Brando doc resurfaces almost 50 years after it was made
05:00 AM, Oct 24, 2013
Albert Maysles and his brother, the late David Maysles, are responsible for some of the best documentaries ever made, including Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter.
One of their early films has been hard to find, but I was delighted to see that next month it will be available online via Fandor. Shot in 1965, Meet Marlon Brando shows the legendary actor being interviewed by fawning members of the press. It only lasts about 30 minutes, but that’s long enough to illustrate a) Brando’s intelligence and star power; and b) the silliness of the media.
In this video, Albert tells how he and his brother were assigned to shoot Brando at the New York press junket for the film Morituri.
“Almost immediately upon starting to film the interviews, we thought as we looked to one another, ‘Oh, my goodness. We could put these together and have a film of our own,” he says.
The film pops up on YouTube from time to time but is often removed. You can see the official trailer over at the Maysles’ site, which contains more flirtatious reporters, as well as the actor’s tongue-in-cheek conversation. (“You’re one of the prettiest interviewers that I, uh …”)
At different points in the movie, Brando speaks French and German, and he also talks earnestly about civil rights.
They don’t make ‘em like this anymore, do they? Meet Marlon Brando goes on demand Nov. 15 via Fandor’s site and app. For more about the indie-movie platform, read this piece I wrote earlier this year.