• A Streetcar Named Desire

    1951. USA. Elia Kazan. 122 min.

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 6:00 p.m.

Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1

  • A Streetcar Named Desire

    1951. USA. Directed by Elia Kazan. Music by Alex North. With Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden. North, whose jazz-textured music perfectly captures the brutality, fragility, and lustfulness of Tennessee Williams's characters, said of his score, "Emotionally, it is lowdown basin street blues." North's unprecedented use of jazz rhythms, harmonies, and instrumentation ranging from saxophone ("It can wail, be mournful, and arouse the physical and sexual") to delicate celesta has since been emulated by countless film composers, from Elmer Bernstein to Jerry Goldsmith to Quincy Jones. This director's cut restores the changes and omissions originally demanded by the Catholic Legion of Decency and Warner Bros., which strong-armed Kazan into toning down the references to homosexuality, nymphomania, and rape, and forced North to alter his "carnal" music for the immortal scene in which Stella succumbs once more to Stanley's wounded, primordial sexuality. 122 min.

In the Film exhibition Jazz Score

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