Norman Holland on Elia Kazan, A Streetcar Named Desire ().
The first thing the audience sees in Streetcar is the dynamic between Stanley and Stella – not the relationship between the two sisters or the sexual tension. Cicily A Streetcar Named Desire 1. The relationship between Stella and Stanley: Stella has the same background as Blanche. Kim Hunter and Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire directed by Elia Kazan, Stella and Stanley are very dependant on each other. Tara Branham.
I take them to dinner. I talk to them. I meet their wives. I find out what the hell the human material is that I'm dealing with, so that by the time I take an unknown he's not an unknown to me. He himself wrote in Kazan on Directing, that he tried to find some aspect of himself in the major characters in a film or play he was about to direct.
Then he would choose actors he thought would be able to find stilll other dimensions to the character. Like many directors John Huston, Woody Allenhe thought a director should not mix into what the actors themselves had arrived at.
He should intervene only if the actor seemed uncertain what to do.
John Lahr summed him up: Then they can speak the written lines with true emotion. What we see in Streetcar is the basic Stanislavskian principle: By contrast, his mouth is always in motion.
From time to time he explodes into loud and violent rage, and after I have seen one or two of these I read him as simmering all the time, volcanic, about to have a tantrum like the child he partly is. I read him as filled with inner tensions between the sexual, driving man and the helpless baby he can be to Stella.
And of course he uses his biceps and chest and that t-shirt specially tailored to be skin-tight.
Even so, Brando ws able to find the comedy in the character, his riff about the Napoleonic Code or his irritation at losing at poker or his novel method of clearing the table. She replaced Jessica Tandy who did Blanche on Broadway because the studio wanted the film to have a recognizable star. She had acted Blanche for six months in the London production directed by Laurence Olivier, equally non-Method or anti-Method.
Brando is her opposite. He wants his inner self to be just under the surface and ready to explode. Her eyes, unlike his, are constantly working. She rolls and blinks them flirtatiously, radiating cuteness and childishness and evasion—and sex. Or she looks directly when she is getting down to business with Stella. Her mouth has a girlish simper that she can turn on and off like a light bulb.
ReneeBelville: The Abusive Relationship!
An impressive moment for Leigh comes when Mitch forces Blanche to stand under a strong light. She ages instantly the make-up department no doubt helped herebut all the tension in her face that maintained the cuteness and flirtiness of a Southern belle drains out, and her face melts into that of a suffering forty-year old woman. As for Mitch, he plays the bashful lover to a T. He has a soft, diffident smile, and he leans over Blanche protectively. Malden keeps his lips slightly parted, expectant, and his face reads both perplexity and eagerness as she weaves her confusing spell.
How could a man with that nose be threatening? When he finally confronts her, he turns erect, masculine, loud.
The leaning over becomes a threat of rape. Stella would seem to offer much less for an actress than Blanche, but Kim Hunter has her moments. She won Best Supporting Actress. Often she resorts to beating on him physically—to no effect. The next morning she is kittenish, radiating sexual contentment. She describes her wedding night, and Blanche complains that she is talking about nothing but desire. But seasoned with a little momentary guilt conveyed by fine acting.
The title says it all. Each of the characters is driven by one or another form of sexual desire. You cut away to a smashed mirror and a firehose spurting onto the street. Streetcar with its method acting was one film that started the decline. United Artists decided to release it despite the Breen Office and various state bans. Courts, and ultimately the Supreme Court, threw out the bans, and the picture was a success.
Once the studios realized they could ignore the Breen Office and the Legion of Decency and the other censors, they substituted their own milder and pleasantly ineffective ratings system.
Nowadays, you can see virtually anything on American screens, including cable but not network tv. We can even compare the relationship between Stella and Stanley to Steve and Eunice. There are always have fight between these two couples. However, they always maintain good relations in a very short time. For example, Stanley beats Stella. Nevertheless, they still make love at that night. Steve and Eunice have similar situation.
Yet, there are still have some differences between these two couples. Because the interference of Blanche, Stella shares the opinion from Blanche. She has the same background and views as Blanche. Consequently, she can't endure so much violent behaviors from Stanley. For example, she ran to Eunice's house when Stanley beats her. She hates Stanley joke to her in front of other people.
She against Stanley because she want to support her sister. Meanwhile, Stanley also feels threatened because of Blanche. So he will give the ticket to Blanche at the end. He tries his best to expel Blanche. Although Stanley is brutish, he really loves and needs Stella. Hence, he tries his best to protect his marriage. The relationship between Blanche and Stanley: In the scene two, we can know that Blanche was flirting to Stanley. However, I think it's just a way she treats to men. She just wants to make friends with him.
Or she wants to be more familiar with him. However, we can see the relationship between Stanley and Blanche are always very tense. Stanley always wants to know the truth of Blanche's past.