Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Missouri Breaks - A western unlike any you have ever seen!!

Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson team up and deliver one helluva of a film. The Missouri Breaks is an intelligent, eccentric western where Arthur Penn calls the shots and has the good sense to let the 2 main leads do what they want and basically give the viewer a ride they will never forget.

Brando's first movie after the double impact of Godfather and Tango and Nicholson fresh from his triumph in Cuckoos Nest. Breaks bombed at the box office, coz it is not like any Western ever made. There are no redeemable characters in this movie, everyone of the main characters is bad / strange and eccentric.

Nicholson plays a rustler, who robs ranch owners of their horses. One of the big ranchers hires a Regulator to kill the ranchers - Regulator Brando (Lee Clayton), the most eccentric person to walk the wild west. Brando's character is as sadistic as they come. A man who kills for pleasure and has the most strange habits, bird watching, hunting rabbits with strange weapons, singing songs on his lil guitar in the wilderness, having lilac foam baths...

Some critics lambasted Brando's performance as his accent keeps changing, there were also some critics who thought Brando was Brilliant!!! Marlon Brando just eats up the scenery and is so amazing, that one cannot look at anything when he is on screen, yes even Nicholson, cant grab your attention.

The scenes featuring the 2 leads are worth the price of a ticket. Both the lead actors are taunting each other and it is amazing to watch them improvise...It is a beautiful movie to watch as the picturesque Montana looks really inviting.

A cracker of a movie, not your usual shoot em up westerns, but a movie where characters do a lot more talking and a lot less shooting. Witty dialogue throughout make it a great treat...

Nicholson says of the movie - that he was terrified of working with Brando as he knew that Brando was in a different league altogether...Brando does steal the movie, but Nicholson has his moments…the best scene according to me is the one where Brando and Nicholson meet up, and Brando shoots cabbages – Brilliant!!
The Missouri Breaks is a must watch and it just keeps getting better with every viewing...cant imagine why it dint do well…

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

3 to Tango Club:
Marlon Brando, John Travolta and Julia Roberts are the only 3 stars ever who at their peak, had all the major roles of their time sent to them by various producers, directors and studios.

Quentin Tarantino made this comment in of his interviews and this is so very true for Brando throughout his career.

Brando - the roles he was the first choice for:
Rebel Without a Cause - James Dean's role
Ben Hur - Charlton Heston
Lawrence of Arabia - Peter O'Toole
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Robert Redford
Tucker: The Man and His DreamTucker: The Man and His Dream -Jeff Bridges
Ryan's Daughter

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The spoken WORD from Brando is a part of the world culture. Marlon Brando has uttered some of the greatest dialogues in the history of Cinema. These words have defined a generation, have become a part of our everyday lives and the effect still lingers and mesmerizes.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Stellaaaaaaa, hey Stellaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (AFI top 100 list)
Every man's a king and I am the King around here.

The Wild One (1953)
Jhonny what u rebelling against?
Jhonny (Brando) - Whattya Got!!

Julius Caesar (1953)
Shakespeare's words but Brando said it best - Friends Romans Countrymen...

On the Waterfront (1954)
I coulda been a Contender, instead of a bum. (No. 3 on the greatest lines ever spoken on American Film Institute’s list)
Do it em, before they do it to you.

The Godfather (1972)
I'll make him an offer, he can’t refuse. (No. 2 on the greatest lines ever spoken on American Film Institute’s list)
A man who does not spend time with his family is not a man.
This war stops now!!
Never let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking.

Apocalypse Now (1979)
The Horror, the Horror...

The Freshman (1990)
If this is college, I dint miss much.

Only Humphrey Bogart has as many immortal lines. Brando and Bogart, maybe it’s the letter B...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

BRANDOFAN's 10 best BRANDO films -

On the Waterfront (1954) - Jack Nicholson describes it as the height of any age. Winner of 8 Oscars. Brando's greatest performance, according to the director of the movie ELIA KAZAN, the greatest performance by an American actor ever. Most famous for the TAXI CAB scene and the "I coulda been a contender speech". Inspired countless movies, closer home - Deewar (the dock sequences), Parinda and the frame to frame copy GHULAM. A dock worker develops a conscience and fights the waterfront mafia. An all time classic.

