A smoldering, snakeskin-jacketed Marlon Brando is Val Xavier, a drifter trying to go straight. He finds work and solace in a southern small-town variety store run by the married, sexually frustrated Lady Torrance, who proves as much a temptation for Val as local wild child Carol Cutrere.
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***1/2. The film doesn't age very well, it's so theatrical that whenever a character opens his mouth, we're waiting for the Word of God to come out So let's focus on the performances of the actors, mute the sound and observe how they move. A DVD zone Tennessee Williams and his weird friends.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. There's no denying Brando's sex appeal in The Fugitive Kind but the claustrophobic adapted play quality kind of leaves the movie shuffling its feet for most of its running time. There wasn't enough of Sidney Lumet's style to make up for it but the title sequence was gorgeous.
Rough-trade Brando wants to get out of the Life, but finds that he brings out the doomed queer in everyone he meets, so his lot pretty much remains fuck or get fucked. As honest as can be - which means we have to allow for the fact that Joanne Woodward's character should actually be a transvestite - and all in a day's work for the U.S.'s greatest playwright, Tennessee Williams.
The first hour is super expository and a chore to get through, but the second half is just stunning! Brando and Magnani have an undeniable chemistry, and Lumet's direction is more than engrossing for such a theatrical piece.