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"The Genius that is: BRANDO!"


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I noticed that another may have beat me to the

punch on this, but I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents-(for whatever they are worth)

 

As you TCM-ITES know, TCM just had: *Marlon Brando-(1924-2004) day on it's 3rd annual: "Summer Under the Stars"

 

& first & foremost, as brilliant an artist as I-(& am not alone here) think *Brando was-(& will continue to be, with this thing called film)

He is still by no-means my own personal favorite actor. That honor goes to: *"The Great: Spencer Tracy"-(1900-67) with *James Cagney-(1899-1986) coming in 2nd-(I know, I am prejudiced & typically Irish here, but dats, dat!)

 

Hoever, in this medium-(cinema) they throw the term "Genius" around far too-much! & nowadays, they are few & far between

 

But, *Brando is an "Absolute" in this field! He literally changed the face of motion picture acting, when "A Steetcar Named Desire" 1st & this is a truism-(it may now seem tame) literally "stunned moviegoers!?"

With his in your face method & yes, mumbling style.

Garfield was from that school, as was Monty Clift, but they were not that overly obnoxious, animalistic & in particular, to women on the silver-screen. His Stanley Kowalski literally re-invented quite a lot in the industry-(& many imitators of him as well, including J.Dean)

Then of course came *Waterfront"-("AFI's #8 of all-time)

Of course he proved he could when he wanted, speak with perfect "diction" in '53's "Julius Caesar"-(with much coaching from *John Houseman) This was in between Kowalski & Terry Malloy of course-(4 OSCAR nominations in a row)

1952's "Viva Zapata!" & '54's big controversial picture-(for the era) "The Wild 0ne"-(based on a true incident by the way)

(TRIVIA: "The Beatles" took their name from co-star> *Lee Marvin's characters gang in the latter film)

 

I admit *Brando goofed with his performance in "Mutiny on the Bounty" though-(obviously, ego problems & his leading lady too)

Amazingly, by the time a small movie called: *"The Godfather" (1972) was being cast. He had to literally take a screen test though-(since "Mutiny," he had not had a hit) Paramount-(R. Evans) & even *Coppola himself, were thinking *0livier, 1st & foremost.-(I believe he was busy with the brilliant "Sleuth")

& then they thought 79yr old WB's Gangster: Edward G. Robinson for the role of Don Vito Corleone?

The story of how *Marlon improved his own screen-test, is a story in itself.

 

Given, he was a strange guy & had some wacko things occur to his family,etc Most "Geniuses" though have always had their "eccentric problems!"

 

*Welles was obviously also a true "Genius" as was Hitch-(the latter has a rather long-list of folks that literally despise him "The Man" Mostly, actresses)

 

Anyway, thanks for giving Brando his due TCM

 

(P.S. Another very good flick, he took-over direction from Kubrick on, is 1961's Western "0ne Eyed Jacks"

& I of course have left out a few. Most notably "Apocalypse Now" (1979)

 

Though it speaks for itself. However, who has ever seen his 8th & final OSCAR nod. 1989's "A Dry White Season?"-(he was up for s. actor this time out & many critics compared him to Sydney Greenstreet. Obviously due to his 320lbs by then. It's still a superb & brief pc of work though)

 

"AFI's 100 years...100 Stars" (1999) ranked *Brando 4th of male stars. hough of course he was never given it's annual award. Recipient most be present for that 1.

 

Thank You

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To sabrinakfair, obviously not a fan of *Brando, so it seems.

 

However, I always feel as though if a topic is good & extra-light can be shed on it, there are never enough posts'-(Don't worry, there is plenty of room)

 

& to Mongo, I deliberately left-out his other nommed work in the then X-rated "Last Tango" ('73)

Due to it obviously not exactly being a movie for TCM-(you know what I mean) & though I agree he is brilliant in it, I am not a huge fan of the movie as a whole. 4 big stars to him & **1/2 to the ever still controversial *Bertolucci flick

 

It was cool for TCM to air 1990's fun "The Freshman"

 

If you get a chance, you gotta' check out what a bad-(yet, you still should see this thing!) 1998 "Free Money" (*1/2) Charlie Sheen & *Mira Sorvino are also on hand.

He was at his heaviest I believe here.

1 thing you must say is, even in a dud such as this. He's still an "Epic, all unto himself!"-(remember the infamous Larry King interview?)

 

At least his last was good & ironically with *De Niro & what many call the *Brando of this era>Edward Norton-(I always see *Art Carney when I hear that name) 2001's "The Score"

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I liked Marlon in Don Juan DeMarco, a movie that's overlooked, or maybe not much liked with respect to Marlon. I'm not sure about that. I know he must have needed the money but I thought there was at least a modicum of humility to put himself out there like that with all that weight and giving a solid and straight performance without the usual schtick and without trying to upstage Depp in any way. Of course, at his age that would have been next to impossible and since Depp was so outstanding in this movie. This was Marlon's last movie, wasn't it? Not bad.

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I did appreciate the acting of Brando in his earlier films, like 'The Men' Wild One, Streetcar & Waterfront BUT later on - no! He used accents which took away more than contributed to the plot & overall 'feel' of the film; with the exception of 'Synonora' with Glenn Ford. My favoriter was CLIFT>

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