What Cannot Be Seen

         Most movies today incorporate more violent behavior into the plot than those films from earlier times. The art of presenting violence without using severe violent acts in a film is decreasing. However, I believe the film A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan, was able to replicate the violence from Tennessee Williams's 1947 play without using drastic methods.

         When this film was made in 1951, certain material was not allowed to be shown on television. Due to these restrictions, the director had to settle for other ways to show the violence on screen. A Streetcar Named Desire has a plot very difficult to portray without using questionable violence. This film was about physical abuse in a marriage and included a rape scene. Due to the challenge of staying within the regulations, the assault scene was set up so that the viewers had to read into what took place. The first impression when viewing this scene was that Stanley (Marlon Brando) had just tried to scare Blanche (Vivien Leigh). However, it was easy to know what took place if the person was familiar with the book.

         As a whole, the director did a good job; but it is true that some information from the book should have been included in the movie. The facts about Blanche's husband should have been more detailed. It was difficult to know exactly what had pushed her over the edge mentally without further insight into her past. Despite this, though, the film as a whole was no less powerful than a film today done over the same issues.

Sharel Carter

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