A Streetcar Named Desire (film)

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More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
Harold J. Smith
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A Streetcar Named Desire is a play written by Tennessee Williams about a culture clash between a man and a woman - she a pretentious, fading relic of the Old South, and he a rising member of the industrial, inner-city immigrant class. A movie was made in 1951.

Directed by Elia Kazan. Written by Tennessee Williams and Oscar Saul.

Blanche DuBois

  • Is there something wrong with me?
  • Oh look, we have created enchantment.
  • The first time I laid eyes on him I thought to myself, that man is my executioner!
  • I, I, I took the blows in my face and my body! All those deaths! The long parade to the graveyard! Father, Mother! Margaret, that dreadful way!
  • Some things are not forgivable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable. It is the one unforgivable thing in my opinion and the one thing of which I have never, never been guilty.
  • Death - I used to sit here and she would sit over there and death was as close as you are ... We didn't dare even admit we had ever heard of it!
  • Death ... the opposite is desire.
  • I know I fib a good deal. After all, a woman's charm is 50% illusion.
  • I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don't tell truths. I tell what ought to be truth.
  • I said I was sorry three times!
  • Straight? What's 'straight'? A line can be straight, or a street. But the heart of a human being?
  • Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? Vous ne comprenez pas? Ah, quel dommage! (Do you want to sleep with me? You don't understand? Oh, what a shame!)
  • Tarantula was the name of it! I stayed at a hotel called the Tarantula Arms! Yes, a big spider, that's where I brought my victims. Yes, I have had many meetings with strangers. After the death of Allan, meetings with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my empty heart with. I think it was panic--just panic--that drove me from one to another, searching for some protection. Here, there, and then in the most unlikely places. Then, at last, in a seventeen year old boy, but someone wrote to the super intendent about it, "This woman is morally unfit for her position!" True? Yes...unfit somehow anyway.

Stanley Kowalski

  • I never met a dame yet that didn't know if she was good-looking or not without being told, and there's some of them that give themselves credit for more than they've got. I once went out with a doll who said to me, "I am the glamorous type, I am the glamorous type!" I said, "So what?"
  • How 'bout cuttin' the re-bop?
  • Be comfortable. That's my motto up where I come from. You gonna shack up here? Well, I guess I'm gonna strike you as being the unrefined type, huh?
  • She is as famous in Oriel as if she was the President of the United States, only she is not respected by any party.
  • You think I'm gonna interfere with you?... You know, maybe you wouldn't be bad to interfere with.
  • You know what luck is? Luck is believing you're lucky, that's all... To hold a front position in this rat-race, you've got to believe you are lucky.
  • She moved to the hotel called Flamingo which is a second class hotel that has the advantages of not interfering with the private and social life of the personalities there. Now the Flamingo is used to all kinds of goings-on. But even the management of the Flamingo was impressed by Dame Blanche. And in fact, they were so impressed that they requested her to turn in her room-key for permanently. And this, this happened a couple of weeks before she showed here... The trouble with Dame Blanche was that she couldn't put on her act any more in Oriel because they got wised up. And after two or three dates, they quit and then she goes on to another one, the same old line, the same old act, and the same old hooey. And as time went by, she became the town character, regarded not just as different but downright loco and nuts. She didn't resign temporarily because of her nerves. She was kicked out before the spring term ended. And I hate to tell you the reason that step was taken. A seventeen-year-old kid she got mixed up with - and the boy's dad learned about it and he got in touch with the high-school superintendent. And there was practically a town ordinance passed against her.
  • Now that's how I'm gonna clear the table. Don't you ever talk that way to me. 'Pig,' 'Polack,' 'disgusting,' 'vulgar,' 'greasy.' Those kind of words have been on your tongue and your sister's tongue just too much around here. What do you think you are? A pair of queens? Now just remember what Huey Long said - that every man's a king - and I'm the King around here, and don't you forget it.
  • I am not a Polack. People from Poland are Poles. They are not Polacks. But what I am is one hundred percent American. I'm born and raised in the greatest country on this earth and I'm proud of it. And don't you ever call me a Pollack.
  • Listen, baby, when we first met - you and me - you thought I was common. Well, how right you was. I was common as dirt. You showed me a snapshot of the place with them columns, and I pulled you down off them columns, and you loved it, having them colored lights goin'. And wasn't we happy together? Wasn't it all okay till she showed here? And wasn't we happy together? Wasn't it all OK? Till she showed here. Hoity-toity, describin' me like a ape.
  • Tiger, tiger. Drop that bottle top. Drop it.
  • How about a few more details on that subject... Let's cop a gander at the bill of sale... What do you mean? She didn't show you no papers, no deed of sale or nothin' like that?... Well then, what was it then? Given away to charity?... Oh I don't care if she hears me. Now let's see the papers... Now listen. Did you ever hear of the Napoleonic code, Stella?... Now just let me enlighten you on a point or two... Now we got here in the state of Louisiana what's known as the Napoleonic code. You see, now according to that, what belongs to the wife belongs to the husband also, and vice versa... It looks to me like you've been swindled baby. And when you get swindled under Napoleonic code, I get swindled too and I don't like to get swindled... Where's the money if the place was sold?
  • Take a look at yourself here in a worn-out Mardi Gras outfit, rented for 50 cents from some rag-picker. And with a crazy crown on. Now what kind of a queen do you think you are? Do you know that I've been on to you from the start, and not once did you pull the wool over this boy's eyes? You come in here and you sprinkle the place with powder and you spray perfume and you stick a paper lantern over the light bulb - and, lo and behold, the place has turned to Egypt and you are the Queen of the Nile, sitting on your throne, swilling down my liquor. And do you know what I say? Ha ha! Do you hear me? Ha ha ha!
  • We've had this date with each other from the beginning.
  • What are you, a pair of queens?


