To Applaud or not to Applaud

        In my opinion I think that the film that the author would most applaud would be Elia Kazan’s 1951 adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ 1947 A Streetcar Named Desire. This was one of the best movies that we saw in this class, and I think that it paralleled with the book very well. The performances by Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh as Stanley and Blanche were what really made the movie what it is. Their performances brought their characters, and you could really feel the hatred and fighting between them. But Brando’s performance as Stanley is what really stands out. His accurate portrayal made the movie great. The way he would bring the seriousness of the movie and throw a little bit of humor in there was great. I also like how the movie was done in black and white. It also brought the dreary sense of the movie to life. The little tiny apartment that Stanley and Stella (Kim Hunter) lived in was helped give the audience a sense of what it would have really been like living with those two, especially through Blanche’s eyes. The movie was edited a little, however, because there were a couple themes that would have been inappropriate during that time the movie was made. The examples are the rape scene between Blanche and Stanley and the hint that Blanche’s husband had killed himself because he had a homosexual affair. Those themes were a little too much to put on screen during that time period.

        The adaptation that I think an author would not be pleased with is Wuthering Heights, directed in 1930 by William Wyler. Although I thought that the acting was good and that Lawrence Olivier played a great role of Heathcliff, I think that the author, Emily Brontë, would be disappointed because there is so much of the book that is left out of the movie. There is no way that someone could watch this movie in the place of the book without missing so much information. The parts that were portrayed were accurate along with what went on in the book however. I also realize that, if someone were to incorporate the entire book into a film, it would be ridiculously long. I guess there is no way to turn the entire thing into a film successfully. But I do think that the author would be disappointed that so much of the book was left out of the film.

        The other film that I think the author would like is the adaptation by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe of George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 Pygmalion into the 1964 film, directed by George Cukor, and 1956 play My Fair Lady. This film was very successful and one of the most popular movies with its release in 1964. It keeps the same plot and everything and just adds songs to make it a little more upbeat. It makes it more of a comedy and liked by the public. Audrey Hepburn does a tremendous job portraying Eliza and really does show transformation from the flower girl on the corner to the sophisticated woman she becomes once Higgins (Rex Harrison) is done with her. I think this movie does a fine job of staying with the original well, and I think that the author would be pleased.

Megan McKinney