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Marlon Brando


twister
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Just a discussion on Brando. I have often read that he was considered the "greatest American actor of all time". So here are some questions I have:

 

- do you consider him the "greatest"? If so, what makes him so great? If not, what don't you like about him?

 

- what is your favorite Brando film?

 

- If TCM would have an all-day Brando salute - what would your film line-up be?

 

- Did you think the young Brando was the best looking actor? (I think I do)

 

- Brando was eccentric. Do you have any interesting quotes or stories that you've heard about Brando?

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> {quote:title=twister wrote:}{quote}Just a discussion on Brando. I have often read that he was considered the "greatest American actor of all time". So here are some questions I have:

>

>

> * do you consider him the "greatest"? If so, what makes him so great? If not, what don't you like about him?

>

>

> * what is your favorite Brando film?

>

>

> * If TCM would have an all-day Brando salute - what would your film line-up be?

>

>

> * Did you think the young Brando was the best looking actor? (I think I do)

>

>

> * Brando was eccentric. Do you have any interesting quotes or stories that you've heard about Brando?

Brando may have been contemptuous of ordinary people and even sometimes his own kind. I remember hearing on TV years ago that he once chased the Livingston brothers (Stanley and Barry) of My Three Sons off the set of The Ugly American. All they wanted to do was watch. Anyhoo, my favorite Brando flicks are The Wild One and MOTB '62.

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I've read Brando's auto bio, and over the years have seen him on talk shows and other interview type programs, and read a few other magazine interviews. Say what you want, he was always an interesting character.

 

 

Many of the films he was in that flopped were done, according to him, out of obligation. If he signed on to a project, and that project turned out to be not of his liking, he simply phoned it in and showed up on time, as to not be considered difficult. In one interview, he stated, "The more difficult you're considered to work with, the less work you get. And I usually need the money." If he DID offer any difficulty, it was usually in the hope he would get kicked off the production.

 

 

For the movie *Superman* , for instance, he at first wasn't interested in doing it. But the producer wanted him bad enough he offered an insane amount of money( at the time). So insane that Brando felt HE would have to be insane to pass it up! Yet in the aftermath, BRANDO was vilified by some for making such an unreasonable demand. In a Playboy interview shortly after he said something like, "When somebody offers you millions of dollars to play 'Let's Pretend', it's hard to pass it up."

 

 

Contrary to popular belief, his use of "cue cards" was NOT because he was "losing it". It was HIS way of getting around the fact that he, admittedly, didn't bother to fully learn his lines. And it worked. Many movie goers thought his pauses and staring "off set" was some kind of acting technique, rather than simply reading his lines off a card.

 

 

An early advocate for gun control, Brando once( I recall seeing it happen) pulled his handgun out from under his jacket on the "Tonight" show with Johnny Carson. Carson was talking about something when the gun came out( I don't know guns, but his was HUGE). Carson jumped in his seat, and Brando said, 'See? That's how easy it is to get a guy. Don't worry, it isn't loaded. I'm leaving it here on your desk to get rid of any way you can, I don't want it anymore".

 

 

Eccentric might be putting it mildly.

 

 

My favorite Brando movies are:

 

 

ON THE WATERFRONT

THE WILD ONE

THE FUGITIVE KIND

ONE EYED JACKS

THE GODFATHER

 

 

That's not to say I don't like many others, just these the most.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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My only Brando "story" is that when I was involved in civil rights activity in Cambridge, MD 50 years ago, there was a hot rumor that Marlon Brando was going to come by to participate in a demonstration. He never showed up, and we were told - - - not sure whether it was true or not - - - that the reason for his cancellation was that he'd had an appendicitis attack. I'm not the world's biggest Brando fan, but I would've loved to have seen the local reaction if he'd actually been able to make it, especially since so many of the white counter-demonstrators looked as if they'd stepped out of the set of The Wild One.

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HUGE Brando fan here, dating back to the mid-70's when, as a teen, I saw On The Waterfront and was spellbound by his perf. Eccentic man, absolutely. Genius as an actor, no doubt. Walked through some of his roles, without question. I have read other threads about Brando on these message boards before and I come away with the impression that some, if not most, feel he was overrated. Among post 1950 actors, he is considered the best, if not most influential actor of his, and by extension our, day. His potential was limitless, however he did get disillusioned rather quickly with "the Biz " and it shaded his attitude towards his profession. Unlike Olivier, Brando didn't really return to the stage after he went Hollywood. Because of this lack of stage background many feel Olivier was the better actor, however I feel that when it came to film acting Brando was the superior actor. Favorite and/or rarely or never seen movies I would like TCM to show on a SUTS or Birthday tribute: One-Eyed Jacks { Ltrbx, which seems near impossible to see and would be quite a coup if TCM could ever acquire it} , Desiree, Sayonara, Burn!, A Countess From Hong Kong, Candy and The Godfather, which I know AMC has locked up until at least the 22st Century. Not all are faves, but some are rare and haven't gotten much air time on the cable stations I receive, though I know TCM has shown Burn! and Sayonara, but not in quite a while.

