edited by TS Caladan
“It’ll be a highly personalized documentary on my life and activities…he is a troubled man, beset with memories, in a state of confusion, sadness, isolation, disorder. He’s hurt so much…he becomes like a mechanical doll.”
A new documentary centers on the life of “one of Hollywood’s most reclusive stars” called: "Listen to Me Marlon," a film by Stevan Riley and Passion Pictures. A fascinating portrayal of “America’s greatest actor” is heard in various, private audio tapes never before released. Brando died in 2004. His life is one more story of a cruel Industry that seduces, rains riches and fame on their ‘puppets’ and also controls their ‘property.’ Hear Marlon’s controversial thoughts on living, loving, the world, his children, his battles, rebelling against the System and the Industry itself in his own words:
“I’ve had my head digitized; there’s a laser and it goes around you like this and they digitized my face. I made a lot of faces and smiled and made a sad face. They’ve got it all on digital: an actor that’s not going to be real. They’re going to be inside a computer. You watch, it’s going to happen. Maybe the ‘swan song’ for all of us.”
Click link to see “Listen to me, Marlon” at: http://ffilms.org//?s=listen+to+me+marlon
Marlon Brando won an Oscar for his 1954 film ‘On the Waterfront.’ It’s been said that his “impact on the world of movie-acting will still be felt 500 years from now.”
“You are the memories…I’ve always had a sense that I had to be free…I’ve had an unquenchable curiosity about people. I would go into a (NY) 42ND street cigar store and watch people for 3 seconds as they pass the window and try to analyze their personalities…The face can hide many things and people are always hiding things.”
“I was given, by my mother, a sense of the absurd…a love of nature, a closeness with animals. You couldn’t think of a tune she couldn’t play on the piano, not one…I used to love the smell of liquor on her breath; it was very sweet; it was a lovely fragrance. We lived in a small town. My mother was the town drunk. She began to dissolve…she went missing once. I had to get her out of jail. Memories filled me with shame, anger…”
(The T-Shirt-clad role of Stanley Kowalski) “…Was very satisfying to be in…the production was wonderful. It was a very explosive part and it electrified everybody.”
“I was quite nutty when I was young and had a lot of energy…After the play was over, I felt like a million bucks…How wonderful it was to drive around in a motorcycle with just a T-Shirt on, two, three, four O’clock in the morning…I was an attractive kid…I was unpredictable and stimulating for a lot of women.”
“To be able to have money. I never had any money. My father was a traveling salesman. I was making more in 6 months of work than he made in 10 years. He measured everything by money…If I had a scene to play and I must be angry, there are trigger-mechanisms, spring-loaded, filled with contempt…”
“I remember my father hitting my mother when I was 14…My old man was tough; he was a bar-fighter. He was a man without much love in him. He used to slap me around for no good reason…There’s nothing like me in Stanley Kowalski! I hate that kind of person and couldn’t identify with that person.”
“They sent me to a psychiatrist. They thought I was losing my mind.”
“If I hadn’t had the good luck to be an actor, don’t know what I’d been. I’d been a con man, a good con man, tell lies…”
“I wanted very much to be involved in motion pictures…so I could CHANGE IT and do something near the truth. And I was convinced that I could do that.”
“Hit’em!...with an attitude, a look or a word. Figure out a way to do it that has never been done before. Get people to stop chewing. The Truth will do that. Damn, damn, damn, when it’s right, it’s right. You can feel it in your bones. Then you feel whole, you feel good.”
“In the ‘60s, people were looking for rebellion and I happened to be the right person at the right time for the right state of mind…and inflecting my own story: Rebelling for the sake of rebelling.”
(Edward R. Murrow) “Marlon Brando with considerable talent, the youngest actor ever honored in this way” [‘54 Oscar].
“When I finally saw the picture, I was so disappointed in my performance…it’s a very strange thing this business of story-telling…People will mythologize you no matter what you do. Something absurd about people, with hard-earned cash, will go into a darkened room where they sit and look at a crystalline screen upon which images move around and speak. And the reason they don’t have light in the theater is because you are there with your fantasy. Person up on the screen is doing all the things that you want to do; they’re kissing the woman you want to kiss; they’re hitting the person you want to hit; being brave in the way you want to be brave. The audience will lend themselves to the subject. They will create things that are not there. I know I did much better scenes than the one in ‘Waterfront.’ It had nothing to do with me. It’s the audience; they are doing the acting. Everybody feels like they are a failure. Everybody feels like they coulda been a contender. I’ve been very close to it all my life.”
