A Streetcar Named Desire is one of three Marlon Brando films released this week on Blu-ray (the others being Twilight Time’s Désirée, detailed below, and New Line’s Don Juan DeMarco). His performance in the Broadway play A Streetcar Named Desire changed acting forever and then in the 1951 film production he changed acting forever some more. And yet, despite Karl Malden, Vivien Leigh, and Kim Hunter all winning Oscars for the film, Brando didn’t (losing to Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen). Elia Kazan’s acclaimed film masterpiece based on the Tennessee Williams’ play also lost for Best Picture (to An American in Paris), Best Screenplay and B&W Cinematography (to A Place in the Sun), and in a bunch of other categories. Did we just have a lot more brilliant films back then? (Other nominees that year included Strangers on a Train, La Ronde, Death of a Salesman, Detective Story, Ace in the Hole, Show Boat, When Worlds Collide, and Rashomon.)
Anyway, 60 years later Blanche DuBois, Stanley Kowalski, Mitch, and Stella have all got together again to thrash out their overheated relationships with glorious, psychodramatic methodry in this anniversary edition Blu-ray set. Uncensored in this original cut, they do impassioned things for three minutes more, the steamy footage having been restored to the film after it was rediscovered in the early 1990s. There’s also a memorable score by Alex North (which lost to Franz Waxman’s one for A Place in the Sun) in lossless mono.
Video: 1.37:1. Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0. Extras: featurettes: “A Streetcar on Broadway,” “A Streetcar in Hollywood, “ “Desire and Censorship,” “North and the South, and “An Actor Named Brando,” commentary by Karl Malden, film historian Rudy Behlmer and Jeff Young, Elia Kazan movie trailer gallery, movie and audio outtakes, Marlon Brando screen test, “Elia Kazan: A Director’s Journey” documentary, 40-page book. Studio: Warner.
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.