October 2022 / ONE-EYED JACKS

The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room Resource Guide for

ONE-EYED JACKS (dir. Marlon Brando, 1961)

Presented in The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room in October 2022 in partnership with Universal Pictures and Park Circus.

Table of Contents

1) Film Description 

2) Special Features

-Introduction by Martin Scorsese

-Cassandra Moore Interview

3) EXPLORE Page Materials

-Video Extras

-Podcasts and Radio

-Reading List (Online)

-The Film Foundation on Letterboxd

4) Live Screening Commentary Script

At the peak of his popularity in 1961, Marlon Brando directed his first and only film, ONE–EYED JACKS. Adapted from the novel by Charles Neider, this revenge–fueled Western features strong performances, complex characters and breathtaking visuals.

After robbing a bank in Mexico, bandits Rio (Brando) and Dad Longworth (Karl Malden) go on the run, chased by the Federales. A coin toss decides Longworth will go to get fresh horses for their escape, but he decides instead to take off, leaving Rio behind to be arrested. Years later, Rio escapes from prison and learns that Longworth is now the sheriff of a town in Northern California. Rio sets out seeking vengeance, but things get complicated when he falls in love with Louisa (Pina Pellicer), Longworth’s beautiful stepdaughter.

ONE–EYED JACKS was restored using the original 35mm 8–perf VistaVision negative, scanned at 6K on a Northlight scanner, along with the separation masters. Digital restoration was completed at 4K resolution. As the negative exhibited some color fading, the Y–layer separation master was used to replace the blue color record. To replace some dupe sections cut into the negative, the scans of all three separation masters were used. Several vintage dye–transfer prints were screened for color reference.

The audio restoration was completed from the original mag master, with clicks, pops, and other noise removed and the tracks equalized. Picture and audio restoration was completed at NBCUniversal StudioPost with additional work at Prasad Group and MTI Film.

Restored by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg for their consultation on this restoration.

Introduction by Martin Scorsese

Cassandra Moore Interview


Marlon Brando in ONE-EYED JACKS

Video Extras

Martin Scorsese introduces ONE-EYED JACKS at The New York Film Festival. Watch on YouTube.

Karl Malden talks about working with Marlon Brando. Watch on YouTube.

Albert Maysles on Marlon Brando. Watch on YouTube. 

Marlon Brando interviewed by Connie Chung in 1989. Watch on YouTube.

Marlon Brando wins Best Actor at the Oscars in 1955. Watch on YouTube.

Marlon Brando on The Dick Cavett Show in 1973. Watch on YouTube. 

Stanley Kubrick was involved with ONE-EYED JACKS at one point. Watch on YouTube.

David Cairns examines ONE-EYED JACKS in his video essay for The Criterion Collection. Watch an excerpt via Criterion. 

Paul Dano selects ONE-EYED JACKS during his Criterion Closet visit. Watch via Criterion. 


Karl Malden in ONE-EYED JACKS

Podcasts and Radio

The Studs Terkel Radio Archive hosts an audio interview with Marlon Brando from 1963, where he discusses he views on humanity.  

Film Frontier talks about the history of ONE-EYED JACKS.

Wrong Reel looks at "the evolution of Charles Neider’s novel The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones from Sam Peckinpah’s screenplay adaptation to Marlon Brando’s directorial debut."


Katy Jurado as Maria Longworth in ONE-EYED JACKS

Reading List (Online)

Truman Capote writes about Marlon Brando, in 1957, for The New Yorker. 

Kleber Mendona Filhos lists ONE-EYED JACKS in his Top 10 for The Criterion Collection. 

The complicated history of ONE-EYED JACKS, along with some production stills, is combed over at The Selvedge Yard. 

Imogen Sara Smith writes about ONE-EYED JACKS as a "Noir on the Range" for The Criterion Collection. 

"Everything you thought you knew about Marlon Brando was a lie," for GQ. 

Early photos of Marlon Brando published in Life Magazine. 


Marlon Brando in ONE-EYED JACKS

The Film Foundation on Letterboxd

Starring Karl Malden

Starring Katy Jurado

Shot by Charles Lang Jr.

ONE-EYED JACKS- Live Screening Commentary Script


Welcome to The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room! Tonight we’re screening ONE-EYED JACKS (1961, d. Marlon Brando).

You can stay with us here in the chat to learn more about the film as you watch or you can view the film full screen on-demand at 7pm.   

In this chat mode the screening is live and picture controls (rewind/fast forward/pause) will not be available. If you miss anything or need to take a break, that functionality is available when watching on-demand.  

