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  • Bob-4524 February 2005
    "The Appaloosa" is a superior low-key western with a great performance by Marlon Brando and very good ones by John Saxon and Anjanette Comer. Brando plays a white man raised by Mexicans who returns from the Civil War tired of killing and ready to build a ranch around one Appaloosa stallion. Brando has the misfortune of becoming a tool for Comer to escape the clutches of Saxon. Saxon retaliates by stealing Brando's stallion, and Brando follows Saxon into Mexico to reclaim it. Director Sidney J. Furie ("The Ipcress File," "Iron Eagle") extensively uses extreme close-ups of faces, in the same manner as Sergio Leone, but not for the same purpose. Furie uses these close-ups to establish intimacy between the characters and the audience. This works beautifully in "The Appaloosa," particularly so since the story is so unremarkable and low-key and Brando's character is by no means a superman. Most of the violence is of the "G" rated variety, with the notable exception of a hand-wrestling contest played with the addition of scorpions.

    While the ending of "The Appaloosa" is as abrupt and unremarkable as everything that precedes, intimate moments in the movie linger long after. As examples:

    o Brando's confessional o The little girl telling Brando he smells like a goat o The goat herder telling Brando about Saxon's gunmen killing his pet goat o Comer telling Brando her fate if he doesn't help her escape Saxon o The hand-wrestling contest

    There are many more unremarkable but somehow memorable moments in the sublime "Appaloosa." It is too insignificant to be great, but it most certainly very good. I give "The Appaloosa" an "8".
  • I caught this on television and loved it. It's Brando's spaghetti western. Lots of fantastic landscapes. close-ups and acting. Not very violent, but extremely effective. Great soundtrack, would be awesome in surround, but mono track was terrific. John Saxon was a great bad guy ( a Mexican, no less) and character actors are authentic. Well worth seeing. Sidney J. Furie shows real skill as a director even though he was only thirty three at the time. There's elements of John Ford, Howard Hawkes and Sergio Leone. Sometimes it was hard to buy Brando in this role, it's more an Eastwood type of role, but he's such a great actor that he becomes convincing. John Saxon playing a Mexican bandit is a terrific performance, even though it's a white guy playing a Mexican. Hollywood at it's best.

    E.Forster Toronto, Canada
  • During the peak of spaghetti westerns came this little gem with Brando at his subtle best. He plays Matt Fletcher, a Rambo like character from FIRST BLOOD who returns home for some peace and quiet. But Trini, (Anjanette), draws him into a web of jealousy and power control with the town's chief, Chuy, (John Saxon). At first it starts with a little scuffle over Matt's horse, an Appaloosa. But it digs deeper than that when morals are tested. Brando throws in the occasional modern slang that fits into this western period. It's a joy to watch him and the story slowly unravel. This will have to be director Furie's best effort with the help of Russell Metty's photography.
  • I rate this mid-60's Brando Western a 6, but it really wasn't accepted at the time. Marlon is incredible as always, Anjanette Comer is a stone fox, great supporting cast, and John Saxon as Chuy Medina is a worthy adversary to taunt Brando. Beautiful Southwest and Mexican terrain in this Sidney J. Furie flick that is well worth the trip. Similar to Joe Kidd (also with Saxon).

    Best performance = Marlon Brando. Westerns of this type were on their way out by 1966, but with Brando it still makes the grade. Rafael Campos is believable as always in the most authentic way. This one is easy to find so give it a shot!
  • Yet another film from Brando's lean years; now, I only have THE UGLY American (1963; also included in Universal's "The Marlon Brando Franchise Collection") to watch from this period – but, all in all, it's an underrated phase for the celebrated method actor. Incidentally, it was nice to see such long-term Universal regulars as composer Frank Skinner (SON OF FRANKENSTEIN [1939]), editor Ted Kent (BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935]) and make-up man Bud Westmore (ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN [1948]) still involved in high profile productions such as this one after all those years. Anyway, Brando made only three Westerns in his career – the others being the self-directed ONE EYED JACKS (1961) and Arthur Penn's THE MISSOURI BREAKS (1976) – but they're among the more intriguing, if pretentious, from their respective eras; having said that, the film under review is easily the least rewarding of the three.

