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THE MISSOURI BREAKS

Director: ARTHUR PENN

U.S.A. • 1976 • COLOUR • 126 MIN


ALTHOUGH CONCEIVED AS A COMMERCIAL PACKAGE THAT PAIRED BRANDO WITH JACK NICHOLSON, THE MISSOURI BREAKS EMERGES AS A FAR MORE RESONANT WESTERN THAN ITS REPUTATION WOULD SUGGEST.
Its success is due in large measure to Arthur Penn’s inspired direction of Thomas McGuane’s wonderfully eccentric script. As in his screenplays for Rancho Deluxe and Tom Horn, McGuane’s West is once again a land divided between manically repressive ‘regulators’ and anarchic rustlers. The latter group is headed by Tom Logan (Nicholson), who wishes to settle down. The former is represented by bounty hunter Robert E. Clayton (Brando). Making his entrance playing peekaboo from behind his horse, and at one point stalking his prey in a dress and bonnet, Brando’s ‘regulator’ is one of the strangest creatures ever to appear in a Western.

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