movie film review | chris tookey

Streetcar Named Desire

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  Streetcar Named Desire Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
9.18 /10
Vivien Leigh , Marlon Brando , Kim Hunter
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Directed by: Elia Kazan
Written by: Tennessee Williams, Oscar Saul from Tennessee Williams's play

Released: 1951
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Colour: BW
Length: 122

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One of those rare... cinematic miracles: a distinguished motion picture drama which in many respects exceeds even the already considerable merits of its staged progenitor... a magnificent example of the cinematic and dramatic arts joined in artistry, enhanced by superb performances and a masterful translation to its new medium.

(Jesse Zunser, Cue)

One of Hollywood's rare attempts to give the whole meaning and scope of the author's vision... It contains characters more full and subtle than any yet shown in a Hollywood movie and beyond a few minor points, little has been softened in it.

(Hollis Alpert, Saturday Review of Literature)

Though the movie has its flaws, it can claim a merit rare in Hollywood films: it is a grown-up, gloves-off drama of real human beings... As the hulking, animalistic Kowalski, Marlon Brando fills his scenes with a virile power that gives Streetcar its highest voltage.


Today I come to the top of the page to give you - Marlon Brando, as the most powerful and disturbing male star to cross the screen since Clark Gable first assaulted our consciousness in Hell's Divers.

(Paul Dehn, Evening Standard)

The story is still as murky [as the play], the passion as brutal... For [which] we have to thank the courage of [Kazan]... The acting is very fine.

(Campbell Dixon, Daily Telegraph)

Vivien Leigh gives one of those rare performances that can truly be said to evoke pity and terror. As Blanche DuBois, she looks and acts like a destroyed Dresden shepherdess. No one since the early Lillian Gish and the almost unknown, plaintive Nadia Sibirskaya of Menilmontant (1926) has had this quality of hopeless, feminine frailty.

(Pauline Kael, New Yorker, long after release)

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