It’s been years since Marlon Brando passed away from this world. However, he’s still considered as perhaps the finest thespian ever to have graced the Hollywood sets. His filmography catalog is regularly held up as an example of what the perfect Hollywood actor can be. Charismatic, imposing, and above all, dedicated to his craft, Marlon Brando changed the game, as the saying goes. However, it’s not that his career didn’t have a fair bit of plateaus too. People forget, but for a considerable period between One-Eyed Jacks and The Godfather where Brando appeared in movies, that would make even a B-grade movie veteran shudder. That being said, here are some of the most peculiar, if not the worst, movies the great man starred in.
What if a noble idea originates from one of the most despicable ideologies to have ever darkened the pages of history. This is the movie’s central plot as Barney, a cop in Los Angeles, begins investigating the strange death of his partner. Initially considered an accident, he soon unravels a dark secret about the Nazis having formulated a synthetic alternative to gasoline during World War II. That formula poses an existential threat to the oil industry, making it an extremely valuable piece of information. Soon, Barney realizes that he’s up against the poster boy of the global oil industry in Adam Steiffel as he gives him a tongue-in-cheek threat to back off.
Mind-bending movies have a way of leaving us with ambiguous endings. However, 1968’s Candy was one of the few that did the opposite by having one of the most imaginative openings with a relatively straightforward plot to follow. The plot isn’t complex or sophisticated either, as it stars a young woman that just wanted to go back to her home but somehow gets herself involved in a series of alterations with a poet, hunchback, guru, surgeon, and general. Brando’s character stands out the most since there’s no earthly reason for his character to be in the story. However, it all seems to make sense by the end of it, but only if you properly understood the opening. Talk about convoluting.
Marlon Brando had long perfected the art of playing tyrannical characters like Napoleon and Mark Antony when he got to play the role of a prison warden. The warden is a corrupt man, full of malice and low-cunning. Since he has an equally profitable partnership with the district judge, both men are feared in their town. However, the warden’s reign of terror is threatened when a couple of teenagers get his twin daughters pregnant. Furious but eager not to be humiliated, the warden gets both couples married and forces his sons-in-law to become his informal enforcers in the town. However, both have other ideas as they plan to mount a train that passes monthly to escape their father-in-law’s despotism.
The Island of Dr. Moreau
Considering how the least bizarre thing about The Island of Dr. Moreau is its absolutely bonkers plot is perhaps the greatest testament to how terrible the movie was. Based on HG Wells’ iconic book of the same name, The Island of Dr. Moreau stars Marlon Brando as the titular character alongside Val Kilmer. The movie begins when an unassuming stranger, Andrew Braddock, finds himself shipwrecked on an island in the Pacific. At first, he’s pleased to know that he’s not alone on the island but soon begins to regret that initial assessment as he discovers the illegal experiments Dr. Moreau had been conducting. The purpose of these illegal experiments is to create half-human beasts. However, Andrew’s horrors are exacerbated as he soon learns that the half-human beast experiments are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Christopher Columbus, The Discovery
The cross-continent rivalry is heating up in Europe. France, Spain, Britain, and Portugal are all ferociously looking for ways to outmaneuver the others. Those who can come up with practical ways of doing so are promised great riches. Christopher Columbus believes he has come up with one such idea that would allow Europeans to travel to India, going west rather than south and then east. However, he needs funding to get his expedition up and running. This quest for funds lands Columbus in Spain, where Tomas de Torquemada promptly interrogates him, the notorious mastermind of the Spanish Inquisition, played brilliantly by Brando. Tomas does not have faith in Columbus’ idea and believes him to be a foreign spy. This is a fantastic story of all the hurdles Columbus had to overcome, ranging from mutinous crew to the responsibility to bring Christianity to new lands.