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Marlon Brando VS Laurence Olivier


PRODUCER01
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In the early 50's film/theater critics came to one conclusion: Marlon Brando and Lawrence Oliver were hailed, ?The most gifted actors of their generation?. Brandon, the king of screen and Olivier, the king of stage. Sixty years later, Oliver?s name and reputation struggle to survive, whereas the opposite for Brando, whose impact in acting is regarded as the most profound for American as well as foreign actors. Why is that?

 

My theory--which may or may not offend some members here is simple and it explains why Brando is revered to the extent where, James Lipton of "The Actor Studio" called Brando, "The King of the acting method" and why his talent surpassed Oliver to a point of no contest.

 

-Brando was;

**he dug into his bone marrow to find the emotional connection, one which could be felt and understood by all. The emotion had to come from somewhere--never created, but brought out involuntarily

-Oliver acted;

**a lot of exaggerated gestures, exaggeration of emotional expression to let the audience in. forced emotion.

Two weeks ago, I read an interview of a Hollywood "newcomer" who said to her interviewer "oh, I studied in England", as if trying to impress the interviewer about her talent. What does that mean? Does that mean the English have better acting than the Americans? Absolutely NOT. American Actors (the good ones who study in the tradition of Adler, Meinser, Strassberg--The Stanislavsky) have always been true on stage as well as on screen. Most ?great? English actors (now and then) fake their lack of talent and emotional connections by unknowingly or knowingly act aristocratic on stage and on screen. Their acting never seem real to me. That was Olivier?s issue and remains the number one problem for British actors today no matter what. Brando's name will live forever because his talents and method are infinite. Olivier?s will fade away completely because his acting always carried flaws and exaggeration..

 

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Message was edited by: PRODUCER01

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Brandon, the king of screen and Olivier, the king of stage. Sixty years later, Oliver?s name and reputation struggle to survive, whereas the opposite for Brando, whose impact in acting is regarded as the most profound for American as well as foreign actors. Why is that?

 

What utter nonsense. While the two actors' approach to their craft was diametrically opposite, each was, and remains, the epitome of his craft and respective school of acting.

 

PS: It's Laurence Olivier.

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Tracy and Olivier can at least speak clearly.

 

I think Brando gets the plaudits he does because in some way that I can't quite figure out he "clicked" with the new generation in the wake of WWII -- the generation that was too young to fight in that war, through to the older of the Baby Boomers, and who in many ways still exert a huge cultural influence to this day. (I personally believe these are the same people who score up all of the Vietnam movies, and left From Here to Eternity of the most recent AFI Top 100 list. The fact that Brando apparently had political views that intersected with much of this cultural ethos, if his refusal of the Oscar for The Godfather is taken at face value, only helps reinforce this image of him.)

 

I think this really hit me back in May when TCM showed the two-part documentary on Brando: one of the commentors admitted to cheering when he saw Brando (in his mind) "outact" John Gielgud in Julius Caesar.

 

Olivier was simply not of that generation, and so he was something foreign to them -- and that, I believe, why he's less praised now.

 

For the record, I thought Brando was quite good in On the Waterfront, absolutely dreadful in Sayonara, and good-but-not-transcendent in the other of his pictures that I've seen.

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I never liked Marlon Brando and his "Method Acting" hamminess.

 

Laurence Olivier was actually very good in several 30s films like WUTHERING HEIGHTS, THE DIVORCE OF LADY X, and PERFECT UNDERSTANDING.

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"Tracy and Olivier can at least speak clearly".

 

I never have any problem hearing Brando.

 

"The fact that Brando apparently had political views that intersected with much of this cultural ethos, if his refusal of the Oscar for The Godfather is taken at face value, only helps reinforce this image of him.)"

 

Brando was more than the greatest actor of all time. He paid close attention to the world around him, which little could be said of Oliver, Tracy. Brando even marched with Martin Luther King and several civil right activists during the 60's. He had the full package. He was the rebel actor. from James Deans to Al Pacino. They all followed him, not Olivier

 

"I thought Brando was quite good in On the Waterfront, absolutely dreadful in Sayonara, and good-but-not-transcendent in the other of his pictures that I've seen."

 

perhaps you didn't understand the complexity of his character. I thought he was brilliant. It showed the softer, romantic side of Brando which many closed friends believe to have been plenty in his private life.

 

null

 

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Brando was more than the greatest actor of all time. He paid close attention to the world around him, which little could be said of Oliver, Tracy. Brando even marched with Martin Luther King and several civil right activists during the 60's.>>

 

I don't know about that. Both men supported the Allies during World War II by donating their time and their money. The 1960s were filled with much more social upheaval and social causes than the era that Tracey and Olivier came of age in so to compare the three on that basis is kind of like comparing apples and oranges.

 

As for Olivier vs Brando, Olivier is much more that just a Shakespearean actor. His work in the 1930s and in the 1970s reveals a very different actor. The fact that he loved performing Shakespeare and committed some of those performances to film shouldn't detract from the fact that he had some very good, even great performances on film outside of Shakespeare.

