The first time we see Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire we see it behind Blanche. Once she sets her eyes upon him we notice an undeniable sense of fear but also a flicker of animalistic attraction. Being the prim and proper condescending canary bird that she is, she quickly suppresses this unexpected desire for such a common man.
Then he takes his jacket off.
We see that tiny flicker come back to life, and as quickly as it came, it is extinguished.
Let me just say I did not share this same push-pull inner conflict Blanche had towards Stanley.
My attraction started with a flicker. Then it burst into flames. And it continued that way throughout the entire film, only slightly stifled by that brief drunken rage he unleashed on poor Stella.
Of course, that irresistibly mesmerizing STEEEELLLLLAAAAA scene played right after that and I was back on track.
He looked like a poor, dampened lamb. So very cute and sincerely sorry. I use the term sincerely with hesitation because I’m not entirely sure if he was sorry -domestic violence is unforgivable anyway - but let’s not deny the powerful attraction of a man with a ripped t-shirt. There is something so attractive about someone who is evidently flawed.
Stella said it herself. The first night in their home after their wedding, he smashed all the light bulbs with the heel of her slippers. “You didn’t run, or scream?”, Blanche asks her. “Actually, I was thrilled by it”, Stella replies back.
Now that we’re talking about flawed men, let’s not forget Paul Newman from A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He is undoubtedly sexiest alcoholic in film history. Like Stanley, he too is extremely troubled.
And the poor little thing is hopping around with his broken leg, you just want to help him.
I imagine myself coming face to face with him and smelling the stench of his alcoholic breath. Quickly forgetting about it half a second later just by glancing at his exquisite Mediterranean sea-blue eyes.
P.S. I just read through this blog post and it is overloaded with sexual innuendos that I did not even intend. Sorry.
Image Credits: Marlon Brando, Paul Newmam