The marvel of Brando's and Leigh's performances is that he is steely solidity and she airy evanescence, something frequently misinterpreted as his modern, realistic acting style and her quaint kind of theatrics. [Director's Cut; 18 March 1994, p.10]
Brando's performance is so idiosyncratic -- the nasal delivery, the muffled diction and, of course, the screaming, ''Stel- lahh!'' -- that it's easy to forget its technical brilliance. But from Brando's first scene he exudes menace, even while talking calmly. His eyes always on the lookout for some slight, Stanley is ready to lash out every second he is on screen. He's impossible not to watch -- he's too odd, too dangerous. [Director's Cut; 11 Feb 1994, p.C3]
This film noir portrait of corruption and morally-compromised obsessions stars Welles as Hank Quinlan, a crooked police chief who frames a Mexican youth as part of an intricate criminal plot. Charlton Heston plays an honorable Mexican narcotics investigator who clashes with the bigoted Quinlan after probing into his dark past. A memorable
What can I say? A Streetcar Named Desire is a superb film, elevated especially by superb writing and performances. The film does look beautiful, the photography is very skillful especially. Alex North's music is nice and authentic, while the story is always gripping and the direction very good. As I have said already, the script and the acting drive A Streetcar Named Desire. Like with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the **** references are cut/not as prevalent, but I still cannot deny that the script was superb, dark, witty and tense. The acting is excellent too. Karl Malden is indeed great, but Marlon Brando gives one of his finest performances ever as the brutal Stanley, while Vivian Leigh also excels in a difficult role as Blanche and the pair while together sizzle with sexual tension. All in all, brilliant. 10/10 Bethany Cox
Of the great American films -- and make no mistake, it belongs in that group -- A Streetcar Named Desire remains one of the most misunderstood, underappreciated and surprisingly forgotten. [26 Sept 1993, p7]
Brando's performance as Stanley is one of those rare screen legends that are all they're cracked up to be: poetic, fearsome, so deeply felt you can barely take it in. In the hands of other actors, Stanley is like some nightmare feminist critique of maleness: brutish and infantile. Brando is brutish, infantile and full of a pain he can hardly comprehend or express. The monster suffers like a man. [Restored version]
Kazan’s direction simmers when it needs to boil, placing all its chips on the battered decor and ethereal lighting, leaving you to wonder what fun Hitchcock or Preminger would have with the sexually pulsating, pressure-cooker backdrop gifted to them in the source material.
A perfect combination of great written screenplay, magical acting and totally precise directing. It will touch the bottom of your heart, showing the fragility of human being and the eternal search for beauty.
Brando's star making, ground breaking performance as the brutish Stanley Kowalski, is what I"ll remember most from this film. Vivien Leigh's fragile, damaged Southern belle provides the tragic heartbreak. Director Elia Kazan has stagy compositions, but it's his work the actors that makes this flick fly.