Behind the Scenes of Streetcar

Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando taking a break from filming A Streetcar Named Desire
In honor of Sotheby's upcoming auction of more than 200 personal items from Vivien Leigh's estate in September in London, I thought I'd do a series of Vivien Leigh-focused posts over the next couple weeks. I must confess I don't know as much as I'd like to about her, so I've ordered a biography about her on Amazon which I intend to read shortly. Though she's most well-known for her role in Gone With The Wind, my personal favorite of her's is her role as the doomed Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Interestingly enough, the wig she wore for the role is part of the Sotheby's auction, which you can read about HERE. I'll definitely be getting myself a copy of the auction catalog.

As a lover of Tennessee Williams and his most famous play, I equally love the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire and especially Leigh and Brando's roles in it. For her work, Vivien won her second Academy Award for Best Actress, the first, not surprisingly, being for Gone With The Wind. Below are some behind-the-scenes pictures of the film, which I'd definitely recommend to those who haven't seen it.

Vivien Leigh as Blanche wardrobe test. 

Mending Blanche's costume. 

Leigh, Brando and costar Kim Hunter, who portrayed Blanche's sister and Stanley's wife, Stella.

Kim Hunter, Vivien Leigh and directer Elia Kazan. 

Kazan, Brando and Leigh. 

Brando and Leigh in-between filming. 

Brando, Leigh and Kazan sipping something. 

Kazan directing a scene between Leigh and Hunter. 

An interesting side-note to end with: Marlon Brando was a method actor, which often made it difficult for others to get-along with him on set, particularly Vivien Leigh, who was classically trained. However, Elia Kazan encouraged this kind of clashing, since it only made their onscreen chemistry even more real and volatile.

According to Leigh, filming Streetcar had “tipped [her] over into madness.


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