Marlon Brando Films: Journey to the Golden Age of Hollywood Cinema

marlon brando movies

20th by TIME. Marlon Brando, who was chosen as one of the most important personalities of the century, started to take theater education at a very young age. Marlon Brando, who took private acting lessons in addition to his theater education, was one of the most sought-after stars of the classical and golden eras of Hollywood cinema. Although classics such as Apocalypse Now and The Father usually come to mind when Marlon Brando films are mentioned, the master actor is one of the rare actors who have lived through many periods in the history of American cinema and whose star shines in every period. In this content, we take a closer look at our list of the best Marlon Brando movies and embark on a journey to the golden age of Hollywood cinema.

Top-rated Marlon Brando movies according to IMDb scores:

  • The Godfather
  • Apocalypse Now
  • On the Waterfront
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Viva Zapata!
  • Julius Caesar (Julus Caesar)
  • The Chase
  • Mutiny on the Bounty
  • The Young Lions
  • One-Eyed Jacks (Love and Revenge)

10) One-Eyed Jacks – Love and Revenge (1961) | IMDb: 7.1

one eyed jacks

  • Genre: Drama, Western
  • Director: Marlon Brando
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 61%

One-Eyed Jacks , the movie in which Stanley Kubrick left the set after being unable to cope with Marlon Brando, is one of the cult examples of the psychological western genre. After Kubrick left the film, Marlon Brando took over directing.

More obsessed than the famous Kubrick, Marlon Brando had close to 6 times the estimated length of the movie after filming was over. Barely reduced to 140 minutes, the film was slaughtered by the producers, according to Marlon Brando. One-Eyed Jack is also Martin Scorsese’s favorite western.

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9) The Young Lions (1958) | IMDb: 7.2

the young lions

  • Genre: Action, Drama, War
  • Director: Edward Dmytryk
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 71%

Adapted from Irwin Shaw’s WWII novel of the same name, The Young Lions is a movie shot in the years before the war had lost its effect. For this reason alone, The Young Lions manages to be one of the most striking war films.

In the movie, in which Marlon Brando plays a Nazi officer serving in Paris, the paths of two German and an American soldier cross. The Young Lions, which touches upon the ideological, political and social effects of war, approaches the soldiers, who are seen as expendable strategic pieces during the war, as individuals, on the contrary.

8) Mutiny on the Bounty – Rebellion at Sea (1962) | IMDb: 7.2

mutiny on the bounty marlon brando filmleri

  • Genre: Adventure, History, Drama
  • Director: Lewis Milestone, Carol Reed
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 70%

Mutiny on the Bounty , which crashed at the box office and later became a cult, has its subject in 18th Century. It is based on a true event that took place at the end of the century. In the movie, the uprising against Captain William Bligh on the British ship HMAV Bounty in 1789 is handled. Carrying seedlings of breadfruit to the British colony in Jamaica, this ship witnessed a major revolt because of captain William Bligh’s wrong course decisions.

He could not reach Tahiti, where they would buy the seedlings, on time and missed the harvest time. In order to compensate for this situation, William Bligh, who bought extra saplings on board in Tahiti, forced his crew to drink sea water by allocating fresh water sources for seedlings. As a result of all these events, the rebellion led by the first captain Fletcher Christian inspired many books and the aforementioned Mutiny on the Bounty movie.

7) The Chase – The Runaways (1966) | IMDb: 7.2

the chase marlon brando

  • Genre: Crime, Thriller, Drama
  • Director: Arthur Penn
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

The Chase , directed by Arthur Penn, one of the most famous crime film directors of Hollywood cinema, deals with the story of escaping from a prison. Set in a small city in Texas, the film was first released as a play in 1952 and then novelized by Horton Foote in 1956.

In the movie, a teenager named Charlie “Bubber” Reeves escapes from prison, where he was wrongfully thrown for murder, and sets out to return to his town called Tarl County. In the town, an atmosphere of panic prevails for everyone, especially Bubber’s wife. Head-to-head with Sheriff Calder, the townspeople start looking for ways to get rid of Bubber.

