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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2006
Here's a list of the 4 films featured in this collection:

1.) THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY (1968 -- 93 minutes): This is an ultra-realistic crime drama featuring Brando as one of four professional criminals who kidnap a girl (a young Pamela Franklin) and hold up at a beach house in France. Richard Boone stars as the fiendish member. Jess Hahn plays a likable loser, the brother of the pathetically drug addicted Rita Moreno. Filmed in France. At the time of this picture Brando was 44 years old and NEVER looked better physically -- very trim and blond. Brando didn't start getting fat until the later-70's when he was well into his 50's. In other words, people need to quit envisioning Brando as some fat dude; most of his life he wasn't. Most men in their 40's would kill to look as good as Brando did at the this age. GRADE: B-

2.) THE UGLY AMERICAN (1963 -- 2 hours): This is another very realistic film, an political drama featuring Brando as a new American diplomat in a Vietnam-like SE Asian nation that is painfully struggling between capitalist & communist factions, shot on location in Thailand. Eiji Okada plays the country's revolutionary leader, a previous best-friend of Brando who has become brainwashed by the communists. The ending depicts how the average American is unconcerned with the political conflicts of other nations. GRADE: C

3.) A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG (1967 -- 108 minutes): It's somewhat entertaining to see Brando in an atypical role in this silly slapstick romantic comedy. Sophia Loren stars as a Russian countess who stows away in a rich American's (Brando) stateroom on a cruise liner to escape a life of forced prostitution. Teppi Hedron is also on hand. This was director Charlie Chaplin's last film; he went into a depression after its box-office failure. The problem I have with it is that it's completely set-bound on the cruise liner; in fact, practically the entire film takes place in Brando's quarters, which gives it a goofy sitcom vibe. GRADE: C-

4.) THE APPALOOSA (1966 -- 98 minutes): This is Brando's 'spaghetti Western,' released at the height of that sub-genre's popularity, but only in terms of style since the film was shot in California and Utah rather than Spain. The Southwestern scenery is spectacular and worth the price of admission. Imagine one of Sergio Leone's spaghetti Westerns but with gritty realism rather than goofiness and you'd have a good idea of what the film's like. "The Appaloosa" is essentially a revenge tale entailing Brando's trip to Mexico to get his horse back. John Saxon stars as the villain who steals Brando's horse after beating him up while in a drunken stupor. Ajanette Comer plays the babe. I wasn't all that impressed with the story the first time I saw it, especially since I compared it with Brando's Western masterpiece "One-Eyed Jacks [Slim Case]" (a powerful precursor to the spaghetti Western and the only film Marlon directed). The story in "The Appaloosa" is rather slow-paced with few action scenes. I saw it again recently and it dawned on me that the director and writer were not shooting for a run-of-the-mill Western. In the mid-to-late 60's it became fashionable to make films as gritty and realistic as possible. ("The Night of the Following Day" above is a good example, as is "The Ugly American"). What would happen in REAL life if a man went to Mexico in the late 1800's and tried to retrieve his stolen horse? This picture shows you. Consider the confrontation-in-a-saloon scene; we naturally expect it to end in a cliched brawl or shoot-out. It doesn't. In other words, it sneers at Western conventions. Or how about the final shoot-out? Some have complained that it's uneventful and quick, yet isn't this the way such death-duels end in real life most of the time? In short, don't expect "The Appaloosa" to play like a Hollywood blockbuster or typical spaghetti Western with corny one-liners and goofy action scenes. Another thing I like about the film is the Brando Character's relationship with his adopted Mexican family, which shows genuine kinship and warmth that transcends blood ties. Same thing with his relationship with an old man in Mexico. So "The Appaloosa" is worthwhile, but the story drags and holds it back from greatness. Still, if you're in the mood for a Mexican Western with slow-moving realism, look no further. GRADE: C+ or B-

Despite the fact that none of these are great films, I rate the collection itself 4/5 Stars because it's a nice assemblage of fairly obscure Brando works (I never saw any of them prior to getting this 4-pack).

If you want to witness how charismatic Brando was as an actor, check him out in any on these great pictures: "Apocalypse Now" (the original 1979 version), "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962), "One-Eyed Jacks" (1961), "The Missouri Breaks" (1976) and "The Young Lions" (1958).
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 1, 2005
Although I hope the people that are dissapointed with the Brando films being released...I do not think it is fair to blame Universal dvd for releasing what they are ABLE to! This collection is excellently priced and carries with it some very gems, which the average movie viewer may not have seen. This also offers the viewer different looks at the talent of Brando:

The Ugly American (Brando does drama), a look at how other countries view the U.S. - and a story that is interesting to watch through the lens of our current relationship with Iraq.

