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February 20, 2019 – Key West, FL.  Tennessee Williams Film Series at Tropic Cinema included in Pulitzer-Prize winner’s month-long Birthday Celebration 

Of the 32 “essential” dramatic works the Pulitzer-prize-winning Tennessee Williams wrote, 16 of them have received “Hollywood treatment,” adapted into blockbuster films helmed by directors like Elia Kazan, Sidney Lumet and Joseph Mankiewicz, starring the likes of Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Wyman, Katherine Hepburn, Kirk Douglas, Karl Malden, Marlon Brandon, Christopher Walken, Jessica Tandy, and Vanessa Redgrave.  Key West Art & Historical Society celebrates four of them at the Tropic Cinema with Monday Night showings of Williams’ classic films during the Tennessee Williams’ Birthday Celebration, a month-long series of arts and cultural events set to take place from March 4 through April 1.

The best known, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” opened in theaters in 1951 and will be the first to be shown at the Tropic on March 4, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.  Adapted from his Pulitzer Prize winning 1947 play of the same name and starring Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden (each winning Oscars) and Marlon Brando, the film reveals the story of a southern belle Blanche Dubois,who, after encountering a series of personal losses, leaves her aristocratic background seeking refuge with her sister and brother-in-law in a dilapidated New Orleanstenement.

On March 11 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm, the 1954 film “The Rose Tattoo,” filmed in Key West and adapted from the play of the same name stars Burt Lancaster and Oscar-winner Anna Magnani.  In addition to the adaptation of the Tony-Award winning Broadway play, the film provides a unique opportunity to view Key West as it appeared during the mid-fifties. Its original local premier was held at the San Carlos Institute in 1956.

March 18 from 6:30 – 8:30pm showcases “Boom,” aBritish drama film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Noël Coward, adapted from the Tennessee Williams play “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.”  Flora ‘Sissy’ Goforth (Taylor) is a terminally ill woman living with a coterie of servants in a large mansion on a secluded island. Into her life comes a mysterious man (played by then-husband Burton).  The Mediterranean scenery is spectacular.

March 25, 6:30pm – 8:30pm presents “Sweet Bird of Youth,”a drama based on the Tennessee Williams Broadway play by the same name starring Paul Newman, Golden Globe-winner Geraldine Page, Shirley Knight, Madeleine Sherwood, and Ed Begley, who won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.  The film tells the story of a gigolo and drifter who returns to his hometown as the companion of a faded movie star that he hopes to use to help him break into the movies.

Other upcoming Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration events include a Celebration kick-off party, a special event featuring Williams’ favorite cocktails as told and served by acclaimed mixologist Phil Greene, curator-led tours of the award-winning Tennessee Williams Museum (the largest collection of Tennessee Williams memorabilia available in the world) at 513 Truman Ave., a lunchtime lecture that illuminates the play-write’s one-act plays with Steven Kitsakos, poetry readings at the Key West Public Library, performances of two one-act plays at The Studios of Key West, and a March 27 Tennessee Williams birthday party at the Tennessee Williams Museum, to include contest award presentations, bubbly beverages, and birthday cake.

Tickets for all the films available exclusively at Tropic Cinema or For a full schedule of celebration events visit or advance ticket purchase contact Dani Holliday at or 305-295-6616 x 114. Sponsored in part by Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, Neal Ruchman and Melissa Jean McDaniel, and Bert Whitt. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.

Photo Caption:

A photo from the DeWolfe and Wood Collection / Monroe County Public Library shows Burt Lancaster, Anna Magnani’s secretary, Tennessee Williams and Magnani on the porch of the Key West home known as “The Rose Tattoo House.” Four films based on Tennessee Williams plays will be shown at the Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street, as part of the month-long Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration.