Marlon Brando Appropriate Choice for Stanley Kowalski

         Elia Kazan made an excellent decision in casting Marlon Brando for the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1947 screen version of Tennessee Williams' 1947 play, A Streetcar Named Desire. Brando gave a marvelous performance throughout the entire production. The characteristics and attitude he gave to his character helped make the film more interesting.

         Marlon Brando's physical characteristics were an appropriate fit for the role of Stanley. His personal appearance fit well with the descriptions given by Tennessee Williams in his play. Brando brought the seductive looks and facial expressions to his character that were needed in order to turn Stanley into the seductive and convincing character who was always trying to get Stella, played by Kim Hunter, to forgive him and stay with him.

         Probably the most impressive trait Brando gave his character was the ability to transition his attitude and mood from one extreme to the next. Throughout the film, Brando could be acting as the quiet, enjoyable and humorous Stanley, carrying on civilized conversations with Stella or his friends and then all of a sudden, turn into a raging madman that began breaking and throwing things across the room. The best example of this type of behavior happens when he is eating dinner with Blanche (Vivien Leigh) and Stella. While the three are eating and talking, Stella asks Stanley to help her clean off the table. He looks at her, then immediately jumps to his feet, throws his plate against the wall, and begins yelling at Stella. Other scenes such as this one helped show the audience Marlon Brando's talent as an actor.

         Overall, I think Marlon Brando's performance was an important part of the film. Without Brando, the film would not have been quite as interesting and amusing.

Stacey Lee

Table of Contents