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A Streetcar Named Desire (Two-Disc Special Edition)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter
  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 2, 2006
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EBD9TY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,791 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Streetcar Named Desire (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by Karl Malden and film historians Rudy Behlmer and Jeff Young
  • Elia Kazan movie trailer gallery
  • Feature-length documentary: Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey
  • Movie and audio outtakes
  • Marlon Brando screen test
  • Five new documentaries: A Streetcar on Broadway, A Streetcar in Hollywood, Censorship and Desire, North and the Music of the South, and An Actor Named Brando

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden. Four Academy Awards and eight other nominations escalate the heat in this sizzling Tennessee Williams tale of Blanche DuBois, an aging beauty, who goes to New Orleans to visit her married sister Stella Kowalski and finds herself tangling with her brother-in-law Stanley. 2 DVDs. 1952/b&w/122 min/NR/fullscreen.

Additional Features

An exemplary selection of supporting material makes this second disc much more than a throw-in. Richard Schickel's lucid 90-minute profile, Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey, gives a fine account of the Kazan career, including lesser-known but worthy films such as Wild River and America, America. (One wonders, however, why a documentary about the art of a director can't letterbox its widescreen clips.) Kazan's work, rather than his fascinating life, is the focus, and his cooperative testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s is given a brief, neutral treatment. Clips from those Kazan interviews figure in two shorter docs, a look at the origins of Streetcar on Broadway (and the way Marlon Brando's performance threatened to tip the balance of the play) and a thorough half-hour history of the movie adaptation. A nine-minute profile of Brando is mostly an excuse for reminiscences from Karl Malden, but they are wonderful memories indeed. (Malden also contributes his sharp recollections and wise insights to a commentary track on the film, along with film writers Rudy Behlmer and Jeff Young, all recorded separately.) A ten-minute look at composer Alex North's contribution is informative and smart. Outtakes here are really a collection of snippets, of interest to fanatics. A Brando screen test is surprisingly ordinary, although one can see hints of the tiger waiting to escape. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

I could not find sufficient words to say enough about it then, nor can I even now, I fear.
A. Casalino
Absolutely loved this classic, and the acting by Marlon Brando, and Vivien Leigh was OUTSTANDING, Karl Malden, and Kim Hunter also gave stellar performances.
It was very much ahead of its time, and it remains one of the most intense, subtle, and well-made dramas in the history of film.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 136 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on June 12, 2004
Format: DVD
As a playwright, Tennessee Williams was to the South what William Faulkner was as a fiction writer: a creative genius who revolutionized not only the region's arts scene and literature but that of 20th century America as a whole, bringing a Southern voice to the forefront while addressing universally important themes, and influencing and inspiring generations of later writers.

Pulitzer-Prize-winning "A Streetcar Named Desire" dates from the peak of Williams's creativity, the period between 1944 ("A Glass Menagerie") and 1955 ("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," his second Pulitzer-winner). After its successful 1947 run on Broadway, "Streetcar" was adapted into a screenplay by Williams himself for this movie produced and directed by Elia Kazan, starring the entire Broadway cast except Jessica Tandy, who was replaced by the star of the play's London production, Vivien Leigh. The piece takes its title from one of the New Orleans streetcar lines that protagonist Blanche DuBois (Leigh) rides on her way to the apartment of her sister Stella (Kim Hunter), foreshadowing her later path, from (ever-unfulfilled) Desire to Cemetery (death, or the loss of reality) and a street called Elysian Fields, like the ancient mythological land of the dead.
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125 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Shane J. Byrd on March 5, 2005
Format: DVD
I won't go into how amazing this movie is. We all know that. What gets me is how little respect Warner Bros. pays to the classic films that built their studios. Here you have one of the best films of all time and they release it on a DVD with virtually no extras and a VERY sub-par transfer. From the moment the Warner Bros. logo pops up you can see how unstable the image is...not to mention a large amount of dirt and debris running through every scene. The sound quality isn't much better (I actually had to turn the subtitles on for some of the pivotal scenes).Isn't this film worthy of a restoration? I've run across this same problem a lot with this company's releases. I guess they know that people will buy these wonderful movies based on the reviews of the movies themselves and don't feel any need to fork out cash to ensure the quality of their products.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1999
Format: DVD
The film (like virtually all pre-1952 films) was shot in the Academy format of 1.37 to 1. Because your non-widescreen TV is 1.33 to 1, there is no reason to letterbox the DVD image. So the aspect ratio has only been altered to the extent that you're losing a few millimeters on each side. (The same is true of virtually all other pre-1952 films, despite numerous posts at Amazon.com complaining about no widescreen and pan-and-scan cutting, etc. It's great that people now look for widescreen videos and DVDs, but it's not so great that people don't understand that you're not going to find them before the fifties.) "Streetcar" is a masterpiece, certainly one of the top 50 American movies every made. The only reason I've given it 4 stars instead of 5 is because the film print used for this DVD is somewhat warn and there is much graininess in the image. There's also a hiss on the mono audio. Hopefully, this film will be remastered for DVD someday. In the meantime, this is still the best the film has ever looked for the home market. Also, at this price it's a real bargain.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Moser on January 23, 2005
Format: DVD
"I've always depended on the kindness of strangers," is a very difficult line to read convincingly. Recent years have brought us a plethora of *Blanches DuBois*. Just ask Jessica Lange or Ann-Margaret how hard that line is to read - neither of them came close to convincing us of it. But Vivien Leigh - the ethereally lovely and vastly skilled actress who brought us the immortal Scarlett O'Hara - utters the line in such a way that makes the heart ache. Leigh, who won Best Actress for her performance, plays the seminal Blanche. She is flighty, unstable and riddled with neuroses, and the very apex of Tennessee Williams' dysfunctional but immense creativity. Her character is strongly contrasted by that of Marlon Brando's crude, Neanderthal-like Stanley Kowalski, and both of them, perhaps because of their personal parallels to their characters, excel at these playing parts. This re-release restored several minutes of sexual tension to the film that had been hacked out by the censors, notably filling out Kim Hunter's Oscar-winning role as Blanche's beloved sister, Stella. Despite the stifling mores of the Fifties, the film also garnered awards for Karl Malden, and Best Art Direction.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Frederick Baptist on April 25, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a very good, touching and terrifying at times film about how people use, intimidate and ill-treat each other even among families. A poor, long-suffering lady is close to a mental breakdown and comes to seek out her sister for help but in the end this only leads to a totally opposite outcome. Both Leigh and Brando put in excellent performances here and so does Karl Malden who together with Brando would go on to even better things with "On the Waterfront."

The problem is with the DVD which hasn't been restored at all making for very, very poor picture and sound quality. With the advent of Blu-Ray, here's hoping they would take this opportunity to totally remaster this film and to add good bonus features which are totally missing here. Dolby Digital 5.1 surround or DTS THX sound options would be a real treat.

This is a good film but I recommend you wait for a much better restored version to surface and not to waste your hard earned money on this very, very poor DVD version.
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