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A Streetcar Named Desire (1984) DVD

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A Streetcar Named Desire (1984)


John Erman    


Oscar SaulTennessee Williams (play)    


Ann-MargretTreat WilliamsBeverly D'Angelo 
ANN MARGRET looks too healthy to portray Blanche DuBois, the physically and mentally fragile Southern-belle protagonist of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, but we forget this discrepancy five minutes into her marvelous performance. This TV-movie version of Streetcar costars Treat Williams as faded aristocrat Blanche's rude 'n' crude brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski; Williams is persuasive, though he tries so hard not to be Marlon Brando that he comes off as a bit mechanical. The 1984 Streetcar is more realistically staged than the near-impressionistic 1951 Vivien Leigh/Marlon Brando filmization. The storyline, concerning the battle of wills between the earthy, pragmatic Stanley and the delusional Blanche, remains the same in both films, as does the script's tendency to avoid the homosexual elements that were so important to Williams' original play. The newer film's photography is bathed in an ambler tint throughout, conveying both nostalgia for the era in which it is set (the late 1940s) and a visual literalization of Blanche's "yellowed with antiquity" former lifestyle. The 1984 Streetcar Named Desire is less a remake of the 1951 version than a companion piece--a praiseworthy alternate version of the same sturdy material.            

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    Posted by on Oct 18th 2022

    Hoping to escape her troubled and tormented past, Blanche Du Bois goes to New Orleans, hoping to find some comfort and understanding from her sister Stella. But Blanche's fragile illusions are brutally shattered by her brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski.
    Director John Erdman offers a thoroughly pedestrian 1984 TV production of Tennessee Williams' 1947 Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece. Ann-Margret, nevertheless, received an Emmy Award nomination, for her performance. She certainly tries very hard, and manages to convey Blanche's nervous energy, at least.
    John Erdman directs Ann-Margaret and the other actors, including Treat Williams and Beverly D'Angelo, at a frantic and frenzied pace. The actors go through the motions of Tennessee Williams' masterpiece without making emotional connections to each other or the material. The result is a curiously exploitative and unnecessarily graphic "Streetcar" devoid of emotional impact.

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