Standing out in Black and White

        The best acting jobs I saw in the movies that we watched this semester was in Elia Kazan’s 1951 film of Tennessee Williams’ 1947 A Streetcar Named Desire. I thought that the performances by Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando were very good. I thought that Vivien Leigh did a tremendous job of changing her persona in Victor Fleming’s 1939 Gone With the Wind to the pathetic character of Blanche in this movie. She played the crazy sister-in-law of Brando in the movie, and I think that the chemistry between these two actors on screen was great. Brando did a great job of portraying Stanley. He gave the character a great brute type characteristic and did a good job of bullying Blanche and his wife, Stella (Kim Hunter), around during the movie.

        I also liked the way that the film makers used black and white in this movie. I thought that it did a good job in helping portray the situation that Stanley and Stella were in. They obviously were not wealthy and lived in a smaller apartment, and then they were forced to take in Blanche in the beginning of the story. Stanley hated having Blanche around and tried to convince Stella to put her sister in a mental home. I also think that the black and white was to help the audience get Blanche’s point of view on the world. She kind of had a bleak look on things, especially since her husband had committed suicide because he had a homosexual affair. This combined with the rejection that she was feeling from her brother-in-law and sister did not help with this. She had a very good reason to have a bleak look on the world she was living in. The black and white helps portray that. I think that it also helped the movie stand out at this time because most movies at that time were filmed in color.

Megan McKinney