Top Ten Marlon Brando Films

Top Ten Marlon Brando Films

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       Marlon Brando, Jr. (April 3, 1924 – July 1, 2004) was an American screen and stage actor, widely regarded as one of the greatest stage performers of the modern era. While he became notorious for his “mumbling” diction and exuding a raw animal magnetism, his mercurial performances were nonetheless highly regarded. Director Martin Scorsese said of him, “He is the marker. There’s ‘before Brando’ and ‘after Brando’.” An enduring cultural icon, Brando became a box office star during the 1950’s, during which time he racked up five Oscar nominations as Best Actor, along with three consecutive wins of the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He initially gained popularity for recreating the role as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), as well as his Academy Award-winning performance as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954), and his iconic portrayal of the rebel motorcycle gang leader Johnny Strabler in The Wild One (1953). The 1960’s proved to be a fallow decade for Brando, and after 10 years in which he did not appear in a commercially successful movie, he won his second Academy Award for playing Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972), a role critics consider among his greatest. The movie, which became the most commercially successful film of all time when it was released revitalized Brando’s career and reestablished him in the ranks of top box office stars. He finished out the decade of the 1970’s with his controversial performance as Colonel Walter Kurtz in another Coppola film, Apocalypse Now (1979), a box office hit. Beyond the big screen, Brando was also an activist, supporting many issues, notably the African-American Civil Rights Movement and various American Indian Movements.

  1. The Godfather
    The GodfatherThe Godfather1
           The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Based on Puzo’s 1969 novel of the same name, the film stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a powerful New York crime family. The story, spanning the years 1945 to 1955, centers on the transformation of Michael Corleone (Pacino) from reluctant family outsider to ruthless Mafia boss while also chronicling the Corleone family under the patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando). The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinema—and as one of the most influential, especially in the gangster genre. Now ranked as the second greatest film in American cinema (behind Citizen Kane) by the American Film Institute, it was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry in 1990. The film was for a time the highest grossing picture ever made, and remains the box office leader for 1972. It won three Oscars that year: for Best Picture, for Best Actor (Brando) and in the category Best Adapted Screenplay for Puzo and Coppola. Its nominations in seven other categories included Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall for Best Supporting Actor and Coppola for Best Director. The success spawned two sequels: The Godfather Part II in 1974, and The Godfather Part III in 1990.
    Links: Top Ten Gangster FilmsTop Ten Francis Ford Coppola Films,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_godfather, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0150742/,
  2. On the Waterfront
    File:On the Waterfront poster.jpgOn the WaterfrontFile:Eva marie saint marlon brando waterfront 2.jpg
           On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film about union violence and corruption among longshoremen. The film was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, and, in her film debut, Eva Marie Saint. The soundtrack score was composed by Leonard Bernstein. It is based on “Crime on the Waterfront”, a series of articles in the New York Sun by Malcolm Johnson. The series won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. The stories detailed widespread corruption, extortion and racketeering on the waterfronts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. On the Waterfront received 12 Academy Award nominations, winning eight, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Brando, Best Supporting Actress for Saint, and Best Director for Kazan. It is Leonard Bernstein’s only original film score not adapted from a stage production with songs.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Waterfront, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047296/,
  3. Apocalypse Now
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           Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic war film set during the Vietnam War, directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Martin Sheen. The film follows the central character, US Army special operations officer Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Sheen), of MACV-SOG, on a mission to kill the renegade and presumed insane US Army Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Brando). The screenplay by John Milius and Coppola came from Milius’s idea of adapting Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness into the Vietnam War era. Brando’s showing up on the set overweight, Sheen suffered a heart attack, and severe weather destroyed several expensive sets. The film’s release was postponed several times while Coppola edited millions of feet of footage. Upon release, Apocalypse Now earned widespread critical acclaim and its cultural impact and philosophical themes have been extensively discussed since. Honored with the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, the film was also deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2000.
    Links: Top Ten War Filmshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_Now, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078788/,
  4. A Streetcar Named Desire
    A Streetcar Named Desire
           A Streetcar Named Desire is the 1951 film adaptation of the 1947, Pulitzer Prize winning stage play by Tennessee Williams. Williams collaborated with Oscar Saul on the screenplay and Elia Kazan who directed the stage production went on to direct the film. Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden, all members of the original Broadway cast, reprised their roles for the film. Vivien Leigh, who had appeared in the London theatre production, was brought in for the film version in lieu of Jessica Tandy, who had created the part of Blanche DuBois on Broadway. A Streetcar Named Desire holds the distinction of garnering Academy Award wins for actors in three out of the four acting categories. Oscars were won by Vivien Leigh, Best Actress, Karl Malden, Best Supporting Actor, and Kim Hunter, Best Supporting Actress. Marlon Brando was nominated for his performance as Stanley Kowalski, and although lauded for his powerful portrayal, did not win the Oscar for Best Actor. The film is also noteworthy for being the first film to honor actors in both the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress category.
    Links: PlaysTop Ten PlaysTop Ten Broadway PlaysTop Ten Playwrights,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Streetcar_Named_Desire_(1951_film),
  5. Viva Zapata!

