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3.9 out of 5 stars
The Missouri Breaks [DVD]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2015
Missouri Breaks [Blu-ray] [1976] [US Import] As you know I usually do an in-depth review of any Blu-ray discs I get sent to me, but this time I am will NOT be doing any long review this time, but what I will be doing is sending out a WARNING to anyone contemplating purchasing this terrible Blu-ray Release.

In one of the reviews it says that Leonard Maltin calls ‘The Missouri Breaks’ a BOMB, well I totally agree with this comment 100% and again this warning I hope it stop people buying this Blu-ray disc.

For a start, I cannot understand why KINO LORBER ever contemplated releasing this Blu-ray Release, as the quality is the worst I have ever seen. For a start the image resolution is on par to 480i quality. But the worst insult is ALL the Actors are really badly dubbed and when they speak the lip sync is really badly out of kilt and I just cannot understand why no one else has not pointed out this really bad situation, as I have read ALL the reviews with this Blu-ray disc and no one has pointed out this very bad lip sync situation out and I think KINO LORBER should have all of the Blu-ray discs returned and sort out this very bad sound situation. The other insult is Marlon Brando, who has the most ridiculous Irish accent and makes him look and sound so totally ludicrous and a total embarrassment. The other disappointment is all you get is a Trailer and because of such a historic film, I am sure there are loads of extras that was available, and so KINO LORBER have been very cheapskate in producing a very poor Blu-ray release.

Finally, because of my complaint to Amazon, they have kindly refunded my money and I will NOT be purchasing this Blu-ray ever and I also recommend people not purchase this Blu-ray disc ever, but unless there is an announcement that a new Blu-ray disc has been re-mastered, so again anyone out there who is contemplating purchasing this Blu-ray disc, well don’t as you will be totally disappointed by what you view and hear.

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
There have been many strange westerns down the years, but few stranger than "The Missouri Breaks". It has been described as offbeat and oddball, which it most certainly is. It is the original curate's egg! There is much about it to be admired, and desperately as I would like to review it positively, it does have a serious flaw that should be pointed out in the interests of a balanced review.

The screenplay is written by Thomas McGuane, whose original version "Rancho Deluxe", was set in contemporary Montana. This one is set in the 1880's. The story is virtually the same wise talking version, just set the little matter of a hundred years before. The rather traditional western plot concerns a literary inclined wealthy rancher, who happens to read "Tristram Shandy" I noticed, which is a fair choice in my book, who suffers from the depredations of a gang of affable horse stealing outlaws, lead by Jack Nicholson in his usual wise cracking form. Despite his civilised lifestyle the rancher is not above using a "regulator", played by Marlon Brando, about whom I will speak more of later, to liquidate these rustlers. Thus begins a war of wits between the rancher, Brando and Nicholson. The film becomes increasingly violent and does not flinch from realism. Things head toward a particularly grisly finale, that tends to stay etched in the mind.

The film has much to admire in it. The cinematography of the wide open spaces of Montana is ravishing. There are also some lovely scenes, like the one where Nicholson's gang steal horses from Canadian mountie's, with some élan it should be said. But it should be remembered that these Canadian policemen "always get their man", and there is a reckoning to be paid. It should also be pointed out that some of the acting is very good. Although I can find Nicholson tiresome at times, he is very good in this film. Harry Dean Stanton is also excellent as always in a support role. There is also a very strong score by John Williams, which is still available I notice. Now that is quite a few positives! But the main sticking point for me is the eccentric and out of control performance from Marlon Brando, as the regulator Lee Clayton, resplendent in a variety of costumes. Edith Head eat your heart out! Brando speaks in a rather strange Irish accent, and hams it up something awful. He starts the film hidden behind a horse, from which he eventually appears behind. This eccentric behaviour continues unabated through the film, and becomes a bit wearisome. At one stage we see him dressed as a frontierswoman in drag! A rather large representation of womanhood it should be said, who obviously ate all the pies Montana had to offer. It all smacks of an actor who has been allowed far too much freedom over his own material, and who was using the film to inflate his own ego. All very odd shenanigans indeed!

