When I first saw this film, I was in the middle of a marathon of all three versions, William A. Wellman’s 1937 version, George Cukor’s 1954 version and then finally this 1976 version. In comparison, this is probably the least impressive version. Something about it just doesn’t work. But, it is an interesting look at rock music and the machine and like the other two versions, is an interesting time capsule. The performances from both Streisand and Kristofferson are top notch and this new Blu-ray book is a must for fans of Babs.
Warner Bros. has this fancy new Blu-ray book release to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Elia Kazan’s masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire. This new Blu-ray edition hits shelves this coming Tuesday, April 10th. They call it a Blu-ray book because the packaging is essentially also a book. This means instead of a booklet or something that comes inside the case, the case itself is the book. It’s kind of an interesting concept.
Essentially, the special features on this new Blu-ray release are the same that are found on the 2006 DVD release:
- Commentary on the feature film by Karl Malden, film historian Rudy Behlmer and Jeff Young
- Elia Kazan movie trailer gallery
- Movie and audio outtakes
- Marlon Brando screen test
- Elia Kazan: A Director’s Journey documentary
- Five other documentaries: A Streetcar on Broadway, A Streetcar in Hollywood, Desire and Censorship, North and the South and An Actor Named Brando
I own that DVD release, yet somehow never watched the special features. Now I have, though! The 75 minute long Kazan documentary is from 1995 and features narration by Eli Wallach and some really great interviews with Kazan himself. It’s a great look at Kazan’s filmography, with insights from the director on the process of making each film. While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Scorsese’s A Letter To Elia, I definitely recommend it to fans of Kazan’s work.
The picture quality of the Blu-ray, however, makes this purchase worth it for collectors and those who enjoy owning their favorite films in the newest formats. The black and white cinematography is so crisp and the contrasts are utterly perfect. Even on my shitty little television that movie looked incredible.
Before you run out and pre-oder this set, let’s take a minute and remain in awe and wonder of Stanley and Stella in the scene deemed too hot by censors in 1951:
And Brando hissing at Vivien Leigh. This is the stuff that dreams are made of.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review disc given to me by Warner Bros., though the opinions are all my own.