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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Marlon BrandoMARLON BRANDO (1924–2004), born Marlon Brando, Jr. is an American actor that left a successful stage career in favor of films after several talent scouts from various studios approached him. Both movie buff and acting students agree that Marlon Brando's performances are truly worth examining. He was not a performer that continued to play himself in every role. Marlon Brando became the characters he played. Many feel that he was chiefly instrumental in bringing method acting to the screen.

Haven't you seen Sayonara (1957)? James Michener wrote the novel. Paul Osborn wrote the screenplay for this film set in Kobe, Japan during the Korean War. The story deals with the subject of forbidden mixed marriages between servicemen and Japanese nationals by the U.S. Military. Brando plays Maj. Lloyd 'Ace' Gruver - USAF, a man in agreement with this ruling and social convention until his best friend Joe Kelly played by Red Buttons breaks all rules and conventions marrying Katsumi played Miyoshi Umeki. In addition to wanting to see his friend happy, he falls in love with a Japanese opera performer. Now, he must come to terms about how he feels about his military career and racial bigotry.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Guys and Dolls (1955) In this musical directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, he plays Sky Masterson.
On the Waterfront (1954) In this drama, he plays Terry Malloy, witness to a murder. This is a great story with a great cast, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, Rod Steiger, and Eva Marie Saint.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Tennessee William's classic play comes to the screen with Marlon Brando playing Stanley Kowalski. Vivien Leigh is Blanche DeBois. Both actors give excellent performances.
Viva Zapata! (1952) He plays Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata. I saw this film in high school. My Spanish teacher played it every year for his students. It was his favorite film. He said that there was no actor was better than Brando. Of course, this teacher was not the first to think so. Marlon Brando was often listed as one of the best actors of all time by magazines and movie critics.

*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve" Date: Sat, May 28 2011 / 17:02:44 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1990 Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role: A DRY WHITE SEASON
1974 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: LAST TANGO IN PARIS
1973 Won Best Actor in a Leading Role: THE GODFATHER
Refused to accept the award for the reason that the U.S. and especially Hollywood were discriminating Native American people. Brando did not show up at the ceremony, but instead sent a faked Indian woman named Sacheen Littlefeather who later turned out to be Maria Cruz, a less known Californian actress.
1958 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: SAYONARA
1955 Won Best Actor in a Leading Role: ON THE WATERFRONT
1954 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: JULIUS CAESAR
1953 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: VIVA ZAPATA!
1952 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE


  • Eccentric greatness and survival intelligence are uneasy bedfellows. Grandeur of Marlon Brando’s persona is not based on a petulant self loathing mal-adjusted personality. He is an icon-perhaps the most influential actor because of his ability to find new ways of communicating brutality, beauty and vulnerability in one frame. He is great because he never failed to fascinate- even in his trashy movies.

    By Blogger Dhiraj, at Wed Oct 19, 09:27:00 AM PDT