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Oscar Vault Monday – A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951 (dir. Elia Kazan)

I hadn’t seen this movie until about a month or so ago, when I discovered it was on Instant Netflix. I watched it pretty late at night, and I must say that was probably not the best idea. It is a brilliant masterpiece of a film, but it is has such heavy subject matter, it made for a pretty fretful night of sleep. I’ve watched several adaptations of Tennessee Williams plays, and I definitely think this is the best of the lot. I also think it is Marlon Brando’s best work (although, I have not seen but pieces of The Godfather; please refrain from stoning me, I swear I’ll remedy that soon). It was nominated for a whopping 12 Academy Awards, winning four and is one of a handful of films to be nominated in all four of the acting categories. It was nominated for: Best B&W Cinematography, Best B&W Costume Design, Best Score, Best Sound, Best Writing, Screenplay (this was back when their were three writing categories), Best Actor Marlon Brando, Best Director Elia Kazan and Best Picture. It won the following categories: Best B&W Art Direction, Best Actress Vivien Leigh, Best Supporting Actress Kim Hunter and Best Supporting Actor Karl Malden. For Best Picture it was up against A Place In The Sun, Decision Before Dawn, Quo Vadis, and winner An American In Paris. I’ve seen two of those films and I would most definitely say the Academy made the wrong decision here. It was really another case of flashy musical winning over gritty, masterful drama.

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