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Brando Box Set Review

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After four successive nominations Brando finally won himself a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in On the Waterfront, as a washed-up boxer who becomes entangled in mob-controlled union politics. Such rebellious charisma ensured his turn in The Wild One went unseen in the UK until the late '60s, its tale of teenage biker gangs causing trouble in small-town America deemed too inflammatory by British censors. Years later he played a US ambassador charged with bringing order to a fractured Asi

★★★★

Inevitably, the death of the great one has prompted much Marlonian merchandising. But who holds the rights to what determines which films are deemed "indispensible". This set comprises four pictures, four discs.

Elia Kazan's 1954 multiple Oscar-winning dockyard drama On The Waterfront is an indubitable must, and the same year's biker classic The Wild One is vintage Brando ("What are you rebelling against?" "Whaddya got?").

1963's The Ugly American, meanwhile, is a worthy but unexciting look at American power politics, with decent ambassador Brando confronting Communism in South-East Asia. And finally, 1966's The Appaloosa is a handsome, moody Western in which Brando doggedly seeks to reclaim his stolen steed from a vicious bandito - but few would rate it among the must-haves.

A mixed bag, containing two classics and a couple of curios.