Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire (Two-Disc Special Edition)

#45 (1998) and #47 (2007) on the AFI Top 100 Films List

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 film adaptation of the 1947 play of the same name by Tennessee Williams, who also wrote the screenplay with Oscar Saul. The film, a romantic drama, was directed by Elia Kazan, who had also directed the original stage production, and stars Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden; all but Leigh were chosen from the Broadway cast of the play, while Leigh had starred in the London West End production. It was produced by talent agent and lawyer Charles K. Feldman, and released by Warner Bros. The film had many revisions to remove references to homosexuality, among other things.

A Streetcar Named Desire was the first film to win three out of four acting categories at the Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Leigh, Best Supporting Actor for Malden, and Best Supporting Actress for Hunter. Brando's performance as Stanley Kowalski, while nominated, even being the favorite and one of the most powerful and influential performances of all time, did not win the Oscar. The film was also the first to win both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

* Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois
* Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski
* Kim Hunter as Stella Kowalski
* Karl Malden as Harold "Mitch" Mitchell
* Rudy Bond as Steve Hubbel
* Nick Dennis as Pablo Gonzales
* Peg Hillias as Eunice Hubbel
* Wright King as A Collector
* Richard Garrick as A Doctor

Much of the original Broadway cast, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Rudy Bond, Nick Dennis and Richard Garrick repeated their roles for the film.

Many big names were considered for the role of Blanche, including Olivia de Havilland and Bette Davis.

John Garfield turned down the lead role of Stanley as he did not want to be overshadowed by the lead actress playing Blanche.

Jessica Tandy, who had originated Blanche DuBois on Broadway, was originally slated to play the role but was bypassed as not being well known enough. Vivien Leigh was cast, star of the London production, at the insistence of the producers. This was because her fame from films such as Gone with the Wind, which she had also played a Southern belle in, and provided the star power which they felt the film needed; Brando had originated the role of Stanley on Broadway but had not yet achieved the fame necessary to draw audiences, which is why in trailers and during the credits of the film he is credited after Vivien Leigh

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