Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Duck, You Sucker => Topic started by: Cal on November 11, 2002, 07:22:28 PM



Title: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Cal on November 11, 2002, 07:22:28 PM
I'll admit, I've never seen this movie in its entirety. The parts I did see were good but I'm not sure if I'd place it in the same ranks as the "Dollars" triology. It's  a very different kind of film. Opinions?


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: SquareTex on November 12, 2002, 03:28:54 PM
Perhaps not in the same league as the others, but I still enjoyed it for what it was. Very delightful soundtrack, and Steiger and Coburn were both fun in their roles...just don't mention the "accents."  ;)

BTW, while most talk is on a OUATITW DVD (which I want!!!), what news (if any) about FoD? I have the VHS, but would be happy to see it in a cleaned-up and letterboxed format. Would they be able to use the same sources for the laserdisc, or would it need more work?


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Cal on November 12, 2002, 07:41:40 PM
This would indded be a great DVD. I'm thinking we are due for a Leonoe Box set, that has all the films nicely packaged with all the juicy extras.  ::)


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: SquareTex on November 13, 2002, 02:34:44 PM
Tempting idea indeed...but a bit hard on the pocketbook. If it became a reality, and I had to choose between it and a Twin Peaks Season Two set...what would I do?!?  :D


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Cal on November 13, 2002, 04:41:04 PM
The Simpsons, season 2 DVD I can understand, but Twin Peaks?  ;)


Title: Well...
Post by: SquareTex on November 14, 2002, 07:26:55 AM
What can I say...I'm an oddball, TP is an oddball series, perfect match!

But lest I wander too far afield of the topic here...

Would there be some difficulty in creating an all-Leone box set? The "No Name" set was perfect in that Universal(?) owned all three of those, but with Paramount owing OUATITW and who-knows-who owning FoD and OUATIA, imagine the legal hassle to throw it all together.

Since I already have the first three, I would be content to get the others separately.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Renny on November 14, 2002, 04:00:36 PM
I think it would be best all separatly in special edition style ofcource. This way each film would have the full treatment. Or if it were to be a box I'd love to see a separate section for soundtracks ;D.
BTW nothing wrong with Twin Peaks ;)


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on November 16, 2002, 06:35:26 AM
I haven't seen this one in such a long time, and I never  saw it in a theater, only a pan and scan video, a shame!


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Cusser on November 16, 2002, 01:50:43 PM
I did see this in theater, when it first came out, just like all the Spaghettis.  I saw it again 20 years later, and enjoyed it more then.  Juan was apparently supposed to be Eli Wallach, who would've been way better than Steiger.  But interesting tale of the two-bit bandit who unknowingly becomes a hero and a leader.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: cheem_2000 on November 17, 2002, 11:13:20 AM
I'll admit, I've never seen this movie in its entirety. The parts I did see were good but I'm not sure if I'd place it in the same ranks as the "Dollars" triology. It's  a very different kind of film. Opinions?


It is a great film full of action and skillful camera work. I had a friend who bought me the Italian version from Italy, and without understanding Italian the visuals and the music were tremendous. The soundtrack is comic at times, but also tender and sentimental and kind of catchy. I always whistle the James Coburn theme coupled with the 'Sean,Sean, Sean! chant. The score proves Morricone's greatness as he composed an Irish theme. The flashbacks filmed in Co Wicklow in Ireland are beautifully filmed with a soft-focus filter. The acting is excellent as well Rod Steiger showed all the emotions of the spectrum.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Concorde on December 03, 2002, 01:37:31 PM
Honestly, until recently when I made a more in-depth study of THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY, I'd always thought that DUCK YOU SUCKER was Leone's best movie.

In DUCK YOU SUCKER, I think he struck a perfect balance between that really extreme directorial style he used in OUATITW and the more "populist" storytelling of GBU, and I love the way he used the flashback device from OUATITW but gave us entire sequences for those flashbacks instead of just one repeated scene. It was a great prelude to the more involved and elaborate flashback structure of OUATIA, a film that's more complex and impressive but just not as over-all enjoyable to me as its predecessors.

As it happens, after re-viewing all of Leone's six major features recently, I rate GBU at the top, followed by (in order) DUCK YOU SUCKER, OUATITW, OUATIA, FAFDM, and A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Jupa on January 06, 2003, 01:00:11 PM
I think I've seen the movies once in its entirety.It's different than Leone's other westerns,maybe a little bit too different.It may have been that Leone felt he couldn't develop his 'basic' western style after OUATITW,so he decided to try something different.However,the movie has a decent plot,good characters and great music.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Alby on January 16, 2003, 05:07:44 PM
I've had the chance to see this movie as I was 10 or something, this film made me wanting to see all other Leone's films, it amazed me so much that for a long time I considered it the best film i had ever seen... up to the moment I saw Once Upon a Time in America ;D But still Fistful of Dynamite ( Which is called here in France "Once Upon a Time a Revolution" ) Is a great film.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: samuel on January 30, 2003, 01:34:32 AM
bonjour a tous .
il était une fois la révolution est le film que je prefere dans la partition des films de Sergio Leone
j' ai mon site perso en construction.
http://perso.club-internet.fr/samuel.capelle
j'attend vos messages
a tous les fans de morricone et de sergio leone ;D
j'ai fait un site sur le film de john Wayne ALAMO
http://perso.club-internet.fr/samuel.capelle/Publication1
a plus tard


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Il Buono on January 31, 2003, 10:02:19 AM
I think this is Leone's weakest film.  Maybe logical, because at first Leone didn't want to do this one (he wanted to give the project to Peckinpah)...

Though it is fun at some times, it never matches the level of any of his other films.  Nice score, by the way.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: shorty larsen on February 08, 2003, 09:53:30 AM
Duck you sucker DVD was just released in Italy, but only in zone 2 in only in italian for the languages. There's no other subtitle. Italians could really have do better!!!

Anyway Duck You Sucker is my favourite Leone's movie for one simply reason: the extraordinary music of Morricone.

I think the Morricone score for this movie is the most sad of all, specially when Juan's son are killed (remember?).

OUTW is probably the best Morricone film of all, but DYS is my favourite one.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: nighteagle on February 12, 2003, 06:51:11 AM
DYS is a child of the early 70´s in Italy when society was under a crushing stress ending in student revolts, street fights and Red Brigade terrorism. Movies dealing with mexican revolution were well accepted, because they reminded of a situation close to what was going on in Italy then.Sollima and Damiani had big success with Big Gundown, Run Man Run and Bullet  for the General. The knife-throwing Cuchillo was even a banner for student movements in urban fights, like el Che Guevara.
Leone was , under these circumstances, forced to depart a little from the usual  style of filmmaking, tending towards a more "intellectual" style, still maintaining his wit and great feel for the visual perception . Great movie!


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: noodles_leone on February 20, 2003, 01:38:23 AM
The classement of his movies (in my opinion):
1)Once upon a time in america
2)Once upon a time in the west
3)The good the bad and the ugly
4)Once upon a time, the revolution (french title)
5)a few dollars more
6)a fistful of dollars
7)the colossus of rhodes

and "once upon a time, the revolution" is the best movie about revolution, and one of the best movies about friends.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: shorty larsen on February 20, 2003, 03:08:34 PM
I totally agree with this las t commentary.

Remember the seen between Steiger and Coburn, when Steiger explains that the revolutionary elite (the intelectual leaders), doesn't give a sh... about the people ("the ones who reads books and the ones who doesn't").

