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One-Eyed Jacks (1961)

Marlon Brando's sole directorial effort, a western tale of vengeance distinguished by strong characterizations, short but memorable spurts of violence and stunning cinematography.

Brando plays a bank robber, betrayed by his partner (Karl Malden) who leaves him abandoned on a hill leading to his capture and incarceration. Brando escapes from his Mexican prison hell five years later, his vengeance search for his former partner and best friend taking him to a small community in California where Malden has reformed, married and found employment as town sheriff. In his desire for vengeance Brando now indulges in a cat and mouse game.

There was apparently plenty of turmoil in the making of this film, with, as I understand it, Brando eventually taking over the directorial reins after Stanley Kubrick left the production. There was also an original five hour version of the film which was finally cut back to its present running time of two hours and twenty one minutes.

One-Eyed Jacks (1961) | The Criterion Collection

At that I find the film still overlong and it has its slow stretches, particularly when Brando courts Malden's foster daughter (Mexican actress Pina Pellicer). That is not enough, however, to dilute the overall fascination with this film thanks to its strong characterizations which help to maintain interest over the slow spells. Under his own direction Brando is casual and relaxed in many scenes, bringing all the more power to his big moments in the film with a remarkable, burning intensity for which we wait for a volcanic eruption.

Malden provides great support in his two faced portrayal. He is no simple villain in this film either. There is an unexpected depth to this character. He is gutsy, as well as duplicitous. And many of the smaller performances in the film remain memorable, as well, including Slim Pickens as a loutish, bullying town deputy (the kind of bad cop everyone fears and despises if you get on his wrong side), Timothy Carey as a low life creep (what else?) who will have a short and deadly encounter with Brando, and Ben Johnson as a crafty bank robbery partner who is long on patience and short on scruples. Brando will have a classic confrontation scene with Johnson ("Get up you scum sucking pig") that is remarkable for its intensity.

For my money, Brando's frequent scenes with leading lady Pellicer tend to drag the film down a little. However, she does bring considerable sensitivity to her portrayal. This tragic actress would commit suicide just three years after this film's release. Katy Jurado, by the way, is cast as Malden's wife and Pellicer's mother. I wish she had more to do in the film though she has a couple of scenes that are fairly effective.

Hugo Friedhofer contributes a stirring musical score, and simply not enough praise can be lavished on cinematographer Charles Lang who magnificently captures the majesty of the Pacific Ocean in his frequent oceanside shots. There will also be crane shots of the California and Mexican countryside, all quite breathtaking. Lang's work makes One-Eyed Jacks one of the best looking westerns ever made, in my opinion.

One-Eyed Jacks (1961)

Film '89™️ on Twitter: "#Film89ShotOfTheDay No.370 One-Eyed Jacks (1961)  Director: Marlon Brando Cinematographer: Charles Lang Jnr.  https://t.co/glJwHA2tQE" / Twitter

The mercurial Brando never directed another film. We can be grateful for his sole effort behind the camera for the results were memorable.

For years prints of One-Eyed Jacks lingered in public domain hell. However, the film underwent a restoration (Martin Scorcese was involved) and a beautiful image of the film has been released by Criterion. I can't really call myself a Brando fan. His career was too full of ups and downs for me. This western, however, clearly ranks among the actor's better efforts, in my opinion, with one of his most impressive performances.

One-Eyed Jacks (1961) - IMDb

3 out of 4

 

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My older brother saw this when he would have been about 12.  He was obsessed for weeks.  First he told me every word of the movie, he could always do that, a talent his friends have to put up with  to this day,  but that wasn't enough, he acted out parts and for years he was likely to run up behind me (a frilly little girl at the time) and push me to the floor so he could say, "Get Up! Get up you scum sucking pig or I'll tear your eyes out."  I need to finally watch it .

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4 minutes ago, AndreaDoria said:

My older brother saw this when he would have been about 12.  He was obsessed for weeks.  First he told me every word of the movie, he could always do that, a talent his friends have to put up with  to this day,  but that wasn't enough, he acted out parts and for years he was likely to run up behind me (a frilly little girl at the time) and push me to the floor so he could say, "Get Up! Get up you scum sucking pig or I'll tear your eyes out."  I need to finally watch it .