    The simple plot finds aspiring rancher Brando falling foul of small-time Mexican tyrant John Saxon over the former's appaloosa stallion (later on, Saxon's girl, Anjanette Comer – who does what she can with a basically underwritten role – becomes the object of contention between the two); beaten up by Saxon's men and his prize horse stolen, Brando follows in pursuit – ignoring the advise of friend Rafael Campos and a goat herder (Frank Silvera), he encounters on the way. Reaching the town where Saxon lives with his band of cut-throats, Brando tries to pass himself off as a local (by affecting a silly Mexican accent whose inspiration seems to have been Speedy Gonzales!); it doesn't take long for Saxon to discover his ruse and, when he does, challenges the star to a game of arm-wrestling (with a sting in its tail)! Brando loses and is beaten up again, after which Comer – fed up with her own way of life – takes him to Silvera's place to recover; catching up with the latter, Saxon's men kill him because he won't reveal the rancher's whereabouts but they're eliminated soon after by Brando himself. Finally, a showdown between the two parties takes place in the mountains.

    Thematically, THE APPALOOSA - which celebrated film critic Pauline Kael had dismissed as "a dog of a movie about a horse" and whose title was, understandably changed to SOUTHWEST TO SONORA for its British theatrical release – doesn't really cover any new ground despite Brando and director Furie's attempts to respectively infuse meaning into every gesture and shot. The latter was known for his flashy camera stylistics, and he really goes overboard here (placing characters in the extreme foreground when the main action is occurring in the remaining part of the frame – including the very last shot – or choosing bizarre angles – such as a tilted shot during the arm-wrestling bout from the POV of a scorpion!); with this in mind, I had become even more interested in checking this one out after learning how Italian B-movie exponent Enzo G. Castellari drew on it for his impressive latter-day Spaghetti Western KEOMA (1976) on the Audio Commentary of that film's R1 Anchor Bay DVD. All of this – plus Saxon's enjoyably hammy, Golden Globe-nominated performance (with an exaggerated Mexican accent to match) – keeps one watching, even when the pace flags or the plot turns dreary.

    Brando is said to have agreed to do this principally because he needed the cash to pay in alimony for his two ex-wives and that he quickly lost interest in the project (to the consternation of his producer and director); consequently, his contribution is atypically understated – thus allowing co-star Saxon to walk away with the film! Nevertheless, the confrontation scenes between their two characters constitute definite highlights (and the climax is nicely handled – kudos, in fact, to Russell Metty's cinematography throughout); otherwise, Silvera and popular Mexican actor/director Emilio Fernandez (perhaps still best-known for playing General Mapache in Sam Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH [1969] and here appearing as Saxon's right-hand man) are notable among the supporting cast.
  • I'd seen this film years ago, and rented the video last night. Brando was at the zenith of his career:

    strong, vital, and fit. His understated, controled acting along with his easy interaction with the other actors made this film a delight to watch. Especially moving was his relationship with Paco (Rafael Campos)-a close bond which was a major force in the film as revealed by the amazing speech relating Mateo's (Brando) growing up in the household of Paco and his family. The scenery was magnificent. A fine western, with qualities that would cross over into any genre.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Marlon Brando's performance in this film was exemplary. This is a story about a group of banditos who raided Matt Fletcher's (Brando) ranch left him for dead and stole his appaloosa. Brando stalks the thieves obsessed with getting his beloved horse. The rest of the film shows Fletcher's struggles with the thieves in a succession of action packed showdowns.

    This is one of my favorite westerns. Brando was serious, courageous and determined. He is a great character actor who can adapt to almost any role and play it well. This is Brando at the top of his game.

    They don't make films like this anymore. The movie was well cast and very genuine and realistic. If you like westerns, this is one you shouldn't miss
  • savoir24 April 2003
    I also saw this when I was in my "tender" years(pre 24). It made a lasting impression on me. A man who was a looser came back to his roots to not only pay homage to them but too use them to make something of what he had left of his existence. There were the vultures that were more than ready to pick the meat off his flesh. With his guard let down he was humiliated. The worst thing in the world: To be humiliated.

    He tried to "make amends." Not enough. His previous life came into play. Note the hat that he wore at the beginning of the movie. Still it was not enough. His anger was slow to arise.

    Even at the last of the movie the angst was subdued. He called gunfire justice only with the utmost reluctance. This was the ultimate strength of the movie.

