Beautifully restored thanks to the efforts of Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, Marlon Brando’s only film as director is a brilliant and idiosyncratic revenge western about a betrayed bandit (Brando) hunting down the partner (Karl Malden) who left him in the lurch.
Confounding expectations that, freed from directorial constraint, he would overact, Brando was rarely better than as Rio, a bandit betrayed by his partner Dad Longworth (Karl Malden) south of the border. Vowing vengeance after escaping from a hellish Mexican prison, Rio falls in with a gang of robbers whose plan to knock over the bank in Monterey disguises his real intention: to retaliate against Dad, who has remade himself as the town's respectable sheriff.
Brando's "method western" remains a singular treasure of its genre, even as it defies categorization. Revenge tale, love story, and (mostly) martyrology — Malden reveals shocking depths of sadism, while Brando endures far more than his customary crucifixion — One-Eyed Jacks proves as startling as its strange title. (The film's coda, which Brando rejected as contrary to his tragic vision, was filmed some time after the initial shoot.) This gorgeous restoration was overseen by Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, as an act of ardent homage.
Restored by Universal Studios in collaboration with The Film Foundation. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg for their consultation on this restoration.