One-Eyed Jacks

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.

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  • ★★★★★ review by SilentDawn on Letterboxd

    92

    "You've been tryin' to get yourself hung for the last fifteen years kid. This time I think you might have made it."

    A melodrama of scoundrels.

  • ★★★½ review by Cinemonster on Letterboxd

    An unevenly directed and edited film, One-Eyed Jacks shows Marlon Brando at both his best and worst. A lovely unsung performance by Karl Malden and solid cinematography from Charles Lang are the highlights. Supporting cast, including Slim Pickens and Ben Johnson, are also solid. No one takes a beating onscreen like Brando. David Webb Peoples clearly saw this film before writing Unforgiven. Not too many projects can claim to have canned talent the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Calder Willingham and Sam Peckinpah.

  • ★★★★ review by Ben McDonald on Letterboxd

    The Western

    A surprisingly superb and complex psycho-drama, inexplicably smack in the middle of a western.

    It's always fascinating to watch the subtle signs of an actor directing, and especially one as jaw-droppingly talented as Brando. It's a damn shame he never took the director's chair again, because he essentially channels his self-destructive insecurities as an actor through every inch of this production, yielding some truly mesmerizing performances.

    I hesitate to say the film drags, because while its runtime can feel belabored at times, its quietly climactic conclusion feels all the more cathartic precisely because of such a prolonged build-up.

  • ★★★½ review by rischka on Letterboxd

    most interesting as a sort of bridge between trad westerns and spaghetti westerns which soon came to dominate the form; production began in the late 50s but it wasn't released til '61. kubrick was fired cuz he wanted spencer tracy and brando insisted on malden (he was right). you can also see how an early draft by peckinpah made it's way into pat garrett and billy the kid. reportedly brando did not want to play the psychotic killer peckinpah had in mind. also brando's preferred ending had malden accidentally shooting his stepdaughter as she chases after brando but the studio nixed it. it's a tad overlong and the romance a little maudlin (esp the studio ending i think) but shockingly good for a first time director who never directed again? he wasn't happy with the experience apparently and complained for years it wasn't the film he intended. of course his cut was 5 hours long lol

  • ★★★★★ review by b3n434 on Letterboxd

    Too long for some, too short as far as I’m concerned. What’s initially a standard grungy western revenge tale steadily evolves into a grandiose melodrama fully realized against incessant crashing waves and Freudian romance (but still owning a satisfactory amount of savage violence). Also, Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Ben Johnson, Slim Pickens (hell, even Timothy Carey shows up for a bit in a drunken shimmy) all in the same movie, so you can’t really complain.

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