A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951
Director: Elia Kazan
Notable cast: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
This acclaimed film adaption included director Kazan and cast members Brando, Hunter, and Malden from the original Broadway production; Leigh had played Blanche in the London production. Aside from some censored dialogue and expansion of locations, the screenplay, which Tennessee Williams co-authored, is essentially the same in plot and structure as the play. The main difference lies in the ending: Stella vows to leave Stanley and runs with her baby to Eunice upstairs—though whether she’ll really resist his cries of “Stella!” is unclear.
A Streetcar Named Desire, 1984
Director: John Erman
Notable cast: Ann-Margret, Treat Williams, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid
This made-for-television film used the 1951 screenplay but restored some dialogue from the original play, making clearer the homosexuality of Blanche’s young husband and presenting the climactic rape more explicitly. Filmed in sepia tones, it also restored the original ending of Stella remaining with Stanley. The film was a critical success and won numerous awards.
A Streetcar Named Desire, 1995
Director: Glenn Jordan
Notable cast: Jessica Lange, Alec Baldwin, Diane Lane, John Goodman
This made-for-TV film was based on a 1992 Broadway revival of the play that starred Lange and Baldwin. It offers the most complete filmed version of Streetcar, using all the dialogue from the original play as well as sets and costumes that pay homage to those in the original stage production.
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