Saturday, January 28, 2006

Day 53: "The Missouri Breaks"

Director: Arthur Penn 1976
Highly publicized due to its pairing of Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson, the film was critically drubbed upon its much anticipated release. Thirty years later, "The Missouri Breaks" emerges as a dark, sardonic look at the West highlighted by a truly inspired, eccentric perfomance by Brando, and several baroque murder scenes. And the bits between the stars aren't bad, either, as each tries to outdo the other. Brando, who plays a "regulator" or hired killer, walks away with more scenery between his teeth by affecting a brogue, wearing a Mother Hubbard outfit at one point, and sharing a carrot with his horse. Solid supporting cast (Harry Dean Stanton, Randy Quaid, Frederic Forrest). Brando's and Nicholson's final scene together is chilling.
Written by Thomas McGuane and Robert Towne (uncredited).


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