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Overall Rating
4.42

Awesome70%
Worth A Look: 16%
Average: 6%
Pretty Bad: 2%
Total Crap: 6%

2 reviews, 38 user ratings


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Streetcar Named Desire, A
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by Slyder

"Milestone in Cinema History? Damn Right It Is"
5 stars

Watching this movie is such a unique experience. One of the best films (and the weirdest too) I’ve seen in a while. A Streetcar Named Desire will grab you from its opening frames all the way to the end, thanks largely to 4, yes 4 hugely impressive performances by the 4 lead actors: Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden and then-newcomer Marlon Brando, whom once was quoted saying that “the movie was better than the play (which was written and adapted for the screen by legendary playwright Tennessee Williams who in fact, won the prestigious Pullitzer Prize for this play).” We have to agree.

Blanche Dubois (Leigh) is a shaky, neurotic ex-English teacher who just arrives to New Orleans seeking refuge with her sister Stella (Hunter) and his husband Stanley Kowalski (Brando). Blanche is trying to escape the horror of his romance with a 17-year-old boy back in Mississippi. She tells Stella that she has nervous exhaustion, due to a series of financial calamities that plagued her and the family plantation at Belle Reve, which in the end, was lost. Stanley though is suspicious, and starts researching about the truth behind that matter. Tensions arise between Blanche and Stanley that soon the later starts behaving savagely against her, Stella, and everything that surround him. Blanche then meets one of Stanley’s friends, Mitch (Malden), whom he falls in love with, but when Stella’s past soon starts catching up with her, the resulting chaos will be unbearable not only for her but for her entire family.

Mr. Elia Kazan, I praise you for such a fine job that you did with this film. This film required actors that could be capable of impersonating the complex characters that the story has, and what a great job did the casting made. The film’s greatness lies solely on the acting and directing. Vivien Leigh was amazing as the neurotic Blanche. I can’t believe she managed to pull off such a role like this. Leigh plays his character to absolute perfection; she never overacts, like in the case of Faye Dunaway and her shitty portrayal of Joan Crawford in the turd Mommie Dearest. Leigh manages to give the character the necessary emotions, and like I said, never overacts, especially in the scenes where she has to recite lots of dialogue (typical trademark of plays), sometimes all by herself. For some people the overwhelming dialogue may be to tiresome, but once again, it’s the acting that manages to save it from annoyance. Marlon Brando is masterful as Stanley Kowalski in an impressive, riveting, blue-collar performance. I always have heard of Brando’s “method” of acting and how it was so influential in the movie and theater industries. I can see why. Brando gives out big emotions, never restraining himself of any manners. Many actors tend to restrain themselves due to the ever-present dangers of overacting, or giving too much force to their character that could result in their performance being too cartoonish or ridiculous. But Brando never overdoes it, not even in his physical appearance, since we see his character wearing a sweaty T-Shirt that hides those muscles, and his sexually charged ego, and his attitude being brutal, animalistic, and greedy. He hits his character dead-on and completely steals the movie. But Vivien Leigh is not far behind and manages to match Brando’s pace in the same range. But still, amazing acting from these two. But Kim Hunter and Karl Malden aren’t far behind. Hunter’s pivotal role as Blanche’s sister serves as an intermediary on both Blanche and Stanley, not to mention one of the important factors in the steamy mix of Stella and Stanley’s marriage. Karl Malden is also great as Blanche’s love interest, and has many memorable moments, like the scene where Blanche’s stability starts to crumble as her dark past is revealed. I can’t put any more words to describe this. Quite simply, the greatest acting example ever caught on film.

Elia Kazan’s directing is excellent. He and Cinematographer Harry Stradling, manage to capture the explosive and hard-hitting moments of the film, like the infamous rape scene and my favorite “poker loosing” scene, where Brando after loosing the poker game erupts into madness and starts assaulting and destroying everything he finds. Also the immediate scene after that, where the camera manages to catch the immensity of the lust and the love that Stella and Stanley have between each other. This film was extremely controversial when it was released back in 1951 since censors (damn them) criticized the film for its dealing with subjects and references like homosexuality, nymphomania, domestic violence, sexual obsession, hysteria, and rape. I always have been against certain degrees of censorship, which does nothing else but fucking off and taking away the realism and the many important and crucial parts of movies. Kazan had to fight these fucks to let him give out a realistic portrayal that was truthful to the play, and lost. They forbid him of shooting certain scenes, and he was forced to cut several key moments of many scenes. Thankfully, five important minutes were restored later, and it made a big difference on the movie itself. Censorship is for assholes that are afraid of facing the truth and the reality of real-life situations and that nothing in life is pretty. Thank God that there are movies like this one, The Wild Bunch, and Bonnie and Clyde that finally broke the censorship crap and gave filmmaking a more realistic and more broadening scope full of mature and challenging ideas at hand. Tennessee Williams’s screenplay is top notch and never misses a beat of the play. Hats off to that.

