[Marxism] Marlon Brando

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 2 10:41:10 MDT 2004

NY Times, July 2, 2004
Marlon Brando, Oscar Winning Actor, Is Dead at 80

Marlon Brando, the rebellious prodigy who electrified a generation and 
forever transformed the art of screen acting, yet whose erratic career, 
obstinate eccentricities and recurring tragedies prevented him from 
fully realizing the promise of his early genius, has died. He was 80.

He died at an undisclosed Los Angeles hospital Thursday, his lawyer, 
David J. Seeley, said today. The cause of death was being withheld.

Young audiences who knew Mr. Brando as a tabloid curiosity, an 
overweight target for late-night comics with his own private island off 
Tahiti, might be surprised to learn that at one time, he was a truly 
revolutionary presence who strode through American popular culture like 
lightning on legs.

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/02/movies/02CND-BRANDO.html


(The words below were spoken by Marlon Brando, as quoted in an
article by Paul D. Zimmerman in the March 13, 1972 issue of
Newsweek magazine.)

"We all carry in us the seeds of any character that we might
play. We all entertain the full spectrum of human emotions. Acting
in general is something most people think they're incapable of, but
they do it from morning to night. Acting is the guy who returns
from some out-of-town wingding with some bimbo and tells his wife,
`Oh, I had a terrible time.' He's acting. In fact, the subtlest
acting I've ever seen in my life is by ordinary people trying to
show that they feel something that they don't or trying to hide
something. It's something everybody learns at an early age. I think
anybody can act. I never really understood why anybody would want
to use actors. I guess they're used because they've become like
household pets."

"Acting is as old as mankind. We even see it among gorillas,
who know how to induce rage and whose physical postures very often
determine the reaction of other animals. No, acting wasn't invented
with the theatre. We know all too well how politicians are actors
of the first order. That's been demonstrated by their behaviour as
shown in the Pentagon papers. We should really call all politicians

"They good directors that I've worked with will say I'm a good
guy. The other fellows will say I'm a bad guy."

"I've had good years and bad years and good parts and bad
parts and most of it's just crap. Acting has absolutely nothing to
do with being successful. Success is some funny American phenomenon
that takes place if you can be sold like Humphrey Bogart or Marlon
Brando wristwatches. When you don't sell, people don't want to hire
you and your stock goes up and down like it does on the stock

"I don't think the film (`The Godfather') is about the Mafia
at all. I think it is about the corporate mind. In a way, the Mafia
is the best example of capitalists we have. Don Corleone is just an
ordinary American business magnate who is trying to do the best he
can for the group he represents and for his family."

"I think the tactics the Don used aren't much different from
those General Motors used against Ralph Nader. Unlike some
corporate heads, Corleone has an unwavering loyalty for the people
that have given support to him and his causes and he takes care of
his own. He is a man of deep principle and the natural question
arises as to how such a man can countenance the killing of people.
But the American Government does the same thing for reasons that
are not that different from those of the Mafia. And big business
kills us all the time with cars and cigarettes and pollution and
they do it knowingly."

"Christ Almighty, look at what we did in the name of democracy
to the American Indian. We just excised him from the human race. We
had 400 treaties with the Indians and we broke every one of them.
It just makes me roar with laughter when I hear Nixon or
Westmoreland or any of the rest of them shouting about our
commitments to people and how we keep our word when we break it to
the Indians every single day, led by this Senator Jackson from
Washington State, perhaps the blackest figure in Indian history,
who votes against giving the Indians back the lakes and fishing
rights that treaties clearly entitled them to."

"Success has made my life more convenient because I've been
able to make some dough and pay my debts and alimony and things
like that. But it hasn't given me a sense of joining that great
American experiment called democracy. I somehow always feel
violated. Everybody in America and most of the world is a hooker of
one type or another. I guess it behooves an expensive hooker not to
cast aspersions on the cut-rate hookers, but this notion of
exploitation is in our culture itself. We learn too quickly the way
of hookerism. Personality is merchandised. Charm is merchandised.
And you wake up every day to face the mercantile society."


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