A Streetcar Named Desire is rightly regarded as Tennessee Williams’ finest play. Set in steamy New Orleans, it deals with the struggles and desires of two contrasting and conflicting worlds – the doomed and sophisticated Old South and the rough but vigorous poor quarter of New Orleans.
In the 1951 classic film adaption starring Marlon Brando, Blanche Dubois runs from her disastrous life among the fading plantation mansions of the Mississippi to her sister’s house in New Orleans. But when Blanche arrives at her sister’s, she finds to her horror that she is living in poverty with her rough husband, Stanley Koslowski (when I moved to New Orleans in 1990 to a house on Desire Street, not much had changed).
Gradually Blanche’s civilized facade is revealed as a fraud and her high society manners as nothing but an illusion, for she too has her hidden desires and scandalous past. The characters are spun in a spider web of lies, violence and frustrated desire. As the heat of summer rises, so too the film reaches its savage climax, making this movie a must see.