- Date: September 18, 1951
- Type: Movie
A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 film adaptation of the play of the same name by Tennessee Williams. As in the play, the film presents Blanche DuBois, a fading but still-attractive Southern belle whose pretensions to virtue and culture only thinly mask delusions of grandeur and alcoholism. Her poise is an illusion she presents to shield others, but most of all herself, from her reality, and an attempt to make herself still attractive to new male suitors. Blanche arrives from their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi at the apartment of her sister Stella Kowalski in the Faubourg Marigny of New Orleans, on Elysian Fields Avenue; the local transportation she takes to arrive there includes a streetcar route named "Desire". The steamy, urban ambiance is a shock to Blanche's nerves. Explaining that her ancestral southern plantation, Belle Reve in Auriol, Mississippi (Laurel, Mississippi in the play), has been "lost" due to the "epic fornications" of her ancestors, Blanche is welcomed with some trepidation by Stella, who fears the reaction of her husband Stanley. Blanche explains to them how her supervisor told her she could take time off from her job as an English teacher because of her upset nerves, when in fact, she has been fired for having an affair with a 17-year-old student. This turns out not to be the only seduction she has engaged in—and, along with other problems, has left Auriol to escape. A brief marriage scarred by the suicide of her spouse, Allen Grey, has led Blanche to live in a world in which her fantasies and illusions are seamlessly mixed with her reality.