Seniors’ paid matinee: A Streetcar Named Desire
Kazan’s game-changing film of Tennessee Williams’ stage hit brought Brando – and the Method – to the attention of filmgoers worldwide.
Dir Elia Kazan
With Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
Digital (new restoration)
A BFI Release
Heated tensions arise when ‘resting’ Mississippi teacher Blanche DuBois (Leigh) comes to stay with her sister Stella (Hunter) in the cramped New Orleans apartment she shares with her husband Stanley (Brando). Hot-tempered and unashamedly macho, Stanley has no time for Blanche’s insistent gentility... Making eloquent use of Harry Stradling’s black-and-white cinematography and Richard Day’s sets, Kazan creates an atmosphere of clammy, claustrophobic intensity, in which the different acting styles of Brando and Leigh (who’d performed in Olivier’s London production of the play) actually enhance the conflict between their characters. A classic, now gloriously restored.
Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large
Also available on BFI Player.