Skip to comments.The Biggest Star ... Mark Steyn
Posted on 04/06/2014 12:54:57 AM PDT by Rummyfan
SteynOnline celebrated Doris Day's 90th birthday on Thursday, and several readers wrote to point out that April 3rd 1924 was also the late Marlon Brando's birthday. You could hardly ask for two more dissimilar stars, so I thought it would be appropriate to make Brando the subject of this week's Saturday film feature:
A few years back, The New Yorker published a cartoon in which two ladies discussed the appeal of Marlon Brando: "He plays galoots really well," suggested the first woman.
"No, he's not a galoot," says the second. "Like in On The Waterfront, he's much more sensitive than a galoot."
"He's a sensitive galoot," offers the first.
"Isn't that our ideal?" says the second. "A sensitive galoot?"
(Excerpt) Read more at steynonline.com ...
Gawd ... I love Mark Steyn he never fails to deliver! Always thought he was an overpaid hack ... but then it’s hard to take any of these people seriously for playing make-believe and getting paid millions!
One has to read the whole article to get the full hilariously cruel but completely honest writing of Steyn on Brando. Here’s one gem:
” . . . if it’s authenticity you’re after, Brando had a lot more of it half a century later as the fattest star in motion picture history - a huge, wobbling, blubber-ass pushing 400 pounds and wheezing his way through sight-read dialogue written on his shirt. And, with Brando’s shirt size, that’s a lot of dialogue.”
How did you take my “I love Mark Steyn” ... and think that I was calling him an overpaid hack. It may not have been a perfect sentence ... but the intent was clear ... I was obviously addressing the subject of the article. I thought this was Free Republic not English Comp 101!
There is only one “he” in your paragraph, and that’s Steyn. Naming a subject before you refer to him with a pronoun isn’t English Comp 101. It’s English Comp Grade Three.
I have often wished for an edit button on FR. I wrote a sentence the other day with imperfect subject/verb agreement that I wish I could take back. Sigh. All one can do is try to do better in the future.
Fight the Free Sh☭t Nation
Please ... not another lecture on grammar ... I know decent grammar ... I just choose not to labor over it in the wee hours after I’ve been up all night! If you want to criticize my ideas, fine ... I’m sure a ‘brilliant pedant’ like you can glean my meaning regardless of my disdain of worrying about grammar. Please do me a huge favor and do not EVER respond to me again ... I don’t have time for trivial people ... if you see a post from me just move on.
HE WASN’T BEING HELPFUL HE WAS BEING PEDANTIC ... SO ARE YOU ... BUTT OUT!!! If you see posts from me in the future just move on ... I wouldn’t want you to hurt your delicate sensibilities! Do not respond to me ever again!!!
Hmmm, "doesn't play well with others" - ever notice that comment on your report cards?
I mean lately.
I love Steyn as well - and have a book of his theater reviews. But this one is way off base. He concentrates on Brando’s offstage behavior which any good critic knows to avoid. Strange because Steyn is a good critic.
The fact that Brando got fat during the 70s should have no bearing on his prior work. He gave many fine film performances prior to the 1980s and Steyn knows that.
While he talks about how people think that Brando designed his wardrobe for “Streetcar,” he neglects to say that the half-hour ovation he received for that show was very odd - because he was a secondary character - not the lead. Jessica Tandy could not outshine Brando in the lead role and so he stole it from her. As Brando says in his autobiography, it was Vivien Leigh who balanced out the play and put him in his rightful place during the making of the film. A generous comment from a man not known for a tiny ego.
I also take exception to Mark’s comment that Brando had an abortionist on retainer without any sourcing. That’s a terrible thing to write about a man without a source.
Brando actually was not into Tahitian chicks as much as he was into Latinas. Rita Moreno was probably the one constant in his life. He gave up on Indians in the 1990s when he found a dirty diaper stuck down in one of the cushions of his couch in his house on Mulholland Drive. He threw all the Indians out and that was the end of THAT.
The simple problem with Brando? He was dumb. Truman Capote wrote an entire essay on this back in the late 50s and Steyn must be aware of it. But, he was a brilliant film actor and in his time, one of the great “beauties” of the cinema. RIP, Bud!
And since you view it [grammar] as unimportant, don't you think your reactions to it are greatly overexaggerated?
Was Brando dumb or just a bit crazy?
I watch him even in a minor work like Missouri Breaks, through which he seems to improvise the whole way, and he is unsettled and unsettling...but he never seems dumb.
I have read that even in his middle-aged years he was impulsive and extremely difficult to work with, to the point of imbalance.
He might have been bi-polar. Many, many great actors are. But you can still be stupid and be crazy. If you can ever find it, Truman Capote’s essay “The Duke in his Domain” is a textbook on Brando and his stupidity. And I write as a real fan of Brando.
Just as an addition - Steyn neglects so many of his wonderful performances: Julius Caesar, Burn, The Fugitive Kind, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Last Tango, The Nightcomers, Apocalypse Now, Godfather. I mean, it’s a long list!
During the late fifties and sixties supposedly Brando was on the outs with many Hollyweird producers who didn’t want anything to do with him. He was just not your typical ain’t-life-here-grand Hollywood actor. I remember the criticism of “One-Eyed Jacks” when it came out. I was too young to see it at the movie theater, so it was twenty or so years later after it was released before I saw it on tv. It’s one of best westerns ever. Certainly, Brando acted in a lot of crap movies and mostly ruined his talent. But when he was on, he was great.
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