Marlon Brando’s Most Defining Roles

Marlon Brando graced the big screens for several decades. He is undoubtedly one of the biggest things to have happened to the American movie industry, and his influence on 20th-century film cannot be challenged anywhere.

Though he had so many great movies that we can’t start comparing, there are standout performances we can always point to when celebrating the talented actor. Here, we will discuss a few of his most defining roles.

Stanley Kowalski – A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

There is a story that the director of this movie had to convince the movie producer to choose Marlon Brando ahead of another favored actor to play the lead role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film. By some accounts, the director even threatened to quit if the role was given to someone else. Whatever her reason for such “trust,” it was greatly rewarded. Marlon Brando was simply phenomenal in the role.

Vito Corleone – The Godfather (1972)

It is safe to say that Marlon Brando’s performance is part of the reason this film is regarded as a cult classic. The role was a career-defining one for him, and he did so well that he earned an Oscar nod for Best Actor.

Terry Malloy – On the Waterfront (1954)

This is one of the roles that pushed Marlon Brando into the limelight. It was also the role that earned him his very first Oscar nod. The hard-hitting drama saw him partnering with director and ally, Elia Kazan, who had previously insisted that he be given the role of “Stanly Kowalski” in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” We can say that they also created magic together here.

Major Lloyd “Ace” Gruver – Sayonara (1957)

Marlon’s role as an American Air Force fighter pilot who falls in love with a famous Japanese dancer gave him an opportunity to shed light on such important themes as racism and prejudice. He interpreted the role perfectly, just like other cast members. It wasn’t surprising that this film won four Academy Awards.

Marlon Brando is unarguably one of the best talents we have seen on the big screen. He was great in most of the roles he interpreted, but the four discussed here are clearly top of his most defining roles.