Wednesday, February 6, 2013

One-Eyed Jacks

Marlon Brando has spent five years in prison and wants revenge on his ex bankrobbing partner Karl Malden who has become a sheriff. Also starring usual Western suspects Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens, directed by Marlon Brando.

From the opening shot of this film, Marlon Brando eating a banana, you know it's not going to be a typical Western. The story takes mostly place in Monterey, California, so you will have images of Brando practicing his gun drawing with the waves of the Pacific crashing in the background. I find this film a lot more interesting than Django Unchained. For one thing, there is more ambiguity, with no easy separation between the bad guy and the good guy. Both Brando and Malden have sympathetic qualities, leading up to a climax that is truly unpredictable. There is also the great, natural performance of Pina Pellicer as Malden's stepdaughter that Brando falls in love with. It's a slow and moody film, a small masterpiece, I'd say, so it's a shame the picture quality on my dvd is really weak; there should be a remastered version of this film.

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