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Hollywood Legends: Marlon Brando [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

The Chase
All hell breaks loose in a Texas town when an escaped convict heads home in Arthur Penn's Southern gothic melodrama. Appointed by local kingpin Val Rogers (E. G. Marshall), benevolent Sheriff Calder (Marlon Brando) manages to keep the peace in Tarl, but the situation starts to fester one Saturday when news filters in that wild child Bubber Reeves (Robert Redford) has jumped prison. Bubber's impending arrival arouses hostility among Tarl's citizens, such as Edwin Stewart (Robert Duvall), who believes that Bubber will come after him to settle an old score, and Damon Puller (Richard Bradford), who, between grope sessions with Edwin's wife Emily (Janice Rule), uses Bubber as an excuse to terrorize black residents. As the atmosphere heats up, Calder wants to keep Bubber alive, and he convinces Bubber's wife Anna (Jane Fonda) and her lover, Val's son Jake (James Fox), to find Bubber and coax him into surrender. Val's fear that Bubber will kill his son, however, sparks a long confrontation that leaves rational law and order pummeled into the ground by the town's ignorant cruelty. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

One-Eyed Jacks
Western bandit Kid Rio (Marlon Brando) is betrayed by his partner, Dad Longworth (Karl Malden). Escaping from prison, Rio learns that Longworth has become a wealthy and influential lawman. Rio thirsts for revenge, but bides his time, waiting for the right moment to strike. In the meantime, Rio spitefully seduces Longworth's adopted daughter, Louisa (Pina Pellicer). After killing a man in self-defense, Rio is publicly whipped by the powerful Longworth. When Rio's old gang accidentally kills a child during another holdup, Longworth has the perfect excuse to eliminate the troublesome Rio once and for all by hanging him. But that's not what happens at all. Stripped to its fundamentals, One-Eyed Jacks is a workable Western, worthy of perhaps 90 minutes' running time. But when Marlon Brando succeeded Stanley Kubrick in the director's chair, he allowed the film's 60-day shooting schedule to stretch into six months, and delivered a finished product running in excess of four hours. The current 141-minute version of One-Eyed Jacks isn't as ponderous as some critics have claimed, but it's still too much of a good thing. While Brando the director isn't precisely in the Kubrick class, Brando the actor delivers one of his finest and most focused performances (though he is upstaged throughout by Karl Malden). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Wild One
"What are you rebelling against?" asks someone. "What've you got?" responds surly, leather-jacketed motorcycle punk Marlon Brando. It comes as a disappointment to discover that The Wild One, the quintessential Brando "rebel" film, is at base a traditional "misunderstood youth vs. the nasty system" effort, with a particularly banal finale. Based on a true incident, the film begins with Brando and his motorcyle gang invading a small town after having been kicked out of a cycle competition (but not before stealing the second-prize trophy). Brando's bikers raise hell all day, but some of the townsfolk are shown to be little better than the invaders. Sheriff Robert Keith, whose daughter (Murphy) has gone fond of Brando, finally responds to the bikers' destructiveness by jailing Lee Marvin, leader of a rival gang. When Marvin's buddies goes on a rampage, Brando exhibits his essential decency by safely escorting the sheriff's daughter out of the melee. The townsfolk misunderstand, assuming that Brando intends to rape the girl. He is attacked by a vigilante mob led by town hothead Ray Teal, who uses this excuse to exercise his own sadistic tendencies. Keith breaks up the mob and suggests that Brando leave; he tries to do so, but another angry response from the mob causes him to inadvertently strike and kill a pedestrian. At the subsequent hearing, the girl rushes to Brando's defense. Though grateful for the unexpected kindness, Brando is constitutionally unable to say "thank you" and rides out of town alone. The image of Marlon Brando astride his Triumph has entered movie folklore, just like King Kong on the Empire State Building or the billow-skirted Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway grating; it's too bad that The Wild One isn't a more worthy vehicle for Brando's talents. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Freshman
In this farcical comedy, Matthew Broderick plays Clark Kellogg, an aspiring director who arrives in New York City to attend film school. However, moments after he arrives in the city, he's robbed by Victor Ray (Bruno Kirby), leaving him no money for the $700 in books required by his instructor, Arthur Fleeber (Paul Benedict). A few days later, Clark runs into Victor and demands his money back, but Victor has already lost it (on a horse race in which he wasn't entirely sure the animal he bet on was a horse). Instead, he offers to fix Clark up with a job with his boss, an "importer and exporter" named Carmone Sabatini (Marlon Brando), who bears a stunning resemblance to Don Corleone in The Godfather. Clark's adventures with Sabatini are just beginning when he's instructed to pick up a package from the airport. Clark is expecting it to be contraband, and he's right, but not in the way he figured -- it turns out he's accepting delivery of a komodo dragon, which is to be served at a "gourmet club" specializing in dishes prepared from endangered species. Marlon Brando's hilarious comic variation on one of his best-known roles is the highlight of this film, but Bruno Kirby and Paul Benedict also deliver fine comic turns, and Matthew Broderick copes nobly with his role as the film's lone normal person. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Marlon Brando
    Marlon Brando - Sheriff Calder
  • Jane Fonda
    Jane Fonda - Anna Reeves
  • Robert Redford
    Robert Redford - Bubber Reeves
  • James Fox
    James Fox - Jake Jason Rogers
  • E.G. Marshall
    E.G. Marshall - Val Rogers
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