    It truly was one of Brando's finest!
  • Slow-moving, beautifully shot, this film starring Marlon Brando is a treat to watch. No line of dialogue is wasted, close-up shots reveal people's emotions. Mexican pride and culture are revealed with knowledge and respect. I loved this trek to old Mexico with Marlon Brando et al.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The titular animal is missing for most of the movie, ostensibly stolen by John Saxon but more likely consumed by Marlon Brando, who gives early evidence of the result of his oral fetish. All those bananas he stuffed down his throat in ONE-EYED JACKS and MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY have caught up with him on this set, where there is clearly a lot less effort made to let out his costumes before each take. Fortunately, he preferred in his Westerns to dress more or less as he had in JULIUS CAESAR, with various serapes and ponchos arranged toga-style for a sweeping, heroic effect that accents his shoulders and minimizes his belly.

    Sidney J. Furie manages to stay out of his own way, which is more than can be said for much of his work at this stage of his career. His fashionable mid-60s obsession with close-ups this time heightens tension without dating the movie's look too much - no more, anyway, than Sergio Leone's angles and editing date his own. However, like many a mid-period Brando director, Furie fails to cajole more than an occasional snort of derision from his Clydesdale-sized star. Warhorse Roland Kibbee and pre-Oscar James Bridges contribute some choice dialog but seem to have differed over the pace - Kibbee's scripts tend to drag a little for my taste, as he cut his teeth on 50s costume epics, while Bridges' zoom right along; as a result, APPALOOSA is alternately sluggish and spastic. Still, it is peppered with perversities enough to retain interest, including gunpoint penance, flyblown pulque, and a scorpion-spiced arm wrestling contest.

    Brando's chief contribution is a pretty good Mexican accent, which doesn't fool any Mexicans but seems to keep him entertained. Its usefulness to the plot is questionable, and it looks rather as if it was adopted simply to amuse the easily distracted 300 pound gorilla at the center of the production. Whatever. Brando at his most lethargic is still more watchable than Tom Cruise jumping on furniture. He is ably supported by a game, sunburned Saxon, an unusually sober Emilio Fernandez, and an apparently stoned Anjanette Comer, who masticates a series of limes as if they contain the cure for the Curse of the Exotic Ingenue. (Perhaps they did, as she neither married Brando nor committed suicide after co-starring with, or simply meeting, him.)
  • Over the years I seemed to have missed "THE APPOLOSSA" and was thrilled to see Marlon Brando and John Saxon perform excellent roles as bandit and horse owner. The photography and close-ups kept you glued to the screen. Brando was at his best and eleven years later made "Missouri Breakes" another picture to match this one.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Today I have seen for the first time THE APPALOOSA and it is some western, bizarre and oblique and striking, played by one the very few extraordinary actors ever, and a strange hallmark as well—made in '66, I believe, it looks like an original, rough, sharp and uncanny revisionist western taken over by Brando once more ;it reminded me of that western directed by Brando himself, several years before Appaloosa. Which one is better? I can not say that, as it's long since I have seen ONE EYED …. And can they truly be compared? These movies exists only around Brando; and Hopkins explained well that they are iconic movies, movies enlivened by Brando's iconic presence (--and whims, and antics, if you like …--), egotistical performances meant to startle and to amaze. The script is smashed, and if Appaloosa is indeed powerfully dramatic, it's because of Brando's guts. Acts of courage, of egotism, a narcissistic cinema unfortunately sabotaged or denied by the '60s Hollywood industry; come to think of it, Gabin, Grant and others were accorded what Brando needed too—a celebratory cinema intended to exploit an actor's unusual energy and iconic glow. This is Brando exploitation. Movies like this one are designed as cult—films, and this seems their primary significance. On a large scale, this was done in the generous era of cinema—the era of true stardom. Gabin, Bogart, Garbo—and, before them, the true stars of the silent cinema, fully benefited from this. Brando, like Newman, came too late, when the cult meant a rather small niche and such a strategy was possible only in the B cinema (see the Bronson file, or the Italian genre actors …).

    Here, as the gringo ,Brando is (again) larger—than—life; the theme of the humiliated and wronged man can be superficially traced through some famous westerns, like LARAMIE and that already mentioned above ONE EYED …,but is it any good? I think not; aside from a superficial resemblance, the scene is new each time it's used by another director from a different movie.

