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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

One Eyed Jacks (1961)

After pulling a bank heist in Mexico, one (Marlon Brando) of the bandits is betrayed by his partner (Karl Malden). As a result, he is sent to prison. But when he escapes, there is only one thing on his mind ..... revenge! Based on the novel THE AUTHENTIC DEATH OF HENDRY JONES by Charles Neider and directed by Brando, his only attempt at directing a feature film. This is an undervalued Freudian western and quite different from its genre brethren. First, there's the stunning backdrop of the Monterey coast beautifully shot by Charles Lang (BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE), who received an Oscar nomination for his work here. How many westerns are set on a beach? The film focuses on character rather than gun play which allows for some excellent performances and fleshed out characters rather than western stereotypes. The film's only flaw is its length. As engrossing as it is, it can't justify its near 2 1/2 hour running time. Brando's performance is fresh and well thought out rather than give us a cliched cowboy bent on revenge. He is equally matched by Malden in one of his best performances. There's a beauty of an underscore by Hugo Friedhofer. With Katy Jurado, Ben Johnson, Slim Pickens, Timothy Carey, Miriam Colon, Ray Teal, Philip Ahn and Pina Pellicer as Brando's love interest.  

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