 

They are two very different actors from two very different generations. So, actually comparing them, now that I think about it, is like comparing apples and oranges.

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Marlon Brando and Laurence Olivier aren't mutually exclusive. For most of my life I've been a fan of both of these fascinating actors. They were sometimes guilty of deplorable excess, but they were great actors who took risks.

 

I noticed that my favorite Laurence Olivier movie, THE ENTERTAINER (1960), is on the TCM schedule for February 14th. (Even though it's on at four the next morning, thanks for the bitter chocolate Valentine, wonderfully sarcastic TCM programmer!) It takes a subtle and courageous actor to portray that pitiable, wretched old fake Archie Rice. Another underrated actor, Jack Lemmon, did a good job with an Americanized version of the role, but the change of country didn't work. Olivier wasn't portraying just one broken-down old showman in a vaguely troubled land; he embodied the whole dying British Empire. It's a heartbreaking performance in a grim and realistic tragedy.

 

PRODUCER01--I'm sorry that you think "most of Shakespeare's plays require one thing from actors: EXAGGERATION". Perhaps you've seen too many amateur Shakespearean productions or have fallen into the hands of the worst sort of literature teachers (the ones who strip all the natural joy and subtlety out of language). A pox on drama coaches who think actors have to pantomime Shakespeare in order to make the words understandable to Americans. The most remarkable thing about the 1953 movie JULIUS CAESAR was how easily the actors spoke their lines. No one out-acted anyone else. It was fine ensemble work.

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Hello, I think Marlon Brando was the greatest actor I've ever seen.

 

His performances alone in Streetcar Named Desire and On The Waterfront were so

riveting. I think Brando had a charisma and naturalness to his acting style that

he seemed to actually be the character he was playing.

 

His films of the 1950's were great - and the first 6 films he made were tremendously

good. I liked Waterfront and Streetcar the best, but he was also great in his

first film The Men, as well as Sayonara, Julius Caesar, The Young Lions,

The Fugitive Kind, One-Eyed Jacks, Guys and Dolls, The Godfather to name a few.

I have yet to see Viva Zapata and look forward to that if/when they release on DVD.

 

On a side note - the young Marlon Brando was about the hottest, sexiest beast I've

ever seen.....love to watch his movies....my favorite actor of all time.

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Both the actors in question were superb. As are many, many others. Someone has noted Spencer Tracy's excellence, and I agree. There's also Stewart, Dunne, Garson, Grant. There are so many styles and interpretations, it's difficult to compare, let alone rate them. It's hard to imagine Olivier as Stanley Kowalski. Equally hard to see Brando as Marc Antony. Oh, wait...

 

As for Lord Olivier's reputation, I must be getting old. I don't know anybody who's forgotten him, or is likely to anytime soon.

 

Red River

 

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Oh please. Olivier had no method. His acting lacked emotional connection. He could only do Shakespeare--most of Shakespear's plays require one thing from actors: EXAGGERATION.

Brando had a method: REALISM

 

And just what is "realism," anyway? If one subscribes to the notion that there is a objective definition of, and standard for, that term, then one would have to believe that there's only one way to play any scene or part, that deviating from that standard is hopelessly unrealistic, and that there's no point in anyone ever playing a part after some slob anointed the Next Great Realistic Actor has played it.

 

Yikes.

 

If you want real realism, I direct your attention to the Italian Neo-Realist school of filmmaking from the mid-1940s to the early-1950s that featured striking non-performances by largely amateur casts recruited from the street and fields of Italy by the likes of Vittorio DeSica and Roberto Rossellini. Still, since the non-actors were laboring to produce a piece of drama, rather than being surreptitiously filmed for a documentary, even that's not true realism, but it's the closest you're ever going to get.

 

As for Brando, he was just as mannered in his way as Gielgud or Olivier, only with different (and not entirely welcome) mannerisms. What one could term hyper-Brandoism probably reached its apotheosis in the tic-encrusted, butt-scratching excesses of James Dean. And while the Metohd did bring a welcome sense of detail, and of characters actually seeming to think about the lives they're living before saying or dooing anything (as opposed to the previous three decades of studio-contractee hystrionics that valued star magnetism over talent or dedidcation, it also unfortunately has led to the sort of under-cooked, over-detailed style of acting that makes today's films less and less rewarding.

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i've come to the conclusion for a GENUINE STAR to click with the public, what's needed is 50% acting talent and 50% personality... the more powerful the talent and charisma, the bigger the star, BUT they go HAND IN HAND.

 

it's the PERSONALITY--spirit-- of a certain actor PLAYING--- acting--- a character... both are needed.

 

all those 2nd teir method actors in the '50's-'60's were aping brando's PERSONALITY, but there's ONLY ONE BRANDO, so they ended up looking false and stupid.... they really gave the method a bad name.

 

same goes with marilyn... all of those platinum blonde bosomy look-a-like B movie actresses were such a joke because they were imitating a GENUINE personality instead of developing their own.

 

ACTING TALENT filtered thru a CHARISMATIC PERSONALITY= STARDOM.

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