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Lucius
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 11:45 am:   

"What are you rebelling against?"
"Whaddaya got?"
The Wild One (Marlon Brando)

That line, heard when I was a little kid, really got me going.

Say what you will about Brando, he did some great work and was the most influential actor of his generation. Our best contemporary actors were shaped partially by his work. He was cool when cool was new. The first cinematic Hell's Angel. On the Waterfront. A Streetcar Named Desire. That snakeskin jacket in the otherwise hideous The Fugitive Kind. He also created the greatest Oscar moment of all time by sending Sacheen Littlefeather to collect his statue.

Dead at 80.

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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 03:10 pm:   

It's really sad. I'm already annoyed with the constant, dunning press reports about him bringing a "savage" and "primal" presence to the screen. It's like, "give it a break people, he did so much more than that."

Anyway, great actor who tried hard to be a good person. I'll miss him.
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Gregg
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 04:47 pm:   

Brando was the greatest film actor ever. No one else comes close to his influence, no one else changed film acting the way he did. For movie acting, there is before Brando and after Brando. Nothing else. Imagine what he could have done if he had actually liked his job.

I think I'll watch On the Waterfront tonight, although I'd pick Last Tango in Paris as his best performance.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 09:45 pm:   

It'll always be Frankenberry's "The Island of Dr. Moreau" for me!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 09:54 pm:   

Much as I like Richard Stanley...

You don't sound like a Brando guy, Mark. Actually, now I think about it, One-Eyed Jacks. Brando throwing down on a henchman, challenging him to a gunfight.

"C'mon, you scum-sucking pig! You stinking gob of spit!"

Or

"You may be the one-eyed jack around here, Tad, but I seen the other side of your face."
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 12:26 am:   

you know, i went and saw THE SCORE for brando. was willing to pay cash to see the old man, right up to the end, i was.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 06:42 am:   

A brave act, Ben.

Gregg, nobody talks about Last Tango much; certainly none of the obits -- but that was a great performance.

Mahesh -- every puts aside what incredible technique this guy had. I saw Robert Duval talking about him last night and he went down a list of technical stuff he learned from Brando. It was pretty amazing...
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Gregg
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 08:42 am:   

I think people are still afraid to deal with Last Tango in Paris, even thirty years later. I imagine non-American tributes to Brando are featuring Tango much more prominently. He had nothing left after that performance, and I've never seen anything else that compares to it in film acting.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 08:51 am:   

I think I need to watch it again -- but I'm not going to argue; it's a fantastic performance. And you're right about American tributes being PC, GOP, or whatever stupid-ass acronym fits as regards the expression of prudishness...
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Gregg
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 09:27 am:   

Your comment about his technique is worth thinking about when watching Last Tango in Paris. While some criticize his performance in this movie as merely improvisation, there's a huge difference between this and the performances that came after it like The Missouri Breaks and Apocalypse Now where he clearly was carelessly saying whatever popped into his head. He may not have been performing totally from a script in Tango, but he had something to say as an artist in this movie and he knew how to express himself. I'd say a thousand bad movies are worth sitting through to get to this one.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 09:39 am:   

As Mahesh says, people talk mainly about his "presence," and that was there, for sure. But his technique...when he was on, it was seamless. You couldn't see it unless you removed yourself from the film and sought entirely to analyze. All the presence and natural talent in the world is bullshit unless you wrap it in technique, and Brando's technical mastery was of a high fucking order. Paul Schofield, who might be the greatest Brit actor of his generation, had that same level of technical mastery, but it's tough to make a long list of people who matched him and Brando.
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 11:41 am:   

Absolutely. I also saw Duvall (another guy I admire) taking about him as well, and was glad he mentioned the techniques he learned. Even that cheefully effusive sycophant James Lipton got it right, pretty much saying the same thing as you just mentioned, Lucius, about his technical mastery, and that it went beyond just natural talent.

I think I'll have to do a Brando mini-marathon soon...
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 12:06 pm:   

Is Lipton the guy who does the Actor's Studio thing?

If so, I hate he agrees with me -- what a dork!

:-)
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Mahesh
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 01:08 pm:   

Yeah, same guy. lol. I do like how he gets some actors to open up (and it was a better show before NBC bought Bravo, but that goes without saying...)

But yes, his dorkitude is tremendous.


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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 01:35 pm:   

Yeah, well...I'm sure he has a purpose, but I'd prefer not to know what it is. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 06:35 am:   

Has anyone on the board seen THE NIGHTCOMERS? I have always been interested in seeing it, but have never been able to find it on video or DVD.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 07:13 am:   

Nightcomers had a great cast but was absolutely horribly directed -- the acting, as I reacall, was all pretty good, but the director just killed them....
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Gregg
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 04:21 pm:   

I've got that on video, so it is or was available at some point. Might be out of print, although one would certainly hope any Brando films not currently available would be released now, if only to cash in. All of Brando's films have been released in some form already, but some might be out of print.

The one I've always wanted to see is The Night of the Following Day, even though any description of it I've ever read leads me to believe it is merely another average crime caper flick like The Score. Actually, I've always wanted to see Candy, too, where Brando plays "a mystical guru who lives on a truck." I've seen a photo of Brando in Candy as this guru from the psychedelic '60's -- far out, man.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 04:50 pm:   

I recall Night Of the Following Day. It's kind of your French New Wave influenced average crime thriller. Y'know, crime thriller with existential noir. It's okay. Lots of black and white cinematography of bleakness. Seems to me the director was somebody European, but wouldn't swear to it. As for Candy, I seem to recall that Brando's part was basically a cameo. Mostly I remember Peter Sellers.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 06:24 am:   

Could Candy's obscurity be related to the general waning of Terry Southern's reputation in the lit community? I have enjoyed his work in the past, but it's been often commented upon that history has seemed to discount Southern's influence and prominence, in favor of other writers of his time.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 06:40 am:   

If you're talking about the movie....Naw, I think it was just a lousy movie. It was a very Sixtyish looney deal, like The Party and films like that. The Isn't everything kooky ethos done bad.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 10:56 am:   

Interesting Brando fun fact: he had an illegitimate daughter with actress Cynthia Lynn, who played the comely and coquettish Helga, secretary of Col. Wilhelm Klink on television's Hogan's Heroes.

Oscars be damned! The man should be immortalized for that alone!
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Gregg
Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 07:40 am:   

Here's one for MarcL:

Brando's last role--elderly woman in animated film

Marlon Brando started his screen career as a muscular leading man, and ended it as . . . an elderly woman.
The actor's last role was a voice performance for the animated comedy "Big Bug Man," about a candy factory worker (Brendan Fraser) who gets superpowers after insects bite him. The film is set for release in 2006.
Brando is the voice of Mrs. Sour, the candy company's owner--and he did it wearing a blond wig and a dress, with full makeup and white gloves, according to writer/co-director Bob Bendetson.
"He was gorgeous," Bendetson said. "I was told by his agent and manager that it was always a dream of his to play a woman in an animated movie. For some reason, that was his dream."

I'm imagining Brando laughing his ass off somewhere, as people realize Mrs. Sour is going to be the last line on his filmography. He's probably mooning us all right now, wherever he is.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 10:24 am:   

Another Brando fun fact. Early in his career, Marlon was a roommate and buddy of none other than former "Hollywood Squares" mainstay, "Mr. Peepers" star and voice of Underdog Wally Cox!

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