A fading southern belle tries to build a new life with her sister in New Orleans.
A movie that not only functions as a solid scarefest but a razor-sharp satire.
It's easily one of the freshest, sharpest and most enjoyable films of this year.
I watched this tonight for the first time and I really feel the need to say something that is completely out of step with every other opinion I've read.First, I should explain that I love movies from all periods and have bought over 1,500 films on DVD and Blu Ray, all ranging from 1920s releases right through to current day.I have often been stunned by the acting performances of both main stars and supporting cast, and this film provides another few good examples of what must be considered masterful acting. Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Kim Hunter all shine in this movie, and they deserve every accolade thrown their way. But Vivien Leigh?There is not a single moment when I didn't find her acting to be completely over the top or lacking in authenticity. In fact, every scene of hers was painful, and the contrast it made with her co-stars was embarrassing to witness. I tried to remind myself that she was playing the part of someone who was going mad, but this fact provided no excuse for the shameful performance she gives here.We've all seen people doing roles like this before, since portraying mental instability/illness is nothing new to the big screen, and there are many, many cases where it is handled superbly and the descent into insanity is made completely believable by the actor in question. But in 'Streetcar' Vivien handles it as if she's never even been in front of a camera before.Watch her eyes, her reactions to people's comments and questions: there is not one second where she doesn't seem to be combining the automated recital of memorised dialogue with over-the-top emotion, and it was obvious to this viewer right from the start that she didn't understand how to portray authentic emotion/reaction at all.Yeah, yeah, I've read the reviews that all gush over her performance, even the director's comment that she brought everything he wanted to the role and more. At first this fact puzzled me greatly, since I found her performance to be easily the worst I've seen out of tens of thousands of performances in perhaps 20,000 or more movies over the years. But then I discovered that she was married to Lawrence Olivier right throughout her career, and everything suddenly made sense.How do you tell one of the greatest actors of all time that his wife reeks as an actress? Better yet, how do you cover for her awful performances when there is the possibility of a public backlash over her roles that could prove embarrassing for the great man? That's easily solved: just hand her an Academy Award and that will shut everyone up. "Oh, she got the Academy for that part?! Okay, then it must be good!"It isn't, and it brings down what could have been a 9/10 for 'Streetcar' to a 7, in my opinion.PS - I also found her acting to be just as painful in 'Gone With the Wind', and guess what?! She got the Academy Award for that part too!! Go figure.
Marlon Brando was THE actor of the golden age of Hollywood, but often misleading the public with his looks and not his acting. Story about a possessive love and hate relationship between him and Vivien Leigh was precisely one of those scripts that grew more ripe over the decades, still being able to shock and move the viewer even long after its protagonists were gone.
Tennessee Williams was one of the most sucessfull writers to be adapted into movie scripts in that era and Elia Kazan was one of the best directors to do such a task, which resulted into 12 nominations for "oscars", including all the major categories. Acting earned 4 of those noms giving the "golden boys" to Malden, Hunter and Leigh, leading to some impeccable one-on-one scenes of pure intensity, unparalleled deep into the 21st century.
If you want to watch one of the Top 10 American movie dramas of all times, you should definitely watch "A streetcar named desire".
Blanche is no more neurotic than the rest of the mumbling characters, but the most vulnerable (not having enough income to be able to get her own apartment), so it is she that gets marked to be the scapegoat, and gets carted off to a "mental hospital" at the end.Before that climax, you see a troop of impossibly over-emotional people yelling and throwing things. I thought I was watching a nature film about chimpanzees.
This movie has a great reputation, so I went into it with high hopes, and was left disappointed. At times the movie dragged on, and at other times it was very interesting. Marlon Brando was great in his role, and despite his character's repulsive qualities, made white T shirts very popular. Vivien Leigh won an Oscar for role, but I wasn't impressed by it. I thought her character was very annoying, and I didn't sympathize with her. Leigh has some good moments, but at other times she overacts. I understand that theatrical performances could still be well regarded at this time, but when she acts opposite to Marlon Brando, whose performance is anything but theatrical, her performance only seems worse. Despite my complaints, I really liked the ending. It was disturbing, and even though I disliked Blanche, I felt sympathy towards her after being raped by Stanley, which totally surprised me. Marlon Brando was great and really made this movie more tolerable than it would have been without him. I wish I wasn't disappointed by it, because I loved On The Waterfront, also directed by Elia Kazan. A Streetcar Named Desire isn't a bad movie, but it's not deserving of its reputation as a classic either.7/10