Perfect Match

     In 1951, A Streetcar Named Desire was filmed; this major motion picture was created from the 1947 play by Tennessee Williams. Williams did an amazing job of creating very rich and complex characters. The director chosen for this project did an equally impressive job of bringing those characters to life.

     Elia Kazan carefully chose the correct the actors to fulfill the depth of Williams' creation. Viven Leigh was a wonderful choice for Blanche. An aging Leigh, the typical Hollywood beauty, was going through in real life what Williams prescribed for Blanche's life. Not only did the physical elements in the actor and character match, but also did the mental instability. Leigh at this point in her life was battling mental illness just like the character she portrayed in Streetcar.

     Another perfect match made by Kazan was that of Marlon Brando as Stanley. No other actor could have satisfied the complexity of Stanley Kowalski. This complicated man was volatile and at times gentle, mysteriously quiet and unbelievably sexy. Brando has mysterious traits and the amazing body to accompany them. In my opinion, the major factor in Stanley's appeal is his physique. Kazan knew what he was doing when he had Brando's shirt off for most of the movie. Brando's physical attributes mesmerized the audience and lead them to ignoring his rude, slob-like, and sometimes-violent behavior.

     Brando and Leigh are remembered for their contributions to Streetcar. Both of these fine actors were nominated for Academy Awards for their portrayals. It must be remembered and acknowledged the man who found and made those perfect matches.

Krista German

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