Coburn is so shocked by this truth that he has to throw away the book he was reading, Bakunin's "Nationalism".

It's interesting to see how Steiger's Sean, a profesional revolutionary, slowly loses his revolutionary "faith", he's absolutely disgusted with the revolutionary theory and its leaders who double cross their own (the doctoi in the film) to save their own butt.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: TBPJMR on February 22, 2003, 12:59:32 AM
Dear Shorty, you must forgive me this little correction but the Bakunin's book that Mallory throws away in that scene is called "Patriotism" and not "Nationalism".

However, by the time of that episode Sean has not yet discovered the doctor's betrayal. This to say that I think he had already been in some way disillusioned about revolutions in his first experience of that kind (the I.R.A. contest). Maybe he was reading Bakunin just to try to regain some confidence with the matter, but John's passionate words make him clear he is losing his time...

Bye and bye


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Jon on February 22, 2003, 01:01:55 PM
I think this is  Sergio,s most under-rated film.Although maybe not his best,it is the one I have probably watched the most.The way it starts in comic vein and gradually gets more and more serious is interesting and the use of flashbacks is superb,plus there is possibly Morricone,s best soundtrack ever.
P.S.Why do some versions omit the final flashback?I think Seans reverie before he dies ,accompanied by THAT wonderful theme,is Sergio,s most beautiful scene ever.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: shorty larsen on February 23, 2003, 08:25:23 AM
Jon, I'm a great fan of Morricone also (I have almost 70 cds of him) and I agree that it's probably one of his best scores ever.

TBPJMR: You're wright, it's not "Nationalism" but "Patriotism". I was confused by the fact that Bakunin never wrote this book. I know that it was an us compilation title of some of his writings, but Bakunin never wrote a book called "Patriotism".

I don't know if Mallory reads the book in order to try to regain some confidence wiht the matter. I think the presence of this book in the movie is symbolic. Don't forget that the book is founded later by the general of the mexican army. Beeing from south america I can tell you that THIS IS VERY SYMBOLIC. The military class all over Latin America is extremely catholic, extremely conservative (is this the wright word in english?) and hates all the left, revolutionary, marxist or anarchist thought. This is all military regimes in Latin America were about.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Sackett on February 28, 2003, 12:58:12 PM
While I believe that OUATITW is the best western, I have always thought that Duck You Sucker was the deepest, and it is my second favorite.  You had real people caught up in real situations that they had no control over.  You had Coburn trying to escape his past and winding up in the same situation again.  The film, as a whole, had a very melancoly tone.  Of course the music was haunting as well.  


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Jon on March 02, 2003, 09:29:57 AM
I agree.A Fistful of Dynamite was the first Leone film to feature genuine character development in the 'classic' sense[which was carried on by OUATIA.Both Sean and Juan go through changes,one of the reasons that this film is probably Leone,s most emotional.Much of this centers around Sean,but i also think the scene where Juan finds his children dead is the most moving scene in a Leone film.And ofcourse,at the end,Juan has just about lost everything.His final line'what about me? is so sad[it annoys me when some versions of the film cut this].What starts out as a virtual comedy[a partial spoof of the 'political'spaghetti westerns of Damiani Damiano etc.] becomes something much deeper.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: shorty larsen on April 20, 2003, 08:36:50 AM
We should talk more often about this great movie, my favourite Leone's one.

Let's not forget the GREAT  Rod Steiger, 2 times oscar nominated and 1 time winner.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Jon on April 21, 2003, 04:20:12 AM
Shorty,I agree with you on both counts,I think that this movie is always being under-rated.

I love Steiger's performance in this film-some people say he over-acts in it but I say to them watch the scene where his children are killed-he expresses so much emotion in his face and when he says"I never counted them before"he is quite restrained which makes the scene even sadder.

Apart from the sequence I mentioned in an earlier post,I also love the Mesa Verde attack scene.Although it has been sais that this film misses much of the Leone 'touch'[wrongly I think]I think this sequence is another great example of the combination of Leone's direction and Morricone's music,I think this may have been another time where Morricone wrote the music first,it is so well choreograghed,I particularly love the bits of Mozart[or is it Beethoven ,I'm not sure?] you here when Juan opens the doors and just sees lots of political prisoners.I can remember a few other instances where Morricone quoted classical music to make a point[i.e.Face To Face].


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on April 21, 2003, 04:05:53 PM
My problem is that I have not seen this movie in such a long time and I do not even know which version that I did see then the last time. So I feel I'm at a disadvantage and cannot comment on this movie.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: SEB on April 25, 2003, 11:42:23 PM
the worst movie leone made was the colossus of rhodes

this is a great movie i saw it 20 times think about it

1-an ex ira soldier on a bicycle with a trench full of dynamite
2-a poor father who take care of is family and work with is old papa(what a look the boot)who become one of the best of pancho villa
3-a loud mouth doctor who use poor people  and get them kill for THEM
4-you got the bad guy he dont talk and he is mean as a nazi

a)them you got the flash back and the comparison between sean past and the present

b)you got juan who suffer the death of the family so leone make him become like sean

you got the best use of music in cinematic histoy
this his a great movie about social difference ,church ,politicien and money

about steiger  ,and coburn they never been as great after and it a good thing leone didnt take wallach cause it make tuco from gbd unique and by the same juan


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: simon_foulkes on August 26, 2003, 02:59:48 PM
Well personally I think that FoD is better than the first two "dollars" films.  The story is a lot more involving whilst losing none of the stylistic excess of the first two. It has to be said though that the two 'Once upon a time ...' movies take the cake.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: sacco on September 17, 2003, 04:17:54 PM
I am in agreement with more recent posts. Seen many times, only full version once and it all makes much more sense. It's the greatest. It's beautiful. Coburn combines great physical prescence with an emotionally humane performance as he did in The Illustrated Man. Coburn's accent, though funny, does not distract from a solid performance.
Pity about the historical contradiction of Mexican revolution and formation of IRA. I was a bit gutted when I found out for some reason.
Favourite scene is when Juan reaches Mesa Verde and finds it full of soldiers engaging in repression. The robbery is pretty brilliant too. I always think Mesa Verde when encountering dissappointment.
As a political spectator and futurologist I find this film to be my inspiration. Kinship and compassion may not be as strong as government, ideology and people with guns, but they're what it's all about.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Walter on September 23, 2003, 08:13:24 PM
I must first admit that I haven't seen the Rhodos-film, but of the ones I've seen, I'd rank FoD as Leone's weakest movie.

Before you get the lynch-ropes out, let me add that Leone's weakest movie most certainly could be the best movie from most other directors....

The problem is the script; it doesn't allow the story to start properly, mainly the introduction to the main characters drags. And later the movie ends way too slowly. In the middle, there are many fine things. Leone's message, which may read like "beware of self-appointed saviours" is explained both originally, in depth and comes across quite clearly. Both actors and director sure handles well how the characters evolve and learn through the movie. (Simplified thumb-rule: In a good story, characters must always be changed by the story - unless it is a point of the story that they don't.)

Juan's transition from simple bandito to celebrated and highly unwilling revolutionary hero is great satire and great drama at the same time. It is hard not to think of Tuco when we meet Juan at first. But Tuco didn't change - and his stubborness to change was an important aspect with that character.

The action, and of course the use of striking visuals - faces, deserts or sinister tableaus of mayhem abd violence- are as great as one should expect from the great Sergio.

