Category Archives: 1951

Movies released in 1951.

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire

Director: Elia Kazan
Year: 1951
Score: 7.5/10

STELLA!!!

STELLA!!!

Tragic, compelling tale brought to life through some stellar performances, especially Marlon Brando’s celebrated turn as Stanley Kowalski. Going into it I knew only what I’d gleaned from ‘A Streetcar Named Marge’, the episode of The Simpsons in which Marge and Ned play Blanche and Stanley in a musical version of the play, and Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen’s 2013 reimagining of the story (incidentally, I noticed at one point Blanche says to Stella, referring to Stanley, “Why, I guess he’s just not the type that goes for jasmine perfume”; presumably this is why Allen used the name Jasmine). The famous “Stellaaa!!” comes early on, but is actually “Hey Stella! Hey Stellaaa!!”. Given the film’s age, I was surprised by the challenging nature of some of the material. Definitely worth watching if you haven’t already seen it.

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Review: The African Queen

Director: John Huston
Year: 1951
Score: 8/10

The African Queen

The only movie I can remember featuring a live cat being thrown off the side of a ship.

Thoroughly enjoyable adventure anchored (excuse the pun) by great performances from Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. They make their way down an African river at the start of World War I, aiming to blow up a German ship but inevitably falling for each other along the way. The romance is simple but quite lovely, avoiding the sorts of contrived obstacles I’ve come to expect, such as her objecting on the basis of his uncouth nature or them bickering the whole way through and only declaring their love for each other right at the end. The focus is narrow – for about 90% of the movie they’re literally the only two characters on-screen – and that’s a strength. John Huston’s direction is perfect, and the African locations are vivid.