A Streetcar Named Rocky

     Could Tennessee Williams' immortal classic A Streetcar Named Desire, written in 1947 and filmed in 1951 by director Elia Kazan, have something in common with a Sylvester Stalone film? No, not Daylight or Judge Dredd (let us hope NO movies have anything in common with those two). The film to which I am alluding to is the Oscar-winning Rocky.

     Let's get the obvious comparison out of the way now. The most obvious comparison are the screams. It is true, the two are very similar and I have often seen them aired sequentially when talking about classic film scenes. Who could forget Stanley's (Marlon Brando) sorry puppy cry of, "Stella!" to bring his wife home? Who else could forget the battered Rocky's yell of, "Adrian!?"--not I.

     The comparisons run deeper, however. Both Stanley and Rocky hail from the streets of old large cities. Rocky was from Philadelphia, home of the Continental Congress. Stanley came from the home of the Cubs, the Bears, and the great fire-the city of Chicago. These pasts greatly affected both characters and created nice contrasts from the more refined characters they interacted with.

     The one major contrast between the two characters comes in who they married. Stanley married a refined southern bell and brought her down to his level. Rocky, on the other hand, met a poor girl like him, but she managed to lift him up to a higher level of refinement. This is an important interaction in both films.

     It is sometimes hard to see that most movies are indeed very similar if we look closely. This may heavily rely on the fact that we go to movies simply to be entertained and less to be informed. However, the astute film buff will notice these similarities, which only points to the fact that there are certain truths about humans and the way they act.

Justin Young

Table of Contents