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Does anyone know why Brando didn't get voice lessons or something? Did no one tell him?! Maybe he thought it gave him uniqueness or something. I guess it proves that sometimes being different is not good.

 

P.S. I still love him though!

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From what I can tell, Brando's voice was one of the main things that got him noticed. God knows why he didn't take voice lessons before he became a star, but after A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront he was one of the most imitated people in the world, and all the trendy young aspiring actors all mumbled. Previously, actors that came from the stage had precise diction (think Claude Rains) since the audience had to hear it in the back row, and their voices had to hold out night after night. Most of the promising starlets (especially at MGM) were given voice lessons too. After all the Colmans and Colliers, Marlon seemed "natural" (!) and "natural" acting was in, so he very well couldn't swap horses in the middle of the stream. The "natural" approach IMO was one reason the golden age ended--movie stars today don't have the variety of voices they did in the 30's and 40's.

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Marlon Brando had a speech impediment and actually stuttered through a good portion of his young life. He had trouble with certain letters and when he decided to become an actor - he had a lot of difficulty saying some words and had to bite his tongue or roll it around in his mouth to say some words properly. The classic "mumble" became one of the most imitated voices there is and made Marlon Brando famous....it certainly didn't hurt his career. If you read Marlon's autobiography "Songs My Mother Taught Me" - he touches on the problems he had when he was young with stuttering and dyslexia. He became a "Method" actor and his "natural" approach was absolutely the most spectacular acting style I've ever seen.

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He also overcame a lisp.

 

If you watch his screen test for Rebel Without a Cause on the Streetcar Named Desire DVD, you can see he had a lisp toward the end of the scene but perfect diction in the interview. He was 23, and his voice was very shy and soft.

 

Maybe he was mumbly for 1951, but I could hear his lines just fine.

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Yes...you're right...he did have a lisp too. If you watch some of his films closely, you can detect that lisp. It was more pronounced in his younger days. I saw the "Rebel Without A Cause" audition back in the late 40's when Brando was about 23 years old. The lisp got worse and toward the end of the audition, you couldn't even focus on anything else except the lisp. I think he was so nervous doing his first audition, that his lisp was really bad and he seemed very self-conscious about it. He also was blinking and squinting as if he had trouble seeing, but then I found out that he was supposed to be playing a character with bad eyesight. He had such charisma, that the list and mumble didn't affect him that much. He seemed like such a shy, timid person back then - very sweet.

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