But the story still is unbalanced. It doesn't collapse, but it is shaky. Compare his other great movies, and observe how solid the structures of the stories are, how balanced and precise they are.

I suspect that Leone after all, had too little time to finish this. Remember that Once Upon a Time in the West didn't become a hit until AFTER FoD. Leone might have been under pressure here.

(Pardon me for shooting off my mouth so much, me being a Newbie and all. But it was so great to find this forum, I can hardly contain myself.  ;))


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Groggy on September 24, 2003, 06:44:46 AM
  Very good analysis Walter.  BTW welcome aboard - I hope you come here regularly, we could use more people like you.  ;D


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: shorty larsen on January 23, 2004, 02:18:38 PM
Saw the movie again, today.

This was my first post in this topic:

"Anyway Duck You Sucker is my favourite Leone's movie for one simply reason: the extraordinary music of Morricone.

I think the Morricone score for this movie is the most sad of all, specially when Juan's son are killed (remember?).

OUTW is probably the best Morricone film of all, but DYS is my favourite one. "

After seeing the movie again today. I will go further.

DYS is my favourite Leone movie. Of course, it is not in the same cathegory as OUTW, a masterpiece jewel, and it is not in the same cathegory as OUTA, an epic movie, but it still my favourite one.

Why is that?

I think because, for example, Rod Steiger. This man is an enormous actor, he's incredible.

I think DYS is the sadest movie of Leone, really sadest. Only the score by Morricone is as sad as the movie.

It seems that on Leone's funeral, Morricone played the main theme of DYS. Of all the music composed by Morricone for Leone's movies, he chosed, maybe the sadest one, the one who expressed his sadness in that moment.

I think, as OUTA, that DYS is an extraordniary story of friendship.

There is, in DYS, an extremely powerful and sad scene. During the execution shooting scene. Sean sees Doctor Villegas, doublecrossing his collegues. And there is a flashback with Ireland. Then, and here is the scene, the camera comes back in zooms in Sean eyes. The expression of his eyes, of his whole face, with the music of Morricone in backgrounds, is really devastating.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: COLONNA on January 29, 2004, 09:50:53 AM
DYS is a perfect example of a transition film.Often transition opus are weak because they try to mix opposites.  

 1° First theWestern quadrilogy manner:big effect , large plans, strong music, cynic attitude, magic gun shots

  2° At last OUATIA manner: more subtile music, more psychology, no big plan , more dialogs  , more realistic .VERY different.

   For DYS, between 19th century films (Westerns) and 20th century one (OUATIA) Leone chooses a transition period (beginning of the 20th) , a transition style (motorcycle and horses, guns and machine-guns), transition country (if Europe and USA are in the 20th, Mexico seems still in the 19th) ,.

May be why many friends dont like  DYS. Too half/half,  not enough "Dollars" for some people , too "Dollars" for the others .

Not enough revolutionary for some people, too politic for the others.

Not enough magic ...too fairy tale for the others

And so on.


By the way, IMO Rod Steiger is a pure miscasting, Juan role was for Eli !


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Sackett on January 30, 2004, 10:42:31 AM
I believe that DYS stands alone from the other westerns.  The message or theme throughout the film is DARK.   For me, one of its messages if to be careful about getting caught up in crusades. The music is haunting, more so than in other Leone films.
While OUATITW is still my favorite, and the $ films and GBU are fun to watch, DYS holds a special place for me.
It seems to explore motives and personalities.  A deeper film if you will.
Perhaps it is disjointed to those more expert in analyzing films, but then again, Leone may have created DYS to be presented the way it was because
"in Revolution, there is confusion".


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: COLONNA on January 31, 2004, 02:04:27 AM

because
"in Revolution, there is confusion".

As Noodles said  to young  Jimmy Conway after the oil bath:  you (the workers) shall be always fucked .(french subtitle)

Leone fascist ? Surely not.   But a little bit conservative ?


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: shorty larsen on February 02, 2004, 12:29:37 PM
Not at all!!!!!

Leone is realistic. That's all.

Anywhere, anytime, workers have been fucked. That's a reality.

But Leone does not say that is good. Not at all. I think he says exactly the opposite. The message of DYS, to me, is that even during the so called revolutions the workers and the poor people gets fucked.

And Leone is, in my mind, by the side of the poor people, against the rich people but also against the revolution leaders all around the world, who only replaces one system in wich the workers get fucked by another similar system, in wich the workers still gets fucked. Juan saids it clear: the people that can read the books sit around the polished tables and talk and talk and talk, and eat and eat and eat. But what happened to the poor people? They're dead!.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: redyred on February 29, 2004, 01:40:45 PM
Yeah, Leone was left leaning, though not as much as, say, Sergio Corbucci. While DYS is ambiguous about whether or not the revolution was a wholly good thing, the fact that the story deals with the struggles, emotions and above all humanity of the revolutionaries, while the government and the army are clearly the bad guys, show that leone was certainly not a fascist.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: DJIMBO on March 01, 2004, 03:57:13 AM
personally i think this is leone's weakest film...though i have yet to see colossus of rhodes. Though i hate the way his films have been cut mercilessly i actually think FO Dynamite is too long! There are completely arid scenes. Having said that there are also brilliant ones that equal the best bits of dollars trilogy and OUATITW. Problem probably stems from the fact he wasnt expecting to direct the film. :(


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: DJIMBO on March 01, 2004, 03:59:57 AM
politically i think leone sympathises with the plight of the poor classes but believes revolution ultimately causes them the most pain as the middle classes always end up with the spoils and exploit the workers. He called himself an anarchist, though he has been accused of being a communist and even a fascist by peter bogdanovich! Not sure about that tho.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: shorty larsen on March 01, 2004, 01:26:53 PM
Who is Bogdanovich anyway? How many movies considered as pieces of art has he made?

He was supposed to be Orson Welles apprentice and instead of that.....

But to say that someone is fascist is very dangerous. What is fascism anyway. Beside classical occidental interpretations, we could discuss for hours about that.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: The Smoker on March 01, 2004, 01:45:09 PM
He was one of those 70s New Hollywood kids (Robert Altman, Bob Raffelson, Hal Ashby -were closest to his kin).
made The Last Picture Show & some crap
Cybill Sheperd movies.. But like most of his generaton were screwed by the 1980s. As Jaws & Star Wars (blockbuster mentality) started to unfold.
-For anybody has been subjected to Mask starring Cher & Sam Elliot.
The man saw better movies than he made.   ;)


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Walton on July 07, 2004, 05:43:41 AM
I'd be reluctant to call Leone a fascist (although I never had to work for him). Anarchist and cynic perhaps. I've always felt FOD was a very cynical, bleak film. In Frayling's book, Leone makes it fairly clear that his view of politics was shaped by his life in post war Italy, where he felt betrayed by all forms of government. FOD really expresses his attitude towards politics. The idea of 'duck you sucker' is almost a caution - it's better to stay out of the way, because if you become involved, you will most likely lose everything. This is what happens to both Jaun and John. Jaun's stated position in the tent scene is that his country is 'me and my family' and the loss of his family results from his, admittedly reluctant, involvement in the revolution. It's interesting to note that in Frayling's book, Leone tells of meeting a man in Paris who thanked him for making the film. The man had become estranged from his sons because of their political disagreements, then his sons saw FOD and came back to the family. Leone, apparently, was most gratified to hear this.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Il Buono on July 08, 2004, 03:21:23 AM
I recently saw this film again and I really enjoyed it.  There are very moving, strong scenes in it.  Only I found it difficult to see the whole picture, because (I have to admit) I'm not really familiar with the background and history of this revolution.  I could understand everything, but could anyone sketch some more detailed background on this?  I'm very interested in history but also very bad in it (if I only paid more attention in class)... :-[


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: DJIMBO on July 09, 2004, 01:49:02 AM
theres no doubt this is a good film and is brilliant in places (the start in the stagecoach, the flashbacks, the end) but there are too many dragged out, laborious scenes that put people off. i can appreciate them but the casual leone fan won't. he likes the hard-hitting Dollars Trilogy.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on July 10, 2004, 04:17:42 AM
All this commentary wants me all the more to see this film.

