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What Was Unique About Marlon Brando’s Approach to Movie Dialogue?

Marlon Brando's approach to movie dialogue was revolutionary; he infused a raw authenticity into his lines, making them feel spontaneous and deeply personal. His method acting background allowed him to embody his characters fully, often improvising to create a more natural flow. His technique redefined on-screen realism. How did this impact his co-stars and directors? Continue with us to uncover the ripple effects of Brando's artistry.

Marlon Brando was perhaps the greatest "method" actor in history, but his method for remembering his lines was undeniably odd. The man who was Superman's father Jor-El, Don Vito Corleone, and who "coulda been a contender" had the habit of getting his movie lines taped to his co-stars so he didn't have to memorize them.

Towards the end of his career, Brando became increasingly overweight and reclusive. He refused to remember his dialogue, insisting on improvising instead. But long before that, Brando demanded to have his lines written on cue cards so that he could simply read them. Sometimes they were taped to a wall, but even co-stars such as Robert Duvall helped out. In The Godfather, Duvall, who played Corleone family consigliere Tom Hagen, held Brando's cue cards across his chest so the Don could read them as the cameras rolled. Perhaps Brando had made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

More on Marlon:

  • Brando used the Oscar statuette he won for On the Waterfront as a doorstop.

  • On the set of The Godfather, Brando dropped trou and mooned his co-stars, as well as about 500 extras, during the famous wedding scene.

  • According to friend Sean Penn, Brando froze some movie scripts and later took them out to shoot them with a shotgun so they would fly apart.

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    • Marlon Brando preferred cue cards to memorizing lines; in "The Godfather" they were taped to a co-star's chest.
      By: Mrgeret Guilory
      Marlon Brando preferred cue cards to memorizing lines; in "The Godfather" they were taped to a co-star's chest.