           Viva Zapata! is a 1952 biographical film starring Marlon Brando and directed by Elia Kazan. The screenplay was written by John Steinbeck, using as a guide Edgcomb Pinchon’s book, Zapata the Unconquerable, a fact that is not credited in the titles of the film. The cast includes Jean Peters and, in an Academy Award-winning performance, Anthony Quinn. The movie is a fictionalized account of the life of Mexican Revolutionary Emiliano Zapata from his peasant upbringing, through his rise to power in the early 1900’s, to his death. To give the film as authentic a feel as possible, Kazan and producer Darryl F. Zanuck studied the numerous photographs that were taken during the revolutionary years, the period between 1909 and 1919 when Zapata led the fight to restore land taken from the people during the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. Kazan was especially impressed with the Agustin Casasola collection of photographs and he attempted to duplicate their visual style in the film. Kazan also acknowledged the influence of Roberto Rossellini’s Paisan.
    Links: Top Ten Revolutionaries,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viva_Zapata!, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045296/,
  6. Julius Caesar
    Julius CaesarJulius Caesar1
           Julius Caesar is a 1953 MGM film adaptation of the play by Shakespeare, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also wrote the uncredited screenplay, and produced by John Houseman. The original music score is by Miklós Rózsa. The film stars Marlon Brando as Mark Antony, James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius, Louis Calhern as Julius Caesar, Edmond O’Brien as Casca, Greer Garson as Calpurnia, and Deborah Kerr as Portia.Links: Top Ten Emperors,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar_(1953_film)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045943/,
  7. The Young Lions
    The Young Lions
           The Young Lions (1958) is a film starring Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin, about three soldiers in WWII. Christian Diestl is at first a sympathetic German drawn to Nazism by despair for his future but willing to sacrifice Jews if necessary; Noah Ackerman is an American Jew facing discrimination of the American kind; and Michael Whitacre is an American WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) who struggles with his lack of meaning arising from his lack of struggles. The three have very different wars that see Christian Diestl become less sympathetic as he willingly sacrifices more and more merely to survive. Noah Ackerman finally overcomes the discrimination of his fellows in the army only to be nearly undone by the horror of the camps. While Michael Whitacre, still without meaning in his life, survives them both.
    Links: Warfare, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Young_Lionshttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052415/,
  8. Guys and Dolls

