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Two icons meet up on the big screen

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By Kelly Dolejsi

You don’t get many chances to see Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson together in the same film. In fact, you get only one. Although technically, you can watch the duo’s only shared release as many times as you like.

“The Missouri Breaks” (1976) is probably not the greatest movie ever made, or even the greatest Western. It’s not the greatest Brando movie or the best Nicholson. But coming just a few years after “The Godfather” and right on the tail of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” it’s an example of two iconic actors during an amazing time in their careers.

And heck, it’s a whole lot of horse-stomping, Stetson-shaded, train-robbing ruckus. There is even a cow on a leash. And I dare not describe the sufferings of one particular bathtub.

Of course, there is also that spirited brand of Old-West blood-spilling that is ultimately neither light-hearted nor funny.

Tom Logan (Nicholson) and his band of fun-loving horse thieves suffer a heart breaking loss early in the film when one of their own meets his maker at the hands of rancher David Braxton (John McLiam).

After the gang’s morbidly apt revenge, Braxton hires a regulator, which is, as Logan puts it, “one of these boys that shoots people and don’t never get near ‘em.”


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