A Streetcar Named Desire(Elia Kazan) 1954 **** 12/2/2015

Stanley Kowlalski(Marlon Brando) does not acquiesce.  He will not be refused.  Blanche DuBois(Vivien Leigh) is unraveling like an old silk dress.  Leigh does it wonderfully; her overactive eyes and fluttering hands, whether combing her hair or powdering her nose, present a striking portrait of a desperate(sans espere) woman.  Brando is an oak, solid and violent and admirable in a way, were it not for the violence and rape he inflicts on the DuBois sisters(Kim Hunter is a charming and attractive Stella DuBois.)  Yes, he’s bestial, but he tells the truth about Blanche, though we’re devastated by it, and sympathize with her admonishment that “deliberate cruelty” is the worst thing a person can inflict on another.  She was a prostitute, or at least a slut after she lost everything in Oriole, and Stanley finds this out and destroys Robert Mitchell( an affecting & moving and sweetly heartbreaking Karl Malden) and her’s looming marriage.  Kazan shot it beautifully, crisp, with fresh looking camera work even now.  Stacked faces in closeups, I’m partial to.  It was quite nearly a perfect film.  I can’t think of any fault in it.

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