Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm not a huge Tennessee Williams fan

TCM's The Essentials returns tonight at 8:00 PM ET. Alec Baldwin is co-host for a second season, sitting down with Robert Osborne to discuss movies that are "essential" for any self-respecting movie buff to see. This year's movies kick off with the 1951 version of A Streetcar Named Desire. To be honest, I don't care too much for it, in part because I'm not the biggest fan of Marlon Brando. His rending his shirt and screaming "Stella!" is the sort of thing that just screams for parodying. Not only that, but the movie as a whole comes across as too overwrought and melodramatic, and not in a good way. At least when Joan Crawford was doing things like Johnny Guitar or Queen Bee, it was campy fun. (Or at least, that's how it seems today; I'm sure she was dead serious at the time.) Then, there are the movies like last night's The Crowded Sky that are so bad they're funny. A Streetcar Named Desire doesn't even have that.

That having been said, A Streetcar Named Desire isn't the only Tennessee Williams-based movie I have a problem with. I tried to watch Baby Doll the last time it showed up on TCM, and after a half hour or so, I just couldn't take it any more. Even Suddenly, Last Summer, which I've blogged about before, has problems.

Still, if you're a fan of Tennessee Williams, or Marlon Brando, then I'm sure you'll love A Streetcar Named Desire. Besides, you've probably already seen it.

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