The Appaloosa - (Brando does western) a western in the "spagetti" genre...good story, and very entertaining.

A countess from Hong Kong...(Brando does comedy)...directed by Charlie Chaplin! Appears to be more of a 40's screwball comedy, it holds up and is funny and entertaining. Chaplin's son, Sydney is hiliarious in one particular bar scene and one can enjoy the cameo of Charlie himself as a ship's steward.

The Night of the Following Day - (Brando does a Hitchcock-like thriller) a taught thriller with a "never looked better than this" Brando involved in a kidnapping plot.

All in all this is a marvelous collection, especially for those who do not have any of these films. One would expect to find any of these titles alone at around $15 each so the price of less than $20 is an added bonus!

Want to see Brando do more than "Stella!" or "I coulda been a contenda..." then this set is for you!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Matt Fletcher (Marlon Brando), is a tight-lipped loner who returns from the Civil War to his surrogate family in the border town of Ojo Prieto to settle down. When Matt's prize Appaloosa stallion (played by Cojo Rojo) is stolen by bad banditos and spirited away to Mexico, he goes after them with a vengeance. Somewhat slow, and the title character isn't in the movie all that much. However, since it's the only way to get this movie on DVD, the boxed set is recommended.

Staci Layne Wilson
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2005
Universal is to be commended for releasing theme collections (how about W.C. Fields Vol. 2 please!!!) but this set really lets down the Brando fanatic that already purchased three of the four films in this set already (and now have to buy those three titles AGAIN because it's the only way you can get THE APPALOOSA.) Why didn't they include BEDTIME STORY - another obscure, underated Brando title in their vault?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2005
This dvd should be bought for it brings to life brando's overlooked movies.

The ugly american is a great political drama and brando is brilliant as the well meaning american ambassador to a country in south east asia. A good solid film which failed when it was released but deserves to get a second look.

The appaloosa is goood taught western and brando is in great form. Has some great lines and is very ably supported by the menacing JoHn Saxon. The arm wrestiling match with scorpions is a must watch.

The night of the following day has brando looking great and acting even better. This movie is an average kidnap drama which has its share of tense moments.

A countess of hong kong starts off well and then meanders away. brando is very good in some cominc moments and Sophia loren looks voluptous.

All in all there could have been some extra features in all the dvds about the movies, behind the scenes etc.

But this 4 movie collection highlights the fact that brando did not make trash in the 60s. none of these movies can be called ouright bad, infact 2 out the 4 here are good solid movies. But then the critics of the time were comparing everything brando did in the 60s to the stuff he did in the 50s which is not possible coz that kind of magic happens only once. He displayed that magic again in the 70s. which highlights the fact that brando was the greatest ever, period. The studios should get all his work on dvds with extra features and they will make a killing.

