A Streetcar Named Desire

Oh Vivien Leigh. You are so dramatic.

Last week/weekend, Logan and I got our Netflix in the mail. We went old school again and added an old classic film to our queue: our fourth classic to

watch for the first time.

  1. Singin’ in the Rain
  2. Hello, Dolly!
  3. Gone with the Wind
  4. A Streetcar Named Desire

Oh dear. Sadly, this movie had no fun songs or choreographed dancing to keep me interested. This is a straight up tragedy.

When I say we watched it for the first time, I lie slightly, because we actually both watched a portion of this motion picture in high school english class. The only thing I could remember about it though was the famous “STELLA!!!!” line of Marlon Brando. So really, I watched it for the second time, only remembering one line of it.

As we began the movie, we were both prepared for a plot that went either way. After watching Gone with the Wind, I definitely had a more realistic attitude that this

might not be the greatest show on earth. Hopeful, I stayed tuned.

The first thing that struck me was the leading male actor. Marlon, you do notfit into 1940’s. You look like you should be a rock star right now. Usually I am disappointed with leading male actor’s faces in these old timer movies. I was not. Everything else about the role of Stanley Kowalski was quite unattractive. But the face, not so much. Such a nice face for such a mean, primal spirit, violent temper, and terrible speech problems. Most of his lines I honestly couldn’t understand.

The second realization: Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) is a psycho. Tragic as her character is, she is completely mad. A web of lies she spins around herself throughout the entire plot. She spins such a tight web that at the end she doesn’t know what is fact and what is fiction. She lives in the past. She puts on these veils of beauty and crowns of wealth to create an illusion of herself that only hides her ugly past for so long.

The third and final thought… or maybe more of a question: what was the point of the show? I am having a hard time pinpointing the elements of the plot here. To diagram it, there is a clear exposition, rising action, and perhaps climax. But the conflict being resolved is really where it gets kind of muddled for me.

Exposition: Blanche moves from the Old South in with her sister, Stella, and her husband, Stanley. She has a dark past that she keeps under lock and key, and acts as if she is just on a vacation.

Rising action: Stanley finds out about Blanche’s past and starts hating on her, demanding that she leave. Stella is upset with Stanley for hating her sister. Stanley is wild, drunk, and belligerent most of the time. All the while, Blanche finds a suitor, Mitch, to pursue her, never letting him in on her dirty little secrets.

Climax: Mitch finds out about Blanche’s past (Stanley told him) and he leaves her. Stanley tells Blanche to leave his house.

Falling Action: hub a dub dubba… Blanche continues to become crazier. Stella has a baby. Stanley becomes crazier as well and actually rapes Blanche. I know, ew. It’s not good.

Resolution: Stanley has Blanche taken away to the insane asylum. Stella and the baby finally leave Stanley because he is a horrible husband. If you can call that a resolution.

All in all, I wish I had a better review of this movie. I didn’t like it. But, if you know me, I like happy endings. Or at least open endings. This is not either of those. Tragedies, stay away. Next classic movie: The Great Gatsby (kind of classic). I don’t anticipate this one being a comedy either. Ha!

4 thoughts on “A Streetcar Named Desire

  1. I love “Hello, Dolly!” It’s sort of sick of me to admit this but I have the soundtrack on my MP3 player. You should check out “You Can’t Take It With You”, “White Christmas” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”… three of my favorite classic’s. I’m glad someone else out there still watches the oldies! 🙂

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