Who knows how good a film this would have been without Brando's overblown performance! It is hard to say! The director Arthur Penn, of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame, certainly had a good track record. I would really like to make it four stars, and it comes mighty close with all those positives, but thanks to Mr Brando it has to be a comfortable three stars. Despite the criticism, it does make interesting viewing, but then I am always biased towards westerns!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 November 2012
This isn`t really a western, more a film about a group of disparate people that happens to be set in the West. Arthur Penn was one of Hollywood`s most interesting directors once upon a time, in the 60s & 70s, and this is one of his most likeable films.
Following on from his commercial and artistic success in The Godfather and Last Tango, Brando here has a part he must have relished. He`s given all the room he wants to be as eccentric, charming, devilish, expansive, witty, watchful, camp, and downright scary as he wishes. He plays Lee Clayton, a `Regulator` brought to a small Montana community by a rich rancher (played beautifully by John McLiam, an actor who seems to have disappeared) to get rid of its unruly elements by fair means or foul.
But Clayton isn`t merely a freelance lawman - if he`s even that - but a law unto himself. His arrival is a ghostly one, his movements as enigmatic as his whole persona. Is this man even real? Brando plays him, most of the time, with a credible Irish lilt, except when he wants to truly intimidate members of the diffuse gang of horse thieves he`s come to run to ground, when he is as American as they are.
Brando`s performance is virtuosic, not to mention utterly riveting, with his weird costumes and weirder repertoire of voices - and just wait till he starts talking to his horses - reminding me why I could never take my eyes off him in any film in those days. He was one of a kind - no wonder a generation of actors looked up to him.
Nicholson is equally fine in a less showy role. In fact, he and Brando strike just the right sparks off each other in their scenes together.
The other performance to treasure is courtesy of that wiry, wrily sad gentleman of American film, the wonderful Harry Dean Stanton - still with us at 86! His scenes with both Jack and Marlon are to treasure. How good to see Stanton in a part worthy of his talent; too often he was relegated to brief cameos.
That superb actor Frederic Forrest is barely glimpsed, but lanky Randy Quaid, a ubiquitous actor in those days, is seen to good effect, sharing a telling scene with Brando. (How young actors must have been excited at the thought of screen time with such a legend!)
The other performance that impresses is by Kathleen Lloyd, who proves a fresh and feisty partner to Nicholson in their several scenes together. She may look a little too `modern` but she acts with naturalness and humour.
The film looks great, and Penn`s direction is near-faultless. Script is by Thomas McGuane, and music by none other than John Williams, post-Jaws and pre-Star Wars.
In truth I`d award this about nine out of ten, so my five-star rating is perhaps generous, but if it inspires just one person to see this offbeat delight, then that`s to the good.
In 1976 Brando was 52, Nicholson was 39. Both look ageless here, and Marlon looks like nothing less than a portly fallen angel. With an aim that never misses.
Do see The Missouri Breaks.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2007
Unlike the first reviewer, i think this is one of the best westerns i have seen. It explores several themes including family loyalty, love, friendship and law and order versus criminality on the western frontier. The acting is great and all the characters have their appeal, with Tom Logans horse theif crew of Little Todd, Cal and Carry potraying the theme of friendship and lawlessness extemley well. The relationship between Tom and Jane is also an interesting sub-plot which starts off brilliantly when they first meet and go for a horseride together.

Unlike spaghetti westerns, or John Wayne westerns, this film really taps into the characterisation of the frontier inhabitants. The exploration of the theme of lawlessness is fasciniating as Penn looks at it from the perspective of the law-breakers. Braxton - who is the arrogant, rich and law-abiding cattle rancher is portrayed in a negative light throughout.

Brando, similar to apocalypse now, potrays an eccentric and evil character, who although he may have is good points is ultimately a 'bad guy'.

My favourite aspect of the movie is the sharp dialogue between the horse-thieves and if you like westerns you will like this film a lot.

To conclude, a great film, with great dialogue, with great characters!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2011
The Missouri Breaks is not a traditional western . It's definately a 70's style film. The closest western film comparison would be The Long Riders. I did not enjoy this film as much as the Long Riders however. The Missouri Breaks is made up of many good scenes including a train robbery, some horse rustling in Canada and some scenes that create a believable love story. Despite this though the film didn't grip me and I found it hard to like the characters. Marlon Brando is particuarly weird. You can follow the plot and the characters but the film seems uneven. This may have been intentional, there's certainly no clear hero's and villains in this film, but therefore no one to root for. The Long Riders were a nastier bunch than Jack Nicholsons Horse thieves, but that film had a quicker pace and you did want to know who would survive and who wouldn't.
The Missouri Breaks is one of those films where if I watched it again(which I'm not in a rush to do) I might change my mind and give it 5 stars, but then again I might give it 1 star.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2010
Probably the most enjoyable western I have ever seen. Performances by Nicholson and Brando are outstanding and the storyline always compelling.Brando shows the full range of his talent with his delivery of a multi-accented obsessive and perverse bounty hunter and manages to be unbelievable and convincing at the same time. All the supporting cast hold up their end ( as well as the train) Its a shame though that the superb cinematography is let down by a somewhat indifferent DVD transfer. It all tends to be a bit grainy , especially in the darker indoor shots and the full beauty of the film has been diminished. I have an old VHS version of this film made from TV and the quality is actually much better. This isn't bad enough to make it unenjoyable though so I'd still recommend it as a way above average view.
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on 31 August 2013
Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando in a western. Oh yes!
What's not to like?
This movie got some bad reviews at the box office, but I cannot fault it.
The story line hits the mark and Nicholson and Brando bounce off each other brilliantly.
It entertains the whole way through and what a fantastic end to the movie. Wow!
Do not miss an opportunity to watch this movie...
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2005
How did i miss this one? Fine acting from both leads and supporting cast.This quirky western contains some classic set pieces and is loaded with snappy dialogue.Give it a whirl.
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on 30 May 2015
What can you expect but excellence when you have Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando in the same movie? This is a Western with Nicholson as an outlaw and Brando as the regulator intent on tracking down Nicholson and his associates.
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on 2 September 2014
Director Arthur Penn's 3rd Western after The Left Handed Gun (his first film) and Little Big Man is an un-romantic (realistic?) look at life on the frontier featuring two very different stars.
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