Nice Guys Finish Last

         In A Streetcar Named Desire, directed in 1951 by Elia Kazan and based on Tennessee Williams' 1947 play, we see an old-fashioned man and a classic gentleman in Mitch played by (Karl Malden). Mitch is one of Stanley's (Marlon Brando) poker buddies that comes over and plays cards in Stanley's apartment ever week.

         One might get an initial assumption about Stanley that he has some money because he is wearing a suit at the poker table when every other crony of Stanley (Marlon Brando) is wearing rags as compared to Mitch. Mitch also comes across as soft-spoken. One can visually see what kind of man he is when he first sees Blanche (Vivien Leigh) because he is visibly shaken and made nervous by her beauty. Women possess this extra power that men lack, for one look is to die for sometimes. Blanche is the sister of Stella (Kim Hunter), who is staying in Stanley's house for an indefinite time period.

         During their first conversation, one would think that Blanche and Mitch hit it off. They start flirting when he catches her coming out of the bathroom. One could tell how shy Mitch is though as he races to get through some of the conversation. Blanche is concerned with her age and that a man would not find her beautiful anymore or lust for her anymore. Mitch fixes her doubt when he shows up in the picture. Eventually these two go on a date, and Mitch finally has the courage to plant a kiss on Blanche, but she finds reason not to kiss him. She is still disturbed by her past marriage, and she has been keeping the secret of her dead young husband tucked away. She finally opens up to Mitch and tells him her awful past about the way she had helped kill her husband, although she does not tell him about all her promiscuity after that death. One would think that opening up to someone as much as she did would bring the relationship to a high. I thought so. However, out of revenge and loyalty to Mitch, Stanley decided to tell Mitch everything about Blanche's promiscuous past, one day at work and they almost fought over it.

         In conclusion, it is sad that Blanche and Mitch did not work out in the long run. He had good intentions for her, but they just did not match up right. She had a very complicated, sordid, emotionally disturbed past and Mitch was a simple, virtuous man from the beginning.

Eric Belmonte

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