6) Julius Caesar – Julius Caesar (1953) | IMDb: 7.3

Julius Caesar marlon brando filmleri

  • Genre: Biography, History, Drama
  • Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Travel back more than 2,000 years in history in this movie adapted from William Shakespeare’s legendary play Julius Caesar . You’ve probably heard of the famous assassination of Julius Caesar, which has been the subject of countless books, plays, and movies. The movie depicts this assassination quite successfully.

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The film stars Marlon Brando as Mark Anthony, while Caesar is played by Louis Calhern. In this production, which is very faithful to the work of Shakespeare, even the dialogues remain the same as the original work, except for minor changes.

5) Viva Zapata! (1952) | IMDb: 7.4

viva zapata 1952 elia kazan

  • Genre: Biography, History, Drama
  • Director: Elia Kazan
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 61%

Viva Zapata!, a famous Istanbul-born director and founder of Actor’s Studio Elias Kazancıoğlu, aka Elia Kazan, is about Emiliano Zapata, the pioneer of the famous Mexican Revolution that started in 1910. Written by the famous writer John Steinbeck, the film is adapted from the biographical novel Zapata the Unconquerable written by Egdecumb Pinchon.

The film focuses on Emiliano Zapata’s outlaw breakout by breaking a prisoner out of jail, and later forming his own gang and leading the uprising against Mexico’s brutal dictator Porfirio Diaz.

4) A Streetcar Named Desire – Tram of Passion (1951) | IMDb: 8.0

a streetcar named desire

  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Elia Kazan
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

Marlon Brando and Elia Kazan had become an inseparable duo in the 1950s. A Streetcar Named Desire is also one of the most important films of Brando and Kazan. Adapted from Tennessee Williams’ Broadway play of the same name, the film deals with the tragic events that happened to a woman named Blanche DuBois.

A total femme fatale, Blanche gets into legal trouble for seducing a very young boy. Forced to move in with her married sister who lives in another state, Blanche is unable to come to terms with her cruel husband, Stanley.

3) On the Waterfront (1954) | IMDb: 8.1

on the waterfront marlon brando filmleri

  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Director: Elia Kazan
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

On the Waterfront , which brought Marlon Brando the first Oscar for Best Actor, won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. On the Waterfront, which is about the corruption in the US labor unions in the 1950s, tells about this corruption through Terry Mallon, a former boxer and dockworker.

Terry Mallon, who works under very difficult conditions in the port, finds himself in the middle of inextricable business after witnessing the death of his childhood friend and becoming guilty. For this reason, On the Waterfront is considered one of the most daring films ever made.

2) Apocalypse Now – Apocalypse (1974) | IMDb: 8.4

apocalypse now

  • Genre: Drama, War
  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

Francis Ford Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now , whose cinematography is engraved with golden letters in the history of cinema, is a production that will be difficult to come by. Coppola, who is as talented as a screenwriter as he is directing, creates Apocalypse Now, inspired by Joseph Conrad’s famous book Heart of Darkness .

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Adapting this colonial-themed book to the Vietnam War, Coppola gives the role of the famous villain Walter Kurtz in the book to Marlon Brando. In the film, Captain Willard, who served in the Vietnam War, and his team pursue to kill Walter Kurtz, who rebelled against the American army and was declared as the god of a local tribe.

But what Willard doesn’t know is that during this relentless pursuit, he will start to look more and more like his target. If you’ve seen the movie before and enjoyed it, we strongly recommend that you take a look at Apocalypse Now Redux, the 49-minute extended version that comes out later.

1) The Godfather – The Father (1972) | IMDb: 9.2

baba marlon brando filmleri

  • Genre: Crime, Drama
  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

Undoubtedly the first movie that comes to mind when talking about Marlon Brando movies , The Father is in a way the guest of honor on our list. The Godfather, whose content we all memorize now, is adapted from Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, which he wrote out of desperation due to gambling debts.

One of the most important films made about New York’s Italian mafia families, The Godfather is also mentioned with the Oscar boycott of Marlon Brando. Marlon Brando, who won the second Oscar for Best Actor with the Father, sent an Indian actor named Sacheen Littlefeather to the award ceremony to protest the Indian massacres by the USA.

After the list of Marlon Brando movies, here are our other movie lists that might interest you:

Marilyn Monroe Movies

Gary Oldman Movies

Christian Bale Movies

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