Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : Streetcar Named Desire

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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.

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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.

 

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“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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30 comments on “Movie : Streetcar Named Desire

  1. Beechum County
    May 27, 2018

    Thanks for reminding me I have so many great movies to see!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 27, 2018

      No problem. I like all these films a lot.
      (When i hit your icon I get a “No longer available”. I think it works when I type it in.)

      Like

      • Beechum County
        May 27, 2018

        Thanks, it keeps wanting to go to a blog I no longer have. I have changed it to my current blog, but still doesn’t link to it. No idea what to do about that…oh well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 27, 2018

        I’m not a tech guy so i can’t help you out. I was just over on your page. You.ve nudged me to rewatch ‘Tombstone’. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Another Blogger
    May 27, 2018

    Morning, CB.
    What’s your favorite performance by Brando? I think I like his work in The Godfather the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 27, 2018

      He has a pretty high batting average with me. Vito being a good one. Terry Malloy – ‘On the Waterfront’ (The film is another great piece). I like is work in ‘Tango'(Don’t know if he was acting though). But for some reason I really dig his stuff as Calder in ‘The Chase’. The movie gets flack but I liked it especially his work. I think he knew this small town dark side. His performances on interviews were pretty good also.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jim S.
        May 27, 2018

        I just noticed your mention of ‘ The Chase.’ Boy, I haven’t seen that in ages. Odd little film that even the director disassociated himself from. But I remember liking it. I have this image of Brando wandering down a darkened street but I don’t know what the scene was.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 27, 2018

        Yeah I did a take on it way back. It’s real “Small town sleaze” and Brando does his slow burn through it. Something about the flick stayed with me. Small Town Noir. I thought Janet Rule was the sexiest woman on earth.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        May 28, 2018

        I don’t remember her. I was too fixated on Jane.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 28, 2018

        She played Duvall’s wife and was sleeping with everybody but him. Angie Dickinson was in it also so the female parts were well covered.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        May 28, 2018

        So to speak…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim S.
    May 27, 2018

    Yeah, this is a great flick. Let’s not forget that Malden and Brando were both in “On the Waterfront,” maybe an even better Kazan movie. Trivia fun – the first time I went to New Orleans I took a walking tour. The guide showed us overhead lines where the streetcar named Desire actually used to run. (Desire is a neighborhood down there.) Also, someone hosts a regular contest where guys compete to see who can bellow “Stella” the best. The ladies, not to be outdone, have one where they yell “Stanley.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 27, 2018

      ‘One Eyed Jacks’ for the Brando/Malden duo also. I agree on your Waterfront comment. Cool NO story. STELLAAAAAAA! DOOOOOOOOOOOOC!

      Like

      • Jim S.
        May 27, 2018

        “Heh. If they ever make a sequel of Stanley thirty years or so later, I’m up for playing the role. They could call it “A Middle-Aged White Guy Named Flab.” Hey, wait. Marlon could have played that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 27, 2018

        You are the new Rodney Dangerfield.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        May 27, 2018

        As in I don’t get no respect.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 27, 2018

        Yeah that self directed comedy.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. J.
    May 29, 2018

    Brando was something else, eh? He’s just incredible here…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thom Hickey
    May 30, 2018

    Never fails. Amazing acting all round. And we all depend on the kindness of strangers. Thom

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 30, 2018

      I know you like your film (waiting for a few Thom takes on a few that moved him). Film adaptations of plays don’t always work like this one. Home run for all involved. Yeah “kindness” is a good one to keep in mind everyday. Thanks fella.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aunt Beulah
    May 30, 2018

    Ah, I’ve seen this movie four or five times. When I saw your topic, I was afraid you wouldn’t like it, but not to worry. I agree with every word you wrote. I’ve seen all Brando’s movies, but my favorite experience was seeing “Last Tango in Paris” in Paris with my mother-in-law. An experience I’ve never forgotten. She was horrified.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 30, 2018

      Beulah your killing me. “Horrified”. The punch line to that comment is one of the best I’ve received. I’m still chuckling and cringing.
      Brando’s early work is some of the best. He’s small town like you and I. “Not to worry” on my takes. I don’t bash anything (waste of time). All films/music that I share has moved me in some way. You made my day with that story.
      (Teaser. Next two films I feature have a strong female theme. I think you’ll dig them if you haven’t seen them already. One older, one newer).

      Like

      • Aunt Beulah
        May 30, 2018

        I look forward to your review; I’m happy to hear you only write about films and music that have moved you in some way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 31, 2018

        I’d be interested in your opinion on the films I have on deck (couple weeks). The older film, I think was ahead of it’s time with the portrayal of a strong, independent woman. Hows that for a teaser?
        (I got a chuckle out of your “3 Piles take” especially the “expert help”. Those people scare me).

        Like

  7. 1537
    May 31, 2018

    Brando was just lightning in a bottle back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 31, 2018

      He certainly was. I’m never to interested in life off the screen for actors but he was a piece of work in real life. I think there was a bit of Stan in him.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sarca
    June 3, 2018

    Streetcar is a good one! CB see Suddenly Last Summer? Another Tennessee Williams great. Steamy and greasy too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      June 3, 2018

      I have never seen it. I like a lot Williams and ate up most of his stuff ( how did i miss this one?). Sometimes plays don’t adapt to the screen but I will take it on your authority. The three lead actors were all good when on their game. “Steamy and greasy” that was Tennessee. Thanks Sarca. I’ll pop over to see what your up to.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Top 100 Movie Review: #45 – A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) – The Top 100 Reviews

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