A Streetcar Named Desire (1951 film)

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A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 American film based on a play by Tennessee Williams.

Directed by Elia Kazan. Written by Tennessee Williams and Oscar Saul.

Blanche DuBois

  • The first time I laid my eyes on her told the story I thought to myself, "That man is my executioner!"
  • Some things are not forgivable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable. It is the one unforgivable thing in my opinion and the one thing of which I have never, never been guilty.
  • I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don't tell truths. I tell what ought to be truth.
  • Tarantula was the name of it! I stayed at a hotel called the Tarantula Arms! Yes, a big spider. That's where I brought my victims. Yes, I have had many meetings with strangers. After the death of Allan, meetings with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my empty heart with. I think it was panic — just panic — that drove me from one to another, searching for some protection. Here, there and then in the most unlikely places. Then, at last, in a seventeen-year-old boy. But someone wrote to the superintendent about it: "This woman is morally unfit for her position!" True? Yes... unfit somehow anyway.
  • [to Stanley] It won't be the sort of thing you have in mind. This man is a gentleman - he respects me. What he wants is my companionship. Having great wealth sometimes makes people lonely. A cultivated woman - a woman of breeding and intelligence - can enrich a man's life immeasurably. I have those things to offer, and time doesn't take them away. Physical beauty is passing - a transitory possession. But beauty of the mind, richness of the spirit, tenderness of the heart - I have all those things - aren't taken away but grow! Increase with the years! Oh! Strange that I should be called a destitute woman when I have all these treasures locked in my heart. I think of myself as a very, very rich woman. But I have been foolish - casting my pearls before....swine. Yes, swine! And I'm thinking not only of you, but of your friend Mr. Mitchell. He came here tonight, he did, coming in his work clothes, to repeat slander, vicious stories he'd gotten from you. I gave him his walking papers. But then he returned, he returned with a box of roses to beg my forgiveness. He implored my forgiveness. Some things are not forgivable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable. It is the one unforgivable thing, in my opinion, and the one thing of which I have never, never been guilty. So I said to him, 'Thank you,' but it was foolish to think that we could ever adapt ourselves to each other. Our ways of life are too different. Our backgrounds are incompatible. So farewell, my friend and let there be no hard feelings.

Stanley Kowalski

  • You know what luck is? Luck is believing you're lucky, that's all... To hold a front position in this rat-race, you've got to believe you are lucky.
  • Don't you ever talk that way to me. "Pig," "Polack," "disgusting," "vulgar," "greasy" — those kind of words have been on your tongue and your sister's tongue just too much around here. What do you think you are, a pair of queens? Now just remember what Huey Long said — that every man's a king — and I'm the king around here, and don't you forget it.
  • Listen, baby, when we first met — you and me — you thought I was common. Well, how right you was. I was common as dirt. You showed me a snapshot of the place with them columns, and I pulled you down off them columns, and you loved it, having them colored lights goin.' And wasn't we happy together? Wasn't it all okay till she showed here? And wasn't we happy together? Wasn't it all okay till she showed here, hoity-toity, describin' me like a ape?


Blanche: You're married to a madman.
Stella: I wish you'd stop taking it for granted that I'm in something I want to get out of.
Blanche: What you are talking about is desire, just brutal desire. The name of that rattle-trap streetcar that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another.
Stella: Haven't you ever ridden on that streetcar?
Blanche: It brought me here, where I'm not wanted and where I'm ashamed to be.
Stella: Don't you think your superior attitude is a little out of place?
Blanche: May I speak plainly?... If you'll forgive me, he's common... He's like an animal. He has an animal's habits. There's even something subhuman about him. Thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is. Stanley Kowalski, survivor of the Stone Age, bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle. And you — you here waiting for him. Maybe he'll strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you — that is, if kisses have been discovered yet. His "poker night" you call it. This party of apes. Maybe we are a long way from being made in God's image, but Stella, my sister, there's been some progress since then. Such things as art, as poetry, as music. In some kinds of people, some tenderer feelings have had some little beginning that we have got to make grow and to cling to, and hold as our flag in this dark march toward whatever it is we're approaching. Don't, don't hang back with the brutes!