2018 Blind Spot Series: A Streetcar Named Desire


What I knew going in: Nothing, really. 

Blanche (Vivien Leigh) travels to New Orleans to visit her sister Stella (Kim Hunter) after her property is seized. It's clear she's stressed and accustomed to living a certain way. Stella's husband Stanley (Marlon Brando) only seems to make things worse during her stay. 

This was another pick that I went off mostly by title. I've never seen nor read the Tennessee Williams play this is based on, so it was all new to me. The heaviness of it surprised me. I feel like the majority of classic films I've seen don't have the emotional weight that more films nowadays do. 

The actors are outstanding, especially Vivien Leigh who absolutely steals the show here. I think Blanche is written very sympathetically. At first glance, she could seem stuck up and naive but all I wanted was for good things to happen to her throughout. It made me wish someone would've just sat down and had an actual conversation with her. Brando's Stanley was a massive asshole and he played him perfectly. 

I kind of wish this film had been in color. The sets looked so beautiful on their own that I think this would've really complimented it. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-


Memorable quote: "I don't want realism, I want magic!" - Blanche (Vivien Leigh)

22 comments:

  1. This is one of those films I've been wanting to see mainly because of Brando going STELLA!!!!!

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    1. Even after watching this, I still think of Franco yelling it in The Disaster Artist lol

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  2. So happy you liked this. It's an amazing film. Read the play in high school and that was a fun experience. I need to revisit though. It's been a lot of years since I saw it.

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    1. I'd like to read the play myself, from IMDb it sounds like they went a bit light with the film. (though I like the film's ending better because fuck Stanley)

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  3. This is an excellent book and a great film. Many 50's films were heavy like this because they would redo the plays that were on Broadway. Vivien leigh was brilliant and even more so since she was getting shock treatments during this time

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    1. I read that she was being treated for bipolar disorder during this. She was fantastic.

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    2. yes she was and this was at a time when doctors didn't know how to treat it and there were not the advancements we have today. She had to undergo electric shock therapy and play this role which must have been tough plus Marlon Brando was a creep. He knew Vivien Leigh was of breeding, as one use to say. She did not like how he sweated on set and had bad breath and he took advantage of this and goaded her which did not help her fragile state.

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    3. Brando seemed immensely unlikable from everything I've read about him. Poor Vivien.

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  4. Absolutely one of the greatest films ever made. The acting is just out of this world - I can't believe Brando didn't win the Oscar. He really should have, then all four leads would have won. I think Vivien Leigh in this is maybe the greatest film performance ever. So glad you liked this!

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    1. I'm surprised he didn't. Not that I've seen all of his competition but he was just as good as everyone else aside from Vivien who was just next level.

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  5. I haven't seen this yet but it's one of those movies I feel like I've just always known the name of. Glad it's a good one though! Hopefully I'll do Blind Spot next year and include this one.

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    1. You should definitely do Blind Spots, they're helpful!

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  6. This one is so good and dark and wonderful.

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  7. Great review! I adore this movie, and I truly think Brando changed the perception of what acting can be with his performance.

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    1. I'm really surprised he was the only one that didn't win an Oscar here.

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  8. Nice review! Vivien Leigh steals the show for me. She's stunning. Love the production too.

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  9. I respect the film mightily though I can't say I love it. It's just too dark for that.

    It's interesting to watch the two intersecting acting styles of Brando and Vivien Leigh and how they attract and repel each other. I'd agree that Leigh makes the strongest impression, she really was such a fantastic film actress it's a pity she didn't do more but she preferred the stage partly it seems because that's where Olivier's heart was and she strove to be his equal there. She was well regarded but being such an internal performer she came through better on celluloid. If you haven't seen them I'd recommend Waterloo Bridge, Sidewalks of London, That Hamilton Woman and Ship of Fools among her films.

    I can't envision this in color since the shadows of black and white were almost another character in the film.

    It's not something I rewatch often nor is it my favorite Williams adaptation, I prefer The Night of the Iguana and Suddenly, Last Summer, but it's a fine film.

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    1. Suddenly, Last Summer is also on my Blind Spot list this year. Looking forward to that.

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  10. LOVE this one, so happy you like it. Leigh and Brando were magnificent.

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