I’ve just finished reading this book:
Some people think The Godfather II is one of those rare instances where the sequel is better than the original, but I prefer the first film for just one reason:Brando. He dominates the screen whenever he is on it.
I’m not one for in-depth book reviews, there are far better people than me out there for that kind of thing. Instead, suffice to say that I enjoyed the book, and I will leave you with four quotes from it.
On early Brando:
Kirk Douglas:”I went up for a part in Truckline. I didn’t get it. Bitter, I went to see the play, watched another actor in my role. I loved the first two acts-he was terrible. I congratulated myself on how much better I would have been. Suddenly, in the third act, he erupted, electrifying the audience. I thought, ‘My God, he’s good!’ and looked in the programme for his name: Marlon Brando.”
John Huston, after a screening:“Christ! It was like a furnace door opening-the heat came off the screen. I don’t know another actor who could do that.”
On the torment of his tragic, family life:
Brando:”The messenger of misery has visited my house.”
After his death:
Jack Nicholson:”Marlon Brando is one of the great men of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and we lesser mortals are obligated to cut through the shit and proclaim it. This man has been my idol all of my professional life, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. The impact of movies is enormous, and his impact in the movies was bigger than anyone else’s-ever…I think Marlon knew he was the greatest. I don’t think he dwelled on it, nor did he ever say as much to me. But, come on, there was a reason people expected so much from him right to the end. That’s why people always expected him to be working. And believe me, there were times when he told me he wanted to work and couldn’t. It disturbs me that toward the end, all some people could talk about was his weight.”