TCM Fest: Karl Malden in On the Waterfront

A great film moment:

TCM is honoring Karl Malden tonight by screening three films: On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire and Birdman of Alcatraz.

TCM’s Karl Malden Tribute

This is the video tribute TCM has been airing in memory of Karl Malden.

Beginning at 8 pm tonight, TCM is airing three of Malden’s best films: On The Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Birdman of Alcatraz.

Karl Malden (1912-2009)

Academy Award winning actor Karl Malden has died at the age of 97.

Malden received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1952 for his portrayal of Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire. He also starred in On The Waterfront (1954), The Gunfighter (1950), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), Gypsy (1962), How the West Was Won (1962), The Cincinnati Kid(1965), and Patton (1970).

He is perhaps best known for his role as Lt. Mike Stone on The Streets of San Francisco, a 1970s television series which co-starred Michael Douglas.

Here is a clip of Malden with Vivien Leigh in Streetcar.

And here is great video of Karl Malden honoring Kirk Douglas at the AFI Life Achievement Awards in 1991. Malden was one of the most gracious and humble actors working in Hollywood, which this video captures perfectly.

Happy Birthday Karl Malden!

To Karl Malden.

The Academy Award winner turns 95 today.

Malden starred in such films as On The Waterfront, Baby Doll, How The West Was Won, and Patton. For his performance in A Streetcar Named Desire Malden received the 1951 Best Supporting Actor Oscar. He also starred on the TV series, The Streets of San Francisco for five seasons (1972-77) with then unknown actor Michael Douglas.

In 2004, he received the 40th Screen Actors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

I’m a workaholic. I love every movie I’ve been in,
even the bad ones, every TV series,
every play, because I love to work. It’s what keeps me going.”

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

A Streetcar Named Desire is the kind of movie that if you haven’t seen it in forever you forget how good it is. It is film driven by the brilliance of Tennessee Williams’ play, the direction of Elia Kazan and often gutwrenchingly powerful performances of the cast. In this film, casting is everything, which is why it has stood the test of time.

Marlon Brando is spetacular, to say the least, in one of his career-defining roles as Stanley Kowalski. Vivien Leigh is equally breathtaking, mesmerizing, and infuriating as the tragic Blanche DuBois. The supporting cast of Karl Malden and Kim Hunter also do a fabulous job. (Karl Malden is by far one of the most underrated and underappreciated actors of all-time.

A Streetcar Named Desire the story of Blanche DuBois (Leigh) a Southern belle who has lost everything: her beauty, dignity, home, career, mind, and most of all, her love for a certain “young boy”. She moves in with her pregnant sister (Hunter) and her no-good husband (Brando), who live in the French Quarters of New Orleans.

Blanche obviously disapproves of her sister’s lifestyle and most of all of Stanley. There is no doubt that that feeling is mutual. And he does one thing to her that entirely changes the mood of the movie. Blanche, who finds Stanley to be no good for her sister, clashes with her brother-in-law. But underneath the extravagent cloths, the jewelry, the make-up, and a doomed relationship with Malden’s Mitch, Blanche is a woman falling apart.

Of her confrontations with Stanley, their final one proves to be the most destructive. Stanley’s rape of Blanche leaves Blanche utterly wrecked and she is committed. Stella vows never to return to Stanley and in the final scene she seeks refuge with her newborn son at a neighbors. It is a scene that was changed from the original play. Although ambiguous, the play’s ending implied that Stella, although different from her sister, would be heading down a similar destructive path because of her marriage to Stanley. The movie says otherwise.

Nevertheless, A Streetcar Named Desire has given us one of the most iconic sequences in the history of cinema. And because of it, the nature of cinematic performanc changed forever.

Updated October 6, 2010