    Another aspect—Brando's role as Matteo, the gringo, is a stand—out because of Brando's own line of rough and fancy realism—if you will only accept such an expression. In the final duel, Brando uses with the same delighted nonchalance his obvious clumsiness—he used his hands in a bizarre way, and this somehow boosts his character, enhances if not the realism, then the attractiveness of a scene.

    When we avidly watch Brando are we really in for realism (performing credibly average unobtrusive people)? Brando always strives—if he did it at all—to play interesting, dashing, intriguing characters—not pedestrians. First of all, a realist performance presupposes a realist script and realist intentions. Brando naturally enjoys to fascinate and to startle. He offers high—voltage fancy. Of course his beautifully made characters are real—because he created them, not because they are realistic to a grand degree. Was he ever required realism? Whose realism, or, realism according to whom? In his westerns too, he is not trying to give realistic performances (the way Duvall, Costner, Eastwood, Hackman, Caan, with the adequate scripts and parts, tried—and largely succeeded too). Dean, Nicholson, De Niro and maybe even Clift aimed sometimes at achieving realist performances; not Brando, not Pacino, who characteristically subordinate the parts to their energies and personalities and even playfulness.

    Gabin was seldom realist in his performances; and he was seldom solicited, required to be realist.

    Some mistake a certain intensity for realism; but, first of all, let us inquire if a certain movie or script requires or at least admits realism, and to what degree.
  • golfermj24 February 2007
    when you consider that this movie was released in 1966,in the midst of the Sergio Leone-Clint Eastwood western trilogy and the same year as the groundbreaking-action classic"The Professionals","The appaloosa" is a dated film.Sergio Leone and Richard Brooks were exceptionally good film makers and could tell a good story.Sidney J.Furie made top notch spy thrillers with Michael Caine in the Harry Palmer films,but Furie seemed to out of his league making a western."The Appaloosa"is a slow moving ponderous film with little excitement.the novel by Robert Macleod is superior. the first two or three chapters of the book take place at "the battle of adobe walls"-a real life incident that took place in 1874 in which a small group of buffalo hunters held off a large band of Indians.this entire sequence was not included in the film due to Marlon Brando refusing to be in a movie where his character was killing addition,Brando did not like Indians being portrayed as nothing but savage killers.or at least, this is what i have positive addition that the film has that the novel does not have is the arm wrestling contest between Brando and John Saxon -with an added-creepy danger to the contest.also in the film's favor- both Brando and Saxon are good.Brando is low key and brooding while Saxon hams it up-also Anjanette Comer is very lovely.the film deletes the Indian wife of Brando's character and the role of the town sheriff in the novel is reduced to one quick short mini scene.the novel is a rugged western with good action.the movie is not.they should have been more faithful to the book-it would have made a better movie.still, the movie is worth a look and has a fine music score and some nice photography in addition to some solid performances, but it lacks excitement.
  • The Appaloosa is a film that was made at a time when Marlon Brando's career was in the doldrums. Either films were not money makers though critically good like Reflections in a Golden Eye or they were outright duds like this one.

    It's not a horrible western, just not a terribly good one. Even Brando's One Eyed Jacks with a whole lot of posing was more interesting than this one.

    Brando plays a Confederate veteran come home to his Texas border town and the Mexican family that took him in as an orphan. He's got himself a nice Appaloosa horse that he hopes to breed as the start of a horse ranch.

    He also manages to come between bandit John Saxon and his woman Anajette Comer. Saxon gets his back up over it all so he steals the Appaloosa, leaving Brando to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico and track him down.

    All this over a horse, seems hardly worth the effort, we're not exactly talking about Trigger here.

    Brando and Saxon have a great old contest in trying to top each other in overacting. I leave it to your own judgment, but personally I think Saxon won the prize.

    Not Brando at his finest by any means.
  • dbdumonteil22 February 2006
    Marlon Brando would display masochistic tendencies in his sixties parts.His self-directed movie (excellent in other respects),"one-eyed jacks" featured a very long scene where he was whipped by his "Streetcar named desire" pal Karl Malden.In the underrated "reflection in a golden eye" ,he was humiliated by his wife (Elizabeth Taylor).And I will not even mention his beating up in Penn's "the chase":it has to be seen to be believed.

    "The Appaloosa " features this kind of scene :it's John Saxon's turn to play the torturer this time.And if it is not clear enough,the movie begins with confession and penance in a church.

