In Praise of Marlon Brando
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"I'm angry at Marlon because he does everything so easily. I have to break my ass to do what he can do with his eyes closed."
"Brando represented a reaction against the post-war mania for security. As a protagonist, the Brando of the early fifties had no code, only his instincts. He was a development from the gangster leader and the outlaw. He was antisocial because he knew society was crap; he was a hero to youth because he was strong enough not to take the crap ... Brando represented a contemporary version of the free American ... Brando is still the most exciting American actor on the screen."
"Marlon Brando is the epitome of actors today, and all actors since the 1950s have been mimicking him."
On Marlon Brando's talent: "Nothing short of pulverizing."
On the actors that came after Brando: "They're all living off the human poem of this guy, nourished by the poetry that he was."
"The first time I saw Audrey Hepburn was in Roman Holiday. There have only been a few firsts in my life that have rattled me so much - the first time I saw Fred Astaire, the first time I saw Marlon Brando. It was obvious to me that she was going to join a group into which a few artists are admitted: Chaplin, Astaire, Brando."
On his rivalry with Fred Astaire:
"If Fred Astaire is the Cary Grant of dance, I'm the Marlon Brando."
[on Marlon Brando in the stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire] There was an electrical charge and almost an animal scent he projected over the footlights that made it impossible for the audience to think or watch the other performers on the stage. All you could do was feel, the sexual arousal was so complete. I don't believe that quality can be learned; it's just there, primitive and compelling. The only time I experienced a similar reaction was when I saw Elvis Presley perform in Las Vegas.
From Richard Burton's Diaries:
"Marlon's and Elizabeth's personalities, to say nothing of their physical beauty, are so vast that they can and have got away with murder, but Elizabeth – unlike Marlon – has acquired almost by proximity to the camera, by osmosis, a powerful technique. Marlon has yet to learn to speak. Christ knows how often I've watched Marlon ruin his performance by under-articulation.
He should have been born two generations before and acted in silent films."
Burton recognized Marlon Brando as a great actor, but felt he would have been more suited to silent films due to the deficiency in his voice (the famous "mumble"). As a silent film star, Burton believed Marlon Brando would have been the greatest motion picture actor ever.
"He gave us our freedom."
“When Marlon dies, everyone moves up one.”
"With my generation, it was always Marlon Brando and always will be Brando."
(1979, on Marlon Brando) There's no doubt every time I see Brando that I'm looking at a great actor. Whether he's doing great acting or not, you're seeing somebody who is in the tradition of a great actor. What he does with it, that's something else, but he's got it all. The talent, the instrument is there, that's why he has endured. I remember when I first saw On the Waterfront. I had to see it again, right there. I couldn't move, I couldn't leave the theater. I had never seen the likes of it. I couldn't believe it.
"It was incomprehensible how good Brando was. He was just a phenomenon. I was acting before I ever saw a Brando picture. I'm very proud to be able to say that but I'll be imitating him until the day I die."
"He was like a godfather to many young actors worldwide but particularly in this country. He had enormous positive influence on younger performers. His memory will live on forever."
"People always ask me who was the most influential guy to us young guys back then. Anyone who doesn't tell you Brando was the man, they're lying. He influenced more young actors of my generation than any actor. Anyone who denies it never understood what it was all about. I loved him."
"He was the first one who was coming out on stage and was not this sophisticated ... At that time, you went to the theatre to see sophistication and glamour but he was a real person ... actors, you saw them acting, and you could not catch him acting."
"With tears in my eyes, I think that in dying Marlon has become immortal. [He] had learnt better than his peers how to feel like another person, to become a Mexican revolutionary, a Hell's Angel, a New York docker, a tree or a river. The cinema generally requires an actor to enter the skin of another. Me, on the other hand, I asked him in the film for his life as a man and an actor."
"An angel as a man, a monster as an actor."
"He had it all yet didn't take himself or life too seriously. He was also the funniest guy and a joy to be with. 'Good night sweet prince.'"
"Marlon Brando is probably the greatest actor of the last two centuries. But his mind is much more important than the acting thing. The way that he looks at things, doesn't judge things, the way that he assesses things. He's as important as, uh, who's important today? Jesus, not many people... Stephen Hawking!"
"Other than James Dean, there's no one to rival Brando. I just wish he'd been a bit more serious about his acting. I mean, talking about acting as a craft – that always used to shit me. But, hey, if he's a craftsman, he's one of the greatest craftsmen that ever lived."
"I was to begin with the family show-off and then when I was twelve, I saw Brando in his first film "The Men" in which he played a paraplegic and for some reason, maybe the timing was right I -- it had a -- a very great affect on me and made me more interested in acting and at that time in stage acting."
"I was living in Marshalltown, Iowa. I was 17. My deepest desire was to act. I'd dreamed of being an actress since I was 12. I'd seen Brando's first film, The Men. A film about paraplegics. It was the first time I'd been really impressed by the strength or power of an actor, his ability to move viewers. I read every article I could find on Brando. I read that he hated publicity and liked peace and quiet, so I wrote him inviting him to live with me and my family."
"I admire Hollywood Rebels, like Marlon Brando and James Dean, they try to protect those things which made them individuals, they fight conformity. I think maybe not fighting conformity, maybe I didn't use the right word, but rather than fighting something, they're trying to preserve something I think, which was basically what they were and which was what made them on the screen the personality which made both adults and teen-agers like them and identify with them, and it's terribly easy to become a synthetic version of yourself. I have to watch myself all the time, because suddenly, very superficial phony things start coming out of your mouth and as long as you know they're phony or superficial then that's all right, but when you stop knowing then a I think as an actress too, you're in a very bad condition, because the only thing you have which is going to appeal to people, which is going to make them believe you is -- if you are a person above all."
"He slayed me good because he was the king of everything. Everything. He was one of the most sexual people on earth."
Who was the better lover? Brando. "Elvis was a sweet fella. Handsome boy. But Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley? C'mon. Amateur night."
She admits that Brando was much better in bed than Elvis: “Oh honey, that's like a 2-year-old and the king,”
Marlon Brando Jr. (April 3, 1924 – July 1, 2004) was an American actor and film director. With a career spanning 60 years, he is regarded for his cultural influence on 20th-century film. Brando's Academy Award-winning performances include that of Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954) and Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972). Brando was an activist for many causes, notably the civil rights movement and various Native American movements. He is credited with helping to popularize the Stanislavski system of acting having studied with Stella Adler in the 1940s.
5 votesIn Praise of... (4 lists)
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Published 3 weeks, 1 day ago
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