10 best Marlon Brando movies – from The Godfather to Apocalypse Now
WIDELY regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time, Marlon Brando has featured in over 50 films and received many nominations and awards.
He was named in TIME magazine's Most Important People of the Century, and as one of the top 10 Icons of the Century by Variety magazine.
But with a career spanning more than 60 years, which of Marlon Brando's films should you be on your watch list?
1. The Godfather (1972)
Francis Ford Coppola's crime epic revived Brando's career and made him an icon in contemporary film media.
The story follows Don Vito Corleone, Brando's character, who is the aging head of an organised crime syndicate, and his son, Michael – played by Al Pacino.
In the year of its release, The Godfather won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards. Brando walked away with Best Actor.
The film received a 9.2 rating on IMDB and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is widely believed to be Brando's best work.
2. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Also directed by Coppola, Apocalypse Now features Brando as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, a special forces colonel who is perceived to have gone insane during the Vietnam war.
Brando's character is the villain to Martin Sheen's Captain Benjamin L. Willard. The plot is driven by a conflict between the two.
Apocalypse Now is considered one of the best films ever made.
It was nominated for eight Academy Awards and came 14th in Sight & Sound's greatest films poll in 2012.
Apocalypse Now received an 8.4 from IMDB, and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98%.
3. On The Waterfront (1954)
An American crime drama, the Elia Kazan directed film stars Brando as Terry Malloy – a dock worker entangled with a mob-connected union boss.
On The Waterfront won Best Motion Picture and Best Director at the Academy Awards, and Brando picked up Best Actor.
The film was one of the first 25 to be deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress in the US.
It is preserved in the National Film Registry.
On The Waterfront received 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 8.1 on IMDB.
4. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Also directed by Elia Kazan, this crime drama follows Blanche DuBois, played by Vivien Leigh, who moves in with her sister in New Orleans.
Based on a play by the same name, the story follows Blanche as she is bullied by her brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski, played artfully by Brando.
Brando was not a well-known actor when the film was released, but became a major star after the box office success.
The film received an 8.0 on IMDB, and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
5. Viva Zapata! (1952)
Again directed by Elia Kazan, Viva Zapata! follows Brando's Emiliano Zapata, a Mexican revolutionary.
A biographical film, John Steinbeck's screenplay was based on the 1941 book Zapata The Unconquerable by Edgcomb Pinchon.
Brando was nominated for the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar for his work in the film, and won the Best Foreign Actor Bafta.
Released in 1952, the film received a 7.4 score from IMDB and 65% on Rotten Tomatoes.
6. Superman (1978)
Also known as Superman: The Movie, this feature length film is based on the DC Comics character of the same name.
Marlon Brando played the role of Jor-El, Superman's father from the planet Krypton, who sends his son away after developing a theory their home planet may explode.
After the film was released, Brando felt cheated out of his share of the profits and sued Warner Brothers for $50m. He was subsequently cut from the next film.
Superman received a IMDB score of 7.3 and 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.
7. Mutiny On The Bounty (1962)
Mutiny On The Bounty follows the real-life story of a British ship which suffers a mutiny at sea, led by Brando's character Fletcher Christian.
It was the second film based on the novel, after a film of the same name in 1935 produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The 1962 version was the first film to be shot in Ultra Panavision 70 Widescreen Process.
This style of production went out of fashion but was resurrected over 50 years later by Quentin Tarantino for The Hateful Eight.
Released in 1962, Mutiny On The Bounty received an IMDB rating of 7.3 and a score of 68%.
8. Julius Caesar (1953)
Brando played Mark Antony in the 1953 film of Shakespeare's classic tale of betrayal, which was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
His casting in the film wasn't well received, as he had been given the nickname "The Mumbler" after previous performances.
But Brando received direction on how to deliver Shakespeare's lines, and his performance was a critical success.
This version received a score of 7.3 on IMDB and 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.
9. Burn! (1969)
Burn! is an Italian war film directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, set during a slave revolt in 1844.
It features Brando as Sir William Walker – a secret agent sent to break up Portugal's sugar monopoly.
Set on the fictional island of Queimada, Walker tries to organise an uprising of slaves to benefit the fictional Antilles Royal Sugar Company.
Brando had the chance to star in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, but turned down the role to feature in Burn!
Gillo Pontecorvo won best director for his work on the film.
Burn! received 7.3 on IMDB, and 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.
10. Guys And Dolls (1955)
Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz, Guys And Dolls is set in New York and follows a gambler who is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana.
Brando plays Sky Masterson, alongside Jean Simmons as Sarah Brown and Frank Sinatra as Nathan Detroit.
Guys and Dolls received mostly positive reviews when it was released, but the casting of Brando was considered controversial at the time.
Released in 1955, the film received an IMDB rating of 7.2 and a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.
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