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Tony Grist

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The Missouri Breaks. [Apr. 21st, 2005|09:43 am]
Tony Grist
I lay awake much of the night trying to figure why The Missouri Breaks is such a dull movie. I think I've finally worked it out. But you probably haven't seen it and I'm not recommending that you do. Let me just note that it's not Marlon Brando's fault. His famously eccentric performance is no more self-indulgent than Lee Marvin's Oscar winning turn in Cat Ballou. No, I blame the director (Arthur Penn). He took a rompish script and tried to turn it into an Elegy for the Old West. Brando is, in fact, the only one of the actors who's in step.

Jack Nicholson is a sleaze. I don't like him. Does anybody?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2005-04-21 02:05 am (UTC)
My husband likes Nicholson, but there's something about his eyes that makes my skin crawl every single time, no matter the role. He WAS good in "Prizzi's Honor", but only because his character there is supposed to make your skin crawl a bit as well, I think.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-04-21 02:38 am (UTC)
I HAVE seen Missouri Breaks. I didn't care for it either, although to be hnest it was a very long time ago.

As for Jack Nicholson. I don't really like him. But he was fabulous in "One FLew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" as if that part was written for him.

And I liked him very much in "As Good as It Gets", in spite of myself.

He has eyes that make you think that if he didn't keep a tight rein on himself, he might go postal. VERY quickly.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-21 04:30 am (UTC)
I find Cuckoo's Nest misogynistic. And again, that character was very creepy.

I liked him in Easy Rider- a supporting role. I think he's a character actor rather than a leading man.


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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-04-21 06:00 am (UTC)
I find Cuckoo's Nest misogynistic. And again, that character was very creepy.

He's supposed to be creepy. He is ALMOST insane. Or maybe already insane...

misogynistic, yes. Very. I saw the play done live once (before the movie was even thought of...) and the actor who played the same character chose to show his insanity much differently.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-21 09:19 am (UTC)
Maybe I'm reading the film wrong. I thought McWhatsit (the Nicholson character) was meant to represent the spirit of liberty- not creepy at all.

How did the other guy play it?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-21 04:16 am (UTC)
In Missouri Breaks he's supposed to be a charming rogue, but I find him creepy.

I just can't buy him as a western hero- no way.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2005-04-21 04:38 am (UTC)
I can't buy him as ANY kind of hero, especially one that gets the female at the end.
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[User Picture]From: cdpoint
2005-04-21 04:41 am (UTC)
Nicholson only works in those roles where the character is, as halfmoon_mollie says, just *this* far from going berserk. In a vicious and violent way.

Which means charming is right out. Charm implies one has one's demons under control.

I did like Nicholson in About Schmidt, but that's mainly because he didn't so much suppress his inner demons as project himself into a stage at which they--and he--had burned themselves out.

And back in the 70s? Well, back then you always knew Nicholson could flip from J.J. Geddes to Roman Polanski's little rat fink character, flicking a switchblade through a nostril in the blink of an eye. Way too edgy to pull off charm.
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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2005-04-21 05:44 am (UTC)
I love Jack Nicholson because he's a sleaze.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-21 06:05 am (UTC)
It takes all sorts....

But I wouldn't deny that he's a good actor.
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[User Picture]From: sina_says
2005-04-21 07:14 am (UTC)
actually... i love nicholson.
then again, i love him because he's misogynistic, and creepy, and cocky, and brutish. i need that every now and again.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-21 07:35 am (UTC)
There's no-one else like him- I'll grant you that.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-04-21 07:59 am (UTC)
I like Jack Nicholson! He's extremely funny when he's playing a sleaze.

When he played the Devil in Witches of Eastwick, he was perfect in the role.

--

I'm glad you were able to resolve your issue about The Missouri Breaks, so you could get some sleep! :)

Your pal, Jackie
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-21 09:16 am (UTC)
I can't think of any Nicholson films I really, really like. There was one I saw recently where he played a retired cop (I don't remember the title, but it was directed by Sean Penn) and I was very disappointed.

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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-04-21 09:21 am (UTC)
I saw 'Wolf' a few years ago, and my reaction was to giggle hysterically all the way through it. BUT I thought he made a great 'wolf'. Actually, maybe more of a hyena, with those eyes of his.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-21 09:55 am (UTC)
I didn't see that movie. Does he play a werewolf?


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From: morrison_maiden
2005-04-21 09:39 am (UTC)
I like Jack, but I admit I don't know much about him as a person :\

Of course, I love Brando too, but I know more about him ^_^
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-21 09:52 am (UTC)
I have mixed feelings about Brando. I like him well enough but I think he's over-rated. People say he's the greatest film actor ever. Rubbish; the greatest film actor ever is Peter Sellers.
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From: morrison_maiden
2005-04-21 09:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know if Brando's the greatest film actor of all time, but I like him a great deal. I love how he was one of the most macho guys around in the '50s, and yet he was completely unashamed to admit that he'd had some homosexual experiences. I think his acting style was ahead of it's time too; that is, he made it look easy and natural. But then, I've seen more Brando films than those of Peter Sellers.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-21 12:52 pm (UTC)
His performance in Missouri Breaks is great fun- and very camp. At one point (for no good reason) he wears a dress and bonnet. It's a crap film, but Brando was obviously having a whale of a time.
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From: morrison_maiden
2005-04-21 05:52 pm (UTC)
Hehe, that sounds really cool! I remember something I saw, when Brando (as an older man) was on Larry King Live in the late 90's. They were singing a song together, and at the end of the song, Marlon gave Larry King a kiss. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-22 01:27 am (UTC)
Marlon was almost as interesting for what he got up to away from the movies as for what he did on screen.



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[User Picture]From: jubal51394
2005-04-22 10:47 am (UTC)

Saw him in one of his earliest...

A film called "Five Easy Pieces" a long, long time ago... he was an adorable sleaze in it and I remember hoping for much more from him. Hasn't happened yet, I fear.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-04-22 12:09 pm (UTC)

Re: Saw him in one of his earliest...

I've never seen that one. It's supposed to be pretty good.
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