Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me by Robert Lindsey is a fine portrayal of this most famous Hollywood actor and personality. Lindsey begins with Marlon Brando’s early childhood by relating stories of his tangling with authority which resulted in his flunking kindergarten at the Field Elementary School in Omaha.
There are memorable pictures of Brando with family members like his sister, Frannie, wrestling buddies at Balboa Beach, and a boxing incident which resulted in a badly injured nose. There is a memorable picture of Brando with Russell, the raccoon given to him by his mother.
Lindsey spends a lot of time detailing Brando’s work in the movies. Brando is pictured with Jessica Tandy in A Streetcar Named Desire. The movie opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on December 3, 1947 to rave reviews.
The author describes Brando’s role in Viva Zapata by John Steinbeck, based upon the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. Brando played in Julius Caesar but felt awkward in the presence of more experienced British actors who played the Shakespearean roles with an attentiveness to detail closer to the actual historical period.
Brando was, as Lindsey explains, more comfortable in The Wild One. There, he was dressed in t-shirts, leather jackets, and jeans to give the appearance of a rebel. Some people criticized his role as glamorizing motorcycle gangs.
Brando was at the zenith of his career in the movie On the Waterfront with Rod Steiger. This stellar performance won him an Oscar in 1954, although he could never fully understand why. The Academy honored him once more with an Oscar for The Godfather in 1972.
Despite his tough guy roles, Brando gave away tons of money to people during his acting career. Lindsey explains how Brando played important roles with noted actresses like Sophia Loren and Vivien Leigh who won the best actress award for A Streetcar Named Desire.
Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me is an excellent book which details the career of one of Hollywood’s most famous 20th century actors. The story of Brando, together with his pictures, will delight fans everywhere.Powered by Sidelines