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373 Ratings

One-Eyed Jacks

Directed by Marlon Brando
United States, 1961
Drama, Western


A western like no other, One-Eyed Jacks combines the mythological scope of that most American of film genres with the searing naturalism of a performance by Marlon Brando—in his only directing stint, and still one of his great achievements—all suffused with Freudian overtones and male anxiety.

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One-Eyed Jacks Directed by Marlon Brando

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1962 | Nominee: Best Cinematography, Color

San Sebastián International Film Festival

1961 | 2 wins including: Golden Seashell (Marlon Brando)

Despite the out-of-control nature of this production, the result was a masterwork, and a film that perfectly utilized Brando’s own mixture of menace and charm. He really should have directed again; given how much he controlled other filmmakers’ sets, it’s pretty clear that he secretly wanted to.
October 11, 2018
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The film’s undeniable self-worship, so irritating to critics in 1961, feels tainted by uncertainty; Brando as a visual choice-maker seems much more comfortable turning Charles Lang’s widescreen camera on the landscape, and there are evocative, muscular vistas of Death Valley and Monterey that make the long location waits pay off like gangbusters.
January 06, 2017
The film is defined by friction: between Brando’s intensely interiorized lead performance as a bank robber seeking revenge and the moodiness of the pace; between the crisp widescreen cinematography and the extremely unconventional sound design.
December 05, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • Viginti_tres's rating of the film One-Eyed Jacks

    Gained a lot from the restoration and from having seen 'Listen to Me Marlon'. There are layers to this beyond the obvious and Oedipal. Fascinating too is the way it almost subtlety subverts the genre at every turn, just enough to surprise but not so much that you raise your guard and see the next shift coming. Maybe seeing the five-hour cut would fix this, but the romance falls apart for me once it becomes sincere.

  • Renton47's rating of the film One-Eyed Jacks

    As his sole directorial effort, this speaks volumes about Brando - that's saying something for an actor who so frequently depicted his own inner conflicts. Noble + brutal, wounded + wounding, someone working to manifest their cynical view of human relationships. The 4K restoration is sumptuous (the sandstorm), the psychology is raw and lived-in, giving it a tragic tone that perhaps exists beyond the screen.

  • Jason's rating of the film One-Eyed Jacks

    Well, I think this is one of the greatest movies ever made, but I think that it is important for me to concede that I feel this way because I like to get down w/ a hot mess. We are essentially dealing w/ a radical incursion into genre, natch. Radical because what is unleashed is muddy, anarchic, and even slightly aberrant human pathology. I find it easy to become obsessed w/ women. I'm now obsessed w/ Pina Pellicer.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film One-Eyed Jacks

    If I were a professional critic, I would examine certain themes that are going through One-Eyed Jacks like the Freudian-Oedipian theme (Dad, Kid, etc..), the lies of Rio and the reason why cartridges do have such a big importance in the movie. Highly recommended.

  • Tobin.'s rating of the film One-Eyed Jacks

    Stanley Kubrick originally was going to direct this, but he ended up making Lolita so Marlon Brando look over. This is the only film he ever directed, but it remains one of the greatest westerns of all time. If there's one film that desperately needs to be criterioned, it's this.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film One-Eyed Jacks

    Brando emphasises small poetic details; allowing his story to become lost, derail & grind to a thundering halt. Conflicts go unresolved, plot points occur at random & the whole things takes a variety of awkward tonal shifts. Instead the spaces are filled with breathtaking sandstorms, crashing waves & desolate landscapes; all of which add to & punctuate the film's sensitive melodrama & its bursts of pitiless violence.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film One-Eyed Jacks

    A great actor proves to be a not-bad director. OEJ is so famed for its troubled production history and many screenwriters that the result is surprisingly coherent: it's a solid western, never boring even at 140 minutes. Malden is intense and, faint praise though it may be, Brando's accent is more convincing than De Niro's in Cape Fear. The only real disappointment is that, with the ending, it's just another western.

  • msmichel's rating of the film One-Eyed Jacks

    At least two reels too long, Brando's sole directorial effort was a pretty standard revenge story with a side order of psychological angst. Technically proficient but no real visual flair adding to the feeling of a by the numbers oater. Performances are varying in quality with supporting players having a little more luck than the leads.

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