amen to that.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2009
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THE APPALOOSA [1966] is one of my all-time favorite Westerns. It should be released on DVD on its own and not as part of a collection. Largely forgotten and rarely talked-about even among ethusiasts of the genre despite having a hall-of-famer [Marlon Brando] in the lead. It was probably lost in the wake of Sergio Leone's memorable epic THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY of the same year. Ed Harris' THE APPALOOSA [2008], a pretentious, unrelated and perturbingly bad film only served to obscure the original even more. This is a slowly-paced, somber, brooding [thanks Leonard Maltin, couldn't have described it better], sensitive, and rather unconventional Western saga. There's minimal action or gunfire. You've got to have the time and be in the right mood and in the right setting to see this one---like tasting wine: let it breathe, pour it, swirl it, smell it, sip it---slowly. The film is about a dust-beaten rogue [Brando as "Mateo" or Mathew] who returns home after a long hiatus. He returns with an expensive and prized Appaloosa upon which rests his dreams of retiring, owning his own farm and of helping the poor Mexican family who raised him. The horse, however, is stolen by the leader of a gang of Mexican "pistoleros" who wants the beautiful animal as a gift for his woman. The Mex badguy [Chuy Medina] is played by John Saxon, he of 50's & 60's horror/exploitation movies fame, who is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME in no doubt the finest performance of his career. He is arrogant, mean, chisled and strong. His gal was played by Anjanette Comer, a somewhat underrated character actress often seen in numerous 70's TV movies and TV shows, who never looked better. Medina warns Brando that if he wants his horse back he will have to come to Medina's Mexican town and retrieve it. Problem is, Medina's town is a refuge for killers, fugitives, drifters, losers + outcasts, and Medina himself is carefully protected by his pistoleros. Brando, against the pleas of his Mexican family who fear that he will not return alive, decides to go after his prized horse. Director Sydney J Furie, who rarely did Westerns [if any?], did an excellent job here. His detail, great use of close-ups and nice pacing was surely influenced by Leone. Geez, you could count the number of gold caps on one of the pistoleros' teeth. And how about the gritty bartender serving Brando's drink with his 'where-have-they-been' fingers submerged half way in it. What distinguishes this film from many is the vulnerability of the lead character imparting everyday realism and sympathy for our main man. Brando, drunk during the theft of his horse, is bedraggled, humiliated and laughed at by Medina and his boys. When he reaches the Mexican haunt Medina challenges him to an arm-wrestling match with deadly scorpions on either side of the table, the winner getting the horse. Medina, physically stronger, wins the match. Brando is tossed out into the street left to die. Medina's woman, however, fed up with his possessive and demeaning treatment, and of being one of his many women, takes an obtunded Brando to local sheep man Ramos [played by Frank Silvera of HOMBRE, 1967]. Ramos gives Brando sanctuary, takes care of him, brings him back to health and conceals him. Interestingly, in Brando, Medina's lady sees an opportunity to escape the hell she's been living in. It is apparent that while Medina is physically [and numerically] stronger she has come to admire Brando's gumption, perseverance and courage---just the right person to get her out of there. Indeed, Brando is emotionally, mentally stronger than Medina---has to do with the ticker, hard bark, guts, cojones. Brando is ready to go back home without his horse, but with the lady, until Medina's pistoleros show up looking for the dame. They proceed to brutalize and kill Ramos who refused to give them any info. The plans now drastically change as Brando buries his friend and vows to return to kill Medina. It's brain over brawn this time, though, as Brando smartly uses Medina's ego and mindset against him, sending one of Medina's own boys to deliver a derogatory message intended to isolate and bait Medina away from his protecting pistoleros. Great lines here especially the deliciously prodding: "...the poison of your scorpion is weak...like the blood of the Medina". The way Brando gets Medina at the end was industrious, smart, very cool---check it out yourself. Happy ending with Brando returning home with both horse and babe. Neat how inner strength, moral courage and conviction and some level-headed thinking won out over bodies, brawn and boisterous belligerence. This has long been one of my favorite movies, Western or not. Brando gives a marvelously understated, offbeat, great performance with that unforgettable parlance. Deepest thanks to all those involved in the making of this well-crafted, atmospheric film which has given me so much pleasure over the years especially Director Furie in his FIRST Western & the actors---Brando, Saxon, Comer...and we can't forget "Squint Eye".
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55 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2005
FIRST OF ALL:

CDNOW.COM DESCRIBES THIS AS A 3 MOVIE COLLECTION BUT IF YOU ARE TO CLICK ON THE PICTURE AND MAKE IT LARGER AND THE TEXT ON THE BOX CLEARLY STATES: 4 MOVIE COLLECTION

SECOND OF ALL:

IF YOUR A BRANDO FAN LIKE I AM YOU HAVE BEEN EAGERLY AWAITING FILMS OF HIS WHICH FOR SOME REASON OR OTHER HAVE NOT BEEN RELEASED ON DVD SUCH AS:

1 "Desiree" (1954)

2 "Viva Zapata! (1952) (Oscar nomination, best actor)

3 "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962)

4 "The Brave" (1997)

5 "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1956)

6 "The Fugitive Kind" (1960)

7 "Bedtime Story" (1964)

8 "Reflections in a Golden Eye" (1967)

9 "Burn!" (1969)

10 "The Nightcomers" (1971)

11 "The Missouri Breaks" (1976)

12 "Raoni:Fight for the Amazon" (1979) [A rare documentary narrated by Brando]

13 "The Formula" (1980)

14 "A Dry White Season" (1989) (Oscar nomination, best supporting actor)

15 "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery" (1992)

16 "Julius Caesar" (1953) (Oscar nomination, best actor)

INSTEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND DON'T ASK ME WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

Universal Studios Home Video decides to release this collection (for which I will certainly buy although I have 3 of the films since I adore ANYTHING Brando does)

However This set includes three films ALREADY!!!!!!!! available on DVD:

1. The Night of the Following Day

2. The Ugly American

3. A Countess from Hong Kong

ONLY

4. The Appaloosa is the bonus film which will be available on Region 1 DVD for the first time.

Anything Brando does is incredible to me but these films are subpar compared to other releases they should have released such as his performance in Julius Caesar and the AMAZING performance in Viva Zapata.

