Saturday, November 17, 2012

One-Eyed Jacks (1961)

ONE-EYED JACKS came out in 1961 and effectively ruined Marlon Brando. He’d come to the project as an actor and a producer, prepped it for six months with Stanley Kubrick, and took over the director’s chair when, after a long souring of relations between the two men, Kubrick reportedly left the production with the words, “Go fuck yourself, Marlon.”

Brando went over schedule and over budget and delivered a film that the studio considered unreleasable: a three-plus hour downbeat Western with sporadic violence, complex characterizations, and a tragic ending. The film went through reshoots and extensive editing before it was released to middling business. Brando never directed another film, and his performances after this one became increasingly scattershot. Though he had artistic triumphs still to come (THE GODFATHER, LAST TANGO IN PARIS), as author/director Peter Bogdanovich later observed “ONE-EYED JACKS was perhaps the last time Brando acted out of a true commitment and uncynical passion for the material.”

Read my essay on the film over at Criminal Element.

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