TCM Greatest Classic Legends Collection: Marlon Brando [2 Discs] [DVD]

This collection from TCM compiles four films that contain featuring indelible performances by Marlon Brando, considered by many to be the most influential actor of the 20th century. Included are Julius Caesar, The Teahouse of the August Moon, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and A Streetcar Named Desire.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

A Streetcar Named Desire
In the classic play by Tennessee Williams, brought to the screen by Elia Kazan, faded Southern belle Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) comes to visit her pregnant sister, Stella (Kim Hunter), in a seedy section of New Orleans. Stella's boorish husband, Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando), not only regards Blanche's aristocratic affectations as a royal pain but also thinks she's holding out on inheritance money that rightfully belongs to Stella. On the fringes of sanity, Blanche is trying to forget her checkered past and start life anew. Attracted to Stanley's friend Mitch (Karl Malden), she glosses over the less savory incidents in her past, but she soon discovers that she cannot outrun that past, and the stage is set for her final, brutal confrontation with her brother-in-law. Brando, Hunter, and Malden had all starred in the original Broadway version of Streetcar, although the original Blanche had been Jessica Tandy. Brando lost out to Humphrey Bogart for the 1951 Best Actor Oscar, but Leigh, Hunter, and Malden all won Oscars. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Reflections in a Golden Eye
This dreary story of the latent desires of the sexually repressed and psychologically tormented is taken from the 1944 novel by Carson McCullers. Major Penderton (Marlon Brando) is a hard-driving Army officer married to Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor). The impotent Penderton hides his latent homosexuality under his strict military discipline, while Leonora is having an affair with Lt. Colonel Langdon (Brian Keith), who is married to the troubled Allison (Julie Harris), who slices off her own nipples after a disappointing pregnancy. Private Williams (Robert Forster) is a young recruit who likes to ride naked on horseback. The Major is driven to insane jealousy when he discovers Williams would rather be with Leonora than with him. The idea is good, but the story plays like a sort of discarded (Tennessee Williams) play. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

The Teahouse of the August Moon
Marlon Brando went out on yet another creative limb when he insisted upon playing sly, philosophical Okinawan interpreter Sakima in the 1956 filmization of John Patrick's Broadway play Teahouse of the August Moon. While he occasionally lapses into "flied lice" stereotyping, for the most part Brando is quite effective and amusing, especially when facing up to the difficult task of speaking directly to the audience. The story is set in Okinawa in the months following V-J Day. Paul Ford (repeating his Broadway role - and replacing Louis Calhern, who died at the start of production) plays an American colonel in charge of the occupation troops. Determined to bring Western civilization to the Okinawans, the colonel assigns captain Glenn Ford to do his bidding. A habitual screw-up, Captain Ford hopes to make good by organizing the Okinawan women into a social club and by building a schoolhouse. But the villagers would rather erect a teahouse, serviced by pretty geisha girls. The ever-resourceful Sakima (Brando) does his manipulative best to curry favor with the Americans while still mollifying his own people. Co-starring in Teahouse of the August Moon is Machiko Kyo, leading lady of such Japanese film classics as Rashomon and Gate of Hell. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Julius Caesar
Joseph L. Mankiewicz directed this exquisite version of William Shakespeare's play. Louis Calhern is Julius Caesar, whose conquests have enabled him to rise to the status of Roman dictator. But his ascent to almost God-like status has given pause to influential members of the Roman Senate. Chief among them is Cassius (John Gielgud), who is troubled by Caesar's popularity and dictatorial status. Convinced that Caesar's assassination would be the best thing for Rome, he conspires with Casca (Edmond O'Brien) and the influential Brutus (James Mason) to plot Caesar's murder. Despite dark omens, Caesar walks confidently into the Roman Senate, where he is stabbed to death by the conspirators. His companion Marc Antony (Marlon Brando) is shocked and runs to the corpse of his beloved friend. He agrees to support Brutus while an unruly mob gathers in front of the Senate doors, having heard rumors of Caesar's assassination. Brutus convinces the mob that Caesar's death was for the good of Rome, preventing him from forming a monarchy. Then Antony appears, determined to destroy the conspirators; he delivers a speech that subtly damns the assassins. With the mob against them, the conspirators are forced to flee Rome and Antony organizes an army against them. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Vivien Leigh
    Vivien Leigh - Blanche Dubois
  • Marlon Brando
    Marlon Brando - Stanley Kowalski
  • Kim Hunter
    Kim Hunter - Stella Kowalski
  • Karl Malden
    Karl Malden - Harold "Mitch" Mitchell
  • Rudy Bond
    Rudy Bond - Steve Hubbell
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