Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

November and December are the craziest months for work, so I won't be posting as much as I'd like.  I also know it's the 5th of November, but I won't be posting the movie V for Vendetta.  Today's film is A Streetcar Named Desire.

I have read the play many times in school before I watched this film.  It's a simple story if I break it down.  A woman who gets off on violence and excitement has a violent exciting husband.  Her crazy sister moves in after losing her job and home.  Husband and sister gets on each other's nerve, while the woman, who is pregnant, has to deal.  Sister becomes increasingly neurotic until she breaks down and is sent to a rest home in the country.  Now she can get the proper care for her mental illness.  The woman, her husband, and new baby live happily ever after.

So, the husband, Stanley, has a short temper and has fits of rage where he yells and throws things.  He threw their radio straight out of the window.  He can even be abusive to his pregnant wife, Stella.  Her sister, Blanche comes down, acts all hoity-toity and puts him down every chance she gets all while drinking all his alcohol.  She feels that Stanley is beneath them.  So why did Stella choose to marry him and leave her stately plantation?

Because this:

Also this:

And some of this:

Forgot what I was writing about.  Oh yeah, a film based on a Tennessee Williams' play.  Growing up in the South, we study his plays in school extensively.  It was nice to see a play that was close to his vision.  There were many cuts in the name of "censorship" aka "taking away our first amendment rights" so I suggest reading the play too because it's great.  I liked how even though the characters often don't make the right choices, nobody is an outright villain.  I can see everyone's point of view in this film. Yes, in this film Stella leaves Stanley.  However, she literally just had a baby and Stanley is going to have to be a part of the child's life too.  Besides, she obviously gets off on violence, so you know she is going to go back there really soon.  Hollywood can say whatever it needs to say to satisfy its pansy moral code, I know the truth.

One thing that perturbed me: Nobody had a Louisiana accent.  My in-laws are all from the New Orleans area and the surrounding countryside/swamp.  They visit often, way more than they need to.  Trust me that nobody in this entire film sounds anything like them.  People from Louisiana have a more distinct accent than most Southerners.  The only one who comes close is Blanche's old fashioned Southern Belle voice.  She actually sounds more like she has the old fashioned accent of someone from a Georgia or South Carolina plantation though, not Mississippi.  Her character shows the perfection of William's writing.  Her character is both dramatic and believable.  Her character belongs to the changing South.  She's broke and lost her plantation yet still keeps smug superior attitude.  She wants love and sex but clings to her quaint values and drives men away.  I can see old members of my family in a character like Blanche.  This film wouldn't be the same without Vivien Leigh's performance as Blanche. I will give this film an 8/10.


  1. I. Love. Your. Gifs.

    I also have problems paying attention to this movie for the reasons you illustrate in those gifs.

    Holy crap on a cracker. exploding ovaries.