One-Eyed Jacks

1961

One-Eyed Jacks

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

53%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 15

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,976
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One-Eyed Jacks Photos

Movie Info

In this western, bandit Marlon Brando is betrayed by his partner Karl Malden. Released from prison, Brando learns that Malden has become a wealthy and influential lawman. Brando thirsts for revenge but bides his time, waiting for the right moment to strike.

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Cast

Karl Malden
as Sheriff Dad Longworth
Katy Jurado
as Maria Longworth
Ben Johnson
as Bob Amory
Sam Gilman
as Harvey
Larry Duran
as Modesto
Timothy Carey
as Howard Tetley
Miriam Colon
as Redhead
Elisha Cook Jr.
as Bank Teller
Rodolfo Acosta
as Rurales Officer
Rodopho (Rudy) Acosta
as Rurales Officer
Ray Teal
as Bartender
John Dierkes
as Barber/Photographer
Margarita Cordova
as Nika Flamenco Dancer
Nina Martinez
as Margarita Castilian Girl
Shichizo Takeda
as Owner of Cantina
Henry Wills
as Posseman
Mickey Finn
as Blacksmith
Fenton Jones
as Squaredance Caller
Joe Dominguez
as Corral Keeper
Margarita Martin
as Mexican Vendor
John Michael Quijada
as Rurales Sergeant
Francy Scott
as Cantina Girl
Felipe Turich
as Card Sharp
Nesdon Booth
as Townsman
Nacho Galindo
as Mexican Townsman
Jorge Moreno
as Bouncer in Shack
Joan Petrone
as Flower Girl
Tommy Webb
as Farmer's Son
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Critic Reviews for One-Eyed Jacks