I rented a VHS version years ago and never saw the film on the big screen.

I caught a pan and scan commercial ridden version (which version, lol, I don't know) a few years back but I have never had an ultimate screening of a definitive version).

Hopefully we will get a DVD soon.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: mortimer on July 10, 2004, 09:15:00 AM
Bought one from this seller. R1 good quality , but not anamorphic. I am happy with it. Everything but the final flashback , which is downloadable from the board.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=617&item=6308367460&rd=1


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Walton on July 10, 2004, 10:31:54 PM
I managed to get a copy of the two disc Japanese Stingray special edition which has the long English language version (I believe taken from the old US laser disc) and the long Italian language version with the complete flashback. They are both widescreen and the picture quality is only fair, but it's great to finally have the missing scenes I'd read about for so long. Before this I had the short version in a fullscreen vhs pan and scan. I live in Australia and I saw recently that there is a dvd of the film coming out here in a couple of months. I'm asuming this will be the same as the version that was released in the UK, but I'll buy it anyway. I think FOD is great, and I can watch it repeatedly just as much as the other Leone films.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: JJ_Snakes on December 05, 2004, 04:15:47 AM
I've seen this film now twice. First about a week ago, and for the second time yesterday. And I really have now mixed thoughts about this film. It doesn't equal the Dollars films nor OUATITW, in my opinion. Alone the film is good, but I get the impression like it has been made by an observant Leone impersonator, despite the fact, that the story itself is original. It's like the film has been put together from pre-made bricks, already done 'n' seen fragments. The first part of the film reminds a lot of the Trilogy. As I saw Juan, I thought, Tuco! And "Tuco!" popped several times in my head throughout the film. [I didn't know until today, that the role was supposed to go to Wallach! That explains something.] The closeups are already a seen thing, the rape scene is somewhat familiar and etc. All of the film up to Mesa Verde bank doesn't really surprise, though performed effectively. Then there's a change, but only in the plot. The scenes are again familiar. The scene at the bridge is like the scene in Fistful of Dollars, only here it's intensified, and this time the good guys are at the machine guns. And the final battle, after the trains have crashed. Reminds me the battle from GBU, only, again, intensified. Though, meanwhile there's much to think about and all, but it gets a bit lost in all the killings, there seems to be too much meaningless killings! [Never thought that I will say this about a western. ::)] The heartiness gets shadowed by the slaughter and shooting scenes. There's like two too many. :P [In the end, when the bad guy shoots John three times, and Juan returns like three hundred, that's cool tho.] This film brought a thought to my head for a moment, that if Sergio had started making films in the late 70s, then he would've been making whacky porn flicks consisting raping scenes with extreme  close-ups & crane shots, and ending with a mass murder.
Now, don't take my little bitterness too seriously, I think that Fistful of Dynamite is a good movie. Just not as good as the other Leone's, but Sergio Leone is the very best director in the world who has ever lived!
Definitely worth watching, but needs more trained and developed taste. Maybe needs some time to settle also, so I guess I'm going to watch it again in the near future, and see what I'll be thinking then.
Oh, almost forgot, YES, the music is awsome.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: DJIMBO on December 05, 2004, 05:12:35 AM
having seen this film quite a few times now these are my thoughts:

THE GOOD
1) Leone's direction
2) Ruzzolini's cinematography
3) Coburn's actual performance
4) The Message - revolution is well-intended but ends in tragedy for the people that actually carry it out
5) Morricone's music
6) the start - fantastic use of editing and humour
7) the flashbacks - wonderful use of music and the themes of loss and deja vu

THE BAD/THE UGLY
1) Steiger - ok he's an oscar-winning actor but has anyone ever been so annoying in a lead role? his attempt at a mexican accent is terrible
2) Coburn's accent - almost as bad to be honest
3) Scenes drag too long it seems like Leone's just dragging them 4 the sake of it e.g. the grotto bit and the bit on the train with the Governor
4) the ending - ambiguous that he actually blew himself up though i know some people think that was Leone deliberately doing that
5) MOST OF ALL - I never really can tell what Sean thinks about the revolution - what does he really believe he's very ambiguous

Overall i think its a strong film, Bogdanovich probably would have made it worse, it would have been some director's greatest film its just we're ranking it alongside OUATITW and OUATIA which lets face it, are two of the greatest films ever made


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on December 05, 2004, 08:09:56 AM
You guys are very fortunate to just have seen it widescreen and in as full a cuts as possible. I've seen it only pan & scan and interupted by commercials and that was years ago. If it was on while I was flipping through the channels I usually watched a few minutes or so and then switched, all in anticipation for the upcomming release. I'm really looking forward now to this DVD release to complete my Leone collection  ;D in the meanwhile I am collecting other SW's.

(PS i've just recieved a 12 page list of titles that should keep me satiated  8)).


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: grandpa_chum on December 07, 2004, 12:08:02 AM
haha... you have no FREAKIN idea how fortunate i was... the local theatre up here in shithole, maine where cows outnumber people was playing the restored reissued version on the big screen like 2 months after i saw my first Leone movie and fell in love with the man's movies... if that isn't fortunate i don't know what is

BTW... i think this is Leone's second best... behind west and neck and neck with america as his second best... i don't get the big deal with the accents and the so called ambiguity of anything... since when did ambiguity alone become a negative... i haven't heard anyone comment on why they don't like the ambiguity... also steiger isn't that annoying to me... maybe that is why I love it so much... and it is one of leone's most beautiful movies.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on December 07, 2004, 04:07:44 AM
Keep on whetting my appetite g_c.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Pedretto Kusani on December 07, 2004, 04:46:14 AM
The beginning of the film is perfect in my opinion.
   The two main characters are so "real" !
The friendship between the Irish man and the gangster  is very beutiful. I have never found  this true friendship in other films of leone.  



Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: DJIMBO on December 07, 2004, 05:56:08 AM
sorry but i stand by my opinions, i believe that this film is very good
i think bits r up there with leone's best but its the only leone film (Colossus excluded) that does for me.
but we're comparing this film to West and America, these are indisputably great films, we're talkin top 100 of all time in anyones book, i just dont think DYS is a great film, it has too many flaws to be classed up there with flawless films.  :-\


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: grandpa_chum on December 07, 2004, 11:08:20 AM
i respect your opinion... the thing is everyone of those "flaws" that people talk of are either things i don't think are flaws at all... or are things that i think work for the film... and although almost NO ONE even has this film in their top 100... i happen to have it at no. 3 all time... with west no. 1 and america no. 4.... i think it undoubtedly compares to west and america as his best... there are only two levels of leone as far as i'm concerned... dollars trilogy... and then there is Once Upon A Time trilogy... with no films being discluded.... Although i don't know what version other people are watching so i don't know... maybe i'm watching a more flawless version who knows... but i see NO major flaws and not many minor ones either.


