powerful performance as Kowalski. Oscar-winning art direction & Alex North's score add to the feeling of being in the world conceived by Williams & brought to reality by director Kazan. A terrific romantic-drama. I give it a 5/5.
This movie is amazing. I love everything about this film. Brando is so animalistic, cruel, and devilishly sexy. He came through the screen. The scene where he snatched the plates off the table is so riveting. On of the best scenes in cinematic history in my opinion. I absolutely loved how delusional Blanche DuBois is, but I sympathize with her. Vivien Leigh was amazing in the role. The whole movie is fantastic and Tennessee Williams are knows how to write a Southern drama.
Very good, but overrated
Wonderful acting, well crafted characters and dialogue are the highlights of this film. However, the storyline is too soapy and melodramatic (for my tastes at least). I've seen most of the prominent Tennessee Williams adaptations, and this was one of the least impressive (Still far better than "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone").
Brando is a force of nature
- John G
He simply chews up the scenery. I'm surprised the film held the image of him.
Another Vivien Leigh Triumph!!!!!!
One Of Brando's Best
- Bruce Reber
"A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951), an excellent film version of Tennessee Williams' play directed by Elia Kazan, was Marlon Brando's second film, and he gives an iconic performance as Stanley Kowalski, one that would go on to define his career as one of our best actors - he should have won the Best Actor Oscar, but instead it went to Humphrey Bogart for "The African Queen". Vivian Leigh as Blanche DuBois the emotionally fragile schoolteacher, Kim Hunter as Stanley's long-suffering wife Stella, and Karl Malden as Stanley's friend Mitch, who has an ill-fated romance with Blanche are all excellent in their roles, and all three won Oscars. I have noticed that the line "Flores Para Las Muertas" or "Flowers For The Dead" spoken by the Spanish woman is also used in "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf", when George (Richard Burton) says it to Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) when he reveals to her that their imaginary son is dead. "Streetcar" is one of my favorite film adaptations of a Williams play, the others are "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", "Suddenly Last Summer", "Sweet Bird Of Youth" and "Night Of The Iguana". Please show the latter soon TCM, it's been a while since I've seen "Night Of The Iguana".
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
- Jay Higgins
Brilliant adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play. The cast is incredible, Vivien Leigh is amazing, Marlon Brando is perfectly cast. The direction outstanding. Superb in all respects.
A MUST SEE
LOVE THIS MOVIE GREATEST OF ALL TIME
Breathtakingly sordid brilliance
- Roger J W
Vivien Leighs performance is the finest Ive ever seen on the screen
Oh..my..goodness. When this film finished i was literally gasping for breath. Brando's performance took my breath away!! I recommend it to anyone!!!!
A star is born
Only a precious few times you witness a star in the makings of this magnitude in motion pictures history. In 1951, audiences seen something different and great with Marlin. He broke through on the screen with great range and depth and set the standards of film acting with this movie.
A GREAT FILM
MARLON BRANDO AND VIVIEN LEIGH ARE ONE OF A KIND IN THIS FILM ADAPATION OF THIS TENNESSEE WILLIAMS PLAY. IT IS A GRIPPING FILM FROM START TO FINISH.ELIA KAZAN DOES A GREAT JOB AT DIRECTING THIS FILM.IT IS TRULY A CLASSIC.
A must indeed
This film is far superior to anything Ive seen in the last ten years, Tennessee Williams haunting play is fantastic. This movie is a must see. Not to mention that Vivian Leigh and Marlon Brando star is this gem..its a must see, must own..
- Barry Phillips
Spectacular. Uncomfortably riveting performances and flawless atmosphere. A haunting, true classic of the "filmed stage play" genre.