One Eyed Jacks

Released 1961




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Movie Summary

Marlon Brando

One Eyed Jacks is the only film to be directed by Marlon Brando. The film begins in Sonora, Mexico, as three bandits rob a bank. One is killed, but Dad and Rio, who are best friends, make a getaway on horseback. But they are stranded on a hill, with one horse dead. Dad abandons Rio to deal with the rurales by himself and the younger man spends five years in jail. Escaping, he is bent on revenge, but Rio finds that his vengeance will not be easy, as Dad is now lawman in the coastal California town of Monterey.

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The first version of the script was written by the then little-known Sam Peckinpah, who stuck closely to Charles Neider's original novel (The Authentic Death Of Hendry Jones), which he greatly admired. He was subsequently fired and others came in for rewrites, of which there were a great many. It was said that the screenplay went through at least twelve drafts, one of which was entirely written by Marlon Brando (although this has never been confirmed). A great deal of Neider's novel was eventually jettisoned, although it would later have a clear influence on Peckinpah's own film, Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid (1973).

    • Although Marlon Brando was often accused of taking over the direction of films in which he acted, this was his only official directing credit. He claimed that he had only directed the film because he couldn't get anyone else to do it; Stanley Kubrick was originally signed to direct, but dropped out after disagreements with his star, who was also co-producing the film.

  • QUOTES (6)

  • NOTES (1)

    • This was an extremely troubled production. Shooting began in the last week of 1958, but was not completed until the second half of 1959, although exactly how long it took is disputed - most sources suggest about nine months. The budget more than doubled in that time, and Marlon Brando then spent a very long time editing the film. His ideal version lasted an astonishing four hours and forty-two minutes, and he was most reluctant to shorten it. The film was taken away from his control by an outraged studio (Paramount) and trimmed to exactly half that length. Brando subsequently disowned the film, although it was critically acclaimed when finally released (in the spring of 1961) and a popular film with audiences. Because of its greatly increased cost, however, it ended up losing money.


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Action & Adventure