Title: Re:Thoughts on this film
Post by: Mr. Guerrilla on January 02, 2005, 04:16:40 AM
I think this is Leone''s weakest film.  Maybe logical, because at first Leone didn''t want to do this one (he wanted to give the project to Peckinpah)...

Though it is fun at some times, it never matches the level of any of his other films.  Nice score, by the way.

I think this movie is actually quit good. When I recently bought it on dvd I thought that the name was a bit weird (fod) but I would still rate it over afod :). The whole name issue is a bit funny for in my language, finnish, two mules for sister sara has the same name for some reason  ???


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: noodles_leone on January 02, 2005, 10:10:06 AM
still loving this movie, which would have been much much better with tonino delli colli as director of photography ::)
Anyway, an other great story about friendship and betrayal by leone...


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on January 02, 2005, 05:11:35 PM
Quote
Anyway, an other great story about friendship and betrayal by leone...


Tell us about this!

I''m witholding comments on this film until I own the DVD  ;D, waiting with amticipation.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Bill Carson on January 04, 2005, 05:00:29 PM
 8) hola amigos. I have never really watched this film in it''s entirety; I always thought that it was just me who didn''t appreciate Rod Steiger''s (overacting?) performance and overall the direction just felt... wrong - for a Leone film anyway. but every director has made a bad film, or at least one that just isn''t as good as the others. I think that when the special edition dvd comes out I''ll be able to study this film.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: noodles_leone on January 06, 2005, 01:10:48 PM
Cigar i didn''t know you had never "really" seen this movie... have you ever seen the version with mao''s quotation at the begining AND the final flashback?


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on January 06, 2005, 04:20:06 PM
Just pan & scan not in widescren or in a theater unfortunately, looking forward to the DVD.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: shorty larsen on May 20, 2005, 02:40:56 PM
Let's discuss about this: I believe Leone's intention with this movie is to give a strong message against the way in wich revolutions are made. Juan's speech against the intelectual leadership of revolutions is extremely clear, where are the people that can't read after the revolution? They are dead. While the intelectual leadership rules now the country. Don't get me wrong, I'm not myself against revolutions, "on the contraire".

It is clear to me that after exploring the american dream disillusion Leone was in his way to explore the revolutionnary disillusion. He started with DYS and he was about to get more serious with "900 Days". Death took him from us before he could make that (for sure) masterpiece.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on May 20, 2005, 11:50:04 PM
But wasn't that the way Juan always was? He was a bandit by choice, and a revolutionary only by accident. And a bandit is a guy who is about as independant as you can get.

I'd say Juan doesn't get much of a political education in the film (he doesn't need one); what changes for him is his understanding of personal relationships (he learns what it is to have, and lose, a friend).

Sean, on the other hand, does seem to learn (or re-learn) some truths about politics.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: grandpa_chum on May 21, 2005, 07:33:21 PM
well i think it's obvious sean learns something, if not during the film than directly before, like he says "i used to believe in many things, now i only believe in dynamite"... also that he is done judging people based on their politics, the obvious that i alluded to earlier is that he kills his friend back in ireland for turning in his brethren in revolution and not viega, although it brings up terrible memories, and probably something he regrets doing... like he says, he judged a traitor only once and he doesn't do that anymore.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: shorty larsen on May 23, 2005, 03:06:00 PM
Yes, and also Sean throws up Bakunin's "Patriotism" after Juan's speech against the way in wich revolutions are made...

Sean is a politician, even if he is anarchist, he believes in something and in a better world. I don't think Juan believes in this at all.

I personnally think (and I agree with Dave Jenkins) the only think that changes in Juan's vision of life is that know there is a place for friendship and trust in his heart, even if Sean is dead. And that's what Sean changes in Juan's life.

On the other side, Juan contribution to Sean's life is that friendship and all that surrounds it is a better way to hapiness than revolution...


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Alan Shearer 9 on July 01, 2005, 06:47:18 AM
I think you can only really appreciate this film fully if you understand it within the political context that it was made in. I am hesitant to call it a masterpiece because I feel I am biased towards Leone films but deep down I really think it is that good.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Johny_Exhale on July 04, 2005, 12:25:45 PM
most underrated film thats been made to date, not most underrated western, most underrated film, period

giu la testa is genius, pure leone, underrated without a reason at all, it goes much further than people think, its is a goddamn great film, right up there with the dollars trilogy


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Film-Junkie Zach on July 05, 2005, 10:40:32 PM
Just as great as AMERICA, WEST, and GBU. Even though I only have seen the two hour and 18 minute cut on TV.

Sony, Please let Americans have the special editions of Dollars, Dollars More, and Dynamite. I swear on my life I will buy all three films and I'll tell everybody I know to buy em'


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on July 09, 2005, 08:24:58 AM
Wow, what a thread. I guess, I'll chuck in my 2 cents. For me this is one of the finest movies ever made, beaten by Leone only by ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. I also consider it one of the most underrated films of all time too, beaten only by TWIN PEAKES: FIRE WALK WITH ME. But that's another story.

As for the worst Leone film, if we're talkin' oaters, surely that's MY NAME IS NOBODY. Seen once and utterly forgotten (OK, I know, thats cheating a bit).

One of its major drawbacks is its terrible title, DUCK YOU SUCKER. Its origional screenplay title, ONCE UPON A TIME, THE REVOLUTION is better, but I can only bear to call it by its Italian title GIU LA TESTA.

One of its major peculiarities is how Coburn's character is always called Sean, even though his name is clearly John Mallory, and is called John by everyone in the film. When I'm chatting with friends about the film I always call him Sean, and always have to correct myself. Perhaps its the insistance of the unforgettable "Sean Sean Sean" Morricone refrain?

Of course when Juan askes Coburn his name, he is gazing off in the distance and mumbles "Sean", then changes it to John. Pehaps "Sean" is in fact the name of the David Warbeck character seen in the flashbacks? But that's probabaly for a different thread all of its own...

ETA. In fact I just found a couple.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on July 09, 2005, 06:42:08 PM
Ahhh, another David Lynch fan, lol, me too.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on July 09, 2005, 06:53:50 PM
There are two types of people in this world, my friend. Those who come in through the window, and those who come in through the door pretending to be "the bug man".


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on July 09, 2005, 08:32:31 PM
Quote
There are two types of people in this world, my friend. Those who come in through the window, and those who come in through the door pretending to be "the bug man".


lol, I've been recently posting pics from Lynch's Missoula circa 1970's on:

 
http://www.lynchnet.com/anyboard/General_Discussion/index.html


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Alan Shearer 9 on July 11, 2005, 11:25:28 AM
Sean is his mate's name, he is John Mallory and he's daydreaming and calls to sean. The sean SEan SEAN!!!!!!! in the Morricone score still makes sense because he's longing for his friend who he lost because of a revolution.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on July 13, 2005, 11:56:28 PM
That's a possible interpretation, and one that someone on the new SE DVD (Glenn Erickson, perhaps?) is trying to foist upon us. I find it less persuasive than the idea that Coburn is actually Sean. The many references in the film to Coburn as John are easily explained, as John is the anglacized form of Sean. The newspaper article that identifies Coburn's character as John Mallory may have had an editorial policy to render all Irish names as English ones (stranger things have happened). Or Sean may have even used John as an alias while on the run, and the paper used what info it had. Clearly, Sean uses John with Juan because he knows the peasant will be more familiar with that form of the name.

