The Electric

What's On

Cinematic Time Machine: A Streetcar Named Desire

Sunday 16th & Thursday 20th February

Director: Elia Kazan

Starring: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden

Rating: 12A

USA 1951, 127mins

In the sticky heat of New Orleans’s French Quarter, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh), a small-town beauty who feels her best years are behind her, arrives at the modest apartment of her sister Stella (Kim Hunter) and her explosive husband Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando).

Streetcar was nominated for a then unprecedented twelve Oscars, but it was the art director and actors Leigh, Malden and Hunter who took home the statuettes, not Brando.

“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 Laurence Olivier’s London production of the play) actually enhance the conflict between their characters.” - Geoff Andrew, BFI Programmer-at-large