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One Eyed Jacks - Marlon Brando's Western Classic

2 h 21 min196113+
Marlon Brando's only time as a Director, Rio (Marlon Brando) also called "The Kid", his mentor Dad Longworth (Karl Malden), & a third man called Doc, rob a bank of two saddlebags of gold in Sonora, Mexico. Mexican mounted police track them down & catch them celebrating in a cantina. Doc gets killed there in a shootout; Dad & Rio manage to escape & go on the run. Many plot twists along the way.
Marlon Brando
Marlon BrandoKarl MaldenKaty Jurado
DramaWesternArts, Entertainment, and Culture
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Ben JohnsonSlim PickensLarry Duran
Paramount Pictures
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.2 out of 5 stars

649 global ratings

  1. 67% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 9% of reviews have 1 stars
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DavePReviewed in the United States on May 1, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Prime Video version only
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The original was shot in Widescreen - probably Panavision - which has a 2.4:1 aspect ratio; the Prime Video version is full-screen which has a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. In short, 45 % of the picture has been cropped, you will see only half of the movie. To show how much difference this can make: the first time I saw "The Wild Bunch" it was in full screen. I liked the movie and tracked down a Widescreen version of it. When I watched it again, it wasn't even the same movie, I could have turned the sound off, and the cinematography would have mesmerized me all the way through the film. I love this movie and have been trying to find a high quality copy of it. The idea of someone watching it for the first time in full-screen gives me the shudders. If you do start watching this version, which is free, and you suddenly realize that this is better than just good, shut it down and go find a Widescreen version to watch.
15 people found this helpful
James E. AddisonReviewed in the United States on June 22, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Better than a lot of the newer options on Prime.
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Wasn't all that, but it was an interesting story. I guess we all miss something with cut down video.

1 star: couldn't watch more than 15 minutes. Unwatchable, or language not as described.
2 star: jumped my way to the end for the ending. Unwatchable, but interested in how this turd ended.
3 star: watched it all, but not happy about it. Nothing better to do.
4 star: I watched it, liked it well enough. Would never watch it again.
5 star: Great moving picture show! I'll watch it again, and maybe again in a few years.
One person found this helpful
APC ReviewsReviewed in the United States on July 28, 2015
2.0 out of 5 stars
Wow. But not in a good way. An old TV transfer upscaled to Blu-Ray. Ugh.
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One Eyed Jacks has always been one of my favorite ALT westerns from the pre-Wild Bunch era, distinguished by some intriguing performances from great method actors at the peak of their young lives, some self indulgent directing by Brando, that drove the production way over budget and studio executives crazy, and unique settings for a western in Monterrey and Carmel. I cant say that I like this Blu-Ray however. How to put it? It sucks. It appears to be a 1080p upscale from a transfer originally made for 480i TV, and maybe not even for DVD. The colors are flat, the noise reduction, sharpening and haloing is rampant and all over the place. Surface textures are smeared. Skin looks like wax. The frame appears cropped. Sound is mediocre. In short, it appears to be a very poor old TV transfer of a German market release print. Ugh. This is a beautiful and in many ways unique film. It deserves to be restored from the original VistaVision elements and given a solid release. If you have to have a Blu-Ray copy of this film this may be the only option. But it is also available on Amazon streaming currently, although the transfer available from Amazon is even worse than the one used on this Blu-Ray. .
17 people found this helpful
R. Edward Merrell, Jr.Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
"You may be a one eyed jack around here, Dad; but I've seen the other side of your face."
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Caveat: Buy or rent the Blu-Ray version...the Net**** version is not worth your time. This is essential viewing for Marlon Brando fans as it is the only movie he directed; performing quite well behind the camera. It is also a superb Western, with Brando in the lead role. Running from the law after a bank robbery in Mexico, Dad Longworth (Karl Malden) finds an opportunity to take the stolen gold and leave his partner Rio (Brando) to be captured and imprisoned. Five years later, Rio escapes from prison and hunts down Dad for revenge. Dad is now a respectable sheriff in Monterrey, California; and has been living in fear of Rio finding him. That will set the it to see how it plays out. In addition to Brando and Malden, look for Katy Jurado as Dad's wife; Pina Pellicer as Louisa, Dad's stepdaughter and Rio's love interest; Ben Johnson as Rio's sidekick and Slim Pickens as Dad's deputy sheriff. Brando interweaves themes of betrayal, revenge and hypocrisy into something strangely hypnotic and real. The other key to this film is its setting on the west coast of California, giving it a feel and rhythm that is rare in the Western genre. All in all a greatly neglected treasure....highly recommended for Brando and Western fans!
12 people found this helpful
Jaime ContrerasReviewed in the United States on February 13, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wide-eyed western drama
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Marlon Brando directed this adult western that helped break the western movie mold back in the 1960s. There are themes of friendship, betrayal, revenge, bigotry, lust, deceit, hypocrisy, redemption and love in this pedestrian-paced western. Marlon Brando is magnificent as Rio, the soft-spoken bank robber who is wronged by his friend, Dad Longworth (Karl Malden - in one of his best roles). After having been abandoned to the Mexican Rurales (led by Rudolfo Acosta) after a bank robbery in Sonora, Mexico and spending five years in a Mexican prison, Rio hunts down his former partner, Dad Longworth. In a turn of fortune, Longworth is now 'reformed' and the wealthy sheriff of a coastal town, Monterey, California. Replete with a family, (Maria) a former widow (Katy Jurado)and Louisa, her grown daughter (Pina Pellicer), Rio pays a call on Dad Longworth. One follows is a bit melodramatic as a forbidden romance results between Louisa and Rio, a gunfight, betrayal by Rio's new gang Ben Johnson and Sam Gilman), the loyal friendship of his former prison friend, Chico (played Larry Duran) and the final stand-off between Dad and Rio. The movie itself is characterized by scenes and situations which were taboo at the time: the lustful advances of a red-neck and abusive deputy (well-played by Ben Johnson), the brutal horse-whipping and hand-smashing by Dad, the abuse of a dancer by a drunkard, and the murder of Rio's unarmed friend.