    The plot of "the Appaloosa" is very simple probably too simple for its own good.Saxon steals Brando's horse and the latter who was about to start a clean brand new life has to fight against that cruel Mexican -Saxon's face and voice desperately try to sound Mexican- whose favorite pastime is arm-wrestle over a scorpion.And he treats his woman bad ,a woman who used to dream of a romantic wedding with priest and walk down the aisle.

    The landscapes are nicely filmed but the story is never really exciting.This era was a hard time for Brando whose career seemed shriveled.But it wasn't of course.
  • I have many western movies from Marlon Brando, Viva Zapata is my favorite, Appaloosa has a special meaning for me, a compelling story about an American orphan child raise by a Mexican family at border, Matt the little gringo became Matteo, he grew up from a hard labor of his stepfather on a scarce corn crop, then he went away in search for gold, many years he finally goes back, two hundred dollars on the pocket and a rare Appaloosa stallion, he plains with his Mexican brother with a large family build a ranch, therefore his horse drawing attention of a powerful Mexican farmer Chuy Medina (John Saxon) who he knew previously and already had refused 500 bucks for the horse, then Chuy stolen the horse, against all family's advices he goes toward to Cocatlan to get his stallion back, he passing through for some Mexican villages until to meet the lonely old farmer Ramos (Frank Silvera) living in a small house with goats, when he reach at Cocatlan he is easily caught by Chuy's hoodlums, then came up the famous highlight scene arm wrestling with scorpions, even lost he bleed his arm with a broken bottle, left to die on an empty church he was taken by Trini (Anjanette Comer), afterwards a remarkable sequence at windy Ramos's farmer where Matt and Trini were hidden in a empty grave, superior western spurned criminally to ostracism even having strong elements bespoke on purpose as the hate among two neighbors, the Mexicans and the Americans that Brando dared to expose, also he display those stereotyped scary outlaws covered by large sombreros showing their dirty teeth and scars sounds great, highly underrated!!!


    First watch: 2006 / How many: 3 / Source: Cable TV-DVD / Rating: 8.5
  • Interesting but slowly paced Western follows Brando's attempts to recover an Appaloosa horse stolen from him by Mexican villains . Being based on a novel by Robert MacLeod and screenplay by also filmmakers , James Bridges and Roland Kibbee . Set in 1870s , Southwest to Sonora where rules the lawless , lustful and violence arrives a man who returns from war and tries to recover a horse (the appaloosa of the titles) stolen from him by a Mexican bandit called Chuy (John Saxon who received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor) and hoodlums (Emilio Fernandez) . As a Mexican-American named Matt Fletcher and outlaws to live on the edge of violence . When the bandits steal his horse , he sets out in pursuit the thieves . Meanwhile Matt falls in love for the Chuy's girlfriend named Trini (Anjanette Comer) .

    This strange Western contains drama , action , colorful outdoors , shootouts but is paced in slow-moving and often tiring . Violent and moving at the ending in which Fletcher/Brando single-handedly, contends the whole nasty band . Good interpretation by the mythical Marlon Brando , he carries out a method-acting , brooding approach to the main role , though according to co-star John Saxon, Marlon Brando's relationship with director Sidney J. Furie got to the point where Brando, when getting ready to do a close-up, would be reading a book , he would only lower the book when Furie yelled "Action" ; when he yelled "Cut", Brando would raise the book again . Also according to producer Alan Miller, appalled at his star's lack of interest in the film and his lackluster performance, pinned a bit of doggerel about Marlon Brando . Glimmer and luxurious cinematography in Techniscope by the classical cameraman Russell Metty filmed on location in St. George, Utah, Lake Los Angeles, and Wrightwood, California . Sensitive and evocative musical score by maestro Frank Skinner .

