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Reviewing “The Godfather” recently made me order up some more Brando films. So, I watched the “Last Tango in Paris”. It came out in 1972, the same year as The Godfather. Brando won the Academy Award for The Godfather and shunned the Academy by sending a Native American to accept his award. Remarkably, the 1972-made Paris film somehow got him a nomination in 1973. He had back-to-back years at the Oscars.
Also, for the four years from 1952 to 1955, Brando was nominated for best actor. He won in 1955 for “On the Waterfront”.
So, he had a great initial period during the Elvis and Sinatra days, then went out of favor for two decades. Showing his greatness, he then started to dominate again in the 70’s.
Heck, he even got nominated in 1990 for a film.
Brando has been called the best actor ever, and I see why. He had tremendous dynamic range.
At the same he was filming The Godfather and playing a 60-year-old grandfather (while he was really only 47 in real life), he was filming The Last Tango in Paris, where he was a middle-aged man having an affair with a 20-year-old French girl. In The Godfather, he was a serious old-school male. In Tango, he cried on camera and confessed his emotions.
Brando was known for taking on roles just for the challenge. After winning the Oscar playing a blue-collar boxer in “On The Waterfront”, he acted in the singing and dancing musical “Guys and Dolls”.
Personally, I think that “Apocalypse Now” is the best film that Brando and Coppola made. Martin Sheen was superb in that too.
I love the fact that Marlon Brando was very open about his contempt for Hollywood. All the while, they still kept giving him Academy awards anyway.