Great Acting=Great Movie

         Elia Kazan's 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire, adapted from the 1947 Tennessee Williams play and directed by Elia Kazan, was brought to life through Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh.

         Brando's portrayal of Stanley Kowalski was stunning. When Stanley first came to screen, I gasped at how beautiful he was. Yet when I got to know the real character, it became hard to see him as handsome. Brando really made Stanley come off as a no-good creep. I think that is just skilled acting! Brando really did an amazing job by making Stanley seem to be a loveable and cute husband who could morph into a temper tantrum baby and then into a conniving rapist. I think it would be very hard to play such a diverse character. Brando, however, did it perfectly. I now know why the role shot him into the spotlight. He was able to make us love him and also hate him. This broad spectrum of Stanley Kawalski’s personality is well portrayed by Marlon Brando.

         When I first say Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois, I was also taken aback. The last time I saw Leigh was in the 1939 film Gone With the Wind, directed by Victor Fleming. In that movie, Leigh played the beautiful and vibrant southern belle Scarlett O’Hara. In this movie, however, Leigh depicted an aging southern belle character that was yearning for affection and attention and in fact, quite annoying! However, in Williams’ play this is exactly how I found DuBois to be, so I thought Vivien Leigh did a great acting job. Viewers can easily believe that Leigh’s DuBois was once a wonderful, beautiful lady that has now lost everything and is now full of despair and distraught. The viewers feel sorry for her but at the same time wish she were gone. At the end of the movie when she is portrayed as crazy, Leigh did a wonderful job of selling her cracked character.

         I do not think that A Streetcar Named Desire would have been as great of a movie without these two fantastic actors. They really outdid themselves in their respective parts. I understand why Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh became such famous movie stars…it is so because they are such great actors!

Amber Lyles

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