Objections to Deletions

        Some of the scenes and actions in the Tennessee Williams 1947 book A Streetcar Named Desire were changed for Elia Kazan's 1951 movie version, as with so many other movies, especially from the time period in which the movie was produced. This made some sequences or character actions may not have been as clear to viewers who has not read the book as they are to those who already know what is going to happen or what is going on.

        For example, in scene ten in the book, after Stanley has been agitated by Blanche, and is also drunk, he advances towards her, mentions that they have “had this date from the beginning.” He lifts her off the floor where she has fallen and carries her into the bedroom to the bed. Then there is music and an indication that Stanley is raping her. In the movie version, Blanche (Vivien Leigh) does sink to the floor, but we do not get to see Stanley (Marlon Brando) lift her and take her into the bedroom or to the bed. Instead, we do here music, but then the scene cuts to the next day out on the sidewalk where a fire hydrant has broken. The first is a more obvious indication that Blanche has been raped. Then second could show Stanley beating Blanche as he has beaten Stella (Kim Hunter) in the past, although the earlier conversation in the scene, talk of Blanche’s promiscuity, does sway the viewer or reader towards the former idea.

        Also, towards the end of the book, in scene ten, a doctor and nurse arrive to take Blanche away to "spend some time in the country." Blanche believes that she will go on a vacation with Shep Huntleigh, a former suitor of Blanche. In the movie version, the doctor and nurse arrive, but we are not told who they are. One may assume doctor or nurse or someone from an asylum of sorts.

        In the very end of the book, Stella is crying for Blanche, and Stanley comes to the porch to comfort her. In the end of the movie, Stella retreats to the upstairs apartment while Stanley is still inside playing cards, and Stella vows never to return to Stanley and the abuse.

Sarah Verive