Photo: Quotes and Movies
I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I'd never seen A Streetcar Named Desire, nor read the play it seems, despite definitely exploring Tennessee Williams (and William Inge, more below) in a college-level English class that consisted of reading whatever you felt like and summarizing it book report-style.
I can't say I identify with the nervous breakdowns, hysterics and fugues, that so many women both young and old experienced in film last century. Is it that common for pretty white women to break with reality, usually spurred by sexual repression or deviation? (See also: Splendor in the Grass, another film I recently watched for the first time. Dating don't: jump into a reservoir to escape unwanted advances or you'll be institutionalized.)
What I didn't realize about the plot was that Blanche DuBois was not only trying to fool men into thinking she was younger (great dating tricks: go out with men in the evening, exclusively, and only indoors if there is a paper Chinese lantern to soften the light from bare bulbs) but that she'd arrived in New Orleans because she'd been chased out of the town where she had been a teacher for having an affair with a teenager. (That's another potential hot teen victim pictured.) How did I not know this?! I am now oficially the dumbest person on earth.
I'm not sure how old she is meant to be in the film, but Vivien Leigh was 38, which I suppose was older in the early '50s that it might be now. What hasn't changed was that her suitor, Mitch, played by fatso (he looks normal by today's standards) Karl Malden, 41, gets outraged after figuring out her true decrepitude because apparently he deserves someone younger and less used up.