Skip to comments.The Biggest Star ... Mark Steyn
Posted on 04/06/2014 12:54:57 AM PDT by Rummyfan
SteynOnline celebrated Doris Day's 90th birthday on Thursday, and several readers wrote to point out that April 3rd 1924 was also the late Marlon Brando's birthday. You could hardly ask for two more dissimilar stars, so I thought it would be appropriate to make Brando the subject of this week's Saturday film feature:
A few years back, The New Yorker published a cartoon in which two ladies discussed the appeal of Marlon Brando: "He plays galoots really well," suggested the first woman.
"No, he's not a galoot," says the second. "Like in On The Waterfront, he's much more sensitive than a galoot."
"He's a sensitive galoot," offers the first.
"Isn't that our ideal?" says the second. "A sensitive galoot?"
(Excerpt) Read more at steynonline.com ...
Gawd ... I love Mark Steyn he never fails to deliver! Always thought he was an overpaid hack ... but then it’s hard to take any of these people seriously for playing make-believe and getting paid millions!
One has to read the whole article to get the full hilariously cruel but completely honest writing of Steyn on Brando. Here’s one gem:
” . . . if it’s authenticity you’re after, Brando had a lot more of it half a century later as the fattest star in motion picture history - a huge, wobbling, blubber-ass pushing 400 pounds and wheezing his way through sight-read dialogue written on his shirt. And, with Brando’s shirt size, that’s a lot of dialogue.”
How did you take my “I love Mark Steyn” ... and think that I was calling him an overpaid hack. It may not have been a perfect sentence ... but the intent was clear ... I was obviously addressing the subject of the article. I thought this was Free Republic not English Comp 101!
There is only one “he” in your paragraph, and that’s Steyn. Naming a subject before you refer to him with a pronoun isn’t English Comp 101. It’s English Comp Grade Three.
I have often wished for an edit button on FR. I wrote a sentence the other day with imperfect subject/verb agreement that I wish I could take back. Sigh. All one can do is try to do better in the future.
Fight the Free Sh☭t Nation
Please ... not another lecture on grammar ... I know decent grammar ... I just choose not to labor over it in the wee hours after I’ve been up all night! If you want to criticize my ideas, fine ... I’m sure a ‘brilliant pedant’ like you can glean my meaning regardless of my disdain of worrying about grammar. Please do me a huge favor and do not EVER respond to me again ... I don’t have time for trivial people ... if you see a post from me just move on.
HE WASN’T BEING HELPFUL HE WAS BEING PEDANTIC ... SO ARE YOU ... BUTT OUT!!! If you see posts from me in the future just move on ... I wouldn’t want you to hurt your delicate sensibilities! Do not respond to me ever again!!!
Hmmm, "doesn't play well with others" - ever notice that comment on your report cards?
I mean lately.
I love Steyn as well - and have a book of his theater reviews. But this one is way off base. He concentrates on Brando’s offstage behavior which any good critic knows to avoid. Strange because Steyn is a good critic.
The fact that Brando got fat during the 70s should have no bearing on his prior work. He gave many fine film performances prior to the 1980s and Steyn knows that.
While he talks about how people think that Brando designed his wardrobe for “Streetcar,” he neglects to say that the half-hour ovation he received for that show was very odd - because he was a secondary character - not the lead. Jessica Tandy could not outshine Brando in the lead role and so he stole it from her. As Brando says in his autobiography, it was Vivien Leigh who balanced out the play and put him in his rightful place during the making of the film. A generous comment from a man not known for a tiny ego.
I also take exception to Mark’s comment that Brando had an abortionist on retainer without any sourcing. That’s a terrible thing to write about a man without a source.
Brando actually was not into Tahitian chicks as much as he was into Latinas. Rita Moreno was probably the one constant in his life. He gave up on Indians in the 1990s when he found a dirty diaper stuck down in one of the cushions of his couch in his house on Mulholland Drive. He threw all the Indians out and that was the end of THAT.
The simple problem with Brando? He was dumb. Truman Capote wrote an entire essay on this back in the late 50s and Steyn must be aware of it. But, he was a brilliant film actor and in his time, one of the great “beauties” of the cinema. RIP, Bud!
And since you view it [grammar] as unimportant, don't you think your reactions to it are greatly overexaggerated?
Was Brando dumb or just a bit crazy?
I watch him even in a minor work like Missouri Breaks, through which he seems to improvise the whole way, and he is unsettled and unsettling...but he never seems dumb.
I have read that even in his middle-aged years he was impulsive and extremely difficult to work with, to the point of imbalance.
He might have been bi-polar. Many, many great actors are. But you can still be stupid and be crazy. If you can ever find it, Truman Capote’s essay “The Duke in his Domain” is a textbook on Brando and his stupidity. And I write as a real fan of Brando.
Just as an addition - Steyn neglects so many of his wonderful performances: Julius Caesar, Burn, The Fugitive Kind, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Last Tango, The Nightcomers, Apocalypse Now, Godfather. I mean, it’s a long list!
