Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1951. Charles K. Feldman Group, Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Tennessee Williams, adaptation by Oscar Saul, based on the play by Tennessee Williams. Cinematography by Harry Stradling Sr.. Produced by Charles K. Feldman. Music by Alex North. Production Design by Richard Day, Bertram Tuttle. Costume Design by Lucinda Ballard. Film Editing by David Weisbart. Academy Awards 1951. Golden Globe Awards 1951.
The most faithful adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play produced in Hollywood at the time, the story revolves around an unhappy working-class couple (Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter) and how their lives are disrupted by the arrival of Hunter’s mentally unbalanced sister (Vivien Leigh). Leigh never had the strong career in cinema that she deserved after the success of Gone With the Wind, mostly due to personal problems, but she did manage a stellar moment once again with this fantastic drama (and even won her second Oscar for it). The material was enough to get the censors and the Catholic Legion of Decency into an uproar at the time (there’s a lot of bad talk and a rape, while the homosexual references from the play are gone), but it is tame by today’s standards.