A titan of cinema such as the late, great (and my namesake) Marlon Brando needs no introduction. The celebrated performer's legacy as one of entertainment's greatest character actors still thrives in the pop culture consciousness.
But did you know that his prowess of stealing scenes, and running away with them, would continue to his death bed, as he recorded a haunting monologue for the video game adaptation of The Godfather?
Make him an offer he can't refuse
Back in January 2005, IGN dropped a bombshell of a story regarding The Godfather game. Three of the movie's biggest stars, James Caan (Sonny Corleone), Robert Duvall (Tom Hagen) and Brando would be slipping back into their roles for the title. A major coup for EA and co.
All three of the actors had agreed to have their likenesses captured for the game, so both Caan and Duvall headed to the studio for facial motion capture work. But Don Corleone sadly fared differently.
Marlon Brando passed away the July before studio work began, from respiratory failure, but, being the consummate professional he was, he agreed on recording some dialogue when he was still fit enough to contemplate performing. And this, my friends, is the end result.
Marlon Brando's Final Performance
From his death bed to the bedrooms of various gamers, Brando's last act was greeted with some skepticism due to the quality of the recording. It's said that the actor was on oxygen whilst recording, and, if you listen closely enough, you can hear the machine and the poor man's attempts to catch his breath after every line spoken.
And listen out for the differences in quality of the vocal recordings when comparing the actor playing Michael Corleone (Al Pacino refused to return) and Brando's recordings.
If you didn't catch what Brando was reciting, because it is honestly hard to understand, here's an excerpt of his monologue:
"You know, it's a lot of foolishness about this Sollozzo business. It's so unfortunate, it's really unnecessary. Gave him my 'no' with common courtesy. I told him his business would not interfere with mine. And uh, he wouldn't take it right. I know the Tattaglia family has brought down misfortune on our own heads. Well, that's life. Everybody's got their own tale of sorrow."
The game's producers eventually decided to not go with Brando's performances, and hired an impersonator. But, luckily for us eager Easter egg hunters and Brando fans, this little snippet of melancholic beauty was left in for all of us to be moved by. Well, me at least.