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New releases

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.

USA 1951
Dir Elia Kazan
With Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
Digital (new restoration)
Certificate 12A
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.

See our Elia Kazan season and our Seniors’ matinee + intro.

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The most influential actor of his era, Marlon Brando changed the way other actors perceived their craft, and his impact on American culture matched his professional significance; he was one of the first stars to use his fame as a platform to address social, political and moral issues, courageously calling out America’s deeply rooted racism. Based on new and revelatory material, The Contender explores the star and the man, including the childhood traumas that reverberated through his professional and personal life.

To enjoy 20% off The Contender, William Mann’s brilliant biography, simply quote Brando20 - valid until 29 February.

Image from The Contender


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