Of course you can purchase these on Hong Kong DVD issued releases but these are actually just VHS recorded onto DVD but if your like me and unable to wait this is the only way to purchase them since they are out of print on VHS as well.

***ALSO***

Do not confuse this set with another set available --> Brando 3-Pack (On the Waterfront / The Wild One / The Freshman)

How about releasing a Brando DVD collection with some other Brando films which haven't been released such as ANY of the 16 Possiblities above???!!!!!?!!!????

Just Another Frustrated Brando fan tired of Film companies slowly releasing DVD's to create anticipation, desire and demand!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2014
Verified Purchase
2014 this four film set can be purchased for a very low investment. I wanted to see Chaplin's final film A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG which I had originally viewed in a first-run theatre. Would It be as bad as most everyone considers it to be today? No. While certainly not great Chaplin it really is a lot of fun with excellent Chaplin music. Sophia Loren, Brando, Sidney Chaplin and Tippi Hedren are all quite good. The Technicolor print transfer is excellent -- very sharp and scratch free and in the correct format. The print transfer was quite stunning.
On the reverse side of the COUNTESS disc is THE APPALOOSA which I wanted to see because it was partially photographed in Southern Utah. Brando and John Saxon head the cast of this above average Western which I enjoyed. Shot in Techniscope and Technicolor it isn't as sharp as full frame photography (this process uses a 2 frame height instead of the usually 4 frame but gets its wide screen ration without a anamorphic squeeze) but comes across as a very nice transfer. I liked the use of the wide screen frame with the great depth of field shots used well. The film is well acted and not overly violent.
The second disc contains THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY which has an interesting cast but a trashy story that makes this title the lesser one of the set for me. While it has a nice transfer it is the only one of the four films that was not shot as a Technicolor production and the Eastman Color print renders an image less sharp then Technicolor. The flip side of this disc has THE UGLY AMERICAN which I was anxious to see as I had only seen the ending years ago on TV and thought that it looked like it might be a powerful film -- and it is. I would say that THE UGLY AMERICAN is the best is this collection of four Brando films with THE APPALOOSA being second; Chaplin's COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG third; and THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY fourth.
If you are a Brando fan it might be worth picking this set up at the low prices that can be currently found.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
This box set of Marlon Brando films is smartly packaged with two discs and a film on each side. The quality of all the films is very good, though none appear to be remastered. Probably the most pleasant surprise of the four films was the "A Countess from Hong Kong"(1967) which was the last film Charlie Chaplin directed or acted in (though he only makes a couple of very brief appearances). This film hasn't received the best reviews from critics, and the first scene where we meet the countesses is very weak, but once Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren appear together the film carries along well enough to keep us entertained. Sophia Loren really lights up this romantic comedy. "The Night of the Following Day"(1969) takes place on the French coast, and has a somber tone with many shots being of the barren and sparsely vegetated landscape that is still quite beautiful nonetheless, almost reminiscent of an Antonioni or Bergman landscape. And even though it is slow at times the film comes together at the end with a dramatic flare. "Appaloosa"(1966) is a slow moving but well photographed film set in the 1870s close to the Mexican border that is appealing for its romantic elements and evil mexican bandits. "The Ugly Man"(1963) too has its moments with Brando playing a diplomat who has a friendship with a revolutionary in Thailand. Thailand makes for an attractive, and exotic backdrop to this volatile friendship. All in all these films represent a worthwhile set of lesser known and lesser praised Brando films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2011
Verified Purchase
I had read a truly great book, The Ugly American, a number of years ago. I The movie, staring Marlon Brando, was nearly unobtainable. Now , at a price far less than specialty sellers charge, you may enjoy this fine four movie Brando Offering from Amazon:
1. Ugly American- Well meaning new American Diplomat accidentally causes an International Incident in Southeast Asia.
2. The Appaloosa- Down and outer's adventurous struggle for return of his stolen horse.
3. Countess from Hong Kong- Humorous cutesy adventure with Beauty queen Sophia Loren.
4. Night of the Following Day- kidnapping attempt gone horribly wrong.
Hours of great entertainment at a bargain price- you cant go wrong!!
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