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A Streetcar Named Desire (2-Disc Special Edition) [1951] [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Full Screen, Mono
  • Language: English, German, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Czech, Danish, Finnish, German, Greek, Hungarian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: 8 May 2006
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,252 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Elia Kazan's screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams' successful Broadway play. Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) travels to New Orleans to visit her pregnant sister, Stella (Kim Hunter). Stella's husband, Stanley (Marlon Brando), resents Blanche's presence, and is unhappy when she begins seeing his friend, Mitch (Karl Malden). The tension between Blanche and Stanley builds, reaching its climax when Stella is taken into hospital and the pair are left alone together. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Actress, Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor.


Looking for a benchmark in movie acting? Breakthrough performances don't come much more electrifying than Marlon Brando's animalistic turn as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Sweaty, brutish, mumbling, yet with the balanced grace of a prize-fighter, Brando storms through the role--a role he had originated in the Broadway production of Tennessee Williams's celebrated play. Stanley and his wife, Stella (as in Brando's oft-mimicked line, "Hey, Stellaaaaaa!"), are the earthy couple in New Orleans's French Quarter whose lives are upended by the arrival of Stella's sister, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh). Blanche, a disturbed, lyrical, faded Southern belle, is immediately drawn into a battle of wills with Stanley, beautifully captured in the differing styles of the two actors. This extraordinarily fine adaptation won acting Oscars for Leigh, Kim Hunter (as Stella) and Karl Malden (as Blanche's clueless suitor), but not for Brando. Although it had already been considerably cleaned up from the daringly adult stage play, director Elia Kazan was forced to trim a few of the franker scenes he had shot. In 1993, Streetcar was re-released in a "director's cut" that restored these moments, deepening a film that had already secured its place as an essential American work. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
'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?
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Format: DVD
As a playwright, Tennessee Williams was to the South what William Faulkner was as a fiction writer: a creative genius who revolutionized not only the region's arts scene and literature but that of 20th century America as a whole, bringing a Southern voice to the forefront while addressing universally important themes, and influencing and inspiring generations of later writers.

Pulitzer-Prize-winning "A Streetcar Named Desire" dates from the peak of Williams's creativity, the period between 1944 ("A Glass Menagerie") and 1955 ("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," his second Pulitzer-winner). After its successful 1947 run on Broadway, "Streetcar" was adapted into a screenplay by Williams himself for this movie produced and directed by Elia Kazan, starring the entire Broadway cast except Jessica Tandy, who was replaced by the star of the play's London production, Vivien Leigh. The piece takes its title from one of the New Orleans streetcar lines that protagonist Blanche DuBois (Leigh) rides on her way to the apartment of her sister Stella (Kim Hunter), foreshadowing her later path, from (ever-unfulfilled) Desire to Cemetery (death, or the loss of reality) and a street called Elysian Fields, like the ancient mythological land of the dead.
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Format: Blu-ray
Wow! We really are in the midst of a great period of home movie consumption. With much revered classics looking better than ever before on Bluray discs, it really is a marvellous time for movies in the home. The Bluray in question here is simply fantastic and Streetcar has never looked so glorious! The shaky old DVD copy is quite redundant now for all who love this classic movie. Dark and brooding is the order of the day here and this Bluray transfer is just so. And intentionaly so. For a 60 year old piece of celluloid this looks fabulous.

With a barnstorming and bestial performance from Brando, a fragile, mesmerising Vivien Leigh and great turns by Kim Hunter and Karl Malden the film deservedly won 4 Oscars in 1951 and is still a powerful piece today. Interestingly, 3 of the 4 leads won the Oscar in their category for acting with only Brando missing out in the lead actor category. To Humphrey Bogart no less.
The sumptuous set designs and art direction also triumphed and its easy to see why.

Extra features on the disc are ported from a previous edition of the movie but are extremely noteworthy. A brilliant, pieced together commentary track with the ever informative, if a little dry, Rudy Behlmer, actor Karl Malden and Jeff Young. A fascinating documentary on director Elia Kazan which is over an hour long, a couple of featurettes on the play from which the film came and its journey from stage to screen and some other interesting tidbits examining some background on the movie.

Easy to recommend this is a beautiful release of a magnificent movie!
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Format: DVD
Elia Kazan's adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play 'A Streetcar Named Desire' translates beautifully to the screen in this 1951 film version. Anchored primarily by screen giants Vivien Leigh (Blanche DuBois) and Marlon Brando (Stanley Kowalski), the film tells the story of a faded Southern Belle (Blanche) and her struggle to come to terms with her own existence in an increasingly faded world, and illustrates the dramatic conflict between Blanche and her brother-in-law Stanley, played by the sensual Brando.

Having directed the play just years earlier on the Broadway stage, Kazan was keen to put his own mark on this film translation, where there is an overwhelming sense of the steamy South, encapsulated and enclosed, literally, within the walls of the Kowalski apartment. Although Leigh holds her own against Method giant Brando, her performance ultimately pales into insignificance compared to Brando's revolutionary interpretation of Williams' sexually-charged hero. Not only did it signal the dawn of a style of acting unseen in film - paving the way for such performances of James Dean's Jim Stark and Paul Newman's Brick Pollitt - but represented an archtype in male sexuality and sensuality in post-war America. Wearing t-shirts that reveal rippling biceps, quite self-consciously on the part of Brando, and a body that reminds one of a modern-day Adonis, Brando stalks through Kazan's film. Certainly, it is Brando's Stanley, and not Leigh's Blanche, who becomes the eroticised object of the film, something that, it is worth noting, Williams' original play did not intend.

Through the use of lighting and sound, and through, of course, the magic of Leigh's performance, the film represents Blanche as a woman undone in the emotional and physical sense.
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