“I didn’t intend to have an extraordinary effect. I became, very quickly, a cult hero.” [Magazine read: “Could there have been an Elvis without Brando?”].
“As a kid when I used to sell bottles and cut lawns to get my 10 cents to go to the movie, I would escape everything. That sense of good feeling…that got me through the week. Those moments were magical.”
“I am very often struck with the illusion of success. Sometimes it’s different when you meet people. You see they have pre-judged you, not to be treated normally. To have people staring at you like an animal at the zoo, like some strange creature from a distant land…what it does is remove you from reality. I can’t stand it! I hate it. You have no idea how discomforting it is, not to be an ordinary person.” [‘Brando-mania’].
(meditates) “Relax, Marlon. Breathe deeply. (breath)” [More Security cameras installed].
“You don’t need to be frightened. You don’t need to be nervous. You’re very, very comfortable…and feel deeply safe, like when you received affection when you were young.”
“I had an Oriental governess, hired by my mother. She had nice skin and very fine hair…I remember arranging myself on her while she slept…everyone wants their love returned. I love you and we’re going to love each other forever…She left to get married. But to a 7-year old child that’s been intimate with her, it was tantamount to desertion.”
“Decisions are made by your penis and not your brain.”
Marlon Brando was married in 1957 to a young, Indian actress and model: Anna Kashfi.
“A good con man can fool anyone and the first person you fool is yourself. She found out about other women in my life and I’d had women coming in the door and going out the back window. The Beast aspect of my personality took over all that was reasonable, rational, moral or decent.”
A child was born out of a marriage of only a few months: Christian Brando.
“I said it to myself with tears in my eyes, my father is never going to come near that child…because of the damage he did to me.” [After ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ and his role as Mr. Christian]…
“Human hatred, what is the answer? Is there any answer to injustice?”
“I went to Military School, my father sent me to. I hated it! What cruel and unusual punishment. The mind of the Military has one aim: to make you as mechanical as possible, to function like a human machine. Individuality simply did not exist. I had a lot of loneliness…I spent most of my time up in the library. Reading National Geographic magazines about Tahiti, I was entranced. I was entranced at their faces, the kindness in them. That’s where I want to go, where I want to be. When I made ‘Mutiny,’ I got my chance to go to Tahiti. I fell in love with it, everything I’d hoped it would be…I never saw skies like it and sunsets defy words. My God.”
“It was my WORST experience in making a motion picture~ We all knew it was impossible to shoot that story…Christian can’t stand aside and do nothing; keep him alive in the story…I was not consulted; I cared a great deal about this picture…the Director can screw you up. Don’t let a Director intimidate you. Directors don’t know how delicate the process is to create an emotional impression. They cover-up a sense of inadequacy by being very authoritative, commanding things. There were great disagreements and disappointments; there were fistfights.”
“Rage. Talk about rage? I had contempt for Authority. I would trick it; I would outmaneuvered it. I would do anything rather than be (mistreated).”
“The Studio needed a whipping-boy; they needed a scapegoat. They have to find SOMEBODY and I was the most logical person…Sickening, endless variety of lies. They’ll hit you every day and you have no way of fighting back.”
“What the fuck is all this for? Christ, nobody’s listening…There’s no such thing as a great movie. I’m King of the Blind (masonic), the Man with One-Eye is the King. There are no artists. We are businessmen. We are merchants. There is no art. Agents, lawyers, publicity people, it’s all Bullshit! Money, money, money. If you think it’s about something else, you’re gonna be bruised.”
Brando directed the well-received ‘One-Eyed Jacks’ in 1961 that he made with his production company, Pennebaker Productions (after his mother’s maiden name). Stanley Kubrick had been hired to direct the film. After months of script rewrites in which Brando participated, Kubrick and Marlon had a ’falling out’ and Stanley was fired from the project. According to (widow) Christiane Kubrick, Stanley believed that Brando wanted to direct the film all along.
