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Fabulous Scenes from the Movie 'A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 drama film starring Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, and Kin Hunter. The story was adapted from Tennessee Williams’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. In the film, Blanche DuBois deals with a series of personal losses that lead her to leave her aristocratic background to find refuge in a dilapidated New Orleans apartment building with her sister and brother-in-law. Several changes were made to the original Broadway production and cast before being adapted to film. Tennessee Williams collaborated with Oscar Saul and Elia Kazan on the screenplay. Kazan directed both the Broadway production and the black and white film. All three actors reprised their original Broadway roles. While Jessica Tandy originated the role of Blanche DuBois on Broadway, the role of Blanche DuBois was cast with Vivien Leigh because of her star power in the London theatre production.

A couple of sentences can summarize the story, but that would do injustice to the depth of development and the convincing manner in which the characters are presented. We can see the complexity effortlessly written into the characters, but not to the point where it seems obvious or uninteresting. Of course, Blanche (Vivien Leigh) is the main character. She is a neurotic mess barely hidden behind a facade of respectability that clearly doesn’t convince her any more than Stanley. Mitch is also really well written. First, it is comical that he tries to be a gentleman while having a brute lurking below the surface, but later on, his frustration is evident along with his anger. Overall, the story is relatively seedy.

The story is compelling because of the characters and how they are delivered. Kazan’s atmospheric direction is also very effective; the film feels very close and humid, and he has done it with just a basic set and a camera. This film has lovely lighting throughout, in the general atmosphere and specific touches like Blanche’s noticeable aging when there is slight variation in tone due to lighting changes. Leigh is a perfect choice for the part; her vulnerability coupled with self-seeking, her confidence combined with need, and her properness associated with instability. The way Leigh moves visually is convincing, as she looks exactly the right mix of ages, looking beautiful one moment and worn and defeated the next totally, totally deserved her Oscar. Brando’s performances was also outstanding and memorable. He has his big scenes, but there are also moments when he does nothing but being a presence onscreen; no matter what is happening, we are watching him because we’re in awe and terrified of his power as Blanche is. Together, Leigh and Brando dominate the screen, and when either of them is on screen, you can’t help but look at them. In the end, Kim Hunter gets pushed into the background, despite her excellent performance. Again, Karl Madden played only a supporting role but deserved his Oscar for a convincing portrayal of a well-written character. Although there are plenty of versions of this play available for us to look at how lesser actors can fail where this cast did so well, it’s easier to give good performances with good material than lousy material.

#1 Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter share a scene in the film ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter share a scene in the film 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

Brando's torn T-shirt became a national symbol of masculinity, and his brooding, seething silences and bursts of mumbled dialogue established a new acting style for films.

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#2 Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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#3 American actor Marlon Brando and director Elia Kazan on the set of Kazan’s movie ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

American actor Marlon Brando and director Elia Kazan on the set of Kazan's movie 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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#4 Vivien Leigh and American actress Kim Hunter on the set of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Vivien Leigh and American actress Kim Hunter on the set of 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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#5 Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire.

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#6 Karl Malden and Vivian Leigh in Movie ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Karl Malden and Vivian Leigh in Movie 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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#7 Director Elia Kazan (right) gives instructions to actors Karl Malden and Vivien Leigh before shooting a scene from the movie A Streetcar Named Desire

Director Elia Kazan (right) gives instructions to actors Karl Malden and Vivien Leigh before shooting a scene from the movie A Streetcar Named Desire

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#8 Kim Hunter as Stella Kowalski, Vivien Leigh as Blanche Dubois and Peg Hillias as Eunice in the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire.

Kim Hunter as Stella Kowalski, Vivien Leigh as Blanche Dubois and Peg Hillias as Eunice in the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire.

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#9 Vivien Leigh holds a glass and a bottle of gin as Karl Malden looks on in a scene from Streetcar Named Desire.

Vivien Leigh holds a glass and a bottle of gin as Karl Malden looks on in a scene from Streetcar Named Desire.

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#10 Actor Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh on the set of the movie ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ which came out in 1951.

Actor Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh on the set of the movie 'A Streetcar Named Desire' which came out in 1951.

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#11 Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh relax on the set of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1951.

