Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


I have complicated feelings about Brando.

Method acting is just another way of being mannered. It's certainly not naturalistic. Brando is one of those actors who never allows you to forget that they're acting. In his own style he's as hammy as Olivier. O for God's sake stop mumbling and get on with it. 

It's also a form of willy-waving.  Look at me, I'm suffering for my art. This thing I'm doing is really important.

Yes, acting is important- but not like that. Brando gave highly paid actors a license to be dicks.  When Dustin Hoffman throws a hissy fit, it's basically Brando's fault.

Yet he despised acting.  I think he despised himself as well- or,  if not himself exactly, then the legend he'd become.  He enacted this self hatred on screen. In later years you hired him at your peril, never  knowing  if he was going to play pretty or crap all over your project from a great height.

For those who call him the greatest actor in the history of the movies I have two words: James Stewart.

I have two more words: Toshiro Mifune.

And how about Marcello Mastroianni, Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy?  I could sit here all evening and name actors I prefer to Brando.

"Say Johnny; what are you rebelling against?"

"Whatta'ya got?"


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