'You take a Streetcar named Desire, then change to one named Cemetary'. Blanche Dubois' directions to find her sister's home, sum up author Tennessee Williams' view of life, and how it is portrayed in this classic film.
Ellia Kazan's insightful and sensitive direction, coupled with wonderful acting, make this film compelling and electric. Vivian Leigh won the best actress Oscar for her performance. Karl Malden (of 'Streets of San Francisco' fame), and Kim Hunter won Oscars for supporting roles. Marlon Brando was nominated for best actor, but lost out to Humphrey Bogart in 'The African Queen'.
For me it is Brando's performance that stands out. You have to be careful that your TV screen does not get damaged, as he burns a trail across every scene he is in. Putting it crudely, the man oozes sex, passion and turmoil.
A whole disc of extras, tell the history of the play, and how it was transferred to film. I was fascinated to learn about changes that had to be made to the play, and cuts to the finished film that had to be made, so that it could play in 1951. The cuts to the film are restored in this version. It was interesting to learn that the Broadway cast were largely kept for the film. Only Jessica Tandy as Blanche Dubois was dropped, as they needed one bankable movie star amongst what was a cast of unknowns in Hollywood then. Vivian Leigh was drafted in, as she had played the role in London.
It's not a good film to watch if you like them light and easily entertaining, but if you like 'em meaty and thought provoking then this film is a classic must-have.
At the time of writing, the movie is available at a special low price, so what are you waiting for?