He sounds like my lost twin! 

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Saw Diplomatic Courier (1952) today. It was on demand on TV, given that it was one of the few "classic" titles on FXM I hadn't watched yet. it was a pretty good, twisty espionage thriller, a bit confusing at times but well handled, with Tyrone Power in one of his better performances, plus good support from Hildegarde Neff, Patricia Neal, and Karl Malden.  It had severeal plot twists that were pretty shocking.....

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On 7/13/2022 at 9:14 AM, MrMagoo said:

. . . I used to get my early cinema insights from Mad Magazine parodies. I was too young for such fare in the theater.

Thank you for that MAD Magazine pic, MrMagoo!

I researched the parody to find out who the artist was. The style kind of looked like Mort Drucker. In fact, the artist was caricaturist extraordinaire Bruce Stark.

 

Bruce+3+M%2526L.jpg     Don+Adams.jpg     IMG_0549.JPG     Bruce+Stark+Buddy+.jpg     joan+collins.jpg     stark.silvers.det.jpg

 

Stark+Mad001.jpg

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1 hour ago, AndreaDoria said:

My older brother saw this when he would have been about 12.  He was obsessed for weeks.  First he told me every word of the movie, he could always do that, a talent his friends have to put up with  to this day,  but that wasn't enough, he acted out parts and for years he was likely to run up behind me (a frilly little girl at the time) and push me to the floor so he could say, "Get Up! Get up you scum sucking pig or I'll tear your eyes out."  I need to finally watch it .

Just be grateful your brother hadn't just seen The Mummy and wanted to bury you alive.

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1 hour ago, AndreaDoria said:

My older brother saw this when he would have been about 12.  He was obsessed for weeks.  First he told me every word of the movie, he could always do that, a talent his friends have to put up with  to this day,  but that wasn't enough, he acted out parts and for years he was likely to run up behind me (a frilly little girl at the time) and push me to the floor so he could say, "Get Up! Get up you scum sucking pig or I'll tear your eyes out."  I need to finally watch it .

Reminds me of a reviewer reminiscing about Willard. After he and his brother saw it, they would fling open their parents' and each others' bedroom doors and shout, "Tear 'im up!"

 

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1 hour ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

 

 

Stark+Mad001.jpg

Ah, the Mad Magazine Cliche' Movie Script--
A relic of the early-mid 70's, when old "Late Show" movies were the stuff of quaint ridicule, most of which went over my third-grade head, since I hadn't watched the movies yet.

I remember the Monster Movie script, but--apart from finding all the pics on the same Pinterest site you found them 😛--there's not much relics of the other articles, until I can access my CD-Rom again.  🥺   (Although, for those who want the titanic 7G download, the Mad CD-Rom archive  is available at Archive.org:  https://archive.org/details/absolutely-mad-2004-issue-01-460-extras-1952-2005 )

Also, they seemed to go for rather obscure, movie-specific genres, like their Opera Movie Script:  https://www.madcoversite.com/mad126-23.html

(The 1969 issue linked also contained a parody of TV's "Family Affair", and a general non-specific parody at the Mike Nichols/"Graduate" style of 60's counter-cultural satire.  Which also went over my head at the time.)

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

. . . (The 1969 issue linked also contained a parody of TV's "Family Affair", and a general non-specific parody at the Mike Nichols/"Graduate" style of 60's counter-cultural satire.  Which also went over my head at the time.)

Memories, memories of halcyon days of yore!

I probably had (maybe even still have) issue 126.

8c966df1c391cf191755a03b4a62453e.jpg

As for cliché movie scripts . . .

Action-Adventure

Hero: "You're pretty tough with a gun in your hand. Whaddaya say you and me settle this man to man? Mano a mano?"

Villain: "Suits me just fine, Pal! And just because you're a third-degree Black Belt who's single-handedly killed my entire mob with his bare hands, don't think you'll walk outta here alive!"

