US, 1961, 35mm, color, 41 min.
Marlon Brando’s only directorial effort, One-Eyed Jacks is an example of the Westerns from the early 1960s that sought to revive the genre by creating more nuanced, ambiguous characters and more complex narrative situations than the usual shoot-‘em-up. Brando also stars as the outlaw Rio, who is betrayed and abandoned by his older mentor, known as Dad, and spends years in jail planning revenge. As befits such an Oedipal scenario, One-Eyed Jacks is rife with psychosexual undercurrents that bubble to the surface when Dad ties up Rio and gives him a public beating with a bullwhip. None other than Jonas Mekas praised the film’s ambition in the Village Voice even as he bemoaned Paramount’s interference in cutting the film down from four to two-and-a-half hours.