A Streetcar Named Desire/Trivia

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  • Ability Over Appearance: Stanley was originally written as an older man, but Elia Kazan realized Brando would be perfect for the part and Tennessee Williams agreed, saying it gave the character more dimension for his violence to seem to come from youthful ignorance rather than aged spite.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: One of Streetcar's most famous lines is "I don't want realism. I want magic!" Although it was added to later versions, Blanche never says this in the original play. Here's how the conversation actually goes:

Blanche: I don't want realism.
Mitch: Naw, I guess not.
Blanche: I'll tell you what I want. Magic!

  • Creator Backlash: Marlon Brando thought Stanley was the shallowest character he ever played.
  • Executive Meddling: The 1951 movie suffered heavily from this: besides changing the ending, they downplayed the plot point of Blanche's teacher/student relationship and removed all references to Blanche's husband being gay; instead he's called a poet and "sensitive" .
  • The Red Stapler: T-shirts sales in general, and tight t-shirts especially spiked as a result of Marlon Brando wearing several in the film and play. This is partly what caused tight t-shirts to actually be mass produced; until then, only regular t-shirts could be bought, and for the film regular t-shirts were washed several times and sewn in at the back to be tighter.
  • Romance on the Set: Averted. Marlon Brando was attracted to Vivien Leigh, but he couldn't bring himself to seduce her, as he liked her husband Laurence Olivier too much.
  • Star-Making Role: For Marlon Brando.
  • What Could Have Been: Jessica Tandy was originally slated to play Blanche, after creating the role on Broadway, but it was decided that Vivien Leigh had more box-office appeal.
    • Olivia de Havilland turned down the role of Blanche because her-then husband Marcus Goodrich advised against her playing it. Also, her wage demands were too much.
    • Robert Mitchum was offered the role of Stanley Kowalski, but RKO refused to let him do it.
    • Early in development, William Wyler had expressed an interest in adapting the play with Bette Davis in the part of Blanche.
    • John Garfield turned down the role of Stanley Kowalski because he didn't want to be overshadowed by the female lead. Burt Lancaster was also considered.
    • Patricia Neal was very much thought of for the role of Stella, but was considered, at five feet seven inches, too tall to be Vivien Leigh's sister. Joan Fontaine was also considered for Stella.