(Review originally written at 8 January 2011)

When I think about westerns and great western actor, Marlon Brando is not the first name that comes to my mind. He did actually star in an handful of westerns throughout his career but it's of course not the stuff that he is know for as an actor. In that regard that movie is already an interesting watch but added to this also gets the fact that this movie got directed by Marlon Brando as well. It's the only movie as well that he directed during his career.

And I'm kind of glad Brando sticked to directing just this one movie. It's not like the end result is a bad movie but I just can't really call this movie a well directed one to be honest. The movie is definitely overlong and dragging in parts and the movie and its story don't always flow too well, which is also due to the addition of some needless shots at times.

The movie was actually original supposed to be directed by none other than Stanley Kubrick but he left the project after creative differences, which allowed Marlon Brando to take place in the director's seat. And he really shot away, which caused the first cut of the movie to be around 5 hours long. Luckily the end result got trimmed down but it's still being a long watch.

With Marlon Brando at the helm, you know that this is not going to be just a typical and average western. And it also really isn't! As a matter of fact, this is a western that is not western like at all. It doesn't have the typical feel or look and it also picks a totally different approach. It's more a character driven movie, that allows all of the actors to shine and the movie to be filled with lots of dialog. When getting more accustomed to this style and approach, it actually starts to work out quite well and refreshing. It's a sort of movie that literally really could had been set at any time, at any place. So calling this movie just a western hardly seems to cut it.

It's a nice looking, with not some typical western locations. It actually takes place along the beach-side, which is not a much seen sight in a western. Marlon Brando did really seem to have an eye for detail, which gives this movie also a more or less artistic looking touch to it as well.

But the movie still remains a really flawed one, which is mostly due to its overlong story. Not everything that is happening in this movie is very interesting or convincing enough and while watching it you'll notice lots of moments that could had easily been left out. It really makes "One-Eyed Jacks" a bit of a long sit at times but in the end it luckily is still for most part a rewarding viewing experience.

I didn't expected this after the first 30 minutes or so but this is a movie I really ended up liking and I can certainly appreciate it as well, despite all of its flaws.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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