Like the material voice, film acting has long been rendered abstract and disembodied, eclipsed by the privileging of the visual over the aural and language over speech in film studies. Attention to the actor’s voice challenges these assumptions and opens new ways to understand embodiment, a question key to acting and voice studies. These ideas are developed through a consideration of the place of the voice in classical Hollywood cinema and of Marlon Brando’s transformative vocal performances in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and The Godfather (1972), which have been recognized as exemplifying naturalism and the construction of voice, respectively.

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