Thanks for being here and we encourage you to share your thoughts on the film as we go, making this a communal virtual viewing experience! 


00:00:00 - 00:15:00

Before Marlon Brando took on the dual role of star and director of ONE-EYED JACKS, the project went through many different hands, including Twilight Zone creator and writer Rod Serling, director Sam Peckinpah, and even Stanley Kubrick.

In the end, Brando would end up directing the script—an adaptation of Charles Neider’s novel “The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones” (officially credited to screenwriters Guy Trosper and Calder Willingham)—with the project serving as his sole directorial effort. 

To learn more about the production history of the film, including how Stanley Kubrick was involved, visit the link below:



00:15:00 - 00:30:00

ONE-EYED JACKS was shot on location in Mexico, as well as in Monterey and Death Valley, California, including Pebble Beach along the coastline north of Cypress Point and at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur. 


00:30:00 - 00:45:00

ONE-EYED JACKS took 9 months to complete and storied character actor Karl Malden—playing Dad Longworth—was on the payroll the entire time. He later used his ONE-EYED JACKS earnings to buy a house, a house that Brando jokingly referred to as “the house that Jack built.”

Brando and Malden had famously worked together on two of Brando’s biggest movies—both directed by Elia Kazan—A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) and ON THE WATERFRONT (1954).

To learn more about Karl Malden, visit the link below:



00:45:00 - 01:00:00

Mexican actress Katy Jurado (1924 - 2002) became a well-known actress during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema (1930 - 1969) and began acting in Hollywood in 1951 with a performance in Budd Boetticher’s THE BULLFIGHTER AND THE LADY (1951) and Fred Zinnemann’s HIGH NOON (1952).

For more on Jurado’s Mexican film roles, as well as her Hollywood output, visit The Film Foundation Letterboxd site at the below link:



01:00:00 - 01:15:00

Martin Scorsese on ONE-EYED JACKS:

“In many ways the film is a sort of bridge between two eras in moviemaking, the production values of Old Hollywood and the emotional values of the New Hollywood. Interestingly for me, and for many film scholars, ONE-EYED JACKS was the last Paramount picture shot in VistaVision. Every film at that time, once VistaVision was used at Paramount, every film at Paramount had to be in VistaVision, but this was the last one that was made in VistaVision and it gives the film this tremendous depth and clarity.”

If you missed it before the film, be sure to watch Martin Scorsese’s introduction for ONE-EYED JACKS, which is available on this page.


01:15:00 - 01:30:00

Brando loved working with actors and encouraged improvisation on his set, which resulted in his shooting a massive amount of material—more than six times the amount of footage shot for this kind of movie! His first cut of the film ended up being over five hours long and ultimately, the film was taken away from him and he never directed again.

Watch a video interview with Brando at the link below:



01:30:00 - 01:45:00

In 2015, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, along with The Film Foundation, contacted Universal Pictures in an effort to get ONE-EYED JACKS restored. They agreed and the project kicked off a new partnership between The Film Foundation and Universal. 

Be sure to watch our interview with Cassandra Moore, the Director of Content Mastering, Restoration, Cinema Preservation, & Archives at NBC/Universal which is available on this page.  In the interview she discusses their search for materials and the work that went into the restoration!

In 2018, ONE-EYED JACKS was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. It marked the 30th year of the National Film Registry.


01:45:00 - 02:00:00

When introducing ONE-EYED JACKS at the New York Film Festival in 2016, Martin Scorsese talked in detail about the production history of the extraordinary visual medium of VistaVision, which was used on ONE-EYED JACKS and many Paramount films. 

He also discussed Brando’s methods on set, including how he would wait and wait and wait to shoot until he knew the right waves were coming on the beach. Visit the link below to watch Scorsese’s complete introduction:



02:00:00 - 02:15:00

ONE-EYED JACKS was shot by the great cinematographer Charles Lang Jr.. Working primarily at Paramount between the years of 1929 and 1952, Lang famously shot films for Frank Borzage, Henry Hathaway, Robert Aldrich, Stanley Donen, Robert Mulligan, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, and John Ford, among many others. 

To learn more about Lang’s impressive and influential filmography visit The Film 

Foundation’s Letterboxd site at the link below:



02:15:00 - END

Thank you so much for joining us!

ONE-EYED JACKS was restored by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg for their consultation on this restoration.

We look forward to seeing you next month on Monday, November 14th  for John Huston’s MOULIN ROUGE (1952)