Author Topic: Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)  (Read 7178 times)

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Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2004, 02:50:29 AM »
Quote from: hacksparrow
I think with Brando's passing, the only legendary American lead actors left from before 1960 are Paul Newman and Charlton Heston, neither of whom compare really.  This is a major loss.

R.I.P. Marlon.

Nicholson is one of the few classic Hollywood movie gods left who continues producing quality work.

He wasn't pre-1960 though.

But Jack will be acting in films that matter when he's 70+, I'm sure.


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Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2004, 11:20:16 AM »
Quote from: Jeremy Blackman
I hate to be the one to say it, but... why is every one surprised?

Well, it sucks and all but it's weird that people here are all so 'sad' and 'shocked' ... when my 80 year old fat and mad great uncle died no one was neither sad nor shocked. And we knew him.


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Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2004, 12:25:55 PM »
Who here said they were "shocked", Pas Rapport?  Sure he was old but a lot of normal people express sadness when someone who had an impact on their lives dies.  My grandpa was old too but I was still sad when he died.


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Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2004, 12:44:50 PM »
why is everyone surprised?  'cause there was no prophet predicting the exact date of Marlon's death, and there was no website counting down to the day he kicks.  nobody knew it would be thursday or whatever, so obviously everyone's a little surprised.  you don't wake up in the morning and go, "hmm, feels like that fat ol' Marlon's finally gonna croak today!"  you weren't surprised?  if I said "hey dude, guess who died today?"  would you have been like "oh oh oh I know--hmmm--MARLON BARNDO right?!  am I right am I right am I right, check the papers am I right?"  people were surprised becuase this was new information to them.  so there's no need for pas rapport and jeremy blackman to act all savvy and clear-minded.  you were surprised too, you just didn't post about it.
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Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2004, 09:59:50 PM »
Death is always sad, but Brando didn't die, he will never do it.
"Wars have never hurt anybody except the people who die." - Salvador Dalí


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Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)
« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2004, 07:41:59 AM »
If you mean he'll live on in spirit, sure I guess.  But his belly isn't rumbling any more.
more than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. one path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. the other, to total extinction. let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
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Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2004, 12:44:12 PM »
I knew the critic, Stanley Kauffmann, would write the best piece on his life and death. Ever since the 1950s, he was the main critic to herald him as America's genius actor, the very best in film. Still a critic, he finally released today his thoughts on Brando.


The news of Marlon Brando's death on July 1 brought two kinds of sadness: regret that his life had closed, and regret that, artistically speaking, it had closed long ago. His last performance of any interest was in The Freshman (1990), and that was only a mirror image of the Vito Corleone he had created in 1972. Little that Brando had done in his last thirty years was commensurate with his genius.  

The sting of his death brought a memory flash--of a stage performance. In 1946 he played the young poet Marchbanks in one of Katharine Cornell's revivals of Shaw's Candida. Brando didn't have the speech or carriage of the earl's nephew that Marchbanks is, but I have never seen a performance that convinced me more completely that a man is the artist he is said to be. Early in the play someone says to him, "It should make you tremble to think that . . . the great gift of a poet may be laid upon you." Marchbanks replies: "It does not make me tremble. It is the want of it in others that makes me tremble." I can hear Brando still.

I had already been following him closely. In 1943, at holiday time, a children's play of mine was produced by Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop at the New School in New York. Brando was a student there and had been given the wordless role in my play of a guard at a king's court. At one point, meant to be comic, he was hit on the head and fell. Brando, without the help of the director (Mrs. Piscator), devised a collapse that was original and funny. The production was later moved uptown to the Adelphi Theater for a series of Easter matinées, so Brando made his professional debut in this bit part, getting hit on the head.

I asked about him at the school and was told that he was one of the more gifted students but that he was already "difficult." Apparently he had in him what Poe called "the imp of the perverse." Precisely because Brando was so gifted and had so apparent a potential, he was offhand about acting, bothering to be serious about it only when he actually was performing.

His first notable Broadway role, for which I had been looking out, was a short-pants youngster in something called I Remember Mama, and then he electrified audiences with his one taut scene in Maxwell Anderson's Truckline Café. This much-admired performance led to Marchbanks and eventually to Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, which I saw twice. What I remember first about it is Stanley's cuticle. The setting had two rooms; at one point early in the play Blanche DuBois was in one room upbraiding her sister Stella about the brute she had married. Brando, unseen by the women, was standing in the other room, listening to Blanche's outburst, calmly biting the cuticle on one finger. This gesture told us everything we needed to know about Stanley's reaction to the outburst--and about the probable course of the play.

Soon Hollywood beckoned, of course, and Brando acquiesced when he was offered an interesting role--a wheelchair-bound war veteran in The Men (1950). His talent was recognized, but the film had small impact. Next he did Stanley Kowalski on screen, and the world was shaken.  

To itemize his film career--a total of forty-one pictures--and to judge whether each was worth Brando's presence is not to me the most important matter just now. Rather, a contradiction presses. What became patent early on in Hollywood, what Brando obviously wanted to be known because he often talked about it in interviews, was his attitude toward acting. The imp of the perverse had apparently enlarged in him and now included a total scoff at any view of acting as an art, even as a respectable occupation for a serious person. It is common in the screen careers of stars, especially if they came from the theater, that they are at first very picky about the roles they accept, then gradually slip into the currents and standards of a film career with less and less choosiness. But it was more than that with Brando: his very spotty career, ranging from some peaks in the history of world film to some sheer embarrassments, seems less the result of Hollywood pressures than a sort of sloth, almost to nourish his loathing for the whole business.

