Nine members of the original Broadway cast (Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, Rudy Bond, Nick Dennis, Peg Hillias, Richard Garrick, Ann Dere and Edna Thomas) repeated their roles in the film, a highly unusual decision at the time and even today, when original casts of plays are often completely replaced for the film versions. However, Vivien Leigh, who had played Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, was selected to play Blanche du Bois over Jessica Tandy to add "star power" to the picture (Marlon Brando had not yet achieved full stardom in films; he would be billed under Leigh in the film's credits).
Shot on a 36-day schedule.
The Broadway stage production of "A Streetcar Named Desire", directed by Elia Kazan and produced by Irene Mayer Selznick, opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on December 3, 1947 and ran for 855 performances.
The movie's line "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." was voted as the #75 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
The movie's line "Stella! Hey, Stella!" was voted as the #45 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
The poetry quote, " ... and if God choose, I shall love thee better after death", is from "Sonnets from the Portuguese, No. 43" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1850).
The Production Code censors demanded 68 script changes from the Broadway staging, while the interference of the Catholic Legion of Decency led to even further cuts, most of them having to do with references to homosexuality and rape. In his memoirs, Tennessee Williams wrote that he liked the film but felt it was "slightly marred by the Hollywood ending".
The role of Blanche was first offered to Olivia de Havilland, whose wage demands proved to be too excessive.
The script follows the Tennessee Williams play closely with several small changes. However, there are three notably large alterations of the original plot. The first is the exclusion of Blanche's late young husband's homosexuality, which is referred to explicitly in the play, but only obliquely referred to in the movie. In the play, Blanche caught him in bed with another man and she screamed at him, calling him weak, and he killed himself; she blames herself for not understanding his feelings and for his resulting suicide. In the movie, the fact that her husband committed suicide is masked with a line from Blanche that says that "she killed him herself" by leading him to suicide. The second large difference is the rape scene. It is not explicitly shown/described in the play, but it is more obviously alluded to than in the movie. Two of Stanley's key lines in the scene were omitted from the theatrical release: "Tiger, tiger, drop that bottle top," which has since been added back to the movie, and "We've had this date with each other since the beginning!", after which Stanley grabs Blanche and hauls her off to the bed. Both of these changes were made for censorship reasons, but they've changed the story in some basic ways and led to some confusion, especially about the rape scene, which is key to understanding Stanley's final breaking of Bla
The Varsouviana is a type of polka and was a popular dance in 3/4 time from the 1800s. It is also known as the Varsoviana (Italy) or Varsovienne (France). It came from from Warsaw in 1850 originally and was named in honour of Mount Vesuvius. The tune was introduced to America in 1853.
While Vivien Leigh was playing Blanche, her real-life husband Laurence Olivier was also in Hollywood, filming Carrie, costarring Jennifer Jones and directed by William Wyler. On one occasion, the celebrated couple dined with Marlon Brando.
Olivia de Havilland declined the role of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, allegedly citing the unsavory nature of some elements of the script and saying there were certain lines she could not allow herself to speak. De Havilland denied this in a 2006 interview, saying she had recently given birth to her son when offered the role, which had been a life altering experience, and was unable to relate to the material.