There are certain things that should never make it to cinema. No matter how popular a certain book, play, TV show or video game may be, things tend to not translate when they make it to the big screen. Unfortunately, A Streetcar Named Desire is one of those plays that just didn’t turn out well on the movie screen.
The big reason for this has to do with restrictions placed upon the movie industry and what they can and cannot show. One of the biggest and most impactful scenes in the play, the scene in which Blanche gets raped, is completely changed and skipped in the movie, due to the fact that rape can’t be shown on screen. People who only watch the movie and don’t watch the play will not see what actually happened, and thus were probably a bit confused at Blanche’s mental and emotional dive. The viewer doesn’t fully understand, and thus the rest of the movie loses a bit of its meaning.
Another thing that was different was Blanche’s background wasn’t fully fleshed out. We know she moved in with her sister because of the fact that her husband committed suicide after he cheated on his wife, but that isn’t shown very well in the movie. In fact, it’s almost completely skipped over as well. She pushed him to suicide after she discovered him cheating, something that would make someone go a little crazy when he does commit suicide. This somewhat explains her behavior, but in the movie, none of this is revealed, and it looks as though Blanche is just weird.
If someone wants to adapt something in to the big screen, they have to realize what has the most impact and meaning, and find a way to incorporate it into their movie. If you can’t include the rape scene, find another way to make that impact. The movie did a horrible job of this, and when doing a play such as A Streetcar Named Desire, all the meaning has to be there.