Speaks his mind on music & movies!
A women gets off a train in New Orleans. She looks a little out of place, nervous amidst the hustle and bustle. She asks about a street car named Desire. She finds it and boards it and heads to her destination. Her destination is a rough part of town. She finds the address she is looking for. It’s her sister Stella’s and husband Stanley Kowalski’s place. Stella and Stanley are not home but down at the bowling alley. The woman, Blanche heads to the bowling alley and is reunited with Stella. She sees Stanley from a distance getting into a fight. Blanche is out of her element in this rough lower class world.
She has come to stay with her sister and Stanley in their cramped living space. She has lost the family home and is destitute. She is fragile and damaged but Stanley is having none of it. He thinks she’s full of shit and putting on an act. He smells blood and is on the hunt. Not the kinda place that Blanche was looking to land. So we watch this scenario play out in the hot, sweaty, noisy claustrophobic Kowalski home.
This was another flick that CB caught at an old repertory movie house. Brando was the draw. Seen a bunch of his work so I was curious on this one. Heard some about it but didn’t know that much. Like a lot of these older flicks there are some reservations going in. It didn’t take long for them to dissapear. This is one good piece of work. Elia Kazan takes the Tennessee Williams play and brings it to life. He creates the world for the actors and us to get swept up in. Harry Stradling captures Kazan’s vision. So many good scenes.
It didn’t hurt that Elia had some great actors to help. Support is strong in every role. Karl Malden does his usual solid work as Mitch. The guy is just a good actor. Kim Hunter as Stella is fantastic. I don’t think I ever saw a character more in love than her Stella. Lots of subtle work. Vivien Leigh as Blanche takes a tough role and inserts every ounce of her talent. So many emotional ups and downs. Her mental state is a high wire act and Leigh handles it. Belle of the ball, fragile damaged goods , tough broad all come out.
“Marlon Brando was the draw”. And he didn’t disappoint. He creates one of films memorable characters in Stanley Kowalski. Brando is totally natural and real in his performance. He is uncensored but not over the top. Through all his confident bluster, Marlon shows some vulnerable glimpses of Stanley. Great piece of work. I think he was the guy to play the role. The film is more than his performance but he drove it.
Great film. These types of well done movies are timeless. So get greasy, sweaty and grab the old bowling ball and head down to Elishian apartments for a visit.
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