The crucial fact regarding this matter is the lyric added to the music by Carla Leone: "Sean, Sean, Sean." If we did not have SL's other movies, and had only DYS to go by, we might possibly be tempted to imagine that these words refer to the dead friend. But we do have the other movies, and so know that Leone NEVER used music in this way. By the time of OUATITW, SL (in collaboration with Morricone, natch) had developed a fairly consistent approach to film scoring, one that borrowed from operatic techniques. Specifically, he assigned leitmotifs to each of the major characters in his Once Upon a Time trilogy. This is easily seen in OUATITW, where Jill, Cheyenne, and even Morton get their own themes. Harmonica and Frank share a theme, or rather, both are identified by complementary phrases that combine to form a single theme that is only revealed in its entirety at the final gundown. In DYS the two main characters certainly get their themes: Juan gets the one that is sometimes called (by Frayling, for example) "The March of the Beggars." The character played by Coburn gets the "Sean, Sean, Sean" theme. That is HIS theme, and it always plays when he is present on screen or just about to appear (there are two exceptions, the first at the very beginning of the film where the motif serves as foreshadowing, the second at the end after the explosion as a kind of memorial for the dearly departed). This theme is not restricted to thoughts of Ireland, or of the dead friend. The music is always with Coburn whatever he is doing or thinking. It is, in fact, an element of his character.

So I find it unlikely that a dead character who we only see in flashback is the focus of one of the two major musical motifs of the picture. It seems more logical that the motif should be seen as applying to Coburn, and that it is referring to him by name.

And I'm pretty sure that if you pull any first-time viewer of the film aside afterwards (before he has a chance to read any criticism) and asked him to state the name of the character Coburn plays, he/she would reply "Sean."


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on July 14, 2005, 05:20:39 AM
Excellent analysis of the way musical themes are used by Leone, Dave Jenkins (I can't read your posts without imagining Bronson's voice!).

I've tried to answer some of your thoughts on the John/Sean question here:

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=2093.msg18548#msg18548

You are right about the casual viewer, though. As I said above, I still call him Sean myself, even though I actually think Warbeck is Sean.

I can't remember who talks about the unsusul change from the jaunty "Sean Sean Sean" theme to the "pub betrayal" dirge during the final three-some flashback. I don't have my DVD to hand to check. I thought it was an interesting point, though there is maybe too much baggage to hang on it?

As many have pointed out though. This was not a usual Leone film, and the music hadn't been completed before the film was shot.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Banjo on July 14, 2005, 10:05:38 AM
From what is discussed on the dvd and on this thread it does seem convincing that Mallory's friend first name could be Sean.However i do not see any reason why Mallory's name shouldn't also be Sean despite what is shown in the newspaper scene etc.I play in a folk group in which our percussionists (of Irish descent) real name on his birth certificate is John.However i have never heard anybody call him anything else other than Sean which is his preferred name.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on July 14, 2005, 10:27:08 AM
I guess Leone could have cleared this up for all of us if only he had given the Warbeck character a name in the first place.  :D

But this is another instance where things in his universe are far from crystal clear.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on July 14, 2005, 05:20:08 PM
I can't remember who talks about the unsusul change from the jaunty "Sean Sean Sean" theme to the "pub betrayal" dirge during the final three-some flashback.
But it's all one theme. We hear different parts from time to time, and perhaps it is only in the flashback that we get the whole thing. But the "Sean, Sean, Sean" theme and what you refer to as the pub betrayal dirge is the same piece of music.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Banjo on July 15, 2005, 03:32:26 AM
Following on from my point about my friend Sean(real name John),doesn't the fact that there being a Johnny & Johnny, as painted on the toy train at Mesa Verde,re-iterate the likelihood of two Seans in the movie?Juan is quite willing to call himself John,so why not Mallory "Sean" to his family and friends in Ireland?Men whose name are Patrick in Ireland are also likely to be affectionally called Pat,Paddy or Packie!
          Also throughout the soundtrack there are either 2 or 3 consecutive chants of Sean which could also be a reference to the multiple of Seans in the movie.Maybe where there is a third chant this could this refer to Juan which like Sean is another form of John.If you listen carefully to the music in places some of the chants sound more like John than Sean!!!


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on July 15, 2005, 05:37:46 PM
Hey, this thread is really getting good. It makes sense that John/Sean's friend might also be called Sean ("They Shared a Revolution, A Woman . . . And a Name!") for the reasons stated above. There is an obvious parallel between the two revolutions and the two friendships, and that parallel is reinforced if the first friendship is between Sean and Sean and the second between John and John. And since Sean and John are variants of the same name (as are Jean, Jan, Johan et. al.) the secret title of DYS could be "My Three Seans." That would mean that the "Sean, Sean, Sean" lyric is not referring to any one person: the repetition actually names each of three characters in turn. And Morricone's score supports this: after the Mesa Verde job, which ends with a complete presentation of "The March of the Beggars" theme, that theme almost disappears from the movie (it recurrs once after Juan has killed Huerta). Instead, Juan begins to be associated with the more melancholy passage from the main DYS theme. It is the main DYS theme that contains (elsewhere) the "Sean, Sean, Sean" motif, so John and Juan become musically connected.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Banjo on July 16, 2005, 02:29:56 AM
I totally agree with Dave Jenkins last post ,and to add to this,while the end credits are rolling to the Sean,Sean,Sean chants of  the main theme what do we see but the still image of Juan's(Sean's) distraught face.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on July 16, 2005, 06:12:31 AM
One "musical moment" which always puzzled me in GIU LA TESTA was when Juan is about to be shot by the firing squad.

From behind the wall he is stood up against, he hears the start of the "Sean Sean Sean" tune being whistled.

Now we know what it is, because its been played through the whole bloody film, but how does Juan know instantly what it is, and that its John Mallory whistling it as a signal to him to "Duck, you sucker"?

As Dave Jenkins suggests now, its because he is one of the three "Seans" himself, so of course he'd know "the Sean Sean song", as they call it in DEAR DIARY.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Poggle on July 16, 2005, 04:24:24 PM
I have a theory regarding the whole Sean/John thing.

I was thinking - What if both Mallory and his buddy's names were Sean and he called himself John so that they'd know who another person is referring to?
He calls himself "Sean" in Mexico when Juan first asks his name because he wouldn't have to call himself John, thus reminding himself of what went on back in Ireland? His motive for calling himself John again might be because he's used to it and wouldn't want to call himself "Sean" anymore as it reminds him more of Ireland.
The men he worked for yelled "John!" when running into the church before it was blown up, so maybe it was just that moment he had a slip-up.

My theories are too far-fetched and ridiculous anyway :(


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Groggy on July 17, 2005, 06:34:52 AM
I think the political element of the film is very interesting if you think about it.  On the one hand, the Federales are definitely supposed to represent the Nazis/fascists (the German command, Ruiz, making this comparison even more blatant than usual), and they are presented as heartless, cruel people (which they appear to have really been).  This is the set-up for a Damiani/Corbucci Zapata Western, where the good revolutionaries overthrow the evil fascists.

