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Feature
A Streetcar Named Desire depicts a culture clash between Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh), a pretentious, fading relic of the Old South, and Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando), a rising member of the industrial, inner-city immigrant class. Blanche is a Southern belle whose pretensions to virtue and culture only thinly mask her nymphomania and alcoholism.  Arriving at the house of her sister Stella Kowalski (Kim Hunter), Stella fears Blanche’s arrival will upset the balance of her relationship with her husband Stanley, a primal, rough-hewn, brutish and sensual force of nature. He dominates Stella in every way, and she tolerates his offensive crudeness and lack of gentility largely because of her sexual need for him. Stanley’s friend and Blanche’s would-be suitor Mitch (Karl Malden) is similarly trampled along Blanche and Stanley’s collision course. Their final, inevitable confrontation results in Blanche’s mental annihilation.

 Streetcar Named Desire, A
This edition of the film is 'The Original Restored Version', the motion picture moviegoers would have seen had not censorship by the Legion of Decency occurred at the last minute in 1951. It features three minutes of footage thought to be lost until its rediscovery in the early 1990s. The new footage underscores, among other things, the sexual tension between Blanche and Stanley, and Stella's (Kim Hunter) passion for her husband. Making its Blu-ray debut, stunningly restored and digitally remastered to brilliant 1080p clarity, this classic is presented in a collectible, premium 40-page Blu-ray book format, with behind-the-scenes photography, production notes, biographies and more. Elia Kazan masterfully directs Tennessee Williams' masterpiece, which was nominated for an unprecedented 12 Academy Awards,® including Best Picture, and winner of four. Its contributions to film continue to be celebrated, holding its place on the AFI's list of Top 100 Films.

Video
Warner Home Video presents A Streetcar named Desire on Blu-ray with a 1080p, AVC-encoded video transfer at its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio, and the results are quite good. Warner has obviously taken great pains to use the best source elements for this Blu-ray, and you'll be hard pressed to find any anomalies such as dirt or debris from the source creating blemishes on the transfer, an impressive feat considering the fact that the film is now over 60-years old. Detail and contrast are fine throughout most of the picture with occasional softness here and there, and though it may not look as glossy or pristine as other films from the same period presented in high definition I'm sure it will please many. The transfer is also free of any excessive DNR, so it maintains a nice even grain structure throughout, and any defects in the video resulting from edge enhancement, aliasing, banding or artifacting are nonexistent. Overall I'd have to say that this is an exceptional presentation on Blu-ray for the film.

Audio
The included DTS-HD Master Audio Mono audio track included on this Blu-ray release isn't going to bowl you over by any means, but as a representation of the film's original audio presentation it hit the nail right on the head and is largely preferable to Warner Home Video creating some sort of state of the art audio mix for sake of making the film sound "newer". Dialogue is always clear and crisp and Alex North's wonderful score is given every opportunity to shine during what is primarily a very natural sound design, and there aren't any defects to speak of as I couldn't detect any drop outs or distortion that sometimes accompanies films from this period. Overall this is an exceptional audio track for the picture.

 Streetcar Named Desire, A
Extras
Warner Home Video has carried over the standard definition special features from the previously released DVD to this new Blu-ray release, and just as before the features are a treat for fans and film history buffs. The included audio commentary, featuring contributions from Karl Malden, film historians Rudy Behlmer and Jeff Young and producer Laurent Bouzereau has been edited together from separate recording sessions and interviews, but it doesn't lessen the impact of the track. Varying aspects of the film's production such as the play's Broadway run through its somewhat controversial release are covered at great length, making this track worthy of your time.

Also included is the documentary Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey, a 75-minute piece profiling the both acclaimed and infamous director. The feature largely glosses over Kazan's involvement with the House Un-American Activites Committee during the 1950s and instead focuses on delivering in-depth discussions on most of his films, including A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Gentlemen's Agreement, Panic in the City, Viva Zapata, Baby Doll, A Face in the Crowd, Wild River, America, America and, of course, A Streetcar Named Desire. Like the commentary track, fans of Kazan's work and film history buffs will find it an entertaining and fascinating viewing experience.

Also included are five standard definition featurettes--"A Streetcar in Hollywood" (28-min.), "Censorship and Desire" (16-min.), "North and the Music of the South" (9-min.), "A Streetcar on Broadway" (22-min.), and "An Actor Named Brando" (9-min.). Taken as a whole these features cover a lot of ground and varying looks at the pictures roots as a play through its production and release and are well worth your time. The rest of the features include Marlon Brando's screen test for an earlier adaption of the book Rebel Without a Cause, about 15-minutes of outtakes from the film accompanied by around 17-minutes of audio-only outtakes and three theatrical trailers for the film. Overall there isn't much else that could have been included here in the special features, and the DigiBook packaging with its glossy photos and accompanying linear notes is a cherry on top.

 Streetcar Named Desire, A
Overall
A Streetcar Named Desire is a masterwork from both one of the great directors of our time and Marlon Brando, making it required viewing. The story, direction and acting on display here has rarely been equaled since its release in 1951 and the fact that it introduced the world to Brando will always ensure its place in film history as one of the most important motion pictures ever made. Warner Home Video's Blu-ray release of this 'The Original Restored Version' is excellent and one not to miss. The audio and video are as good as can be expected and the features are worthwhile and entertaining. Overall this is an exceptional release that underscores the fact that when it comes to classic catalog title releases on Blu-ray no one does it better than Warner Home Video.

* Note: The above and below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Streetcar Named Desire, A
 Streetcar Named Desire, A
 Streetcar Named Desire, A
Streetcar Named Desire, A
 Streetcar Named Desire, A


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