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MarketDecember 17, 2012 ProducerKevin McCormick AgentPhilip d'Amecourt (WME) ManagerTom Drumm (Think Tank Management) ProductionLangley Park Productions
The story of how Marlon Brando won the role of Stanley Kowalski in Elia Kazan’s screen adaptation of the Broadway play, "A Streetcar Named Desire."
A director discovers Marlon Brando, a struggling actor and product of a dysfunctional family and an out-of-control libido, and hires him for the role of Stanley Kowalski in the first Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire.
In order to successfully bring Tennessee William's “A Street Car Named Desire” to Broadway, director Eila Kazan and emerging actor Marlon Brando struggle to find the 'method' that will yield the quintessential Stanley Kowalski.
Drama, Biopic, Period, Coming of Age, Dysfunctional Family, Film, Love Triangle, Movie Business, Work Related
Valentino, Mommy Dearest, Sweet Dreams, Chaplin, Pollock, James Dean (TV)
Primarily within a few months in late 1947, with flashbacks to various periods in Brando's childhood.
Mostly in and around NYC in the forties, including the Barrymore Theater and apartments up and downtown and Harlem. Plus Central Park, The MET, Theater in Boston, Cottage in Provencetown, Palatial estate in Beverly Hills. Dive apartments in Illinois and Pennsylvanian in the thirties.
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MARLON BRANDO (24) fights with his co-star and top-billed actor TALLULAH BANKHEAD (40s), for being a drunk, a condition for which he has no tolerance. He leaves Boston and returns to NYC where he strikes it back up with his girlfriend, ELLEN (20s), the daughter of his acting mentor, STELLA ADLER (40s).
Meanwhile, director ELIA KAZAN (40s) negotiates with Broadway producer IRENE SELZNICK (40) about the casting of TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (40s) new play, "A Streetcar Named Desire." Kazan and Tennessee want an unknown who will truly embody Stanley Kowalski, the lead in the play. Irene wants an established actor who is assured to sell tickets.
Kazan has an adulterous relationship with CONSTANCE (20s). His wife is peripherally aware, which causes him guilt. In parallel, Brando picks up with BECKY (19), causing a ripple in his relationship with Ellen. Kazan visits Stella to ask about casting ideas for Streetcar and determines, via Ellen's depressed state that Brando might be perfect for the role.
In one of numerous flashbacks to Brando's childhood, we learn the extent of his challenging relationship with his alcoholic mother DOROTHY (30s), and abusive, borderline alcoholic father MARLON SENIOR (30s). It's this pain that Brando eventually uses to find the character...
Director Elia Kazan is dead set on hiring Marlon Brando to play the role of Stanley Kowalski on Broadway. The only person who agrees with him is Tennessee Williams, and Marlon Brando. Although fictional, this story is based in truth as reported over the years through interviews, entertainment media, and biographies. The premise is exceptional; the characters are well-drawn and believable. It's impossible not to feel the pain of Kazan and Brando. The conflict is deep and heart wrenching. The structure is poetically moving and the writing is excellent with only minor and easily-corrected typos. The steady buildup to the curtain call is so effective that its difficult not to become emotionally invested, hoping for the desired payoff. When the applause intensifies for Brando, flowers are thrown onto the stage, and he squints to see if his parents are proud of him, it's an effective use of irony. This writing is a stellar accomplishment and one story that is long overdue. It reveals the drama that goes on behind the scenes of a Broadway show, while reminding us of legendary Brando's greatness and complexity. Brando embodied a passion for life and acting that few have before or after....
Overall, the enigmatic and unpredictable Marlon Brando makes a compelling drama. Brando's motivation for his original performances come from his turbulent relationship with his alcoholic parents is powerful, and it is exciting to discover a young talent build himself up to be one of the most influential actors of the 20th Century. The details of the time period is convincing and well established, as are the depictions of the key creative forces behind "A Streetcar Named Desire."...
Entertaining and dramatic, the story of how Marlon Brando became Stanley Kowalski paints an in-depth picture of the actor in his charming youth as he struggles with his insecurities. As he doubts his own acting abilities and yearns to be loved, the story flashes back to Brando’s childhood, where he put on accents and sang to soothe his drunk and distraught mother while his father was out with other women. By introducing an ensemble of well-known theater characters to support Brando, such as Elia Kazan, Stella Adler and Tennessee Williams, as well as Brando’s close family and friends, gives a dynamic magnetism to the script. These characters are in constant conflict with the love they desire and the hurt it gives them in return, combined with the stress of trying to mount a successful broadway play. Written with adoration for Brando and Williams, the punctuation and sentence structure often suffer, but the passion is always clear....
“Hey, Stella” is a dramatic look at the circumstances surrounding the casting of novice actor Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams “A Street Car Named Desire,” and the real life events that director Elia Kazan experienced in helping Brando find the character, as well as the resulting struggle to secure Kazan and Tennessee Williams casting choice of Brando against producer Irene Selznick. While the narrative offers an interesting perspective into the lives of several of the most successful and beloved character of twentieth century stage and film, it falls flat by attempting to combine too many perspectives, and in the process jumps back and forth between two protagonists, Kazan and Brando, without ever allowing a single through line to shine as the central narrative. As such, the resulting “coming of age story” is ultimately about Brandos struggle to find himself as an actor, however, hes often reactive, with Kazans struggle actively driving the narrative. This fractures our emotional access, split between two characters, neither of which seem to grow substantially as characters they seem to grow by sheer persistence alone, not by overcoming a central character fault or weakness. That said, its technically well written, with well-researched characters assured to capture the attention and imagination of those hungry to spent time with Marlon Brando, Eila Kazan, Tennessee Williams and Stella Adler....