Which Brando do you like better - young, sex symbol Brando or mature Godfather Brando? uploaded by questionidfeeling.wordpress.com.
IMDb says Brando is considered the greatest movie actor of all time. The AFI named him the fourth-greatest male star of all time. Personally, I wouldn’t rank him so high. But there’s no denying that he belongs in any discussion of Great American Things.
Seldom has an actor changed so much as he aged. It’s hard to believe the young Brando of On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire is the same person as the mature Brando of Apocalypse Now and The Godfather (Great American Things, June 21, 2009). His appearance changed, but so did his acting style, reflecting some of the problems that he experienced in his off-screen life.
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Even so, look at the films he’s been in. In addition to the four listed above, he starred in The Wild One… Guys and Dolls… Mutiny on the Bounty… and Last Tango in Paris. Most actors would have considered any of those as the movie of their lives, and Brando had eight. He won the Oscar for Best Actor twice, Supporing Actor once, and was nominated a total of eight times. (Of course, he didn’t always accept his awards, but that’s for another blog to explain.)
He essentially parodied his Don Corleone part in the movie The Freshman, but it’s always been one of my favorite small films. Even so, Martin Scorsese said, “He’s the marker. There’s ‘Before Brando’ and ‘After Brando’.” Brando became somewhat more cynical in later life, saying, “The only reason I’m in Hollywood is that I don’t have the moral courage to refuse the money.”
Yep, regardless of all the other movies he made, he'll always be Rhett Butler to us. Uploaded by assets.nydailynews.com.
Admit it. When you hear “Clark Gable,” you think “Rhett Butler.” Gable was an excellent actor who appeared in many movies and won lots of acclaim, but he’ll always be Rhett Butler to us.
Most actors have a career role, but seldom has there been a man so prominent in a movie as successful as Gone With the Wind. Gable had already won the Oscar for Best Actor in It Happened One Night (1934), in which he and Claudette Colbert made a delightful team. And he received another Best Actor nomination for Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). So he already was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars when GWTW came along. But as great as those performances were, Clark Gable is Rhett Butler.
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Gable’s career actually began in silent movies and lasted until 1961’s The Misfits, in which he co-starred with Marilyn Monroe in her final film. He worked opposite Joan Crawford eight times, Myrna Loy seven times, and Jean Harlow six times. But it’s that one movie opposite Vivien Leigh that has stayed with us.
He appeared in 81 movies in all, and you really can’t say he had a huge hit after 1939. Maybe he just became a bad judge of scripts. Maybe he just had bad luck. Or maybe it’s that even Hollywood producers always saw him as…you know.
Doris Day summed up Clark Gable this way: “He was as masculine as any man I’ve ever known, and as much a little boy as a grown man could be – it was this combination that had such a devastating effect on women.”
Copyright 2009-2011, Robin G. Chalkley. All material on these pages, and the listing of items as Great American Things, is copyrighted. The exceptions are the photographs and videos, which remain the property of their respective owners.
Header photo used courtesy of Flickr photographer too melo.