Leone, however, shows that the revolution is only romantic in theory, never in practice.  Leone has ALWAYS criticized so-called "necessary violence", be it that of white frontiersmen in the Old West, or the supposedly heroic overthrow of an admittedly evil (from one point of view) regime.  Leone was a leftist, but not so foolish that he thought that many of the people on his side of the aisle were trying to do anything more than trying to set up their own totalitarian regime (in Italy, or Mexico, in the movie).  Juan's speech about the Revolution is one of the best speeches ever written for a Leone movie IMO.  I guess you could read into it that, at least in the early stages, Juan represents Leone's political views.  Sean is Damiani, Goddard or one of the other, more "activist" filmmakers who view the revolution as a grand cause.  Ruiz is the right-wing reactionary (I won't necessarily say "establishment" in this case) who forces Juan and Sean to band together.  Juan may become a hero of the Revolution, but he loses everything he has - his family and his best friend.  He continues fighting only because he really has nothing left to do, not because he necessarily believes in the cause.  Leone's use of the Mao quote pretty much shows that at least most of the above was his intent:  "A revolution is an act of violence, by which one class overthrows another."


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Alan Shearer 9 on July 18, 2005, 08:05:11 AM
that's what makes it such a brilliant film, the political content, it's very interesting


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Christopher on August 09, 2005, 09:11:15 PM
I finally saw the movie. I liked it. Maybe not as much as the others, but it's very good.

Unfortunately, it was a pan and scan version of it on the Encore Westerns channel. But I did see a preview that on Saturday, they will be having a special tribute to Leone and will be showing a few of the movies in widescreen, including A Fistful of Dynamite.

Speaking of the title, the movie credits didn't use Fistful of Dynamite, but rather Duck You Sucker. I was thinking as I was watching it that I really liked the title Duck You Sucker more than the other titles it goes by.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: conradv on August 12, 2005, 04:47:15 PM
I watched it for the first time a month ago, and honestly think that it's Leon'es weakest film.  It just seemed like the filming didn't have any kind of consistancy.  And a lot of the acting was "off".

I'm sure that most of you don't agree, but I didn't get the feeling that it was Leon'es best work.  Or maybe to him, it WAS his best work.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on November 06, 2005, 07:48:36 PM
I've just got hold of Morricone's music for the film, and going back to some of the previous arguments for Coburn's character being called "Sean" based on musical motifes, they just don't add up in this context. 

The titles of the Morricone tracks are all in Italian, but still we have a track called "Invenzione Per John" (and not "Sean" or even "Giovanni"). So as far as Morricone is concerned, Coburn is clearly called "John", despite the "Sean, Sean, Sean" going on in the composition, and this is the film's opening ( unforgettable) music.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on November 07, 2005, 01:18:22 AM
Again, Mallory can be both John and Sean. With OUATITW, Leone (with Morricone, natch) perfected his approach to film scoring. Ever after, SL employed leitmotifs for his characters: one character, one theme. In DYS Mallory gets a theme, Juan gets a theme (Gunther gets only a phrase, and an annoying one). The dead friend does not get a theme. The "Sean, Sean, Sean" must apply to Mallory or to no one.

One call to Carla Leone could settle this (she came up with the words to add to the music). Anybody got her phone number?

BTW, there are days when I think DYS is Leone's greatest film. This is because it has one of the most unpromising starts in film history: a guy peeing, close-ups of people eating, a rape, a wagon-load of naked people thrown into a pile of dung. If you showed me just the first 20 minutes and nothing more I'd have to conclude that this was one of the worst movies ever made. But an amazing transformation ensues: by stages, Leone works the material up from its vulgar beginnings to one of the most sublime endings ever put on film. The distance crossed from first to last is galactic. An amazing feat, even for a genius.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Dlanor on November 07, 2005, 02:09:56 AM
Leone did the movie in bad conditions.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on November 07, 2005, 04:10:52 PM
And nonetheless produced a masterpiece.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on November 07, 2005, 06:10:56 PM
No debate there.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on November 25, 2005, 05:30:13 PM
Dipping into Oreste De Fornari (ODF) last night I found this:
Quote
A nod to Soviet silent films is perhaps intended at the beginning of Duck! You Sucker where the arrogance of the rich who despise the peon is made grotesque by editing . . . . One does not know whether the source is Eisenstein or Grosz, but one cannot but recall that in Ford's stagecoaches the descriptions of the relations among the social classes were more concisely described--John Carradine offering his silver cup to Louise Platt while refusing it to Claire Trevor who has to make do with drinking directly from the water bag.
(Sergio Leone 128)

This put me in mind of Joyce's "Oxen of the Sun" in Ulysses where the author begins the chapter in Chaucer's English and then "updates" the language as the chapter continues until by the end Joyce is writing in modern prose. Might not something similar be going on in DYS? Leone begins with Eisenstein, proceeds to John Ford (the tit-for-tat that Mallory and Juan engage in is very Fordian), and by the time we get to Mesa Verde he is quoting from Visconti's The Leopard (the Battle of Palermo sequence is referenced).

As the film is about two characters who undergo 2 different initiations (Mallory grows up politically, Juan learns about friendship) it would be appropriate for the film to mirror this by adopting a history-of-cinema approach for its style.

Just a thought.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on November 26, 2005, 07:18:33 AM
Might not something similar be going on in DYS?

Well Dave, it's a provocative thought. The "mouth montage" sequence you mention is a sequence without precedent in Leone's work, both in terms of form and political content. The scene it takes place in inevitably reference's STAGECOACH. In both films, the coach, a small receptor of "civilization" in a "wilderness" stops and picks up a bandit (John Wayne and Rod Steiger).

In Wayne's coach there is class division, and he is snubbed by some of the other passengers. However, through his heroism he changes their opinion not only of his own character, but of each other's, and the film ends with a relatively cohesive American society established on merit, rather than class.

In Steiger's coach there is such rabid class division that the other passengers can not even see him as a human being ("Animals. Because that's what they are... Animals"). Any rapprochement is impossible from the start, even with the American passenger (“Just like them niggers we got back home”). Steiger is tolerated only because he can be ridiculed, and he is made to sit beside the toilet. As such, he sees the others only as stupid, puzzling objects, stuffing their faces on food and drink which they never think of offering him (remember the offering of drink and food in STAGECOACH is an important declaration of character and bonding). They are fit only to robbed and raped, and their guardians (class traitors) murdered, and indeed the scene ends this way.

If anything, for Leone by now this was a case of realpolitik, rather than referencing cinema history. Yes, he does reference other movies through out GUI LAS TESTA, but the same could be said (even more so) of the earlier ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

In terms of form, a cinema attempting to to replicate the experiment in Chapter 15 of ULYSSES would be light years away from anything we see in GUI LA TESTA, or in any Leone films. In fact, going on some of the unkind comments of Leone's former collaborators, he'd never be capable of understanding or attempting such a thing. And that's fine with me. Such an approach to a mainstream, commercial genre film would be impossible to finance and distribute anyway, and would have to be left to the low budget and the avant-guard. Even Joseph Strick didn't try this approach in his dismal and pointless 1967 attempt at filming Joyce's uber-masterwork.

