This Gentleman Does Not Prefer Blondes

        Vivien Leigh took on the role of Blanche Dubois in the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire that was directed by Elia Kazan. Tennessee Williams wrote the original play in 1947. When I read the play, I did not see Blanche as the person that she was portrayed as in the movie. I thought Vivien Leigh did a good job of acting, but I did not like the character overall.

        First of all I did not imagine Blanche's physical appearance to be the way that is was. I did not like the fact that she was a blonde. I had pictured her to be a brunette. I also thought Blanche would not be as pale and fragile looking as she was. I just did not think that it fit the character described in the book.

        I also did not envision Blanche's personality to be the way it was in the movie. I had imagined Blanche to outspoken and very flirty. In the movie, I thought her character seemed very calm and scared. Leigh did a good job of making Blanche appear to be innocent, but the actress made Blanche come across as obviously crazy from the beginning of the movie. In the book I took it as if it were Stanley who had sent Blanche over the breaking point when he raped her. I also think that the movie left out some details of Blanche's character that were very important to the audience understanding her. One example of this is the movie not telling about Blanche's husband being gay.

        Although I think that Vivien Leigh did a great job as an actress in the movie, I just did not like the way the Blanche's character was displayed. When I read the book, I saw Blanche in a completely different light; and, because of this, the cinematic treatment of Blanche ruined the movie for me.

Jamison Carner

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