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Critical Insights: A Streetcar Named Desire

A great starting point for students or casual readers looking for a introduction to the themes and discussions on Tennessee William's play, A Streetcare Named Desire. This overview also includes Elia Kazan's 1951 film version of the play.

A Streetcar Named Desire quickly became an international sensation when it premiered on Broadway in 1947. The play ran an impressive 855 performances and won a Pulitzer Prize before theatres in cities as far flung as Tokyo, Paris, Mexico City, and Melbourne began staging their own productions. When the play was adapted to film four years after its premiere, its reputation as one of the most compelling American dramas of the twentieth century was cemented. Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski became iconic characters, and Marlon Brando, a largely unknown actor before Streetcar, was rocketed to stardom by his compelling performance.

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