On the ‘Today Show’ and other venues, Brando surprisingly hinted of “abandoning acting” and his brilliant career. Civil Rights, Equal Rights and the cruelties of Whites toward Blacks in the south and inner cities were daily news events. The restless ‘60s were in full swing and of great interest to the actor.
(We are going to come forward) “…And say what we know…because the country is ignorant.”
“I’m really moved and motivated by things that are unjust. I’ve always hated people trampling on other people. A quandary. If I am not my brother’s keeper, who am I?”
“The smell of burning death, you see so much of it, you can stand so much of it: people being beaten and spit upon and killed. That could have been my son lying there and I’m going to do as much as I can. I’m going to start right now and inform White People of what they don’t know…”
(Martin Luther King) “He was in Memphis at a time they were striking for a small wage increase for garbage collectors, which was one of the best jobs a black man could get…that speech he said, I’ve seen the Promised Land…God, I still remember that, Jesus; that’s terrible. He knew he was going to be killed.”
“I wasn’t standing up for the Black Race, I was standing up for the Human Race. All men are created equal.”
Brando came under attack by some White Supremacy groups or those against his pro-Black stance with gatherings and signs that defamed the actor. He moved to a Tahitian island.
“I didn’t think I was an owner of the island; I just paid for the privilege of visiting there. I had nothing to give the Islanders and they had everything to give to me.”
“Tahitians are friendly, warm, loving people; they’d kiss you for no reason. They take love for granted. If a kid grew up in Tahiti, he wouldn’t have this cruel, mean society killing the life in him…they’re filled with love.”
“I’m interested in making enough money to say Fuck You to money.”
“…You’re lying to save your life; you’re lying at light-speed. The last thing you want is for her to know the truth. You lie for peace; you lie for tranquility. You lie…for love. All of you are actors.”
“The worst movie I ever made in my life, called ‘Candy.’ How can you do that to yourself? Don’t you have any fucking pride left? I’ve lost the audience.”
“You got to be somebody. If you are not anybody, you’ve committed a sin.”
“An erratic individual’s entire self-esteem shrinks to nothing, if he does not receive admiration, to be admired and be respected is a protection against helplessness and against insignificance…”
“There was a famous dancer…she was asked: What was her dream? If I could dance for one minute, perfectly…that is all I would ask.”
“Francis Coppola wanted me for the part of the ‘Godfather’ [complete turnaround from character in ‘Waterfront’], but the Studio was fighting it. It was demeaning to do a screen-test. I needed a part at the time and I wasn’t sure that I could play that part either. I put some cotton in my mouth and mumbled around…”
“I got into the part. What is the nature of criminality? Where does it come from? We have this antiquated belief of Good and Evil. I don’t believe in either one of those. It would be interesting to play a bad guy from the point of view he was very gentle, a hero. It is not hard to do the big things; to get mad and let somebody have it right in the mouth. It’s much harder to do nothing.”
“We’re living now in this mad, crazy, murderous world. If I was brought up in that (Mafia) society, I’d be like them. Under certain circumstances, you could do the same thing. If anybody hurt my children, took advantage of them, I would kill them.”
(news) “Marlon Brando’s son has been kidnapped. The police initially suspected Mafia involvement following Brando’s portrayal of Vito Corleone…The 13-year old was recovered…Christian was with a bunch of hippie characters…” Some believed Christian was used as a ‘pawn’ in a bitter divorce with “scandalous public headlines.” More Security cameras were installed at Christian Brando’s house.
“‘Last Tango in Paris’ was a hard film for me. I realized, you know you’re naked, Marlon?” “Shocked, betrayed” by Director Bertolucci, because “He stole so many sincere (private) things (from me).”
Brando became, once more, a bankable commodity in Hollywood. But when the great actor won the Oscar for the ‘Godfather,’ it was accepted by Sacheen Littlefeather who stated, “…He asked me to tell you that he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. The reasons for this being the treatment of American Indians today by the Film Industry (moans, boos, applause), excuse me. I beg we meet with love and generosity.”
