Friday, November 30, 2007


actors normally steal scenes from their co stars. With Marlon Brando, it was different. He stole entire movies from his co stars. there are numerous examples which i have to offer. His on screen time is less compared to others, but you come out of movie remembering only Brando.


The most famous are:

A Streetcar Named Desire: It was a tale about Blanche - the protagonist but Brando as the antagonist (in a much smaller role as far as screen time was concerned), got the audiences attention and in fact so overpowering was his personality, that despite on of the all time great performances by Leigh as Blanche, the audiences were rooting for Brando.


The Godfather: He was Vito, but al pacino as michael had the longer role, but Brando with only 45 minutes of screen time makes his presence felt so vividly, that even when he is not on screen, you can feel his presence and him guiding the proceedings.


Apocalypse Now: Same reasoning as the Godfather, but here Brando with only 15 minutes of screen time so totally dominates the proceedings, that you feel his aura is pulling the boat to him. from his voice played on the recorder when sheen is getting his briefing, to the photographs that sheen has of Brando in his dossier. Everything is Brando.


Julius Caesar: He is Marc Antony, not the central figure but who delivers one of the greatest speeches ever written better than it has even been delivered. James Mason as Brutus has the longer role, but it's Brando all the way.


The Score: Brando in his last screen appearance, against Deniro and Norton, steals this utterly butterly deliciously...


How this man was able to so dominate the frame that his being off the screen would make the movie seem lesser and him being on screen would raise it to even greater heights.

6 comments:

Christian Doig said...

Oh, at first I thought you were talking about the actors stealing Brando's mannerisms and stuff --i.e. Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces, Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon, etc., etc.--.

Brando in Streetcar was the first modern antihero, which is such an achievement given the fact that he is, as you put it exactly, clearly the antagonist all the time. Brando is original in every sense of the word.

As for The Godfather, I'm still surprised that, somehow, many people seem to forget that Brando played the title role. Vito Corleone was the Godfather. And I can't think of a more ideal actor to be the Don, Brando was born to do it.

Julius Caesar has a particularly outstanding cast --Shakespeare deserved it, of course. And the great James Mason as Brutus is supposed to be the lead. Yet, Brando is hypnotic all the way, from beginning to end of the film. Besides his legendary speech, I find this to be one of his most admirable works for obvious reasons.

KBR said...

well forgot to add Missouri Breaks, where he just destroyed Nicholson...brando made that movie come alive every time he came onscreen...gave it a dose of adrenalin

sonny said...

hi guys.

with streetcar, do you think his presence was bad for the film/play? since both kazan and williams chose him, tho it changed things, they must have been ok with it. certainly at the time. whether or not they (especially williams) ever had second thoughts, i don't know. of course, any production of it without marlon would be as intended i expect.

on the other hand, he destroyed that play for anyone who would ever wish to see it live. whether they saw him on stage or the film.

christian, who the heck forgets brando was 'the godfather'? that's a new one one me. they think pacino is? due to the sequels?

KBR said...

williams never had any doubts about brando on streetcar. on the godfather, it will always be Brando first then the others. the man was a class act

Christian Doig said...

Hey Sonny. It's something that has always bothered me a bit. I mean, it's like, if you read the IMDb forums and others, the people seem to think the Godfather is Pacino, most of the time -I'd say a 99%. When referring to Brando, they say either "the Don" or "Vito Corleone" or just "Vito". I don't remember anyone regarding the Godfather as the Godfather.

Yeah, it's absurd.

KBR said...

i dont agree mate, even on imdb which has degenerated into a messas far as the godfather board is concerned, it is brando on the dvd cover which starts of the page. The guys who think pacino is the godfather are the teenagers whoc dont know their ass from their elbow.

Godfather = Brando.

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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.