Thursday, November 12, 2015

Movie Review: ***^A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

This movie is an essay mostly about two people.  Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) is a down on her luck former school teacher.  She was forced to resign for having sex with a 17-year-old student.  She flees to live with her sister Stella (Kim Hunter) which forces Blanch to live with her brother-in-law, Stanley (Marlon Brando).  Immediately Stanley and Blanche begin to but heads.  Stanley feels Blanche has embezzled funds from the family estate.  (She lost the property paying off debt form medical bills as she watched her parents die.)  Stanley begins to push, discovering she lived in a trashy hotel, and likely provided sexual favors for money.  However, by trying to start again she meets a man, Mitch (Karl Malden) and they begin a relationship.  He is also a friend of Stanley's.  When Stanley discovers the background, he tells this to his friend, and then all the wheels come off.  This movie touches on the theme of spousal abuse on a few occasions in different relationships.  It also touches on rape, as Stanley is determined to have his way when his wife is away having a baby.  I guess the film ends how it must, with Blanche headed to the psychiatric hospital, and Stella determined to leave her husband with her new baby.
This is based on the Tennessee Williams play.  Leigh, Malden and Hunter won oscars.  Williams, Brando, were nominated, as was the film for best picture and the director.

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