One-Eyed Jacks Special Edition on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review

One-Eyed Jacks

One-Eyed Jacks is a film I reviewed by chance, and which has completely turned around my opinion of its lead actor and director, Marlon Brando.

Generally, when I review films, I put in a request, they arrive through the post, I watch them and post my review online. For this one, I hadn’t requested it, but I had a bit of a gap as others I’d requested aren’t due out for a while yet. In addition, I’d never rated Marlon Brando, particularly in Apocalypse Now when his bit is the only duff part of the film (except the Redux version when you can add the French Plantation chaps and chapesses). Plus, I found the entire Godfather trilogy overlong and mediocre.

However, as I get older I’m drawn more towards Westerns than I was when I was younger, very much enjoying How The West Was Won, which even BBC2 has shown in its correct – and very extreme – 2.89:1 widescreen aspect ratio.

Plus, for a film set in the Mexican desert, I was watching it while the humidity was at its highest for June! And in Manchester, where it usually rains!

Rio: “We’re surrounded by 5,000 injuns, but at least we’re not Theresa May.”

Beginning in Sonora, Mexico, in 1880, Rio (Marlon Brando) and Dad Longworth (Karl Malden The Streets of San Francisco) are two bank robbers who fall foul of a bunch of ‘rurales’ (i.e. Mexicans, who hate their guts). They’re surrounded, and with only one horse between them,

Okay, you could argue that, like with the 1902 song, Two Little Boys, you could say that both should try climbing aboard, but clearly Rio and Dad knew that eight years after this film was made, the song would be popularised with a No.1 single for Rolf Harris, and they couldn’t have that, so one stayed behind to fend off the enemy whilst the other set off to find two horses. For Brando’s character – his name is Rio and he flounders on the sand as he drew the short straw, Dad doesn’t come back, and Rio’s carted off into the slammer for five years until he performs a prison break with Chico Modesto (Larry Duran).

So, Dad Longworth becomes the baddie of the piece and Rio plays along cool as a cucumber, not letting in on the fact that once he’s tracked him down, in Monterey – where Dad is the Sheriff, and their Fiesta is over and a new day begins, he’s going to stroll into the bank and blow his old friend away. Well, that’s the plan, but in a film lasting almost two-and-a-half hours and which only sags slightly for around five minutes in the middle, anything is possible.

Add to this, the fact that all of us have been disrespected or screwed over by a best friend at some point in their life, and who wouldn’t want retribution? Hence, in a film packed with lots of tension, I quickly settled into this.

Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the film, plus the presentation and extras.

Dad Longworth: “Rock. Paper. Scissors?”
Rio: “No, dickhead, I’m holding a glass. It’ll hurt.”


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