  • I never listen to you when you're being morbid.
  • You think you're going bowling now?
  • Mr. Kowalski is too busy making a pig of himself... Your face and your fingers are disgustingly greasy.
  • [Stanley's friends are gathering to play poker] The blind are leading the blind!


  • Mexican Woman: Flores. Flores. Flores para los muertos. Flores. Flores. [Translation: Flowers. Flowers. Flowers for the dead. Flowers. Flowers.]


Blanche: Please don't get up.
Stanley: Nobody's going to get up, so don't get worried.

Blanche: I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.
Harold "Mitch" Mitchell: I guess we must strike you as being a pretty rough bunch.
Blanche: I'm very adaptable to circumstances.

Stanley: You're gonna kill who, you dumb jerk? You don't even know when you get wised up. Come on.
Mitch: You don't have to wise me up.

Blanche: You're married to a madman.
Stella: I wish you'd stop taking it for granted that I'm in something I want to get out of.
Blanche: What you are talking about is desire - just brutal Desire. The name of that rattle-trap streetcar that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another.
Stella: Haven't you ever ridden on that streetcar?
Blanche: It brought me here. Where I'm not wanted and where I'm ashamed to be.
Stella: Don't you think your superior attitude is a little out of place?
Blanche: May I speak plainly?... If you'll forgive me, he's common... He's like an animal. He has an animal's habits. There's even something subhuman about him. Thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is. Stanley Kowalski, survivor of the Stone Age, bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle. And you - you here waiting for him. Maybe he'll strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you, that's if kisses have been discovered yet. His poker night you call it. This party of apes.

Blanche: Tarantula was the name of it. I stayed at a hotel called the Tarantula Arms.
Mitch: Tarantula Arms?
Blanche: Yes, a big spider. That's where I brought my victims. Yes, I've had many meetings with strangers.

Blanche: My, but you have an impressive, judicial air.
Stanley: You know, if I didn't know that you was my wife's sister, I would get ideas about you... Don't play so dumb. You know what.


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