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Yes. I think he was the greatest actor cause he was versatile and seemed to be so natural at playing a character, especially his films of the 1950's. He was exceptional.

 

I have quite a few favorite Brando films - Waterfront, Streetcar, One-Eyed Jacks, Sayonara, The Men, Young Lions, to name a few.

 

The above would be my TCM line-up

 

The younger brando was terrific looking.

 

There are tons of stories and quotes on Brando. I have to decide which one is best.

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I'd say Brando was one of the greatest. He made some of the best films back in the 1950's. But I think he also made lots of clunkers because he lost interest in acting and didn't try as hard. I think he was a good looking guy. I loved him in A Streetcar Named Desire. Nothing beats him in that tee-shirt when he first walks in and meets Blanche. He was so riveting to watch.

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Like Walther Matthau, Brando would have been happy to retire from acting, and just be content laying around on his island. But as he discovered the immense amount of expense it took to keep it, he reluctantly accepted movie offers for the money. Just as Matthau did to cover his outrageous gambling expenses. Plus to probably cover the cost of all that PANCAKE make-up his WIFE seemed to use...

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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*Q. Do you consider him the "greatest"? If so, what makes him so great? If not, what don't you like about him?*

A. Actually, I believe the term "greatest" is overused in discussions about the American pop culture ("greatest" home-run hitter, "greatest" football team, "greatest" motion picture, etc.) When the American Film Institute aired a 1999 special about the Top 25 actors and Top 25 actresses in movie history, Brando was the No. 4 male behind Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant and James Stewart. I can live with that. Brando certainly had a major impact on acting, but his career was inconsistent.

*Q. What is your favorite Brando film?*

A. "The Godfather," hands down. It happens to be my favorite motion picture of all time. I've seen it so many times that I now watch it just for Brando's performance, gestures and mannerisms as Don Vito Corleone.

Q. *If TCM would have an all-day Brando salute - what would your film line-up be?*

A. Brando has been honored with Summer Under the Stars tributes three times -- in 2005, 2008 and 2011. If I could program one, I'd start with back-to-back airings of the two-part 2007 TCM documentary about the life and career of the two-time Oscar winner. It was comprehensive with interesting stories by people who knew and/or worked with Brando. My only disappointment was the fact that his onetime lover Rita Moreno did not appear. Perhaps she declined, although she has certainly talked and talked about Brando since the publication of her recent autobiography. *The combined two hour-and-45 minute documentaries would air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern Time.*

The first film on the agenda would be Stanley Kramer's "The Men" (1950), which marked Brando's screen debut. He plays an injured war veteran coping with peacetime pressures in a hospital. *Air time: 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.*

Then I would program the films for which Brando won four consecutive Best Actor nominations: "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951), "Viva Zapata!" (1952), "Julius Caesar" (1953) and "On the Waterfront" (1954). He won a well-deserved Oscar for the latter film. *Air times: "Streetcar" (10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.); "Viva Zapata"! (12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m.); "Julius Caesar" (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.); "On the Waterfront" (4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.)*

The last movie before prime time would be "The Young Lions," the 1958 film based on Irwin Shaw's novel about World War II soldiers. Brando plays a German officer, while co-stars Dean Martin and Montgomery Clift are American GIs. *Air time: 5:15 p.m. to 8 p.m.*

The first primetime entry would be the only film that Brando directed -- the 1961 Western "One-Eyed Jacks." His co-stars in the film: Karl Malden, Katy Jurado, Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens. *Air time (8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.)* It would be followed by the 1962 version of "Mutiny on the Bounty." Although it was a troubled shoot, the movie is still a good adventure story. *(Air time: 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.)*

*From 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m.,* I would air "A Countess from Hong Kong" (1962), which was the last film directed by Charles Chaplin. The title character and Brando's love interest is played by Sophia Loren.

Since the kiddies will be in bed by now, maybe we could conclude the daylong tribute with Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial "Last Tango in Paris," for which Brando received his last Best Actor nomination. *Air time: 3:30 a.m. to 5:45 a.m.*

Q. *Did you think the young Brando was the best looking actor? (I think I do)*

A. No. He surely had many rivals in the looks department (Paul Newman immediately comes to mind).



*Q. Brando was eccentric. Do you have any interesting quotes or stories that you've heard about Brando?*

A. Brando was a genius, so it seems logical that his behavior was eccentric. I also believe he loved to see how much he could push other people's buttons. I am reminded of the story in which he reportedly told "Superman" director Richard Donner of his intention to play Kryptonian scientist Jor-El as "a green suitcase." Donner didn't let Brando get away with it, although the actor apparently succeeded in having his lines printed on cue cards that were placed all over the set. It all turned out for the best. Brando's appearance at the beginning of the movie is memorable.



Edited by: jakeem on Aug 3, 2013 3:51 PM
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