Many years ago Guillermo del Toro told me he disapproved of Elia Kazan‘s Viva Zapata because it was an inauthentic, American-ized take on Mexican history, and that the life of Emiliano Zapata could and should be captured by a Mexican filmmaker or at least someone with a closer perspective than a New York Greek-American like Kazan. Agreed, sympathized with, no dispute. I’d like to see that Mexican-made version some day. But the look on Marlon Brando‘s face at the very end of this scene, a look of not just impudence but balls and confidence, is about as good as non-verbal acting gets. Moments like this are why I swear by Kazan’s film, why I’ve watched it over and over, why I own the Bluray.
For whatever reason the TCM embed code isn’t working so I’ve posted a screen grab. Watch the clip via this URL.