Aug 6, 2009

Budd Schulberg R.I.P.

Brando was unhappy. "The scene is unplayable," he told the director, Elia Kazan, who reported back to the film's writer, Budd Schulberg. "Marlon says the scene is unplayable."

"I don't understand it," said Schulberg. "You like the scene. I like the scene. Everybody likes the scene. Let's sit down and talk to him ..." Every time Schulberg tried to sit down with the star, however, the movie's producer found some way to call off the meeting. He was afraid Brando might walk. Finally, during a rooftop shoot, Schulberg approached Brando and took him aside.

"I don't understand about the taxi scene," he said.

"Well, it doesn't work," replied Brando.

"What's wrong, Marlon, why don't you like the scene?"

"Well, when I say that stuff about I could have been a contender instead of a bum and Steiger takes out a gun, I just can't say the rest of it. I think I'd stop."

"What if you just reach over and push the gun down while he looks at you?"

Brando thought about it.

"Oh, that's fine. That'll work."

The speech stayed in.
My interview with Schulberg here.

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