Warner Bros. | Release Date: September 19, 1951 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Universal acclaim based on 19 Critic Reviews
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Of the great American films -- and make no mistake, it belongs in that group -- A Streetcar Named Desire remains one of the most misunderstood, underappreciated and surprisingly forgotten. [26 Sept 1993, p7]
It's full of cinematic invention, rich verbal and visual poetry, packed with raw life and nonpareil acting. [Dirctor's Cut]
Perhaps more than ever, Marlon Brando's brutish Stanley seems the most attractive and honest character; he's also bewitchingly funny. He cuts through Blanche's lies and illusions, he satisfies Stella's sexual urges, and the fact that he does so with deliberate cruelty seems not to register. [Director's Cut; 4 Feb 1994, p.D21]
Brando's performance is so idiosyncratic -- the nasal delivery, the muffled diction and, of course, the screaming, ''Stel- lahh!'' -- that it's easy to forget its technical brilliance. But from Brando's first scene he exudes menace, even while talking calmly. His eyes always on the lookout for some slight, Stanley is ready to lash out every second he is on screen. He's impossible not to watch -- he's too odd, too dangerous. [Director's Cut; 11 Feb 1994, p.C3]
What makes A Streetcar Named Desire rewarding to watch today, especially on a big screen, is the same thing that made it so cherishable in the first place - Williams' heartbreaking lyricism, the titanic performances by Vivien Leigh's Blanche and Marlon Brando's Stanley, and Williams' most perfect realization of his ongoing central theme - the extermination of sensitivity and refinement by the brutes and carnivores of the world. [Director's Cut; 18 Feb 1994, p.37]
The marvel of Brando's and Leigh's performances is that he is steely solidity and she airy evanescence, something frequently misinterpreted as his modern, realistic acting style and her quaint kind of theatrics. [Director's Cut; 18 March 1994, p.10]