On the Waterfront (1954)

From director Elia Kazan, who caused a stir at this year’s academy  awards with his lifetime achievement honor.   Brando is still young and fit.  Eva Marie  Saint maked her debut and is very easy on the eyes.

I don’t really care much for Brando’s  early roles, the characters that he played in that era – also in “Streetcar Named Desire” – that I’ve seen  were usually un-intelligent hotheads.  Not very likable people, so I find myself not really  caring about them.  I prefer the 1970s Comeback roles for Brando.

In “Godfather” and “Last  Tango in Paris” he played men who were very controlled and made him a more interesting actor.   He became more unpredictable and thus more interesting playing those characters, as you can  just see the intensity built behind and intelligent, calm forefront.

This is not to say I  regard early Brando as bad, he was very good but for the same roles I think that James Dean is a  more interesting actor.  For reference on the range of the young Dean, see “Giant” where he  ages 30 years.

D.S. Christensen
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