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A Streetcar Named Desire - DVD cover

A Streetcar Named Desire 

OSCAR WINNER - 1951 • Best Actress - Vivien Leigh • Best Sup. Actor - Karl Malden • Best Sup. Actress - Kim Hunter • Best Production Design - B/W AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE: • 100 Years... 100 Movies (1998): #45 • 100 Years... 100 Passions (2002): #67 • 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes (2005): ”Stella! Hey, Stella!” - #45 ”I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers” - #75 • 100 Years... 100 Movies - 10th Anniversary Edition (2007): #47 NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY: 1999 A WHITE-HEAT CLASH OF PASSIONS THAT MADE MOTION-PICTURE HISTORY. Two-time Academy Award-winning director Elia Kazan took his Broadway stage hit A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and turned it into not just a motion picture but a film masterpiece, a cinematic experience so powerful and passionate that Tennessee Williams - who won the Pulitzer Prize for his play - favored the screen version over the play’s original staging. Filled with unforgettable performances, STREETCAR became the first film to garner three of the Academy’s four acting awards. Vivien Leigh won as Best Actress for her portrayal of Blanche du Bois, a fading Southern beauty clinging to her illusory world of aristocratic gentility. And Karl Malden and Kim Hunter both received Best Supporting Oscars for their brilliant performances as well. But the most lasting impression was left by 27-year-old Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski, the T-shirted thug who destroys Blanche’s feeble grip on reality. Brando’s performance brought him the first of four consecutive Academy Award nominations... and it introduced to a wider moviegoing public the trend-setting, naturalistic acting style called “the Method.” A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE was also a motion-picture breakthrough for its intimate treatment of sexual situations. Said SATURDAY REVIEW, STREETCAR challenged “taboos that have kept American films evasive and often ridiculous when it comes to presenting certain aspects of sexual behavior.” Masterful direction. Flawless performances. Historically bold subject matter. These elements combine to make A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE a film masterpiece. TRIVIA: • As the film progresses, the set of the Kowalski apartment actually gets smaller to heighten the suggestion of Blanche’s increasing claustrophobia. • Vivien Leigh, who suffered from bipolar disorder in real life, later had serious difficulties in distinguishing her real life from that of Blanche du Bois. • As if 2017, this is one of only two films in Oscar history to win three Academy Awards for acting. The other is NETWORK. • Vivien Leigh, who was only 36 at the time of filming, had to be made up to look older. • Although Leigh initially thought Brando to be affected and he thought her to be impossibly stuffy and prim, both soon became friends and the cast worked together smoothly. • Nine members of the original Broadway cast (Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, Rudy Bond, Nick Dennis, Peg Hilliard, Richard Garrick, Ann Dere and Edna Thomas) repeated their roles in the film adaptation, a highly unusual decision at the time and even today, when original casts of plays are often completely replaced for the film versions. However, Vivien Leigh, internationally renowned for her Oscar-winning performance as Scarlett O’Hara in GONE WITH THE WIND, was selected to play Blanche du Bois over Jessica Tandy, Broadway’s original Blanche, to add “star power” to the picture (Brando had not yet achieved full stardom in films; he would be billed in Leigh in the film’s credits). • Mickey Kuhn, who plays the young sailor who helps Leigh onto the streetcar in the film’s opening scene, has previously appeared with Leigh in GONE WITH THE WIND as Beau Wilkes (the son of Olivia de Havilland’s character Melanie) toward the end of that film when the character was age 5. When Kuhn mentioned this to someone else on the STREETCAR set, word got back to Leigh and she called him into her dressing room for a half-hour chat. In an interview in his seventies, Kuhn stated that Leigh was extremely kind to him and was “one of the loveliest ladies he had ever met.” • When the film was previewed in Santa Barbara in 1951, the director Elia Kazan’s date was a then obscure contract starlet, Marilyn Monroe, whom he introduced that evening to Arthur Miller. • Vivien Leigh had already played Blanche in the first London production of the play, under the direction of her then-husband, Laurence Olivier. She later said that Olivier’s direction of of that production influenced her performance in the film more than Elia Kazan’s direction of the film did. • Despite giving the definitive performance of Stanley Kowalski, Brando said he privately hated the character. However, it should be added that Brando was an eccentric character who loved misleading people and playing pranks. • Leigh initially felt completely at sea when she joined the tight New York cast in rehearsals for the film. Kazan was able to exploit her feelings of alienation and disorientation to enrich her performance. • For the London production, Leigh bleached her famous brunette locks. She wore bleached wigs throughout the film though, since Blanche was supposed to have ragged-looking hair and appear as someone who had lived a rough life. Because she did not trust the American hairdressers, Leigh air-mailed her wigs back to London to be cleaned and redressed by wig-maker and theatrical entrepreneur Stanley Hall. • The Catholic Legion of Decency threatened to sink the box office profits for the film with a Condemned rating. Kazan made a last ditch effort to get his un-cut version seen by the public. He asked Warner Bros to try releasing the film in both his director’s version and the edited version, with each clearly marked so audience members could choose for themselves. Warners said no and Kazan then campaigned for his director’s cut to be screened at the Venice Film Festival. Again, Warners refuses, since the Legion mandated that only their approved version could be released and the studio didn’t want to risk earning a Condemned rating which would hurt the film at the box office. As a result, Kazan’s version would not be seen until Warners restored the film in 1993. • Kazan initially resisted the idea of directing the film adaptation, as he felt that he had achieved everything he wanted with the stage version. It was only after Tennessee Williams implored him to take on the assignment that Kazan signed on. • Shot on a 36-day schedule. • The fact that Brando was passed over for an Academy Award in the one performance that almost singlehandedly started the Method Acting movement and is considered one of the very best performances ever on film is regarded as of the great travesties in the history of both the Academy Awards and Hollywood in general. • Considered to be one of fifteen motion pictures that forever changes American cinema. • The poetry quote, “... and if God choose, I shall love thee better after death,” is from “Sonnets from the Portuguese, No. 43” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. • A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on December 3, 1947, produced by Irene Selznick and directed by Elia Kazan. The cast was led by Marlon Brando as Stanley, Jessica Tandy as Blanche, Karl Malden as Mitch and Kim Hunter as Stella. The production won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama awarded to its author Tennessee Williams and received the 1948 Tony Award for Best Actress to Tandy. Actress Uta Hagen took over the role during Tandy’s vacation and Jack Palance understudied Stanley when Brando broke his nose and couldn’t go on. Anthony Quinn then took over the part during Brando’s vacation. Both Hagen and Quinn also went on to take the show on its national tour. The production ran for a successful 855 performances before closing on December 17, 1949. • Patricia Neal was very much thought of for the role of Stella, but was considered, at five feet seven inches, too tall to be Leigh’s co-star. • Anne Baxter was very seriously considered for the role of Stella by Kazan. • The fifth biggest hit of 1951. • This was Brando’s second film. • As of March 2017, Mickey Kuhn, who was 18-19 years old and Wright King, who was 27-28 years old when the film was shot, are currently the only confirmed surviving cast members of this film.

Drama, Classics

Movie Details

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    Warner Bros.
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    • Drama
    • Classics
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    • English - Dolby Digital Mono
  • Subtitles:
    • English
    • French
    • Spanish
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Disc Details

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  • Length:
    125 min.
  • Size:
    4.7 GB (DVD)
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    Snap Case
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