(Review originally written at 21 November 2009)

Basically this movie is like a stage-play that got filmed. The acting, the story and perhaps even its settings feel and look stagy but when you have a great story and great actors you just don't need much else really to make a great.

As you can expect from a this sort of movie, a lot comes from its characters. The movie does feature some great characters and some equally great performances from the cast portraying them. Lots of the cast members in this movie had also played in the Pulitzer prize winning stage-play version of the movie. The movie is a class of characters, in which the your views of the characters will also change throughout when more gets revealed of them. It's quite interesting to debate who is the real 'villain' within the story.

It was the breakthrough movie for with the big public for director Elia Kazan, who had already directed a couple of great movies prior to this and had even already won an Oscar for his work on "Gentleman's Agreement". It still will be this movie and his later movies such as the other movie starring Brando which he directed "On the Waterfront" and the James Dean movie "East of Eden", for which he will always be remembered for as a director. He certainly was a real actors-director.

But just as this was the major breakthrough for its director it also marked the breakthrough for several of its actors. This was actually one of the first movies that Marlon Brando ever appeared in, though he acts like he has done nothing else before. Yet it was not Brando who won an Oscar for his role in this movie. Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden all three did though. Especially Leigh really deserved the win and she perhaps gives away the best performance of her life. She could probably relate well to her characters as well though, as she had some mental issues in her life as well. She also didn't appeared in many movies after this one again, due to her mental state. At the time of this movie its production she was already suffering from a manic-depression and then husband Laurence Olivier was always close to keep an eye on things during production.

It's simply a movie that gets build on its story and characters and both are more than strong and capable enough to hold this weight and to turn "A Streetcar Named Desire" into both a powerful and memorable movie experience.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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