The Godfather (1972) - Arguable the greatest movie ever made. U have to be living on Pluto if u have not seen it. Brando was in it for 45 minutes but his presence dominates the narrative throughout the 3 hour film....I' ll make him an offer he cant refuse, you can act like a man, Tell your don what everyone seems to know, this war stops now, I am a superstitious man, nothing personal just business, don’t ever go against the family... the list of the immortal lines is endless.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) - Swept the Oscars, everyone of the main performers won the golden boy, but Brando lost out to BOGART. The most impactful performance in the history of film went unrewarded at the Oscars. A southern drama based on Tenessee Williams Pulitzer prize winning play first introduced Brando to the world on Broadway in 1947, ran for 2 years and then the movie happened. 1951 is the year when a common phrase entered the world of cinema - Before Brando and After Brando. As a loutish Stanley Kowalski, Brando kept everyone riveted and infact took some of the sympathy away that the viewer must have felt for Blanche Duboise (Vivien Leigh).
Stellaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, scorched itself into our everyday lives.

Last Tango in Paris (1973) - One half of the greatest comeback's 1-2 punch. A performance that was autobiographical. So real that it made audiences cringe. A middle aged ex pat in Paris, begins a sexual affair with a 19 year old French actress. Nameless sex, raw primal, with the famous/infamous butter sequence. The film was a harrowing portrayal of a man breaking down in front of our very eyes. One of the most beautiful movies to look at, all the scenes look like a painting. Bernado Bertolucci outdid himself as a director

Apocalypse Now (1979) / Redux (2001)
Based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkeness, this is ride which haunts you for ever. As Francis Ford Coppola put it, this movie is not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam. Brando is there only in the last 15 minutes of the film, but his presence dominates right from the beginning when his voice is played on the recorder. Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent on a mission to terminate a renegade Col. Kurtz’s command with extreme prejudice. Kurtz has gone solo, rockers, is running his own private war. Brando’s trance like performance is brilliant and each word, look, move is epochal. Blows you away completely.

The Freshman (1990) - Already have a post on it, one of the all time great comedies. Period.

Julius Caesar (1953) - Brando as Marc Antony, this is Shakespeare at its most exciting. Brilliant cast with James Mason as Brutus, Sir John Gielgud as Cassisus. Brando shines and how. The friends Romans countrymen scene is CLASS.

One-Eyed Jacks (1961) - The only movie Brando directed after he sacked Stanley Kubrick. A classic western revenge tail, which portrays characters as not all pristine white and jet black, but in shades of grey. Beautifully filmed, brilliantly acted, did respectable business at the box office but because it was so expensive (courtesy an inexperienced Director Brando), could not be termed an outright hit. A mature western where the spoken word counts for more than the bullet. Has one of the most brutal beatings on screen ever, where Brando gets tied up and is whipped by Karl Malden. On the Waterfront and THE CHASE are the other movies where Brando is beaten to pulp. A cult film today and a great one at that. Brando's original cut was 5 hours long and those who have seen it, say it was sheer art. The studio took over the film and the editing and Brando dismissed the film completely.

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) - Brando at the height of his stardom, took this movie after refusing David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia. The movie where he was unfairly blamed for everything. Brando had his share of mood swings but the studios were to blame for the long production schedule which went on and on. Talking about he movie, a remake of the GABLE, Laughton - Mutiny on the Bounty. Brando is exquisite, excellent as a foppish Fletcher Christian and is very funny and brilliant. The movie has been criticized unjustly, as according to me it is the best of the bounty movies. Trevor Howard as the tyrannical Captain Bligh and an upcoming Richard Harris, make up the cast. Was nominated for Best Picture Oscar, dint win it. Flopped badly and Brando's bad luck at the box office began.

The Young Lions (1958) - A WWII movie told from both sides of the war. Brando plays a NAZI who realizes that his ideal GERMANY has messed up. Montgomery Clifyt as American Jew in the army and Dean Martin a draftee who wants to get out - form the American side of the story. The 2 sides never meet, till the climax but the movie is brilliant for the acting, the message. The Americans are fighting the NAZIS because they are anti Semite, but even then they cannot get rid of their own anti Semitic feelings towards Monty Clift's character. Brilliantly acted, and a huge box office hit.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Only THE GODFATHER could have have been SUPERMAN's father and again open doors...

Brando played Jor EL to Reeve's Superman in 1978 and will do so again to Brendan Routh in 2006. It was a historical part becuase he became the highest paid movie star EVER for getting nearly 4 million USD to play a role of not more than 10 minutes. Taking inflation into account he still is.

This started a trend of big names in the histronic department and stars accepting roles in comic book films.

