One-Eyed Jacks

Director: Marlon Brando
Year Released: 1961
Rating: 2.5

Lackadaisical but somewhat absorbing film about revenge that was Marlon Brando's only effort as a director - for being a novice at directing and turning in an early cut of over four hours, this cut doesn't reveal an excess of ineptitude. The story is nothing out of the ordinary - Brando seeks to get even with former bank robbing partner Karl Malden who ran off with the loot and left Brando to get arrested - so it's not like there are any surprises that keep you waiting in rapt enthusiasm for the next big scene, but the relaxed pacing has a magic of its own, and the acting is superb (Timothy Carey, Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens are also in there). It's at least more complex than some of the John Wayne Westerns, which paint Wayne as a superman - Brando's character, like Malden's, is a liar and a thief.