    This slight motion picture was professionally directed by Sidney J Furie , a veteran and prolific director , still today making films . British Furie has directed all kind of genres , though mostly action . In 1999, Sidney J. Furie's espionage thriller The Ipcress File (1965) was included at number 59 on the BFI's list of the 100 greatest British films of the 20th century. Stanley Kubrick was a big fan of The Boys in Company C (1978) and cited Sidney J. Furie's war movie as the direct inspiration for Full Metal Jacket (1987). In 2009, director Martin Scorsese placed Sidney J. Furie's The Entity (1982) on his list of the 11 Scariest Horror Films of All Time. He also directed Superman IV: quest of peace (1987) , originally had a budget of $36 million dollars , just before filming was to begin, Cannon Pictures, which was starting to suffer financial problems, slashed the budget and was a flop . ¨The Appaloosa¨ resulted to be an acceptable Western that had moderated success at the box office . Rating : 6 , passable . The picture will appeal to Marlon Brando fans and Western buffs .
  • The Appaloosa (1966)

    ** (out of 4)

    Rather bizarre Western has Matt (Marlon Brando) having his horse stolen by Chuy (John Saxon) so he sets out to get him back. The two men had previous run-ins over a woman (Anjanette Comer) who will come into play as the story plays out.

    THE APPALOOSA is a film that Marlon Brando didn't really want to make but the paycheck was good so he took the role. When production started he realized that he really didn't want to do the film so the shooting was somewhat of a disaster with the legend battling director Sidney J. Furie. The end result is a fairly forgettable film that tries to be something different than your typical Western.

    The biggest problem with this movie is the story. In all honesty even by Western standards the story here is quite weak and would barely fill up one of those 50 minute "B" films from the 30s. We basically have the two men running into each other a couple time and the film tries to be psychological and it fails pretty bad. There are really bizarre and weird camera set-ups that are meant to be deep or to bring you into the mental state of the characters but it just doesn't work. Whatever vision director Furie was trying to bring just doesn't come across and we're left with a pretty boring movie.

    The always entertaining Saxon manages to be the best thing here. With his thick Mexican accent and the paint on his face, Saxon manages to make for a fun villain but it's too bad more wasn't done with the character. I thought Corner was also good in her wasted role and especially early on when she fears for her safety after trying to break free from Chuy. As for Brando, I don't think he's bad here but it's certainly not into what he's doing. He ends up mumbling more than anything else and just doesn't bring any energy or passion to the part.
  • Matt Fletcher (Marlon Brando) is returning home with his beautiful Appaloosa horse intending to start a horse ranch with it. Powerful bandit Chuy Medina (John Saxon) steals his horse. Matt decides to pursue his gang into wild hostile Mexico. Chuy's brutalized girlfriend Trini helps him.

    The villains are mustachio Mexican bandits. Yet John Saxon plays the lead Mexican and he does it with a fake accent. This is a spaghetti B-western except it has Brando. It's not well made and slow moving. The story meanders and lacks excitement. It does have Brando. He's the only interesting thing in this movie.
  • I'm being nice and giving it an even five stars just because the women and scenery are so beautiful. In Chicago there used to be a movie theater that ran Mexican produced westerns every weekend. They came out of a sardine can for the most part, when you got really lucky they had a special three banger like, "The Horsethief", "The Man Who Stole Horses" and finally, "That Man Stole My Horse!" Granted they were different movies but...

    Appaloosa seems to be an American adaptation of of of these movies but it's anybodies guess which one. These movies are fun though, I guess thats why they made so many of them. This one however should have been put in a tuna can. Marlon Brando is bored out of his mind. He perks up when he visits a married couple who are his friends. He flirts with the woman, lovely Mexican MILF Miriam Colon, but he's clearly more interested in her husband Emilio Fernandez.

    I can't pick on John Saxon, he's not the greatest actor but he earns his paycheck every time like the pro he is.

    Anjanette Comer is gorgeous but not in a steamy Mexican kind of way. She was perfect in The Loved One. Born to do campy sexy roles in short dresses. She's miscast here.

