The Missouri Breaks

The Missouri Breaks
The Missouri Breaks
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Recommended by Ralph Mellon

It seemed like the most dynamic star pairing conceivable. Marlon Brando, rediscovered and revered again after ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Last Tango In Paris’, with Jack Nicholson, fresh from ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’ Nest’. The outcome was one of the most bizarre and critically savaged ‘big’ productions of the ‘70s. But, flaws aside, it’s still an affecting watch. Tom Logan (Nicholson) leads a gang of horse thieves preying on stock owned by thriving rancher Braxton (John McLiam). Braxton hires Robert E. Lee Clayton (Brando), a highly eccentric ‘regulator’ with a taste for sadistic killing, to hunt down the rustlers. Logan gains a neighbouring farm and romances Braxton’s daughter, while Clayton’s gloating methods in despatching Logan’s crew become more elaborate and brutal. Stories of Brando’s insistence on inane alterations to dialogue and changing his character became famous, while the film has too many meandering, unnecessarily talky scenes. But it has a great supporting cast and is a worthy cult curio.