Hero: "Let's rock 'n roll, Skippy!"

Comedy

Milquetoast: "N-n-now, you just listen to me! You may be bigger than me! You may be stronger than me! An . . . and you m-m-may be tougher than me! B-but I'm not scared of you! Because deep down . . . you're weak! Like all bullies! So if you wanna fight . . . I say . . . I s-s-say . . . PUT 'EM UP!"

Onlookers: "You tell him, Elmer! Atta boy, Elmer! Teach him a lesson!"

Bully: "Awwww, you ain't worth bruisin' my knuckles on! C'mon, Mary Sue! Let's split!"

Love Interest: "Let go of me, Flash Yabronski! I'm staying right here with Elmer! He's more of a man than you'll ever be! And furthermore, he's the man for me!"

Bully: "Are you kiddin'? You're choosin' dis squirt over me?"

Love Interest: "Yes, I am!"

Bully: "Awwww, nuts! G'wan, den! You two drips desoive one anudder!"

Love Interest: "Ohh, Elmer! You were so brave! I'm so proud of you! I just want to give you such a hug! C'mere, you!"

Milquetoast "Owww! Not so hard, Mary Sue! I bruise easily."

Western

Varmint: "Waitaminnit, boys! Don't string 'im up! I've gotta better idea!"

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17 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Saw Diplomatic Courier (1952) today. It was on demand on TV, given that it was one of the few "classic" titles on FXM I hadn't watched yet. it was a pretty good, twisty espionage thriller, a bit confusing at times but well handled, with Tyrone Power in one of his better performances, plus good support from Hildegarde Neff, Patricia Neal, and Karl Malden.  It had severeal plot twists that were pretty shocking.....

it is very likely you know this already, but HILDEGARDE KNEF was the VOICE OF LYLAH CLARE in THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE.

She was also a fascinating vocalist, a world ambassador for weltschmertz:

 

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Three boxing documentaries last week:

AKA Cassius Clay (1970) Made during the period after he was stripped of his title for refusing the draft.  Shows how he tried to make a living when he wasn't allowed to fight.  Includes a one man stage show in NY which I had never heard about and series he had on network TV where he looked at footage of past heavyweights with boxing experts and breaking down how he would've beat them had they ever been able to fight during their primes.   Interesting doc but nothing great.  Probably only for boxing buffs. 

When We Were Kings (1996) Documents the infamous rumble in the jungle with Ali and George Foreman and the music festival that went on leading up to the fight that the Dictator of Zaire put on featuring famous black artists to try to raise the 10 million fighters fee to be shared between the two fighters.  Arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century (i'll still pick England winning the World Cup 😉) and i'd call this a must see documentary.  There's many documentaries on Ali, and this is easily the best (some of the ones highlighting his later fights when he was obviously not the same man are just sad to see) but i do kind of feel sorry for Foreman who had the entire country of Zaire against him after Ali toured the country drumming up support and was left a broken man mentally and Ali would never give him a re-match.  (Although I am still waiting for a great documentary on Foreman and how he inconceivably regains his title two decades later in his late 40's).

Fallen Champ: Mike Tyson (1993)  Highlights the heavyweights rise and fall and imprisonment after a rape conviction.  Goes into the details surrounding his crime and paints a rather ugly picture on the Nation of Islam.

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5 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

. . . with artwork by the supremely talented, impressively prolific, and profoundly tragic Wallace Wood!

Mad+008+Wally+Wood+007.jpg

Not sure, but I think the Mad Special Edition reprints of Wood's "Tales to Drive You Mad" were where I first encountered the term "Furshlugginer".  🤔

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On 7/14/2022 at 3:52 PM, AndreaDoria said:

My older brother saw this when he would have been about 12.  He was obsessed for weeks.  First he told me every word of the movie, he could always do that, a talent his friends have to put up with  to this day,  but that wasn't enough, he acted out parts and for years he was likely to run up behind me (a frilly little girl at the time) and push me to the floor so he could say, "Get Up! Get up you scum sucking pig or I'll tear your eyes out."  I need to finally watch it .

