|7:00 p.m.||The Missouri Breaks|
Arthur Penn (U.S., 1976)
In this riotous and rambling western, Marlon Brando rides into town like a loony in leathers. A “regulator,” he’s been hired by Braxton (John McLiam), a cold-dealing cattle baron who wants the range rid of rustlers. Lee Clayton, as he’s called, is a magisterial maniac who has more guises than notches on his belt. He’s got a Chinese coolie hat, a gaudy buckskin jacket, and a gingham dress like grandma used to wear. And when he’s not speaking in tongues, he’s speaking in sundry accents. He’s also ruthless to a fault, preferring to stalk his quarry from afar with a high-powered rifle. One by one, he picks off a band of incompetent rustlers (Randy Quaid, Frederic Forrest, Harry Dean Stanton), led by Tom Logan (Jack Nicholson), an honorable lout who believes that maybe you won’t die with your boots on, but you shouldn’t have holes in your socks. Quirky, smirky, and shot full with great dialogue by Thomas McGuane, Missouri Breaks knows that on the unfenced frontier you have to enlarge yourself to fill up space.
• Written by Thomas McGuane. Photographed by Michael Butler. With Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Frederic Forrest. (126 mins, Color, 35mm, From MGM)