    Guys and Dolls is a 1955 musical film starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine. The film was made by Samuel Goldwyn Productions and distributed by MGM. It was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also wrote the screenplay. The film is based on the 1950 Broadway musical by composer and lyricist Frank Loesser, with a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows based on “The Idyll Of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure,” two short stories by Damon Runyon. Upon Samuel Goldwyn’s and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s requests, Frank Loesser wrote three new songs for the film: “Pet Me Poppa”, “(Your Eyes Are the Eyes of) A Woman in Love”, and “Adelaide,” the last written specifically for Sinatra. Five songs in the stage musical were omitted from the movie: “A Bushel and a Peck”, “My Time of Day” (although these are heard instrumentally as background music), “I’ve Never Been In Love Before”, “More I Cannot Wish You” and “Marry the Man Today”.
    Links: Top Ten Musicalshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guys_and_Dolls_(film)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048140/,
  9. One Eyed Jacks (Actor and Director)
    One Eyed JacksOne Eyed Jacks1
           One-Eyed Jacks, a 1961 Western, is the only film directed by actor Marlon Brando. The picture was originally planned to be directed by Stanley Kubrick from a screenplay by Sam Peckinpah, but studio disputes led to their replacement by Brando and Guy Trosper. Brando portrays the lead character Rio, and Karl Malden plays his partner “Dad” Longworth. The supporting cast features Katy Jurado, Ben Johnson, and Slim Pickens.
    Links: Top Ten Western Films, Top Ten Stanley Kubrick Filmshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-Eyed_Jackshttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055257/,
  10. Mutiny on the Bounty

           Mutiny on the Bounty is a 1962 film starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard based on the novel Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. The film retells the 1789 real-life mutiny aboard HMAV Bounty led by Fletcher Christian against the ship’s captain, William Bligh. It is the second American film to be made from the novel, the first being Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). It was directed by Lewis Milestone, who replaced Carol Reed early on location shooting. The screenplay was written by Charles Lederer (with uncredited input from Eric Ambler, William L. Driscoll, Borden Chase, John Gay and Ben Hecht). Mutiny on the Bounty was filmed in the Ultra Panavision 70 widescreen process, the first motion picture so credited. It is notable for its location photography in the South Pacific and its musical score by Bronisław Kaper. Behind the scenes, it became notorious for the way Marlon Brando effectively took over directing duties himself and caused it to become far behind schedule and over budget.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutiny_on_the_Bounty_(1962_film)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056264/,
  11. The Men
    Book cover for "The Men".jpgThe Men
           The Men is a 1950 film directed by Fred Zinnemann. It tells the story of a WWII lieutenant, who is seriously injured in combat, and the struggles he faces as he attempts to re-enter society. It stars Marlon Brando, Teresa Wright, and Everett Sloane. The movie was written by Carl Foreman who had previously scripted Champion and Home of the Brave. Although not a commercial success, this film was notable for being Marlon Brando’s movie debut.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Men_(film)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042727/,
  12. Sayonara
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    Sayonara is a 1957 color (Technicolor) American film starring Marlon Brando. The picture tells the story of an American Air Force flier who was an ace fighter pilot during the Korean War. Sayonara won four Academy Awards, including acting honors for co-stars Red Buttons and Miyoshi Umeki. The film’s screenplay was adapted by Paul Osborn from the novel by James Michener, and was produced by William Goetz and directed by Joshua Logan. Unlike most 1950s romantic dramas, Sayonara deals squarely with racism and prejudice. The supporting cast also features Patricia Owens, James Garner, Martha Scott, and Ricardo Montalban.
    Links: Top Ten Fighter Pilotshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayonarahttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050933/,
  13. The Fugitive Kind
    The Fugitive Kind
           The Fugitive Kind is a 1959 American drama film starring Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani, and directed by Sidney Lumet. The screenplay by Meade Roberts and Tennessee Williams was based on the latter’s 1957 play Orpheus Descending, itself a revision of his unproduced 1939 work Battle of Angels. Despite being set in the Deep South, the United Artists release was filmed in Milton, New York. At the 1960 San Sebastián International Film Festival, it won the Silver Seashell for Sidney Lumet and the Zulueta Prize for Best Actress for Joanne Woodward.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fugitive_Kindhttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052832/,
  14. The Wild One
    The Wild OneThe Wild One1
           The Wild One is a 1953 American outlaw biker film directed by László Benedek and produced by Stanley Kramer. It is famed for Marlon Brando’s iconic portrayal of the gang leader Johnny Strabler.Links: Motorcycles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_wild_onehttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047677/,
  15. Links: Film, Films by Actor, Top 100 Filmshttp://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000008/,

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