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for One-Eyed Jacks

  • Jul 13, 2018
    Marlon Brando and Karl Malden are buddies who become enemies in this great revisionist Western that's set along the California coast, with revenge as one of the big themes. One of the interesting things is how it's approach is not hot, but cool and reserved. A unique evenings entertainment, refreshingly w/o the racist leanings of much in this genre. I wish Brando would've directed more.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 25, 2014
    "What do you do when you're Brandoed, and you know you're a man?" This western was Brandoed hard, because it was supposed to be the great Stanley Kubrick's only western, and it ended up being the first film directed by Marlon Brando, as well as the last, as well it probably should be. Hey, I like this film quite a bit, but it was a financial disappointment that is still getting mixed reviews, and considering that it's old, its mixed reception is the equivalent of a hardcore bashing. There's got to be some spite for this film in the filmmakers, because they all-out destroyed the extra footage in Brando's ambitious director's cut. Well, in all fairness, this film is long enough at two-and-a-half hours, let alone a just plain ridiculous five hours, although the lost director's cut might be better, if it is like the other last-minute changes the filmmakers made. Again, Stan Kubrick was set to direct this, and Sam Peckinpah, a groundbreaker in edgy western filmmaking, was going to do the script for this complex, heavy western, being ultimately replaced by the guy who wrote "Jailhouse Rock". Guy Trosper went on almost mess up "Birdman of Alcatraz", although, for reasons extending beyond the script, that movie was still good, and as for this film, well, it's a little less compelling, and even though that's for reasons beyond the script, the script doesn't exactly help. There may be no getting around how awkward a lack of immediate development is, but ambiguity is instrumental in the expository value of westerns such as this one, and it would be so much easier to embrace if these characters weren't glaring types, well-portrayed, but thinly drawn tropes who still do not mark the end of the clichés. This film could have been a fairly unique revisionist western that stresses its spaghetti western roots, yet it ends up succumbing to almost all conventions of both western styles, with some potent hints of Hollywood western superficialities, complete with histrionics. While the romantic angles of this layered are the most contrived, there a number of hopelessly melodramatic aspects in this film which limit the believability and bite of the usual revisionist western, backed by a sentimentality in Marlon Brando's direction that ranges to cloying from simply unsubtle. There's a superficiality in this film's storytelling that really doesn't compute with the complexity of this subject matter, whose layering in morality and character turns feels uneven, due to the lack of attention directed towards nuance within the subtlety, and within the exposition altogether. There are a number of aspects in the focus of this film that are juggled sloppily and incoherently, and more than anything, it's because the film is simply too blasted long, dragging along with an uneven atmospheric pace from Brando that slowly, but surely, defuses a lack of urgency in this conceptually tense drama. The conflicts are distinct, and the consequentiality of this story is sold enough for the final product to come to the brink of rewarding, but it's a threshold that cannot truly be passed, not with characterization this thin, familiarity this film, histrionics this cloying, and structure and pacing this uneven. The final product is rather underwhelming, although it could have so much less flare, being adequate on a dramatic level, and solid on a stylistic level. Something about Charles Lang's cinematography is lacking in cleanliness, and its glow, on top of being nothing especially unique in spaghetti-style revisionist westerns of this time, gets a little cloying, even if it is a little under-realized, but when it is realized, it's striking, almost lyrical in his exuberant emphasis on the harsh nature of western settings, brought to life by Joseph McMillan Johnson's and Hal Pereira's art direction. Sure, the art direction is a little simple in this desert-centered western, yet it is immersive, as well as aesthetically tasteful enough to supplement the beauty of this film, which has nothing if not style on its side, that is, in the rendering of the film. In concept, while this story is familiar and histrionic, no amount of betrayal from issues in superficiality, exposition, dramatics and pacing can obscure the weight of this complex, character-driven western drama, which juggles, albeit a little jarringly, intriguing themes regarding morality, closure in life, and vengeance, all of which are nevertheless still betrayed by problematic storytelling. Marlon Brando's only directorial performance may be superior to Guy Trosper's borderline butchery of Sam Peckinpah's scripting touches, being unevenly paced and sentimental, but still ambitious, with a certain charm that endears in between the heights of Brando's staging, which include solid gunfights, and some genuinely effective dramatic touches. The story is strong, and the first few phases of this drama hook, so with a lot more tightness, Brando's direction could have carried this film to a rewarding state, but that it carries the final product to the brink of such a point, through all of the flimsy scripting and other storytelling missteps, is commendable, even if it doesn't have the consistency of, say, the acting. Brando was ahead of his time as an actor, so, sure enough, even though his cast doesn't have much material to work with, Brando gets good performances - complete with solid dramatic highlights - out of most everyone, and gives a particularly strong performance himself, being handed a flatly enigmatic character and a couple cornball lines ("Get up, you big tub of guts", or, "Get up, you scum-suckin' pig", or, simply, "You gob o' spit"), and bringing some life to him through those subtle little touches in presence which sell the character of Rio as a romantic criminal, with both charisma and intensity. Most of the primary cast members, particularly the strong Karl Malden, hit hard, and Brando, with his more subtle power, cuts deep, but either way, the performers bring some humanity to this trite and simultaneously superficial and overblown opus, further compelling you to the film as reasonably effective, if improvable. In closing, the characters feel less enigmatic and more like undercooked types, heights in a conventionalism that plagues this revisionist western drama throughout its histrionic, dramatically and focally superficial, and unevenly paced course, until the final product fails to maintain a reward value that is almost achieved, through the striking visuals, intriguing subject matter, ambitious and sometimes effective direction, and strong performances that make Marlon Brando's "One-Eyed Jacks" a sufficiently engaging, if flimsy dramatic western. 2.75/5 - Decent
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2012
    What "One-Eyed Jacks" could have been makes it all the more interesting of a venture. The element that ultimately undermines this otherwise riveting Western is a formulaic, melodramatic romance subplot. Just as the film starts getting good, Marlon Brando's character is given a love interest and the flow is totally disrupted, which is something that the film never fully recovers from. "One-Eyed Jacks" is just slightly overlong, but it's bolstered by an exciting final half hour and snippets of genius that are shown every so often. The overall quality of the film is horrendous due to poor handling issues, but the brilliance of Charles Lang's gorgeous cinematography still shines through. As well, Marlon Brando gives a noteworthy performance that is often as vicious as it is sympathetic, while Karl Malden snarls in a villainous supporting role. If there ever was a film that needed to be remade, "One-Eyed Jacks" is that film.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 24, 2011
    Who's supposed to be the good guy here? Marlon Brando directs (his one lone directing credit) and stars in this mexican-american western. As the movie opens, Rio (Brando) and Dad (Karl Malden), a pair of bandits, are cornered up on a hill by Rurales. Dad sneaks off to get fresh horses, but winds up abandoning Rio to the law, and he does 5 years of hard time in a Sonora prison. When Rio next catches up with Dad, Monterey, California, and Dad is living the fat life as the elected sheriff with a new wife and adopted daughter. Even though Dad has moved on and Rio has not, neither man is willing to forgive and forget the past. For Dad, it's fear and guilt that fuel his hatred of Rio; for Rio, while it's true he has a strong desire for justice, there is perhaps a certain amount of jealousy and resentment that people around him change while he stays the same. While Rio is obviously a tough guy and a expert gunslinger, he's rendered ineffectual for most of the movie by the powers that be. There is an air of authenticity to One-Eyed Jacks, from Bob Amory's greasy face (Ben Johnson did an excellent job here as one of the few characters who was actually true to himself) to colloquialisms that sounded genuine in the old west setting. From Karl Malden and Ben Johnson, to Larry Duran (Rio's mexican partner) and Pina Pellicer (Rio's love interest, Louisa- an enchantingly unique beauty whose life was cut short in real life by depression and suicide), Brando the actor steps aside as Brando the director fleshes out these characters and gives his actors a chance to shine. It's all brought together with great story-telling. There are some truly great westerns that have been made throughout the last century, the lesser known One-Eyed Jacks deserves to be counted among the best.
    Devon B Super Reviewer

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