Thursday, May 10, 2007

Brando & the Greats...

Marlon Brando has in his career been in movies where he has had great talent acting opposite him. Some classic examples are:

Leigh in Streetcar
Quinn in Zapata
Mason & Geilgud in Caesar
Malden in Waterfront
Sinatra in Guys & Dolls
...the list is endless

Monty and he were in the same movie, without sharing a scene, Pacino and he were in godfather, but Pacino had to still have the reputation of being a great actor at that time. Deniro and he were in The Score. Taylor and he were in Reflections...

In all the times he was working with great talent, Brando was always in top form and made the other actors seem as if they were always flying on Brando's coattails. I am not saying that the other actors gave bad performances, not at all, they gave some of the best acts of their careers, but somehow Brando was always more memorable, better etc.

How & why...are the questions...
Maybe the answer lies in the fact that Brando was not afraid to make a fool of himself in front of the camera, not afraid to try out things which were as far away as it could be from a cliché. Spontaneity, madness, risk taking ability and the sheer genius to make magic out of nothing. Also the fact that Brando has such an amazing personality and when he is on screen, that all else pales in comparison. One is always seeing Brando, no matter who else is in the frame with him. The best example is the movie Score, with Deniro...a solid heist film, not classic cinema but a good thriller and the scene where Brando and Deniro are doing their improvisations, one can clearly see that Brando is always surprising Deniro with something new...brilliant

A force of nature, according to me both Brando and Garbo can qualify as sheer forces of nature, they just tower over everything else...imagine the screen with both of them together, that would have been a match.


Christian Doig said...

It's funny that you mention Garbo, the other reclusive great star of cinema, because I've always found her to be very similar to Brando, as odd as this remark may seems: her lasting power as an actres remains in the subtlety of her screen presence, and there's no actor more powerful and subtle than Brando.

By the way, I think this one may be among your best blogs, mate. Keep up the good work.

KBR said...

well i forgot to add, nicholson in Missouri...i mean brando walked all over nicholson in that movie...

i sincerely hope missouri gets it overdue recognition in the world of cinema, where do u see 2 of the biggest icons of cineman, having fun and having a go at each other...the cabbage scene should be framed for ever...

Christian Doig said...

Yeah, how could you forget Nicholson,uh? ;) Mr.Charming was as nuanced an actor as anyone ever was in the '70s, but hell yeah, Brando upstaged him in this one sooo badly.

Also worth mentioning are:

Lee Marvin in The Wild One
Anna Magnani in The Fugitive Kind
The great Karl Malden in Streetcar and One-Eyed Jacks
Trevor Howard in Mutiny on the Bounty

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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.