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They’re probably right, it’s neither groundbreaking work nor would he have been a huge star if he had debuted with this.
My one complaint watching this was Brando’s physicality- he looks pretty sloppy on camera, hiding under a poncho that cannot conceal his gut.
The film had a fantastic all star cast, lead by Brando only in name really, as the wide ensemble got plenty of individual screen time.
Everyone carried their own weight in the film, and the future legends were all on their A-game, not allowing Brando to completely blast them out of the water. It runs far too long, the ending is more of a slap than an uppercut, and the fictionalized Texas is a confusing place that doesn’t seem to really exist.
Rotten Tomatoes IMDb Wikipedia Co-stars: John Saxon, Anjanette Comer, Emilio Fernández Character: Matt Fletcher In his career, Brando starred in only three westerns. He plays a bison hunter and drifter who has returned home to his family in order to start a ranch with his small fortune and prized appaloosa stallion.
Unfortunately for him, a cruel Mexican bandit and his girlfriend have targeted his horse, and steal it from him.
Perhaps most notable of a Brando film in this period: it has no overarching lesson on morality.
One striking complaint from critics at this point was that Brando was cashing in on his star, showing no real artistry in the film.
Sheriff Calder comes across as tired and disinterested in his job, and it is found out that he was a farmer who had lost his land, and Val Rogers, the aforementioned oil tycoon, had set him up with the sheriff job.
The plot was very simple, and in that there were no pointless subplots weighing down an otherwise decent story.
There was no overacting, and the cheese was (more or less) intentional and tongue in cheek.
It is not the performances that are weak, but the script, editing, and direction (although the director spoke out against the control taken from him by the producer, who oversaw the script re-writes and editing which stripped the film of all Brando’s best moments and improvisations).
The main thing about the town and citizens is that they’re all caricatured stereotypes, people who don’t exist except for in the imagination of an angry liberal (or in the scriptwriter’s case, angry Stalinist).