Tag Archives: Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando – One-Eyed Jacks (1961)

This is a western like no other, combining the mythological scope of that most American of genres with the searing naturalism of a performance by Marlon Brando—all suffused with Freudian overtones and masculine anxiety. In his only directing stint, Brando captures rugged coastal and desert landscapes in gorgeous widescreen, Technicolor images, and elicits from his fellow actors (including Karl Malden and Pina Pellicer) nuanced depictions of conflicted characters. Though the production was overwhelmed by its director’s perfectionism and plagued by setbacks and studio reediting, One-Eyed Jacks stands as one of Brando’s great achievements, thanks above all to his tortured turn as Rio, a bank robber bent on revenge against his former partner in crime. Brooding and romantic, Rio is the last and perhaps the most tender of the iconic outsiders that the great actor imbued with such intensity throughout his career. Read More »

Arthur Penn – The Missouri Breaks (1976)

Synopsis:
When vigilante land baron David Braxton (John McLiam) hangs one of the best friends of cattle rustler Tom Logan (Jack Nicholson), Logan’s gang decides to get even by purchasing a small farm next to Braxton’s ranch. From there the rustlers begin stealing horses, using the farm as a front for their operation. Determined to stop the thefts at any cost, Braxton retains the services of eccentric sharpshooter Robert E. Lee Clayton (Marlon Brando), who begins ruthlessly taking down Logan’s gang. Read More »

Elia Kazan – On the Waterfront (1954)

Quote:
Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry. A raggedly emotional tale of individual failure and social corruption, On the Waterfront follows Terry’s deepening moral crisis as he must decide whether to remain loyal to the mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) and Johnny’s right-hand man, Terry’s brother, Charley (Rod Steiger), as the authorities close in on them. Driven by the vivid, naturalistic direction of Elia Kazan and savory, streetwise dialogue by Budd Schulberg, On the Waterfront was an instant sensation, winning eight Oscars®, including for best picture, director, actor, supporting actress (Eva Marie Saint), and screenplay. Read More »

Arthur Penn – The Chase (1966)

Quote:
Preceding Bonnie and Clyde by a year, Arthur Penn’s (Mickey One) acclaimed film boasts enviable pedigree – produced by the legendary Sam Spiegel, with a screenplay by Lillian Hellman from the novel by Horton Foote, a rousing score by John Barry, and a stellar cast of the hottest stars of the day (including Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Angie Dickinson and James Fox). The story of an escaped con making his way back to the corrupt Texas town and the people who sent him to prison, The Chase is a telling indictment of violence in American society. A seminal work which is ripe for rediscovery. Read More »

Sidney J. Furie – The Appaloosa (1966)

In this classic Western, buffalo hunter Matt Fletcher (Marlon Brando) plans on starting a horse breeding farm with his friend Paco (Rafael Campos) in the border town of Ojo Prieto. But when a Mexican bandit (John Saxon) steals his prized Appaloosa stallion, Matt crosses the border determined to get revenge. In search of his beloved horse, Matt falls in love with a beautiful woman (Anjanette Comer), battles a band of bandits and faces poisonous scorpions. Read More »

Henry Koster – Désirée (1954)

In Marseilles, France in 1794, Desiree Clary, a young millinery clerk, becomes infatuated with Napoleon Bonaparte, but winds up wedding Genaral Jean-Baptiste Berandotte, an aid to Napoleon who later joins the forces that bring about the Emperor’s downfall. Josephine Beauharnais, a worldly courtesan marries Napoleon and becomes Empress of France, but is then cast aside by her spouse when she proves unable to produce an heir to the throne. Read More »

Elia Kazan – Viva Zapata! (1952)

Synopsis:
In 1909, Emiliano Zapata, a well-born but penniless Mexican Mestizo from the southern state of Morelos, comes to Mexico City to complain that their arable land has been enclosed, leaving them only in the barren hills. His expressed dissatisfaction with the response of the President Diaz puts him in danger, and when he rashly rescues a prisoner from the local militia he becomes an outlaw. Urged on by a strolling intellectual, Fernando, he supports the exiled Don Francisco Madero against Diaz, and becomes the leader of his forces in the South as Francisco ‘Pancho’ Villa is in the North. Diaz flees, and Madero takes his place; but he is a puppet president, in the hands of the leader of the army, Huerta, who has him assassinated when he tries to express solidarity for the men who fought for him. Read More »