A Streetcare Named Desire (AFI #47)

“I’ve been curious about this one for a while. As a theater person, I tend to hear the play mentioned often (especially back in my theater classes), and as a movie person, I tend to see references to it. Yet another reason I think this project was a good idea. So that now I actually have a clue what these peeps are talking about.

Some time ago I found an interview with Edward Norton (for those not in the know, Norton is my fave actor) where he said the reason he did The Score back in ’01 is cause he didnt want to walk by the poster one day and see someone else’s name listed with Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando. I now completely understand. I’ve had mad respect for Marlon Brando since I first saw the Godfather. That just increased times a thousand. I was just drawn to him every time he was on screen. And I had to watch that “”Hey Stella!!”” scene again once I’d finished the movie.

I think the biggest downside to this whole Amazon Rental thing is that there’s no subtitles. Its been a habit of mine for years now to always turn on the subtitles when watching a DVD, to be sure I dont miss any important dialogue. Started that when I first saw Donnie Darko (my all time third fave flick). Immediately once the credits hit, I backtracked to the first chapter, turned on the subtitles, and watched the whole thing over. Didnt make much more sense that time, but the habit stuck. It also comes in handy when watching movies at home with my Daddy. My mom has a tendancy to wander in the room and talk loudly about nothing. With the subtitles on, we didnt miss any of whatever we were watching (usually 24). But for Streetcar, between how fast Vivien Leigh (I didnt even recognize her until I IMDB-ed it) talks and Brando’s manner of speaking I lost so much of the dialogue, which made me really sad.

There was a lot I didnt get, and some I didnt care about. I was far more interested in Stanley (Brando) and Stella (Kim Hunter) than I was in Blanche (Leigh). I perked up whenever Brando was on screen, and lost interest whenever he and Hunter were both absent. There were also some subtleties that I didnt catch onto until I read about them afterward. Apparently a lot of stuff got censored from the original play, which is what led to a lot of confusion. Also, the ending didnt make much sense to me until I heard what it was originally supposed to be. Dont you hate it when Hollywood does that?

Now for the part where I tie the movie into some really bad current film that I love for some reason. This time, Hollywood Homicide. Comedy with Josh Hartnett and Harrison Ford where they play cops with career interests other than LAPD. Ford is trying to be a realtor, and Hartnett wants to be an actor. Throughout the film, he’s practicing for a showcase where he’ll be playing Stanley in Streetcar. He’s constantly walking away yelling “”STEEELLLAAAAAA””. Yeah kinda had that image in the back of my head everytime Brando said the name. But no contest that Brando did it waaaaay better”