Christian was released on parole in January 1996 after serving less than five years. He died from complications of pneumonia in January 2008 at the age of 49.
Brando, who died July 1, 2004, at 80, lamented in an audio recording unearthed in the 2015 documentary Listen to Me Marlon, “Christian was burdened with emotional disorders and psychological disarray, the kind of trouble that I had in life.”
The killing of Cheyenne’s boyfriend on May 16, 1990, and the crime’s endlessly tragic consequences figured prominently in the film, director Stevan Riley telling British GQ, “The terrible thing that happened at that house that night is the ideal intersection at which to cross-examine the themes concerning Marlon Brando’s myth.”
But those who loved Brando in life, warts and all, were happy to see what they felt was the real him come across after he spent his days alternately courting and shirking the spotlight, a paradox that resulted in more rumors and assumptions than anything else.
The actor’s daughter Rebecca told the magazine, “He would have been proud, I hope” of the film. “He knew those tapes would be found and used in some way—he was no dummy. I feel this was his document, his diary unlocked for us to discover. He could have destroyed them if he wanted to. In a way, the film is my father coming back to us, a very personal part of his legacy.”