I don’t know, folks…
I have to confess that this is one of my all-time favorite Westerns of any kind.
Every time I see it, I like it even more.
I don’t agree that the film is a vanity showcase for Brando. Even though he is the central figure in the tale he is often upstaged, in my opinion, by several of the great cast members. In particular Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens are great. Karl Malden, Katy Jurado, and Larry Duran are other notables.
The movie is based on a novel by Charles Neider called “The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones” (which was a reworking of the story of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid). Surprisingly, after so many different people worked on the script, the movie still holds close to the original book.
I am not so sure that Peckinpah wrote a script for this, by the way. For one thing, he never claimed this himself and it seems like he would have. For another, when LQ Jones and I talked about this movie, LQ told me it was one of Sam’s favorites. I told LQ that I was sure Sam liked the movie seeing as how he was supposed to have written an early version of the script…and LQ looked at me and said, “I never heard that. Sam never said anything about that, but he did say he liked the movie”.
However, there is some compelling evidence from Paramount archives showing where a treatment (not a script!), by Peckinpah, based on Neider’s book was turned in, and ultimately rejected. Before that Rod Serling apparently worked on this project as a writer, as well!
Anyway…there were a lot of people that worked on the script for this movie; so, who really knows what was kept for version to version.
I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent there! Sorry, amigos y amigas!
I just wanted to say that I really, really like ONE EYED JACKS.