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Running from the law after a bank robbery in Mexico, Dad Longworth finds an opportunity to take the stolen gold and leave his partner Rio to be captured. Years later, Rio escapes from the prison where he has been since, and hunts down Dad for revenge. Dad is now a respectable sheriff in California, and has been living in fear of Rio's return. Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
For a film of its time (under the censorship of the "movie code"), "One Eyed-Jacks" is unusual in many ways. Brando's character, "Rio", impregnates his former partner's adoptive (Mexican) daughter outside of wedlock, and the plot allows her to live at the end of the movie. Brando's most trusted friend in the movie is his Mexican prison cell-mate. Indeed the only characters in the movie who don't betray him or aren't indifferent to him are Mexican; this is a rare depiction of support and affection for other ethnicities absent in most American movies of this period.
Brando appears in top form in this movie. His physical presence is almost overwhelming. He displays an ease of manner, sense of irony, humor and a quiet confidence that seems somewhat avant-garde for movies of this period. His character, "Rio", is clearly an anarchist; not the traditional Western "good guy". The fact that his character -an unapologetic bank robber- is clearly morally superior to the town's beloved and trusted sheriff is a refreshing plot twist.
I believe that in its own way the movie was a kind of cinematic landmark in its intensity, sexuality, and implied (and expressed) violence. It's not perfect, but perhaps because he directed it, one is allowed some access to the real Marlon Brando; his strength, his passion, and his concern and respect for other ethnicities.
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