(Dick Cavett Show) “What we’ve learned about Indians has been largely taught to us by Hollywood, by motion pictures…seeing Indians represented as savage, as ugly, nasty, vicious. Everything we are taught about the Indians is wrong. There have been 400 treaties written by the United States in good faith with the Indians and every single one of them was broken…The way perhaps John Wayne sees us (and other numerous westerns), that we are a country that stands for freedom and for rightness, for justice, it just simply doesn’t apply…We (really) were the most disgusting, destructive, torturing and monstrous people who swept from one coast to the other, murdering and causing mayhem among the Indians (clap). There’s one Indian in the room (audience laughs), but that is not revealed because we don’t like that image of ourselves.”
“…Americans don’t want to face the truth: (whispers) We are all living on stolen land.”
“THEY LIE: Congressmen, residents, all of them. They lie when they’re alone. They lie when they’re asleep…The dead ones are the true assassins, the true murderers…”
(‘Apocalypse Now’) “Are you an assassin? [“I’m a soldier”]. You’re neither. You’re an errand boy sent by grocery clerks…to collect a bill.”
“People talk about how proud they are of their son who died in Vietnam fighting for his country…rather than alter their belief system; they accept a system that would kill their children. We need myths. We die for myths.”
“I read the script and it was stupid, awful! I told Francis you’re making an enormous error. Don’t misuse Kurtz. I rewrote the entire script. I told Francis he should be filmed in shadows, half-light and was a mythological figure. He is the Heart of Darkness.”
“I found myself split in two…and it scared me…Go with the Fear. [‘The Horror’].”
(news) “Francis Ford Coppola was appalled that Brando arrived on the set grossly overweight. Brando was up to his old tricks again pulling his delaying tactics and endless script conferences costing the production hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“Francis is a prick, a card-carrying prick. Cocksucker. I save his fucking ass and he shows his appreciation by dumping on me?”
“I’ve taken too many fuckin’ punches. Don’t want to be stressed anymore...”
“I’m looking at this indescribable night in Tahiti and I think whatever I do or don’t do or what anybody does…is no more important than the grains of sand that I’m lying on.”
(on ‘Superman’) “I made 14 million dollars for 12 days work on a rather silly movie.”
(news) “The son of actor Marlon Brando facing murder charges this morning. Thirty-two-year old Christian Brando accused of shooting his half-sister’s boyfriend…a triangle that proved fatal and brought tragedy to one of the world’s most famous stars…The shooting was over the mistreatment of Cheyenne Brando…She is suffering from mental and physical problems and cannot travel here to testify…”
(news) “Another personal tragedy for Marlon Brando. His 25-year old daughter, Cheyenne has committed suicide in her home in Tahiti.” Tahiti will never be the same.
“Christian was burdened with emotional disorders and psychological disarray, kind of like I had in life.” Christian was given leniency because of his range of troubles and only sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“I can’t figure it out. Why did it have to be this way? I’ve had a hard year, harder than you can possibly imagine…Pain. I knew I had to deal with it. I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars on psychoanalysts. Those guys do absolutely nothing but stick pliers and screwdrivers into your brain.”
“Life will have given me the truth and given me an exchange, what’s left of my youth. You have to be your own analyst. Unless we look inwards, we’ll never be able to clearly see outwards. Nobody is born evil. Most people are getting over bad, emotional habits established in the first ten years of their life.”
‘I forgave my father. I was a sinner because of him and he was a sinner because his mother left him at four years old. He didn’t have a chance.”
“And through introspection and examination of my mind, I feel as though I’m coming closer to the common denominator of what it means to be human. Everybody is capable of hatred. Everybody is capable of love. If we stretched ourselves one way or another, we could become murderers or we could become saints…I have meditated and felt moments of real tranquility…”
“Actors make a contribution to people’s lives, giving a gift you can’t buy, something they imbue with power and beauty and magnificence, something beyond ourselves and we do need that. Life is a rehearsal; life is an improvisation…”
“Do it differently.”
[What are the real, true stories behind Oz's magic curtains?]
How to order novels by TS Caladan
- http://www.twbpress.com/authortraycaladan.html Promo-page from publisher: TWB Press in Colorado
- http://www.twbpress.com/sonofzog.html TWB Press in Colorado
or go to publisher’s site: TWBPRESS.COM
TWB Press, publishing, electronic, e-books, ebooks, short stories, novels, science fiction, supernatural, horror, thrillers, fiction
TS Caladan's 3-Book "Traylogy" can be purchased thru TWB Press.
9" x 6" books with cover art are less than $18.00. EBooks are $3.99.