Founded in 1858, Shattuck Military Academy in Faribault was one of the oldest and most respected college preparatory boarding schools in the Midwest. Shattuck was known for its rigid military discipline, strong academics, and were used to dealing with students who had been expelled from other schools. Enter Marlon Brando. After being expelled from his local high school for reportedly riding a motorcycle through the halls, Marlon Brando was sent to Shattuck Military Academy in 1941. Brando’s father, Marlon Brando Sr. attended Shattuck in the early 1910s and hoped the rigid program would sort his son out.
By all accounts, Brando was a popular but roguish cadet. Teachers at Shattuck have said that Brando was not disrespectful, but a prankster and a “character.” In his autobiography “Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me,” he recalled the bell that rang every fifteen minutes to remind students to attend drills, meals, classes, and other duties. One night, Brando recalled that he climbed the bell tower, removed the 150-pound clapper and carried it about 200 yards away and buried it. When school authorities found it missing the next morning, Brando organized a student committee to find out who committed the crime to divert suspicion from himself. The ploy worked, and Brando said that he would take the burial place with him to his grave.