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Beauty vs Beast: Somebody's Kindness of Strangers

Howdy y'all Jason from MNPP popping in to clear my throat and let out a rollicking "STELLA!!!" in honor of the master Tennessee Williams birth - he was born in the town of Columbus, Mississippi (three hours south of Memphis) on this day in the year 1911, and went on to basically shape the entire Southern United States with his writings; I'd argue he's had more of an effect on our modern view of the sub-Mason-Dixon than maybe anybody but Margaret Mitchell did. And to think a gay man did that!

Anyway for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" let's zoom in on his most famous story, the one about the Streetcar Named Desire that you take to the one called Cemetery that you take to Elysian Fields. And yes that means we're facing down arguably two of the greatest movie performances ever put on screen - Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois and Marlon brando as her brother slash ape in law Stanley Kowalski. But whose side are you on? Do you wanna sparkle in that rhinestone tiara or swap sweaty tank tops with Stan?


PREVIOUSLY Right after the Oscars we riddled you about a pair of the night's meme-worthy moments and it turns out that you'd rather ride on a jet-ski with Dame Helen Mirren than get Armie Hammer's weiner flung into your face (PS y'all crazy) to the tune of 55%. Said AlexD:

"This was impossible. But it seems reasonable that a proud queen like myself would only turn down Armie's hot dog for a real queen, Helen Mirren herself. And jet skiing at that!"

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Reader Comments (19)

How to choose between two of the best performances ever committed to celluloid???

March 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

How to choose between two of the best performances ever committed to celluloid???

March 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

When it comes right down to it, Stanley is at least slightly self-aware, whereas Blanche is less and less so. So yeah, I'd go with that hunka-hunka burnin' Brando (easily the best male performance to have lost the Oscar).

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

What can I say? I like the Alpha Male.

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

I have to go with Leigh. Brando's best is On the Waterfront.

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

My memory seems to fail me but didn’t Stanley rape Blanche? Beast indeed.

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRizwani

No one can beat Vivien Leigh, the unforgettable actress that played the two best roles of cinema and wasn't devoted to making movies and sometimes did it for money that she invested in stage plays. But the thing is: insane to think that Tennessee Williams' name around 50s and 60s was a box office attraction! Some movies based on his plays and writings were massive hits(and award magnet) like A Streetcar Name Desire, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Night Of The Iguana, Suddenly Last Summer... Streetcar was the fifth biggest hit of 1951. What world was that? What were they thinking?

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGwen

@ Gwen if only the world was still here.

I voted for Blanche. She is the tragic heroine and she needs a victory. She doesn't get any in the movie. Brando's good looks and performance are tempting but I have to go with Leigh. I believe this performance is even better than her Scarlett. Anything that tops that deserves my vote.

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTom

I just read Donald Spotto's biography of Laurence Olivier and he mentioned that Leigh played Blanche on stage in Europe before making the movie and got terrible reviews! It is amazing she was given a chance to play the part on film.

There really needs to be a movie about them. They both loved each other passionately but were devoted to their careers. They loved but used each other for their own ends, but no one else could understand Laurence like Vivian and no one understood Vivian like Laurence.

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Stanley makes me sweat in different places, but I'm voting for Blanche.

Kudos to Vivien Leigh for nailing two of the Top 5 female characters of all time.

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

do stanley
marry blanche
dump stella

i will never be guilty of deliberate cruelty, so blanche gets my vote

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Can we do Stella vs Mitch next week? Maybe throw Eunice in there too if needed.

March 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTom

If it was Brick x Maggie I'd go Brick. Here, my simpathy goes all for Blanche. Anyway, the play is about her, isn't?

March 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterFeline Justice

Voted for Stanley. That kind of volcanic male sexuality and beauty was never captured on film, before or after.

March 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I always think of Tennessee Williams as expressing his soul through Blanche. So yes, my dearest Tennessee, I am with you on Blanche, no matter how messy, and a failure and a figure of ridicule she may be.

March 27, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteradri

O a toughie! Both such iconic n powerhouse performances!

Brando's mumble n style may have revolutionized the Alpha Male performances fr then on, but Leigh's Blanche is one for the ages! I can't tink o any other Blanches tt can top her perf, but similarly, I cant tink o any Stanley tt can surpass Brando's.

Its a close call, but I'm gonna go w "Magic, I want Magic" Blanche. She alws hav to depend on the kindness of strangers, y'all!

March 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

I probably would have voted for Brando anyway but even more so after seeing Gillian Anderson play Blanche on stage - she is the definitive Blanche for me now.

March 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I voted for Blanche--except when Stanley's shirt is off.

March 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Team Blanche here.
Can you imagine how would be the life of these stars in our internet days? The audience knew nothing about them then. What would be of Marlon Brando today? His life makes DT's sound like a fairy tale.

March 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel

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