Bad Hair Day

         The 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire, based on Tennessee Williams' 1947 play and directed by Elia Kazan, featured a variety of bad hair throughout the film. I constantly caught myself paying attention to the various hairstyles of the actors. Most movies depict actors with glamorous hair with perfect curls, but A Streetcar Named Desire did not showcase the typical movie hair.

         I could not help but notice the distressed hair of every actor. I think Stella, played by Kim Hunter, has the worst hairstyle of the entire cast. Her hair is short with wavy curls on the bottom and very short bangs, which make her forehead look large. Her hair would bounce when Stanley, played by Marlon Brando, tosses her around; but the curls always return to the same place. At one point in the film, Stella has had horrible bed head after a night with Stanley. She looked disheveled after her rendezvous; but, instead of brushing her hair, she gets dressed for the day with her bed head as if she was a college student rolling out of bed for a 7:30 a.m. biology lab.

         However, Stella is not the only actress that has experienced bad hair; Blanche, depicted by Vivien Leigh, also has her fair share of hair moments. Her hairstyle is also short with wavy curls that always look fuzzy. Her bangs are also short and choppy, which I could compare to those sported by my niece in kindergarten. Near the end of the film, Blanche is seen plucking hair, which I am assuming is gray hair. I guess no one informed Blanche that if you pluck one gray hair, seven will grow in its place. Blanche also insisted on parting her hair straight down the middle, which is not suitable for someone her age.

         The women are not the only cast members subject to bad hair. For example, Mitch, acted by Karl Malden, has an unattractive receding hairline, which includes a bald patch on the top of his head. Stanley also underwent several unimpressive hairstyles ranging from wavy curls to the wet slick look. Even the male neighbor from upstairs has an Afro of curls.

         In my opinion, the entire cast of A Streetcar Named Desire had terrible hairstyles. Throughout the film, I anxiously awaited the appearance of the next do and cringed when I spied the next crime against hair.

Sarah Powell

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