Your anecdote reminds me, AndreaDoria, of a time I was unduly influenced by a movie enough to want to recreate a scene from it, as well, when I was a kid. Errol Flynn was my movie hero and I just saw him for the first time in Silver River, loving a scene in which he sucker punched bad guy Barton MacLane and broke a chair over his head. Immediately after watching the film I called on my best friend, Stevie, took him to a spot near our homes and sucker punched him in the stomach. Thank God no chair was nearby.

Stevie turned and ran home crying and I stood there not feeling good about what I had just done. What looked so cool on the TV screen when Flynn did it was not so cool in real life. Besides Barton MacLane deserved it in the film and poor Stevie didn't. I went home and, obviously feeling guilty, confessed my crime to Mom. She ordered me to cross the street, knock on his door and apologize to him. Which I did. Stevie, a good soul, eventually forgave me.

I guess I was around seven at the time, which I mention because it's my only excuse. At least, however, to my credit, I didn't knock down a frilly little girl!

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Note: I am posting this review using the voice transcription on my phone, so I’m probably going to have to go back later and edit it extensively. I apologize for any typos. I also realize that I am about to get into Dennis Miller levels of esoteric cultural references, and I apologize for that but I don’t know any other way to talk about this.

See the source image

I just watched EATEN ALIVE (1976) on TUBI, And to be perfectly honest with you – I’m sorry I did.

This film – which was directed by TOBE HOOPER-  is very, very much like a somewhat liberal reinterpretation  of “MANOS”: THE HANDS OF FATE  done “playhouse 90”style by Curtis Harrington on a single set, lit with an ARBY’S HEAT LAMP and  featuring an Americanized variation on David Warner’s character from STRAW DOGS serving as the de facto TORGO of the piece. 

Oh, and there’s a terrible rubber crocodile.

I guess they spent all their money on casting and set design and then had to pull an ED WOOD and sneak into the 20th Century Fox lot after dark and steal one of the rubber crocodiles they had left over from an old “KING TUT” episode of “Batman” because damn that thing is fake as Hellllll.

This film does have a startlingly good performance from CAROLYN JONES- Only 46 years old at the time- she hikes her pants up to her armpits JANE WYMAN style and stoops over and proceeds to come off as one of the most believable mean old ladies I have ever seen. Even in crap like this, Carolyn Jones is giving 110% and I salute her And I’m very sorry that she and Marie Windsor never got to do a buddy comedy together.

This film includes a performance from another Oscar nominee, Stuart Whitman, who by this time was glad to provide his services for a cot and a daily allowance of Canadian Club. 

The former Mr. Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer is in this- Openly pondering the steps to have led him to this place in life before our very eyes.

I was really happy to see a brief cameo from BOOM MIC SHADOW- It was nice to see that he was still getting some work on occasion after all those years on DARK SHADOWS

WILLIAM FINDLEY (pictured, above)  from THE PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE is in this and HIS IS A TRULY SINGULAR PERFORMANCE, Truly and honestly, every minute he’s in this film is not boring.

Robert Englund is also in this. He wears a pair of saggy white underpants and doesn’t overact as much as he usually does.

**This movie has a lot of scenes of women being tied up and brutalized and a lot of gratuitous topless nudity. Honestly, it’s not one I’d recommend (deliberately)- But for any of you sick bastards out there, it is once again available in its full mid-seventies fecundity on Tubi.

(every second of the last act is a frigging eternity.)

 

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3 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

... I am about to get into Dennis Miller levels of esoteric cultural references, and I apologize for that ...

I read you for that kinda ****.

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I watched The Legend of Lizzie Borden on YouTube and it was excellent. I remember watching the original ABC broadcast in 1975, but I had very little recall of it, other than Elizabeth Montgomery undressing. (Wiki says she went starkers in the European version.) It's a TV movie, paced for ads, but well done, and even with all the speculation, it carefully incorporates the case facts.

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The story begins with Bridget, the family's servant, running from the house immediately after Mr. Borden's murder to fetch the doctor who lives across the street. Mr. Borden's body is examined first, then Mrs. Borden's is discovered upstairs. 

