When Blanche Met Brando The Scandalous Story of "A Streetcar Named Desire"

Sam Staggs

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

432 Pages



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A Streetcar Named Desire launched Marlon Brando's career, and the movie shot his star into the stratosphere. The film also redefined Vivien Leigh as skids. But the movie, as modern audiences know it, barely escaped the unforgiving knife of censorship. A Streetcar Named Desire is more than a classic piece of American art—it is a daring and raw masterpiece as alive with meaning today as it was when first performed in 1947.

When Blanche Met Brando is the behind-the-scenes story of A Streetcar Named Desire. Moving from the opening of Tennessee Williams's groundbreaking play and the scandalized audiences it left on Broadway, to its London debut, to Elia Kazan's exceptional movie version, Staggs illuminates Streetcar's surprising complexities, and the powerhouse personalities behind them.


Praise for When Blanche Met Brando

"With his infectious devotion to Streetcar, Staggs surely will motivate many to revisit the play and watch the film."—Los Angeles Times

"[When Blanche Met Brando is] as loquacious and overripe as Blanche herself and as hard to resist."—The Washington Post

"When Blanche Met Brando: The Scandalous Story of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' promises something salacious but delivers something better . . . a witty, insightful probe of Tennessee Williams's most famous play in all its variations."—The Dallas Morning News

"[Stagg's book is an] opinionated, revealing, constantly entertaining account of the birth and growth of Tennessee Williams's most famous play."—Kirkus Reviews

"A comprehensive minihistory of 20th-century American stage and screen and [Staggs] doesn't skimp on tabloid juice."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Sam Staggs

  • Sam Staggs is the author of All About "All About Eve" and Close-Up On "Sunset Boulevard." He has written for a variety of publications, including Vanity Fair and Architectural Digest. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

  • Sam Staggs