    Unless you can't get enough of your favorite actor, watch something else.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    or Boy meets horse,boy loses horse,boy finds horse again after adopting a comic book Mexican accent of the "I'm gonna keel you,greengo!" variety and apparently being fitted with brown contact lenses.Mr Brando's concern with respecting minorities clearly didn't stretch to refusing to stereotype the way they speak or paint himself with coffee grounds to darken his skin so he can "pass". At times he seems barely conscious as he brings the phrase "going through the motions" to a whole new level. Frankly,by 1966 he was already "Yesterday's Man"and beginning a cycle of movies that would see him happily guying his former persona to keep him in pizza. Starting off with blue eyes and a beard that looks as if it was constructed of goats' hair,Mr Brando does his hoarse - whispering schtick in the Confessional before being confronted by Mr John Saxon, a man to whom subtlety is an unexplored territory.Mr Saxon wants to buy Mr Brando's horse for $500.A refusal clearly offends Mr S.and a revenge story creaks its way through the next ninety or so minutes. Mr Saxon steals Mr Brando's horse whilst he is very unconvincingly drunk- Mr Brando,not the horse who might have made a better fist of it. The rest of the movie concerns Mr Brando's efforts to restore the horse to his bosom. After "browning up",Mr Brando sets off to find his horse and "keel" Mr Saxon,on the way adopting an accent nearly as bad as his opponents. Er,that's about it,really. In recent years,sleep - walking has become a recognised defence against murder charges here in the UK(well,I never said we were clever). Despite this,I find Mr Brando guilty of murdering "The Appaloosa"in his sleep.
  • I am no expert on westerns, though I really like some of the Clint Eastwoods, probably for their humoristic qualities. When I sat down to see this film I was expecting a little of that blended in with Brando's strong performance. I got neither, and was very disappointed. There was seemingly a strong moral dimension in this film, but it lost significance because of Marlon Brando's lacklustre performance. Particularly the scene, mentioned in other reviews, where he talks of his childhood on the corn patch, was badly written and poorly executed. I am a huge fan of Marlon Brando, so I've seen many of his great performances. His acting can be sensitive, emotionally powerful and subtle, but I am sad to say this is not the case for The Appaloosa.

    There were at least two other issues from the film that annoyed me. Firstly, the bad costume/ makeup jobs, particularly Brando's face during the films first scenes is horrendous, and amplified by the large number of closeups I had to endure. I understand that this has to do with the quality of makeup available when the film was made, but its still startling, and I wonder if this would have been noticed in 1966. The other thing is the prevalence of ridiculously fake "mexican" accents. Come on! Could anyone ever take them seriously?

    Still the film deserved a 5 out of 10, because Marlon Brando is in it.
  • januszlvii22 December 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    It amazes me how many people think this is a medocre western. In my humble opinion, it is in the Top 10 ever made. What makes it work is the attention to detail. Marlon Brando's Matt is not a perfectly neat character with shiny teeth, rather he is very poor and looks it. The only reason he has to live is his prize appaloosa horse which was stolen from him by bandio Chuy ( John Saxon), to give to a woman he was interested in named Trini ( Anjanette Comer). It is important to note he did not love Trini ( he considered her a possession). Trini talked about one day in the future when Chuy got tired of her he would pass her around to his men. In order to get.the horse back he goes to Mexico and even darkens his face with coffee to blend in ( again a nice touch). Does he get his horse back? Spoilers ahead: Of course. But what he had to go through ( including a battle of scorpions with Chuy) and a near death experience make it worthwhile to see how he does it. He also ends up with Trini who decides to go to across the border with him. Even though she will be economically poor it beats the life she had before. But anything is better and she knew it. As Brando says to one of Chuy's henchmen " You treat your woman like you treat your horse, you tie her up because you know she will run away." Excellent movie 10/10 stars.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A much maligned western that is actually a really good, very tightly made suspense film featuring a terrific Marlon Brando performance as well as an unexpectedly great turn by John Saxon. Brando drifts into a border-town and crosses paths with Mexican hot head Saxon. Saxon steals Brando's beloved horse (the appaloosa of the title) and a game of cat and mouse ensues during which Brando acquires Saxon's desperate wife (the oddly cast Anjanette Comer). Brando is exceptional and Saxon is really great as the villain. However, Comer is very under-utilized --- unfortunately she has a pretty thankless role and has little chemistry with Brando. Directed with a lot of flair by Sidney J. Furie and featuring excellent cinematography by Russell Metty.
  • See it – "Next time you point a gun at me you better pull the trigger. Cuz' I'm gonna blow you into so many pieces your friends will get tired of looking for you." Can't you just picture Marlon Brando saying that to a bad guy? This is a great south-of-border revenge western. It is a very clever film, and actually has kind of a spaghetti western feel to it. My favorite scene is the arm wrestle that involves scorpions. If you've seen it you know what I'm talking about. Also, a bit of trivia…the milky beverage everyone drinks is called pulque. It's a Mexican beer that's made by fermenting agave juice. And I would know. I checked…online. 3 out of 5 action rating
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