Many events are told in flashbacks that are triggered as the camera focuses on Lizzie's eyes. Each flashback shows us how life was lived in the Borden household, or hints at what is to be fully revealed in the climactic sequence shown just before the verdict is rendered. Wiki says the flashbacks are ambiguous in that we cannot be certain whether Lizzie is remembering or imagining. I didn't take it as imagination but I can see how that interpretation is possible.

I noticed the scriptwriter and music director borrowed from The Sting in a couple of ways. There are chapter headings on screen for each segment. Like, "The Accusation," or "The Trial." The music between chapters, though not all the incidental music, has a stately ragtime feel and structure, calling Scott Joplin to mind if not into the room. Randy Newman might have written something similar. (And better.)

We learn of Mr. Borden's prior occupation, before making his fortune in banking, as a mortician, and see that being around corpses would not have been a novel experience for the adult Lizzie; and we see, at first subtly, but gradually more surely, that Mr. Borden's relationship with his daughter was ... unnatural. (This aspect as far as I know was never confirmed but has been theorized.)

Foreshadowing and development occur in a scene involving Lizzie's pet pigeons. Mr. Borden's cruel side is illustrated when he takes a hatchet to them over Lizzie's crying protest. We see one bird flee the slaughter, recalling Toto's escape as Lizzie watches him fly away. We see a similar flying bird, through Lizzie's eyes, as she leaves the courthouse for the last time, symbolizing freedom. The viewer might have forgotten the Toto pigeon, but Lizzie, now acquitted, hasn't.

Those who have read the case recall Bridget's testimony about Lizzie's giggle from the top of the stairs as Bridget was unlocking the front door for Mr. Borden. The movie depicts that twice. The first time, we assume she is giggling at her father being locked out of his own house upon his return home for lunch, or at Bridget for having trouble with the locks. When it is shown again after we have seen more, we know the real reason. It is stone-cold chilling.

* * * Final scene spoiler * * *

After the verdict, Lizzie returns home where her elder sister Emma waits, very solemnly despite the verdict. Emma tells Lizzie she will ask only once and never again: Did she kill father? They are the last words spoken, and the final shot tells us, without telling us, why Emma eventually left Lizzie behind. 

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1 hour ago, LuckyDan said:

I read you for that kinda ****.

OH!

it took me the longest time to figure it out, but you mean you read my reviews for the esoteric references (which I greatly appreciate)

in modern slang**  "i read you for" translates to "this is who I perceive you to be as a person" and I was wondering what name you called me!

But no, I get what you mean now, and I am deeply touched. Thank you.

 

**which i only know from having nieces and watching youtube videos

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5 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

OH!

it took me the longest time to figure out, but you mean you read my reviews for the esoteric references (which I appreciate)

in modern slang**  "i read you for" translates to "this is who I perceive you to be as a person" and I was wondering what name you called me!

But no, I get what you mean now, and I am deeply touched. Thank you.

 

**which i only know from having nieces and watching youtube videos

I read you. 

I borrowed that phrase from Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes who exclaimed to an audience once while his two guitarists were trading duelling solos, "We came here for this kinda sh!t!" (He has a terrible potty-mouth, that Chris.)

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16 hours ago, EricJ said:

Not sure, but I think the Mad Special Edition reprints of Wood's "Tales to Drive You Mad" were where I first encountered the term "Furshlugginer".  🤔

I had always thought that "Furshlugginer" was a made-up variation of "Farshtinkener." However, it seems to have been a Harvey Kurtzman concoction based on a Yiddishism meaning "an old, beat-up piece of junk."

Potrzebie, another word popularized by Kurtzman in MAD Magazine, is an actual Polish word meaning "a need."

The Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures

 

 

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18 hours ago, EricJ said:

Not sure, but I think the Mad Special Edition reprints of Wood's "Tales to Drive You Mad" were where I first encountered the term "Furshlugginer".  🤔

Is that in any manner related to: "Fahrvergnügen" or the newer unofficial motto of: "Fukenmuven"?

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