Films from Literature ENG 2400, Fall 2021 OL 0550

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  • 11/22 Language in Streetcar
  • #75693

    Prof. Masiello

    You probably do not realize that there was a time that “adult” language was more common in the theater (plays) than in films. Of course nowadays every word in the book is spoken to excess in movies (to the point of exhaustion). When A Streetcar Named Desire was first produced on Broadway, in the play version you read, there are words that were too strong for 1951 movie audiences.

    1) There is a word used about Blanche’s dead young husband on page 99 of the pdf I gave you that is so strong and offensive that even in 2021 most people do not use to discuss gay people. Please look for it. By the way, Tennessee Williams was a gay writer, a great writer.

    Did you find the word?
    2) Also, on page 83 of the pdf, Blanche says something in French to Mitch. It was noticeably absent from the film script although many US moviegoers in 1951 may not have understood it anyway: “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi c’est soir?”

    It is funny how times have changed. Her very naughty words became lyrics in a disco song, “Lady Marmalade.”

    a) Here is the song (which I think you have heard) in its original 1975 version:

    b) If you look further on YouTube, you will find a slicker, more sexualized, all-diva version:

    c) and an all-male, gay version:

    And Tennessee Williams may have started it all!

    It is surely an earworm.

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