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh relax on the set of 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1951.

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#12 Vivien Leigh is grabbed by Marlon Brando in a scene from the film ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1951.

Vivien Leigh is grabbed by Marlon Brando in a scene from the film 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1951.

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#13 Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter in a dramatic scene from ‘A Street Car Named Desire’

Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter in a dramatic scene from 'A Street Car Named Desire'

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#14 Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando in a tense moment from ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando in a tense moment from 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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#15 Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh rehearse a scene for ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, with Kim Hunter.

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh rehearse a scene for 'A Streetcar Named Desire', with Kim Hunter.

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#16 Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

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#17 Marlon Brando in a scene from ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Marlon Brando in a scene from 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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#18 Marlon Brando in a scene from ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1951.

Marlon Brando in a scene from 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1951.

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#19 Marlon Brando gambles with Karl Malden in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1951.

Marlon Brando gambles with Karl Malden in 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1951.

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#20 Marlon Brando during the filming of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.

Marlon Brando during the filming of 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

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#21 Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in a violent and emotional scene in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in a violent and emotional scene in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

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#22 Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in a scene from ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1951.

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in a scene from 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1951.

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#23 American actor Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh celebrate a tense birthday as Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.

American actor Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh celebrate a tense birthday as Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

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#24 Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando in a still from the film, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.

Vivien Leigh  and Marlon Brando in a still from the film, 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

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#25 Greek actor Nick Dennis talks with Marlon Brando and Karl Malden during a wardrobe test for the film, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,.

Greek actor Nick Dennis talks with Marlon Brando and Karl Malden during a wardrobe test for the film, 'A Streetcar Named Desire,.

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#26 Jeff Chandler (L) and Gordon MacRae sign autographs for smiling fans waiting behind a barrier at the Hollywood premiere of ‘Streetcar Named Desire,’.

Jeff Chandler (L) and Gordon MacRae sign autographs for smiling fans waiting behind a barrier at the Hollywood premiere of 'Streetcar Named Desire,'.

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#27 American actor Marlon Brando plays Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.

American actor Marlon Brando plays Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams' 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

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#28 Marlon Brando in a scene from ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1951

Marlon Brando in a scene from 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1951

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#29 Actor Marlon Brando hands a tissue to Vivien Leigh in a still from the film, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1951.

Actor Marlon Brando hands a tissue to Vivien Leigh in a still from the film, 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1951.

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#30 Marlon Brando laughs while eating an apple during a break on the set of the film, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951

Marlon Brando laughs while eating an apple during a break on the set of the film, 'A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951

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#31 Karl Malden and Vivien Leigh on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Karl Malden and Vivien Leigh on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire.

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#32 Vivien Leigh as Blanche Dubois and Karl Malden as Harold ‘Mitch’ Mitchell in the 1951 film ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Vivien Leigh as Blanche Dubois and Karl Malden as Harold 'Mitch' Mitchell in the 1951 film 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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#33 Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh play Stanley Kowalski and Blanche Du Bois in the 1951 movie ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh play Stanley Kowalski and Blanche Du Bois in the 1951 movie 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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#34 Scene from the movie ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

Scene from the movie 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

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#35 Vivien Leigh holding a lit cigarette in a publicity still issued for the film, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1951.

Vivien Leigh holding a lit cigarette in a publicity still issued for the film, 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1951.

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#36 Photographer Arthur ‘Weegee’ Fellig with American film star couple Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh after a showing of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.

Photographer Arthur 'Weegee' Fellig  with American film star couple Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh after a showing of 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

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#37 Marlon Brando in character as Stanley Kowalski in the film ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1950.

Marlon Brando in character as Stanley Kowalski in the film 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1950.

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#38 Bonar Colleano and Vivien Leigh in a scene from Tennessee Williams’ play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, at the Aldwych Theatre, London.

Bonar Colleano and Vivien Leigh in a scene from Tennessee Williams' play 'A Streetcar Named Desire', at the Aldwych Theatre, London.

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#39 Jessica Tandy and Karl Malden in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, 1951

Jessica Tandy and Karl Malden in 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 1951

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Written by Aurora Hale

I am a blogger, entrepreneur and small business coach. I'm an introvert and cat lover. My favourite hobbies are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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