Stanley: The King

         In A Streetcar Named Desire, directed in 1951 by Elia Kazan and based on Tennessee Williams' 1947 play, Marlon Brando played the role of Stanley. He was cast by Elia Kazan based on the experience of of seeing him and his fellow gang on stage in a play. He was a natural for the role of Stanley.

         Stanley is a hard-working mechanic working in the city of New Orleans. He works hard for his wife and is your typical family man. His wife, Stella (Kim Hunter), is pregnant with his first child, and Stanley loves Stella even though he is a drunk. Stanley, unfortunately, has to meet Blanche, Stella's sister (Vivien Leigh) Blanche is not Stanley's type. Blanche is too much of a goody good for a person like Stanley. He lives a rougher life compared to this sister of Stella. Blanche shows up with mink, scarves, dresses, and other expensive jewelry that Stanley wants to pawn off. He tells Stella that he is going to get an appraiser to come in and look at all of Blanche's stuff. One can see right from the beginning that this relationship between Stanley and Blanche is very rocky.

         Stanley finds out some tales from the past about Blanche and comes to the conclusion that she is a fake. He tells his pregnant wife what he thinks of her when Blanche is in the bathroom and Stella cannot believe what she is hearing. When they sit down for Blanche's birthday at the dinner table, Stanley hands Blanche a present. She opens it to find a bus ticket home, and this outrages Stella. They start giving him lip and Stanley finally gets fed up. He says to them, "What do you think you are? A pair of queens? Now just remember what Huey Long said-that every man's a king-and I'm the King around here, and don't you forget it." That line made me burst out loud laughing. That line alone sums up who Stanley is and what he stands for.

         He refuses to put up with the nonsense Blanche brings into his household and arranges with Stella to have her removed to an asylum and out of his hair.

Eric Belmonte

Table of Contents