There would be no Jack Nicholson (joker) in BATMAN, Al Pacino, Warren Beatty in DICK TRACY, if there was NO BRANDO in SUPERMAN. Gave comic books legitimacy and opened doors for acting heavy weights to have some fun on the job.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

How did brando revolutionize film / stage acting?

This is not a write up on the method school of acting, not qualified to do that. What i can write about is my experience of cinema. Few film scenes which are their own proof about Brando changing acting.

Jack Nicholson - Five easy pieces.
The scene where Jack explodes at the waitress for not having the food that he ordered and sweeps the plates and menus from the table, a legendary scene, which shocks us for the sudden violence that erupts...brilliant but inspired from A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, where Brando wipes the table clean, unexpected violence.

View both the scenes and you can clearly see the influence of Brando on nicholson....the ability to pounce like a tiger / go off like an automatic machine gun and leave the others stunned is all Brando. The Brando sequence is even more legendary in its impact.

Robert Deniro - Raging Bull.
The best film arguably of the last 25 years. Deniro gives a visceral performance, the weight gain etc...the impact. Then the punchline when Deniro playing Jake LaMotta, impersonates Brando playing Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront. That is just not play acting, but an ode to the original from his biggest follower and reminds the viewer of the impact of Brando. In the SCORE, one can clearly see deniro is in awe of Brando and is caught off guard by Brando's reactions in the scenes featuring them, especially where they are discussing the scheme and the money involved, what Brando does is pick up a mug or something and speak into it like a its a speaker and u can clearly see deniro was not expecting that. Brando pulled it out of thin magic.

James Dean – Rebel without a Cause.
You are tearing me apart, the way it is said by Dean to his parents, is all Brando. The pain, anguish, the delivery, everything is all Brando.

Nicholson said it best – Brando gave us (actors) our freedom.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The best godfather moment:
All of us have seen it, have enacted the scenes in front of mirrors, tried our best to mumble the lines and have marvelled how the MAN did it. My favourite moment in the godfather is when DON Vito Corleone comes to a broken down TOM HAGEN and tells him - to tell his don what everyone else seems to know. From then on THE GODFATHER who was indisposed because of the assasination attempt on him, takes charge - THIS WAR STOPS NOW!!

Other favourites::

the chats that Brando and Pacino have when they discuss how things could have been different, the grandchildren reading the funny papers (comics), and how pacino comforts brando by saying dont worry. The mantle is being passed.

The obvious ones are - santino's shooting, the opening sequence of the requests to the godfather on his daughter's wedding. the film is full of them.

Everything about the godfather is now a part of our daily lives and we alla re the better for it.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Happened to see THE FRESHMAN over the weekend for the umpteenth time. It is one of Brando's all time greats and proves once and for all that the man was capable of everything. This is a comedy, a movie which has you in splits.

for those of you who have not seen this film, it released in 1990 and the plot is as follows: Mathew Broderick comes to new york and joins a film school as a frshman. within 21 minutes of him landing in new york he is robbed of everything by a delightful Bruno Kirby (the yound clemenza in godfather 2). Well Broderick happens to see Kirby a couple of days later and confronts him. Kirby tells him that he will make up for the pain he has caused Broderick and takes him to meet his uncle - Carmine Sabitini (marlon brando).

You all will be asking what is so interesting about this. Well here goes, Carmine Sabitinis is the man on whom DON VIT CORLEONE is based one. Brando is spoofing his most famous role ( according to American FILM Institute the greatest character of all time). The film is full of godather jokes and is downright clever and hilarious. Brando and Broderick jam well with each other. There is a scene where brando ice skates and it is like god ice sakting.

what is remarkable about this film is that one of the all time classics is being spoofed, the chances of it being horrible are huge as the bulls eye is small and very far, but brando and the director hit it smack in the middle.

one of my favourite films with a classic one liner from brando - when he visits broderick in the college hostel - if this is college, i dint miss much.

for those who have not seen it, catch it, its an intelligent comedy.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Marlon Brando will be back on the silver screen in 2006.

Giving advice as JOR EL to the new superman and a voice over for an old animated lady in the Big Bug Man.

The man who changed everyhting about acting will be unleashed to a whole new virignal generation of cinemagoers.

I cant wait.

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

FeedBurner FeedCount

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

About Me

anything which i can do by not getting up from my back side, is to my liking. hard work never killed anybody, but there is always a first time for everything. SO CHILL is my motto.