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Big screen classics

A Streetcar Named Desire

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh are electric in this adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play.

Image from A Streetcar Named Desire

USA 1951
Dir Elia Kazan
With Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
126min
Digital
Certificate 12A

Elia Kazan’s adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play is primarily notable for the role that made Brando a star – the brutish Stanley Kowalski, who’s none too sympathetic when his wife’s fragile, supercilious sister comes to stay in their cramped New Orleans apartment. The jazz-tinged score by Alex North (brought from New York to Hollywood by Kazan) perfectly complements the story’s hothouse emotions.

The screening on Wednesday 14 February features an intro by Jo Botting, Curator, BFI National Archive.


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