No. 110 – Mind the Oranges, Marlon!

Marlon form prog 365’s D.R. & Quinch Go to Hollywood written by Alan Moore and drawn by Alan DavisMarlon Brando (1924–2004), pictured here in a still from A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

“The oranges… the oranges…” Don Vito Corleone is shot

“Mind the oranges, Marlon!” are the words shouted in the D.R. & Quinch story by Marlon’s manager moments before the hapless actor is crushed to death on set by a mountain of 16,000 prop oranges, and the words subsequently become the title of Marlon’s last, legendary blockbuster. The reference is to the popularly held belief that oranges were the symbolic harbingers of death in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (Paramount, 1972), also starring Brando in one of his career-defining performances as Don Vito Corleone. In all likelihood, however, the oranges were simply chosen by production designer Dean Tavoularis to compliment the otherwise sombre sets*.

Other celebrity appearances in D.R. & Quinch Go to Hollywood (progs 363367) include [as well as a good deal of consultation and guesswork] the following:

1. Bette Davis (1908–1989), 2. Robert Redford, 3. John Hurt (1940–2017) as John Merrick (real name Joseph Merrick, 1862–1890) in The Elephant Man (EMI/Paramount Pictures, 1980), 4. John Cleese in his role as Maître D’ in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (Universal Pictures, 1983), 5. Sir Alfred Hitchcock KBE** (1899–1980), 6. Otto Preminger (1905–1986), 7. David Lean (1908–1991), 8. Britt Ekland

*The Anniversary You Can’t Refuse: 40 Things You Didn’t Know About The Godfather (Time, 14 March 2012)
**British chivalric order: Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
†British chivalric order: Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
‡AO: Order of Australia, CBE: Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, FRSL: Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

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2 thoughts on “No. 110 – Mind the Oranges, Marlon!

  1. Good site. Very interesting. You might already know this but the significance of the Oranges was probably a reference to ‘The Godfather’ films. They turn up in a lot of scenes in the films and some are linked to character deaths.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I had actually heard about Coppola and the oranges appearing whenever someone carps it in The Godfather but forgot to mention it – interesting trivia – will update the entry to include it. 🙂


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