Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:
The Producer’s theme for this month is: Depending on the kindness of strangers; A Comedy, A Tragedy, A Farce.
Have we dodged a harsh winter? It seems so, with the median temps being in the 50’s all month. We will have to see how March comes in, right? We have quite the mix of films for you to enjoy. The Tacoma Film Club will screen Elia Kazan’s A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) this Friday at CSL.
Elia Kazan is no stranger to the Club, as we have screened a number of his films, & discussed him several times. Suffice it to say, he was a hot shot Broadway director in the late 40’s, directing A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE in 1947, with Jessica Tandy, Brando, Hunter, & Malden all in it. In 1949, it opened in London, directed by Laurence Olivier, & starring Vivien Leigh. Well respected by many– his naming of names to HUAC branded him treacherous by others.
He directed 22 films between 1945-1976, (He directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, 9 of which won), & his honored films include A SEA OF GRASS (1947), VIVA ZAPATA (1952), ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), EAST OF EDEN (1955), A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957), & AMERICA, AMERICA (1963).
The cinematography was done by Harry Stradling, Sr., a veteran lenser for the studio system (MGM & Warner Brothers), he shot 142 films from 1920- 1970, including PYGMALION (1938), JAMAICA INN (1939), MR. & MRS. NORTH (1942), SONG OF RUSSIA (1944), THE SEA OF GRASS (1947), THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY (1949), A LION IN THE STREETS (1953), GUYS & DOLLS (1954), AUNTIE MAME (1958), MY FAIR LADY (1964), FUNNY GIRL (1968), & HELLO, DOLLY (1969).
The music was done by Alex North, a classically trained composer at Julliard. He was nominated for 15 Oscars, & won 6 of them. STREETCAR was his first major feature score. He composed the scores for 79 films from 1937-2004, including DEATH OF A SALESMAN (1951), VIVA ZAPATA (1952), DESIREE (1954), THE ROSE TATTOO (1955), THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY (1959), SPARTACUS (1960), THE MISFITS (1961), CLEOPATRA (1963), WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF (1966), THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN (1968), PRIZZI’S HONOR (1985), GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM (1987).
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)
Directed by Elia Kazan @ 162 minutes.
This classic film based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tennessee Williams stars Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, & Nick Dennis.
Synopsis: An emotionally fragile woman finds herself having to move in with her sister in New Orleans, but she is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law–as her sense of reality collapses all around her.
Nominated for more than a dozen Oscars, it won four of them, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Art Direction. ROTTEN TOMATOES rated it at 98% Critic’s Approval & 90% Audience Approval.
Josh Larson wrote: “Tennessee Williams provided the tinderbox and Marlon Brando ignited it.”
TRIVIA: Vivien Leigh won the role of Blanche, over Jessica Tandy, because of her “star” power–like Audrey Hepburn getting MY FAIR LADY over Julie Andrews. Leigh suffered with bipolar disorder, & later in her life, she insisted on being called Blanche.
There have been some interesting actor combinations over the years played Blanche & Stanley:
Tennessee Williams claimed that he wrote Blanche for Tallula Bankhead.
Backers for the show wanted Margaret Sullivan & John Garfield.
(1947-48) Anthony Quinn had understudied Brando on Broadway, & Quinn did the National tour playing the role opposite Uta Hagen.
In 1973, there was Rosemary Harris & James Farentino.
In 1984, on TV, there was Ann Margaret & Treat Williams.
In 1988, there was Blythe Danner & Aidan Quinn.
In 1995, on TV, we had Jessica Lange & Alec Baldwin.
In 2005, there was Natasha Richardson & John C. Reilly.
In 2009, there was Cate Blanchett (prepping for her role in BLUE JASMINE) and Joel Edgerton.
In 2014, in London, we had Gillian Anderson & Ben Foster.
So mark your calendars for this Friday, March 4, 2016, & join the Tacoma Film Club for a screening of the classic blockbuster film, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951). It will be shown at the Center for Spiritual Living, (CSL), the church building we rent for our events, screenings, meetings & parties. It is located at 206 North J Street, on the corner of J & Division.
Arrive early, around 6:30 pm, & join some of us in the kitchen area for fun, fellowship & snacks. It is permitted to bring snacks & beverages, including alcoholic, to share with others. Please remember to clean up after yourselves before coming upstairs for the movie. There is no food or drink allowed in the sanctuary during the screening.
There will be a donation box upstairs by the entrance to the sanctuary. All donated funds go to help pay the rent & other Club expenses. Diane Jensen, this year’s TFC Director, will on hand with 2016 membership cards; this one being the Elizabeth Taylor Edition. Annual dues are still only $20.00.
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE will screen at 7:30 pm, & it runs 162 minutes, so the curtain should fall around 9:40 pm. See you at the movies!