Marlon Brando and Film

As we’ve heard, A Streetcar Named Desire: the movie is different than the book, but from personal experience, I can tell you it is still really awesome.  And if you can’t take my word for it, on imdb.com, A Streetcar Named Desire is currently on their Top 250 movies list, sitting at #199. This list has all legit movies all throughout.  Even with the lack of a rape scene and Stella apparently never going back to Stanley, any smart person can still get the same message from the movie as the play because: 1.) To me, the rape is still objectionable, as in, there’s a good chance Blanche put out once the scene ended, and 2.) Stella always went back to Stanley; there’s no real proof things would change.  Other than these differences, the film was an exceptional piece of work.  In 1952, it was nominated for a total of 12 Oscars and took home a total of 4.  The Oscars are the big time; this movie had gained the stamp of excellence by the film community.

Although he hadn’t won the Oscar for his role in Streetcar, Marlon Brando was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role.  This was the first of many of his film awards.  Throughout his entire career, Brando was nominated for 8 Oscars, 7 of them for lead roles, the 8th and final nomination being a supporting role in a 1990 film when he was about 66 years old.  He won a total of 2 Oscars.  He didn’t only win Oscars of course.  Throughout his career he was nominated for 6 Golden Globes and won 2 of them.

Imdb.com says that, “Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time.”  His work in The Godfather definitely helped him, but Brando was seemingly always a good actor.  He was probably peaking during The Godfather, which, is always cited as being a classic, if not THE classic movie.  On imdb.com, the film is currently the #2 movie on their Top 250 list, only behind The Shawshank Redemption.  Many purveyors of celluloid would argue The Godfather is the best, from what I understand.  Anyways, The Godfather won the 1973 award for Best Picture at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes.  Marlon Brando also won the award for Best Actor at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes.

Just some other information on Brando:

He was born on April 3, 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska and died on July 1, 2004 in Los Angeles, California from pulmonary fibrosis.  According to google health, pulmonary fibrosis is the “scarring or thickening of the lungs without a known cause.” Brando, “pioneered [the] use of Method Acting,” “often improvised his own dialogue,” and “was known for being very difficult to work with.”  That last one seems pretty believable since he always plays jerks in films and does a really good job with it.  According to imdb.com Trivia, Brando “used cue cards in many of his movies because he refused to memorize his lines. His lines were written on the diaper of baby Kal-El in Superman (1978).” He also “received more money for his short appearance as Jor-El in Superman (1978) than Christopher Reeve did in the title role.”

Some other random facts: Brando was “expelled from high school for riding a motorcycle through the halls.” Roger Ebert, “praised Brando as ‘the Greatest Actor in the World.'” “Just after the end of World War II, [Brando] met the then-unknown James Baldwin at a cafeteria in New York. He became friends with Baldwin, a friendship that lasted until Baldwin’s death.”

More Brando trivia can be found here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000008/bio#trivia

I used www.imdb.com for my information.

23 Responses to “Marlon Brando and Film”

  1. kylehoff says:

    Marlon Brando = O.G.

  2. meganne says:

    Have you read “The Duke in His Domain” by Truman Capote? The article’s chockful of interesting tidbits about Brando, such as he got out of performing as Stanley by breaking his nose while boxing in the theater’s boiler room, Brando considers spaghetti a side dish to beefsteak, and he liked writing fiction.

    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1957/11/09/1957_11_09_053_TNY_CARDS_000252812?currentPage=all

  3. David Gallagher says:

    I don’t think anyone would say that Brando peaked at The Godfather. He just mumbled his way through it. Interestingly, he also declined the Oscar, probably because he knew he just phoned it in.

    But, has anyone seen “The Wild One.” Brando leads a motorcycle gang or something bad ass. A lot of good phallic imagery involving a trophy. I think it’s Brando best movie that I’ve seen. (Streetcar, Wild One, Apoclaypse Now, Godfather, Island of Dr Moreau, which was god awful).

    • Stephen says:

      Haha, it’s funny because under the “trivia” section, it actually says that he was nicknamed “Mr. Mumbles” by Frank Sinatra. Good call. That other movie you speak about sounds awesome. I love bad ass movies, haha.

    • Reverend says:

      David,

      Did you ever see how Brando declined the Oscar for The Godfather? It is downright amazing, you must watch it if you haven’t:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QUacU0I4yU

      As for Brando in The Godfather, I agree he has had many a great role, and that gets often framed as his crowning achievement. That said, it is hard for anyone, even Brando himself, to top the scene wherein he puts an orange in his mouth and chases around his grandchild. Can;t find the clip on YouTube, but for me that is Brando at his finest, and shows that as an actor he aged oh so very well—which in many ways is one of the hardest things in the world to do. I mean look at Jack Nicholson in the ’90s and ’00s.

      • lcutler says:

        He rejected the award in immediate response to the massacre of Wounded Knee by the U.S. government. His rejection was crucial in the shift of portrayls of Native Americans in film, and throughout the 70s, more of a celebratory tone replaced that of the savage stereotype from films in previous decades. Not exactly the most relevant topic to Southern Lit, but I’m doing an independent study on the evolution of Native American activism and media portrayals next semester and I had to throw my 2 cents in. For the record, Brando’s rejection helped legitimatize Indian protest of Hollywood’s interpretations, just like old William Lloyd Garrison had to legitimatize Freddy D’s narrative. Sorta ties back in.

        • Reverend says:

          @lcutler
          What an awesome comment, and I love the way your work on the independent study cross pollinates here. Would love to see you work on the portrayal of Native Americans in film. Are you blogging it? Who are you doing that work with? Sounds fascinating, and I can;t imagine writing and talking about film can ever be the same after the new web and YouTube.

  4. jakeg says:

    Those pictures rule. You could have just had a blog post with those pictures and I could have come up with a million comments. Good selection.

    • Stephen says:

      Haha, thanks! I definitely tried to get something different than just the cover of Streetcar. I wanted his physical prowess and playfulness shown.

  5. Richards says:

    Marlon Bando at his height = so not a pussy.

  6. semilunatic says:

    Good gravy, this is becoming literary Facebook. …*like*

  7. jholmes says:

    Marlon Brando, “so not a pussy-” smoking, shaving and flexing muscles all at the same time. http://www.flickr.com/photos/38934532@N04/4012007111/

    The person who has this Brando tattoo however, may be compensating for being too much of a pussy http://www.flickr.com/photos/thetattoostudio/1938648452/

  8. Reverend says:

    “Brando so not a pussy” is the beginnign of an internet meme. You need to start posting Brando VS Chuck Norris posts and make the world right again. That ultr conservative Norris needs a comeuppance, and we all know Brando is the man for the job.

  9. jholmes says:

    I just found this really cool picture of Brando with Marilyn Monroe http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kw38lyaVeL1qzvu53o1_500.png
    I never would have thought of seeing the two together. But it makes a lot of sense. They both such huge stars and even close in age. Brando was born in 1924 and Monroe in 1926 so they were very close. Brando looks so young in this picture though!

  10. cclark4 says:

    The picture of MB eating the apple is just awful. It totally sucks all the attractiveness out of him. That cannot be the same Apollo from SND….he looks like French Stewart!