A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
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Marguerite, South Africa. 5 June 2014
For those who only know the late Marlon Brando as an overweight, mumbling Godfather, this is an opportunity to see Brando in one of his most powerful roles as a young and very sexy man (an image he later came to despise).
Stanley Kowalski (Brando) is a red-blooded American male who enjoys the stereotypically masculine pastimes of bowling, gambling and swilling beer. His wife Stella (Kim Hunter) is the opposite of her uncouth husband. She is a woman who has been raised in more refined circumstances and when her sister Blanche (Vivien Leigh) comes to stay with them, Blanche is apalled at the way in which the Kowalskis live. Blanche is an emotionally fragile creature battling the demons of loneliness, possible alcoholism and creeping old age. When she meets Stanley's colleague Mitch (Karl Malden), she believes she has found her knight in shining armour, but Stanley derails their relationship and Blanche plunges into depression.
Tennessee Williams, who wrote the opriginal play on which this film is based, was not a man who shied away from controversial subjects, so it is to director Elia Kazan's credit that the film is so tastefully constructed. The black and white cinematography adds to the atmosphere of pending doom as only black and white photography can do.
Tania, South Africa. 31 January 2017
An incredible portrayal of the book and its characters. A movie ahead of its time that accurately depicts the slow decent into madness.
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