One of the elements that apparently increased his loathing was the money. In his earliest days he could tease about acting as piffle when he was living at a relatively sane level. But when the money started to pour in, he was, it seems, twice affected: he wanted as much money as he could get at the same time that he thought the huge sums certified the silliness of the work. (By 1977 he was paid $3.7 million, plus percentages of the gross, for twelve days' work on two Superman movies.) His eventual monstrous obesity seemed a clear sign of his hatred for Hollywood. "You're paying for this waistline," he seemed to be jeering at the film world.

He could behave as he did because he was so golden at the box office and so fertile a publicity subject. (His personal life, not to be detailed here, helped too.) Still, the question persists: why? Why did he behave as he did? Leonard Bernstein, golden enough and glamorous enough in the music world, never animadverted against concertizing. Martha Graham, certainly not golden but certainly an icon, never spewed on dancing. Why did Brando spout as he did? Yes, the imp of the perverse had been there from the start, but was there something else, a secret?  

David Thomson, in an astute obituary article about Brando, wrote: "It is striking ... that his death comes at a moment when America's maturity is tragically necessary yet tormentingly distant." Thus Thomson implies that the vagaries of Brando's career were related to the general social and political climate of his lifetime, an insight supported by his recurrent involvement in social and political movements seemingly as a version of penance.

I would add one other possibility. His perversity in his earliest days, spurred by Poe's imp, may just have been a form of vanity, a nonchalance because he had to worry much less about the future than his contemporaries did. But as success and fame arrived, he may have become more and more acutely aware that his profession had low cultural standing in America. (Quite unlike Leonard Bernstein's and Martha Graham's.) His veneration of John Gielgud, when they played together in Julius Caesar (1953), supports this view. Gielgud came from a society where a great actor was a national eminence, not a mere celebrity. It is inconceivable that Brando could ever have said about Gielgud any of the things (according to Peter Manso's biography) he said about himself. "I am not an artist. I hate when people say I'm an artist." Or: "Acting is a bum's life, in that it leads to perfect self-indulgence. You get paid for doing nothing, and it all adds up to nothing." During Brando's lifetime, America produced fine actors--Fredric March, for prime instance--and the fact that they were not regarded as they would have been in some other countries possibly confirmed Brando's view. In fact Gielgud says in his autobiography that he offered Brando a chance to work in another world. "I begged him to play Hamlet, and said that I would like to direct him if he did." Also: "I thought he would have made a wonderful Oedipus." Brando said that he had no interest in returning to the stage. Perhaps by this time he was in love with his attitudes toward acting and didn't want to risk becoming as serious as Gielgud about it. His very last work was a voice-over for a character in an animated film that has not yet been released.

Well, now Brando begins a new life as a figure in history, still a paradox. He may be even more of one to those who view his work in the future: less because of his comments about acting, which may fade, than because of the difference between the heights and the sloughs of his career. The best of actors have their ups and downs, but not many of them have his genius. Partly as possible truth about Brando, partly as solace about him for myself, I remember the Marchbanks line: "It is the want of it in others that makes me tremble."

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Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)
« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2004, 08:21:23 AM »
That was a great read.


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Marlon Brando Dead! (The Official Thread!)
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2004, 01:00:04 PM »
Marlon Brando's Ashes Scattered

LOS ANGELES (AP) The ashes of legendary actor Marlon Brando were spread in Tahiti and Death Valley, according to a newspaper report.

A memorial service for Brando, who died of lung failure at age 80 on July 1, was held at the home of Hollywood producer Mike Medavoy and was attended by Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Sean Penn, the Los Angeles Times reported in Wednesday editions.

In the last months before his death, Brando had dropped 85 pounds from his once-large frame and needed a portable oxygen tank to aid his breathing, family members and friends said. But he sought to keep his condition quiet.

Some of Brando's ashes were scattered in Death Valley, a place that the actor cherished, his son Miko Brando told the newspaper. The ashes of Brando's late friend Wally Cox, who died in 1973, were also poured onto the desert landscape as part of the same ceremony; how Cox's ashes were in the possession of Brando's family was unknown.

Despite being known as a recluse, Brando ventured to Neverland Ranch more than a year before he died to visit pop star Michael Jackson, whom he'd first met through Quincy Jones in the 1980s. Jackson is the godfather of Brando's 9-year-old granddaughter Prudence.

"The last time my father left his house to go anywhere, to spend any kind of time, it was with Michael Jackson," Miko Brando, a longtime Jackson employee, told the newspaper.

Brando's son also spoke of how friends and family will try to preserve the actor's legacy. Most notable is a collection of DVDs based on unreleased footage shot within the past three years showing Brando teach acting to Jon Voight, Nick Nolte and Penn.

Also being discussed is cataloging hundreds of pencil drawings made by Brando and obtaining trademarks on the actor's name and likeness.
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