The Missouri Breaks

Question: The Missouri Breaks starred Jack Nicholson (as Tom Logan, a rustler) and Marlon Brando (as Robert E Lee Clayton, a "regulator" tasked with eliminating him). Yet they never appear together. Brando is absent from over half the scenes featuring Nicholson, and vice-versa. When they do meet, there is a close up of Nicholson speaking to Brando, followed by a close up of Brando replying to Nicholson, and so on. Why do Nicholson and Brando never appear on screen together?

Rob Halliday

Answer: At this point, Brando used cue cards for his dialogue and liked to improvise lines. Nicholson found this difficult and distracting because Brando continually shifted his gaze to the cue card behind the cameraman and went off script. Although Nicholson said Brando was exceedingly cooperative and "gentle as a lamb" on the set, the two actors took an instant dislike to one another. Each actor was filmed separately while reciting their lines.

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Tittle Tod: Damn, I don't know why they had to put Canada all the way up here.

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