Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
Famously over-budget and severely trimmed by the studio, Marlon Brando’s sole foray into direction was a box office flop that remains a psychologically fascinating, visually stunning and too-seldom-seen entry into the Western genre. This stunning restoration by Universal Pictures and The Film Foundation was supervised by Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. It comes to festival screens direct from its unveiling at Cannes.
“One-Eyed Jacks was actually the last time Brando acted out of true commitment, an uncynical passion for the material, and he gives one of his best performances as the outlaw betrayed by a friend (Karl Malden), seeking vengeance and finding love with the villain’s stepdaughter. His direction is perceptive and effective – all the actors are uniformly excellent – evoking especially fine work from the newcomers, notably Pina Pellicer as the young woman who falls for him. Katy Jurado is fine as her mother; Malden, always good, is superbly ambiguous here, and Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens are wonderfully authentic.” — Peter Bogdanovich, Indiewire
“Fascinating to see Brando directing this revenge Western exactly… as he acts, so that the whole movie smoulders in a manner that is mean, moody and magnificent… The Freudian intentions lurking in the character conflicts and the card symbolism, the homosexual and Oedipal intimations, are underpinned by the extraordinary settings… The result, laced with some fine traditional sequences and stretches of masochistic violence, is a Western of remarkable though sometimes muddled power.” — Tom Milne, Time Out