Vivien Leigh gave an amazing performance in the 1951 film version of Tennessee Williams' 1947 play, A Streetcar Named Desire. She was everything I had expected Blanche DuBois to be and more. Vivien Leigh played Blanche to perfection.

     In most movies when an actor or actress imitates a southern accent, his or her performance falls short on certain sounds or words. Since Vivien Leigh is not of southern origin, but instead from England, her performance is of grander expertise. At no moment did I hear one slip of her tongue. Her words were pronounced beautifully with every angelic flow of a true southern lady.

     Vivien Leigh also poised herself exactly as a southern lady. She pranced around, swinging her hands and hips simultaneously in a gentle fashion. Every step seemed like a perfectly choreographed ballet dance; never letting her heels brush the floor in an ugly manner. This is a typical walk of a true southern belle. A southern belle is typically a very gentle, delicate creature, and Vivien Leigh certainly carried herself in this way.

     Vivien Leigh knew how to project the flirtatious mannerisms of a whore. She knew exactly how to bat her eyes and swing her hips to get Brando (Stanley) to notice her. Her eyes were amazing! They were constantly filled with lust and yearning when she looked at men. It almost makes me wonder how Vivien Leigh got to Hollywood. She knew how to perfectly stare at Brando with the eyes one would never want your boyfriend to meet. I do not mean to disrespect Vivien Leigh in any way, but she had the stare that Julia Roberts or Demi More could never pull off in any other less tasteful flick.

     Vivien Leigh was an amazing actress. She certainly did her homework for A Streetcar Named Desire. It almost seemed as if the entire film was a character role--as if Vivien Leigh were actually Blanche DuBois. She really made the movie come to life. The movie would not have been the same without her, and it definitely would not have been as successful. She was definitely the best actress viewed this semester.

Elizabeth Satterwhite

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