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12-05-2012, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rey72335 View Post
What film(s) would you suggest by Brando to someone who hasn't watched many of his? I've seen The Godfather (was good, but I went into it expecting too much and was super let-down) and The Wild One. Considering people calling him one of, if not the, greatest actors ever... what best shows his abilities?
The Wild One is a good bench mark to have under your belt because it is representative of the early Brando. And I agree with the others that On the Waterfront is the crown jewel of the young Brando's work. The best way to approach his work is probably in chronological order. So:

The Men (sort of the calling card of a huge new talent)
A Streetcar Named Desire (really essential)
The Wild One (which you have already seen)
On the Waterfront (an iconic performance)
The Young Lions (one of the few pay-the-rent movies where he's really paying attention--not dazzling, just interesting)
One-Eyed Jacks (very underrated performance in a perversely fascinating and uncomfortable movie)
Mutiny on the Bounty (where he is beginning to **** around, but still a very memorable interpretation of Fletcher Christian)

then comes the long, mediocre slog, until:

The Night of the Following Day (minor work, but interestingly low key)
The Godfather (both the performance and the movie seem overrated to me)
Last Tango in Paris (for my money, his greatest performance)
The Missouri Breaks (right after Last Tango, and his most flamboyantly outrageous performance, so much so that it is hard to know what to compare it to. I always thought it destroyed co-star Jack Nicholson for years because Nicholson started to become ultra-expressive and over-the-top himself after watching Brando chew up the scenery in this film)
Apocalypse Now (a small role, but probably his last great performance--and a distillation of the method acting approach that he started his career with and, for good or ill, never abandoned)

Last edited by kihei: 12-05-2012 at 11:10 PM.
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