Violence on Screen

         In today's society, it is hard to find a good movie without violence and sexual connotation. Most people think that violence and sexual scenes just came about. However, after watching the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan and based on Tennessee Williams' 1947 play, one can realize that violence in movies began years ago; although, the violence is portrayed in a more subdued way. Actually violence on screen goes back to the beginning of the movies, even before the twentieth century.

         A Streetcar Named Desire is about physical abuse in a marriage. Not only is it about abuse in a marriage; it is about a rape that takes place outside of a marriage as well. Stanley (Marlon Brando), the husband of Stella (Kim Hunter), is a very abusive man inside and outside of his marriage. He seems to have a drinking problem as well. To me, his drinking problem was just a contributor to his violence.

         Stanley was so abusive to his wife that everyone around knew about it. But not only was he abusive to her; he was abusive to her sister as well. At first, he was just verbally abusive to Blanche (Vivien Leigh), but soon he was emotionally abusive to her. Once the abuse took place, he raped her. Because of the time frame when the movie was made, the rape scene was not shown on screen. However, it was definitely portrayed so that the audience knew what had happened, especially if they were familiar with the book.

         The movie was one of my least favorites from the semester. I felt as if there were a lot of details from the book that should have been included in the movie. For example, there should have been more details about Blanche's husband, although the censors would have forbade any mention of such homosexuality. I think it would have helped the audience understand her character a little more. All-in-all, the movie was well directed, but the book was much better.

Miranda Robinson

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