Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

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Film Noir

Category: Rated G

A celluloid tale by rosecatt


A long time ago (in 1972, I believe it was) Marlon Brando was hard at work creating his exquisite performance as Don Corleone in that timeless hit film ‘The Godfather’. This role was to become his greatest achievement since ‘On the Waterfront’, and Brando was completely immersed in it, being one of the first major stars to embrace what is called Method Acting.

As filming progressed, he insisted that his Director, Francis Ford Coppola, should devise ever more elaborate techniques to ensure authenticity in the production. In fact Brando was such a stickler for perfection that he even requested special lighting. He wanted the lights dimmed to near darkness while he read his lines, to create the impression that Don Corleone was a powerful and feared presence at all times. As you know, in the finished movie the Brando character is indeed surrounded by a sinister aura, so the effect was achieved.

But the shooting was difficult for the other actors. They felt that it was too hard to read their lines in such an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and during one especially trying day they went en masse to Coppola and complained, to no avail of course. “You can rehearse the scene with the lights on, but as soon as Brando is ready we are gonna turn ’em down real low because” Coppola said, “it’s always darkest before the Don.”

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