During the late fifties and sixties supposedly Brando was on the outs with many Hollyweird producers who didn’t want anything to do with him. He was just not your typical ain’t-life-here-grand Hollywood actor. I remember the criticism of “One-Eyed Jacks” when it came out. I was too young to see it at the movie theater, so it was twenty or so years later after it was released before I saw it on tv. It’s one of best westerns ever. Certainly, Brando acted in a lot of crap movies and mostly ruined his talent. But when he was on, he was great.
Oh right, I'm sure that's gonna work.........LOL!
Too bad ... so sad ... it would appear that galtman’s thin-skinned, ‘delicate sensibilities’, and ALL CAPS outrage (like a liberal?) has swiftly, and justly, gained him the ‘lightning’ ...
"This account has been banned or suspended."
Looks like you got your wish!
"Last Tango" was when I really noticed that he was just phoning it in, but the critics were still in worship mode.
I miss everything!
Galtman, you seem to think that your wishes are the only ones that should matter - anywhere, any time, anyway.
Get over yourself. You are a new guest on this site, and have already commenced attacking individuals who sought to point out that what you wrote clearly attacked the author (and not subject) of the article. The fact that you find such gentle (and it WAS gentle) correction so damaging (apparently) to your psyche tells me you will not be on this site long - you can’t stomach the rigor of thought required to keep up with many Freepers.
So, no please feel free to tell me to ignore your unsage words in the future - as I wish you bon voyage to a site that allows you to control who communicates with you. Have you thought of blogging, with the comments turned off?
I never understood what people saw in Brando.
He was acceptable as the Godfather but it wasn’t exactly a role many others couldn’t have played as well or better.
And lo, it is so.
Amazing, that, isn’t it?
Just goes to show how badly one can mangle a pronoun....
(I thought you were calling Steyn a “hack” too.)
Once in a while we need a demonstration about how bad an idea it is to consume Scotch and beer for breakfast.
Oh, goodness! I love that! And he was a n00b, too.
Did you make that or find it?
What a wonderful lightning kitty graphic!
I think Mr. Brando liked kitties, he let a kitty on his lap in a scene from “The Godfather”’ if I recall.
Found it. Somebody posted it on a nOOb’s thread, and I swiped it.
(To me, almost everybody except Jim and al baby are “nOObs...lol)
It’s exactly as the sentence reads.
“Mark Steyn” antecedent, “he pronoun for Mark Steyn.
Marching around here constantly telling the kids, It sounds like a good story But I just don’t know who (the hell) is who with all those pronouns.
Just say it, type it- “Always thought Brando was...” It’s three more letters, but, I guess a whole lot of thinking work you’d rather have your audience do, like the kids around here.
Call me a pain, but I try to talk to kids, and I tell them directly what will make them desirable to be around when theyre grown up. And mumbling isn’t it.
I always like the sequence in Godfather in which Brando puts an orange in his mouth to entertain his little grand son. As Brando grins wildly, the obviously surprised child breaks into hysterical tears. It’s touching how Brando, obviously shocked, remains in character but tries to soothe the kid.
He handles the kitten with great gentleness.
Great actors handle “props” amazingly well. They sometimes become the extension of the actor’s hand.
Good grammar or bad grammar, people really don’t care. It’s just that people who use good grammar and read well written books are not used to doing all the work of imagining who you’re talking about, and they don’t appreciate your making fun of their being intelligent when they try to follow what you are saying.
Most audiences who do not do that are of the type who laugh at the appropriate moments and grab another beer just to change the subject.
If you say a name and then use a pronoun, that’s who you’re talking about.
But you can abuse those who follow rules all you want. They still won’t know what you’re talking about when you do it again.
I get the vague impression that Steyn is not a Brando fan.
I see that you're new here. Freepers never pass up an opportunity to pick a nit.
“I know decent grammar ... I just choose not to labor over it in...”
You choose to let the reader do the labor of trying to make sense of what you’re saying.
But then you do the labor of ridiculing them when they guess wrongly.
We are trying to get through the remarks on this wonderful Steyn piece and have to read your abusive monologue, when all you had to do was put in the “Labor” of thinking “brando’ instead of ‘he’.
And there are so many, in life, who do what you did, here. And wonder why no one pays any attention to them.
Take a look at the poster’s history that Old Lady posted upthread. This idiot was antagonistic to people in every post, and it’s a wonder it was allowed to live as long as it did.
Mark Steyn ping.
Freepmail me, if you want on or off the Mark Steyn ping list.
Thanks for the ping Slings and Arrows.
True, but I read it as a review of his life. And I found it interesting.
When I saw Brando in ‘On the Waterfront’, only recently, I wondered what happened to him.
THe movie is brilliant. I just sent a copy to my ailing young relative.
Steyn lets me know just what happened to him, and many bitter spoiled people.