There is a genuine feel due to beautiful cinematography and solid appropriate dialogue. Brando's mumbling makes some lines hard to understand, especially in his romantic scenes. Brando does utter some great insults like "scum-sucking pig" and "a big tub of guts".

This western classic is slow-paced and 2 hours and 21 minutes long but it is worth the time. Brando filmed a colorful, disturbing and dramatic western that is very character-driven. Watch this with your eyes wide open and do not flinch.
9 people found this helpful
Susanne CavendishReviewed in the United States on May 17, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
I love Marlon Brando movies
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I love Marlon Brando movies. He plays them like David Lean directs movies, letting the viewer know as much background about the role and movie as is possible given the time, to do it. One-eyed Jacks was directed by Brando. I think he was too good an actor to have the patience to direct another movie. The actors he would direct would tax his sense of reality, the kind he wanted portrayed. One-eyed Jacks is about betrayal, the anguish of seeking revenge and love, a love that makes the revenge-seeker have second thoughts about acting on his motivations. Malden, Jurado and Pellicer gave dazzling performances, along with Brando's, Ben Johnson's and Larry Duran's. I thought Duran [Modesto[ was the ultimate friend to Rio [Brando's character] and gave the Brando character a sense of hope.One of my favorites. Oh, and the movie is about a mother's love for her daughter, born out of wedlock. It's a wonderful foil against the backdrop of violence that made the love possible and credible..
One person found this helpful
R.L.Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of Brando's Best Roles
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I watched the VHS version of this movie years ago, and have recently bought two DVD versions on Amazon--the Brentwood/BCI Eclipse here and the Digiview version. I have a wide screen TV with a high quality blu-ray player which is supposed to raise the resolution of regular DVDs to HD.

I've watched both DVDs, and clearly the Brentwood is the better print.Significantly sharper and true to color considering the age of the movie (1961).Both are wide screen, with perhaps an inch or so of black around the borders. The Digiview is slightly blurry--it says "made in China", which tells you something. The Brentwood is darn good, but watch for the blu-ray version which comes out in November.Perhaps the blu-ray will be off the master, instead of the laser disc, as these older DVDs are.

Now,to the movie. I believe Rio is one of Brando's best, most creative roles, along with Stanley in "Streetcar", Terry in "Waterfront" and the Godfather in "Godfather".The guy is an absolute stud at this stage of his career--with a face like a Greek god.A real presence on the screen. As is his talent for creating a character, renowned from his acting school days. He covers his usual great range of emotions with flawless dynamics and timing--from some of the most tender, sensitive love scenes he's ever done with Luisa (played beautifully by Pina Pellicer, at his direction), to the raging bull with his fellow outlaws. The film is aided by an exceptional cast featuring Karl Malden in one of his best roles as the bad guy,Dad,who deserts his friend,Rio(he and Marlon were the best of friends for 50 years in real life), and also Ben Johnson, Katy Jurado and a host of excellent character actors. The cinematography is breathtaking, with the backdrop of the Pacific ocean in on-location scenes. And then there's the musical score--one of best, most romantic in all films--by Hugo Friedhofer. Friedhofer, by the way, also did the orchestrations for the classic movie "Casablanca."

"One-Eyed Jacks" has become a cult film. It is said to bridge the old style 50s westerns with the new-style anti-hero spaghetti westerns of the 60s and later. It is apparently Martin Scorcese's favorite Western--which is enough to gain it some notoriety. It grows on you. You watch it a few times, and the performances start to sharpen, the scenery becomes more breathtaking, and the music starts to move you--especially in the tender romantic scenes between Rio and Luisa. Brando had that feminine, vulnerable side to him that all the great ones have, and it shows up in these scenes. Was he,too,revealing his other "Eye" when he came clean with Luisa about the jewelry?

It is said that Brando's direction resulted in a 4+ hour film which had to be cut by editors to the final 141 minutes. That's a lot of cutting. Brando's ending had Luisa killed in the last shootout by Dad's last shot. In fact, you can see her slumped over a bit on her horse as she rides out of town with Rio. The next scene, which was reshot later after the ending change, shows her riding more upright on her horse.Malden said Brando's original ending was better--it would have heightened the power and irony of the film. But 4+ hours? No. The editors did a good job,in my view, with the cutting, regardless of which ending.It's still a great film--Luisa dead or alive.

A word about Brando's view of the film: he said years later all he remembered was all the women in the movie he made love to off the set while filming. You can count the possibilities--about seven beauties! Including Katy Jurado, an old flame, and Pina Pellicer, who received a memorable introduction to method acting by Brando which surely aided her performance.
10 people found this helpful
Dr. DeathReviewed in the United States on September 11, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Barndo at the helm in this classic Western tale of revenge.
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This is a blu ray release of Brando's debut film as a director and stars frequent co-star Carl Malden as Dad Longworth, former partner in crime but now as the law in a new town. Brando stars as Rio, sprung from a Mexican prison after 5 long years of captivity and hungry for revenge on his old friend. Both men challenge each other to a battle of macho posturing and Brando is very convincing in his role. This is a classic Western with a twist and shouldn't be missed. Great presentation and excellent cinematography as well. A welcome addition to my collection.
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