In the end, stop reading this review since words don’t add up to nothing if you haven’t seen the movie, so get your couple of dollars and rent this film. It’s a worthy experience mainly because here’s a great example on how acting is one of the important aspects of filmmaking. What, you’re still here? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING FOR???!!! SEE IT!!!

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2081&reviewer=235
originally posted: 07/14/02 14:49:15
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User Comments

4/12/12 keith miron Too slow and talkitive 1 stars
2/20/10 PAUL SHORTT DECORATIVE AND WELL ACTED 4 stars
1/27/10 art ONE OF BRANDO"S MASTERPIECE"S! 4 stars
5/05/08 Bob Smith The movie was not great at all 2 stars
10/08/07 mr.mike notable mostly for the performances 4 stars
7/28/07 R.W. Welch This cast could do the phone book and make it interesting. 4 stars
11/28/06 Doug the best film acting on celluoid.Vivien Leigh is BRILLIANT! An absolute classic!! 5 stars
11/02/06 Danielle I think this movie is a bit overated,and I couldnt see why Viven's performance was so great 3 stars
3/31/04 Rose Marlon Brando, hot, Vivien Leigh, phenomenal, great writing by Tennesee Williams 4 stars
12/20/03 Kent Mesmerizing, great classic! 5 stars
12/08/03 amy fab 5 stars
12/06/03 john phenomenal adaptatopn of the play - just the scene on the steps alone is worth it! 5 stars
11/25/03 Carl Handratty Slyder is an uneducated cockbite who believes vulgarity can mask stupidity. Get rid of him 4 stars
11/23/03 La :) i've seen the other 2 versions, and this is the best. marlin brando is gorgeous 4 stars
11/19/03 Matthias Henkel excellent performance in one of the most tantalizing plays ever written 5 stars
11/11/03 Miss Loafy Marlon Brando makes me want to die. The sensuality is too much. I like rewinded the meow :) 4 stars
8/06/03 Putski A ho-hum named desire 1 stars
7/22/03 JL Vivien Leigh is the best! 5 stars
6/15/03 Anne a typical hollywood ending. they should of stuck to the original on that one. 5 stars
5/30/03 The Bitchfucker Brando and Leigh are great. The movie is dopey soap opera theatrics, horribly overrated 3 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink Jessica, Talonsoft and Katherine!!! Thou shall burn in HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/07/03 natasha_theobald powerful performances of brilliant writing 5 stars
12/06/02 jocelyn vera it was ok 5 stars
7/14/02 Charles Tatum If you don't like this film, seek professional help 5 stars
5/20/02 Kristen It was hard watching my idol being tortured by Brando, but it was one of Viv's best 5 stars
5/10/02 Robert N. De Santis One of the most beautifully realized and shattering films that I have ever seen. 5 stars
2/27/02 Jessica shitty movie 1 stars
10/21/01 Andrew Carden Broadway Musical: Great, Movie: What Do Ya Think? 5 stars
3/07/01 katharine does anyone else think Hunter overdid the jumping on Brando all the time?! 3 stars
1/15/01 Skip If you liked this, check out BABY DOLL, also by Tennessee Williams. 5 stars
12/15/00 Nome Wow! Marlon's AWESOME! 5 stars
12/12/00 Francine Awesome 5 stars
10/28/00 Mic Stirring adaptation (even slight change of ending justified) with perfect casting. 5 stars
10/25/00 Helen Northington It was really good. 5 stars
9/02/00 Simsey Pretty damn good 5 stars
8/11/00 Elvisfan Blows almost everything else out of the water, of course 5 stars
6/02/00 Kevin Probably the best film ever made...Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter...wow 5 stars
4/17/00 Sofia Kavakoglou It was one of the most remarkable movies I have ever seen in my entire life! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Dec-1951
  DVD: 02-May-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Elia Kazan

Written by
  Oscar Saul
  Tennessee Williams

Cast
  Vivien Leigh
  Marlon Brando
  Kim Hunter
  Karl Malden
  Rudy Bond
  Nick Dennis



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