Streetcar Named Desire [Import]
Looking for a benchmark in movie acting? Breakthrough performances don't come much more electrifying than Marlon Brando's animalistic turn as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Sweaty, brutish, mumbling, yet with the balanced grace of a prizefighter, Brando storms through the role--a role he had originated in the Broadway production of Tennessee Williams's celebrated play. Stanley and his wife, Stella (as in Brando's oft-mimicked line, "Hey, Stellaaaaaa!"), are the earthy couple in New Orleans's French Quarter whose lives are upended by the arrival of Stella's sister, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh). Blanche, a disturbed, lyrical, faded Southern belle, is immediately drawn into a battle of wills with Stanley, beautifully captured in the differing styles of the two actors. This extraordinarily fine adaptation won acting Oscars for Leigh, Kim Hunter (as Stella), and Karl Malden (as Blanche's clueless suitor), but not for Brando. Although it had already been considerably cleaned up from the daringly adult stage play, director Elia Kazan was forced to trim a few of the franker scenes he had shot. In 1993, Streetcar was rereleased in a "director's cut" that restored these moments, deepening a film that had already secured its place as an essential American work. --Robert Horton
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Top Customer Reviews
Stella is pregnant and married to Stanley (the inimitable Brando) who both abhors and is fascinated by his sister-in-law Blanche (and not just in a platonic manner.) Blanche in turn is interested in meeting new gentleman callers, as her great love once killed himself (as she tells us in one of the most riveting scenes in movie history.) Interesting note: the delivery boy she flirts with is Mickey Kuhn, who once played Leigh's nephew Beau in GWTW.
Blanche is so fragile that she has no choice but to break. Unfortunately, others hurry her down that path. Perhaps the worst thing one can do, it seems, is depend on the kindness of strangers.
Coming from someone who absolutely LOVED reading the play, I think this new ending is a complete cop out. Well, it is. I know it was forced on the studio from people who didn't think the original ending was "appropriate."
My advice: read the play. It's better. Actually, the movie is also really good as well....except when it gets to the ending.
All in all, I was really disappointed with how it ended. Should've stuck to the original ending that was in the play. I would've given it 5 stars had it not been for the ridiculous "forced" ending.
But that's just one man's opinion.
Directed by Elia Kazan, the movie is a Hollywood landmark film that features a legendary performance by Brando, who oozes masculine sex appeal and an animalistic intensity in every scene as Stanley Kowalski. It’s an emotionally raw performance that not only took method acting to a whole new level, but also inspired a whole generation of actors. Vivien Leigh is also divine as the trapped and desperate Blanche and Kim Hunter’s self-aware turn as the sensual Stella (that matches Stanley’s ferociousness), is phenomenal.
In the end, the film’s plot is rather simple, but this only serves to highlight the unforgettable characters that inhabit the hot, crumbling world of ‘Desire’. Just like the films sultry score, the characters get under your skin and stay there.
A Streetcar Named Desire offers a beautiful B&W video transfer and a decent audio presentation. Special features include an edited multisource audio commentary, ‘Elia Kazan: A Director’s Journey’ PBS documentary (76 min), five in depth behind-the-scenes featurettes (totaling about 95 min), Marlon Brando’s screen test (5 min), outtakes (16 min), audio outtakes (17 min), and three trailers (7 min).
A Streetcar Named Desire is definitely a classic and offers solid video & audio quality, an impressive collection of special features, and an atmospheric landscape filled with legendary performances. Highly Recommended.
Pulitzer-Prize-winning "A Streetcar Named Desire" dates from the peak of Williams's creativity, the period between 1944 ("A Glass Menagerie") and 1955 ("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," his second Pulitzer-winner). After its successful 1947 run on Broadway, "Streetcar" was adapted into a screenplay by Williams himself for this movie produced and directed by Elia Kazan, starring the entire Broadway cast except Jessica Tandy, who was replaced by the star of the play's London production, Vivien Leigh. The piece takes its title from one of the New Orleans streetcar lines that protagonist Blanche DuBois (Leigh) rides on her way to the apartment of her sister Stella (Kim Hunter), foreshadowing her later path, from (ever-unfulfilled) Desire to Cemetery (death, or the loss of reality) and a street called Elysian Fields, like the ancient mythological land of the dead.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Mon film préféré que je considère comme un chef-d'oeuvre. Brando excellent mais que dire du personnage de Vivien Leigh un film EXCEPTIONNEL. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jacques Potvin
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE  [60th Anniversary Edition] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import] Perhaps The Most Thrilling Display of Ensemble Acting in this All... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
A good quality rendition of the play. Many key scenes have been censored due to contextual restraints so don't count on this to be entirely true to the original text. Read morePublished 20 months ago by JoyG
It's a gift which I'm sure the person I bought it for will be happy to receive it. Thank youPublished on Dec 19 2012 by Laura Bush Giles
The DVD arrived in timely fashion, the quality was excellent (I had been worried about that, but all was okay, it turned out) and the material on the second disc was wonderful. Read morePublished on April 27 2010 by Dean Taylor
With obvious rekindled interest because of the recent death of Marlon Brando, this "one of a kind" film is making a deserved comback. Read morePublished on July 11 2004