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Elvis/Marlon Brando Question

Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:21 am

I saw the movie "The Wild One" with Marlon Brando for the first time last night (and I'm 48 years old!). I was immediately struck by the Elvis-like sideburns and the whole "rebel" personna. I know Elvis was a huge James Dean fan; but was there a Brando influence?

Nashnet

Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:30 am

Absoulutely. Elvis has sited Marlon Brando many many times as a influence. Have you seen the picture where Elvis is on a bike imitating him?

Sadly Marlon Brando has denounced Elvis in his Auto Biography. He states the usual "elvis stole from african americans" attitude. Funny how Brando embraces the Beatles though. I never understood this attitude. I would think that Brando would be supportive of Elvis since they come from the same generation. He is a great Actor though...shame Marlon is such a meathead as a human being. Oh well...I gues he is a "Areteest"

Wed Jul 16, 2003 1:22 am

Yes, I have seen that picture of Elvis- so I'm assuming the movie "The Wild One" predated Elvis a bit. You've got to see Marlon in that movie again if you haven't seen it in awhile- the sideburns remind me of Elvis in the 68 Special. Too bad that Marlon has verbalized the myth "Elvis stole from the blacks" thing- like you say it's odd considering that Elvis was indeed infuenced by him!

Nashnet

Wed Jul 16, 2003 4:05 am

I was disappointed, too, by Brando's trashing of Elvis in his autobiography. Especially with such a spurious reason behind it. To be fair, he's pretty hard on himself, too -- people I know who've worked with him would confirm that he is (or was, in the '60s) obnoxious and generally unpleasant and even his autobiography gives the same kind of impression. He's one of the greatest, though...just has lousy opinions regarding Elvis.

Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:49 pm

"the horror, the horror..." :lol:

Nashnet

Thu Jul 17, 2003 10:55 pm

Hey Gen, surely you mean Brando was once a great actor ? Its been well over 40 years since any of Brando`s performances approached greatness.

Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:31 pm

Ez wrote:Hey Gen, surely you mean Brando was once a great actor ? Its been well over 40 years since any of Brando`s performances approached greatness.


Actually Errol it's been 31 years - the Godfather was released in 72.
Pete-o Corleone :)

Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:34 pm

What about Superman or Apocalypse Now? I think Marlond Brando was great in both parts. Call it a guilty please, but I actually like his Don Juan part too.

For Superman, I think one should change the number to 26 years since he had a great role.

Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:38 pm

He was great in 'Apocalypse Now'.

That's right! Also that Don Juan DeMarco movie was pretty good.
He later starred in a Johnny Depp directed movie. Never saw that one though.

(by the way: what about 'A Dry White Season' or 'The Score'?)

Brando was, and still is, the best (and biggest!) actor ever!

Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:50 pm

Bob-Holland wrote:Don't forget 'Apocalypse Now' in 1979.

(and what about 'A Dry White Season' or 'The Score'?)

Brando was, and still is, the best (and biggest!) actor ever!


I never saw A Dry White Season Bob, but I thought Brando was good in The Score. But he had to be to hold his own against Deniro and Edward Norton. At least it was a real role and not some kooky cameo.

Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:00 am

(Pete, I edited my post because Genesim beat me to it in naming Apocalypse Now)

Donald Sutherland (his co-star in 'Dry White Season') told in a TV interview not too long ago that Brando refused his total paycheck because he thought it was an important movie about racial problems. Sutherland worked for half his normal pay. And it was Brando's first in a long time.
I thought that was pretty cool.

Another famous quote that comes to mind is Burt Reynolds' who once said that 'Brando ate himself out of the frame'.

I still enjoy Brando's early movies a lot. But I believe that same generation-actors like Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster were just as good, or maybe even better.
It's Brando's private life and his political views that separates him from the rest I guess.

Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:22 am

Bob-Holland -

Funny you should mention Burt Reynolds.

Here are some Brando quotes about Burt:

"He is the epitome of something that makes me want to throw up"

"I hate him"

"He is the epitome of everything that is disgusting about the thespian"

"He worships at the temple of his own narcissism"

I wonder who started it ?

Fri Jul 18, 2003 3:39 am

Brando's jealous of Burt because he (Brando) never got to work with Jerry Reed.

Fri Jul 18, 2003 5:50 pm

"The Godfather" is a great film ( the second one is even better), but Brandos performnace, is strictly second rate ,unconvincing, prime ham !

"Superman" ????......just watch his eyes darting around at his idiot boards. A role well beneath him.

"The Score".....Norton steals the film from both Brando and De Niro. Again, a role beneath him.

"A Dry White Season".....by far his best performance of the last 40 years, but still short of great !

Sat Jul 19, 2003 12:04 am

Ez wrote:"The Godfather" is a great film ( the second one is even better), but Brandos performnace, is strictly second rate ,unconvincing, prime ham !

"Superman" ????......just watch his eyes darting around at his idiot boards. A role well beneath him.

"The Score".....Norton steals the film from both Brando and De Niro. Again, a role beneath him.

"A Dry White Season".....by far his best performance of the last 40 years, but still short of great !


Jeeze EZ, I'm probably gonna get TMJ disorder given the force with which my jaw hit my keyboard after reading your Godfather statement! But I do agree with you about Superman and The Score. If you like Ed Norton (the actor, not the sanitation engineer :lol: ) check out Fight Club.

Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:45 am

Sometimes Marlon's heart is in the right place but he doesn't do his research. For example, his refusal of his 1972 (much deserved) Oscar for the Godfather based on the treatment of American Indians in the movie. Hollywood had been making movies sympathetic to Native Americans for at least a decade (including "Flaming Star") when Brando made that comment.

Also Brando is a bit of a snob. He does not believe in the value of pop culture and especially rock and roll. He dismissed the Rolling Stones in the same interview he dug in at Elvis. Also, he dislikes American Popular culture especially the movies. He has a ton of white liberal guilt and his responses are more knee jerk than thought out.

His autobiography is a must read by the way because it is one of the most unintentionally hilarious tomes ever written. Brando gives us his views on pig intelligence and the evolution of the jewish race. It is also filled with bizarre anecdotes that are an absolutely scream in their headscratching quality. The best are his attempts to pick up a nun at a hospital ("I knew she had to have an inner tart somewhere.") and his decision to have a circumcision without anesthesia.

I can't resist recounting this last one. Brando decided that he was so good at meditation that he could control his ability to feel pain. So, he decides to test this theory by going through a circumcision without a painkiller. However, the first time he goes to the doctor too many people show up to watch forcing Brando to back out. "The prospect of seeing a movie star cirumcised without anesthesia must have been a hot topic of discussion in the doctor's lounge."

The next time he goes to the doctor with the full intention of going through the operation without a painkiller. Sadly, the anesthesiologist is already there. Rather than hurt his feelings Brando agrees to take the shot and has the operation like everyone else. "To this day, I'm sure that if they hadn't given me that shot, I would have felt no pain."

Of course, it is not my intention to belittle a great artist. 50 years from now people will still be dissecting Brando's work in "Waterfront", "Last Tango" and "Streetcar" after trivia like this has been forgotten.