The only recent, mainstream film I can think of which has attempted this kind of approach was Oliver Stone's NATURAL BORN KILLERS. This used silent movie techniques, documentary styles, cartoons, TV sit coms, super 8 film, TV news shows and music video promo styles all in a barnstorming assault on the senses. Rather than attempting a formalist, modernist and coherent approach to narrative however, Stone was creating a post-modern grab bag of tricks to create a bewildering, fractured universe of horror and madness.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Half Soldier on November 26, 2005, 11:20:35 AM
I think Leone was clever in the stagecoach scene and the 'animals' insult in that at the same time he focuses on close ups of facial features eating and chewing etc reminding us that we ARE animals - thus rendering the insult hypocritical and meaningless. 


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on November 27, 2005, 08:23:16 PM

If anything, for Leone by now this was a case of realpolitik, rather than referencing cinema history. Yes, he does reference other movies through out GUI LAS TESTA, but the same could be said (even more so) of the earlier ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

In terms of form, a cinema attempting to to replicate the experiment in Chapter 15 of ULYSSES would be light years away from anything we see in GUI LA TESTA, or in any Leone films. In fact, going on some of the unkind comments of Leone's former collaborators, he'd never be capable of understanding or attempting such a thing. And that's fine with me. Such an approach to a mainstream, commercial genre film would be impossible to finance and distribute anyway, and would have to be left to the low budget and the avant-guard. Even Joseph Strick didn't try this approach in his dismal and pointless 1967 attempt at filming Joyce's uber-masterwork.

I didn't mean to suggest that Leone knew anything of Joyce or was attempting anything as formal or rigorous as a chapter in Ulysses. That's why I included  "something like" as a caveat. Leone, who was born to parents who had worked in the Italian cinema, and who himself grew up in and with cinema, was a walking encyclopedia of filmic references. That is why he was able to produce OUATITW and imbue it with such grace: the film references always seem organic and are never forced.

It should be noted that OUATITW alludes particularly to Westerns and limits itself pretty much to that genre. DYS, on the other hand, quotes (according to ODF) from Eisenstein, but also (according to Frayling) from Ford (The Informer) and (according to me) from Visconti (The Leopard). I would imagine the references do not end there. Interestingly, these films all have something in common, and could be said to inhabit a genre themselves.......


Title: Homage to Sean Ford
Post by: dave jenkins on March 07, 2006, 08:35:29 PM
One more thought on the Sean/John issue: the use of the dual names may be yet another tip of the hat to John Ford, who was born Sean O'Feeney, and took on a new identity after travelling a considerable distance from the place of his birth (Portland, ME). The change of "Sean" to "John" is therefore a venerable American film tradition, one SL was aware of.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on March 17, 2006, 03:32:44 AM
As an addendum to the above:

According to Scott Eyman (in the Taschen book on Ford):

Quote
John Ford always claimed to have been born Sean Aloysius O'Fearna--or some equally florid variant.... And for ninety-odd years he was taken at his word. But the registry of births for Cape Elizabeth, Maine clearly records the birth of one John Martin Feeney...[and this is the name] on his school records at Portland High School and on his death certificate.
(19)

Eyman suggests that the reason he fabricated the story of his name change is so he could feel more Irish. This is certainly plausible, but it may be also he was called Sean by his family when young.

In any event, far from undermining my earlier point, this fact may actually strengthen it. SL of course had no way of knowing the truth, and even if he had, he was enough of a Fordian that, when faced with a choice between fact and legend, he would opt for the latter.

With such a pedigree, the Sean-to-John change in DYS certainly seems a tribute from the Lion of Rafran to the King of Monument Valley.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Groggy on March 17, 2006, 08:40:23 AM
Again, Mallory can be both John and Sean. With OUATITW, Leone (with Morricone, natch) perfected his approach to film scoring. Ever after, SL employed leitmotifs for his characters: one character, one theme. In DYS Mallory gets a theme, Juan gets a theme (Gunther gets only a phrase, and an annoying one). The dead friend does not get a theme. The "Sean, Sean, Sean" must apply to Mallory or to no one.

One call to Carla Leone could settle this (she came up with the words to add to the music). Anybody got her phone number?

BTW, there are days when I think DYS is Leone's greatest film. This is because it has one of the most unpromising starts in film history: a guy peeing, close-ups of people eating, a rape, a wagon-load of naked people thrown into a pile of dung. If you showed me just the first 20 minutes and nothing more I'd have to conclude that this was one of the worst movies ever made. But an amazing transformation ensues: by stages, Leone works the material up from its vulgar beginnings to one of the most sublime endings ever put on film. The distance crossed from first to last is galactic. An amazing feat, even for a genius.

Actually I love the film's start, it's arguably (note that key qualifying word) the best scene of the movie.

I'm pondering as to whether or not I should watch this film (on VHS!  :'() to celebrate St. Patrick's Day today.  Then again, maybe Irish people would find Coburn's accent offensive?  I dunno. . .

It might be better than watching "Zulu" on St. Patrick's Day though, which I've been planning to do. 


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on March 17, 2006, 05:46:15 PM
It's interesting that you mention Zulu. A friend of mine lent me his R2 copy of the DVD, which has a commentary by the assistant director or some such. This is the first time a commentary has ever ruined a film for me: there is hardly anything in the movie that is historically valid. Now sometimes a film works just fine when taking liberties with historical figures (LoA is a case in point, or nearly), but for me the whole point of Zulu is that we learn something about an historical event. Even the locale on which the film was shot is completely different from the actual scene of the battle. No singing Welshman, no cattle stampede, no sung Zulu tribute at the end. The characters are all fictions who have arbitrarily been given the names of the historical participants. This has completely killed my interest in the film. Oops, I hope I haven't now also spoiled the picture for others (very sorry).....


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on March 18, 2006, 07:10:22 PM
I've no idea why somebody would want to reserve ZULU for St. Patrick's day viewing? Are you getting it mixed up with St. David's day?

As for the films relationship to the real event, there are excellent cinematic reasons for this. The actual battle of Rorke's Drift took place almost entiely in darkness, and the huge Zulu army did themselves no favours by setting the hospital on fire, since the men of the 24th could pick their targets easier in the fire light (something which is depicted briefly in the film). With the technology of the time this would have made for an extremely bad looking film in terms of cinematography. Either using Gawd awful "day for night" shooting or obvious arc lighting (for 2 hours!).

Instead the film depicts a battle in a magnificent natural amphitheatre in brilliant sunshine, and yet it somehow remains hidiously claustrophobic, poetic and doom laden. It's a magnificent piece of cinema, and going with the positive "print the legend" flow of some of the above, what's wrong with that? ZULU is a flim I watch again and again. It's a classic of existential angst, and the sound effects of the approaching unseen Zulu Impi almost push it into horror territory. Nigel Green as the Colour Sargent is a towering character, and the "Nothing to hold a man in his grave." speech could have been penned by Dylan Thomas.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Groggy on March 18, 2006, 08:39:57 PM
Because it had been ages since I'd seen it, Juan?  Plus I got the day off from school for whatever reason, so I had free time (not much though, I spent most of the day yesterday cleaning my room - what fun!).  :P


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Juan Miranda on March 18, 2006, 09:08:25 PM
Plus I got the day off from school for whatever reason,

That's a good reason kid. (http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/Tarkyhitch/untitled.jpg)

Front rank, fire!!


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Groggy on March 19, 2006, 06:27:28 AM
Well, to comment on the historical accuracy argument for just a moment (hopefully not taking this thread too far off-topic), I don't really think it matters a whole lot.  I wasn't aware of how inaccurate it was the first so many times I saw it, but now I am - but it doesn't really hurt the film at all, for me anyway.  Very few movies are historically accurate to any more of a degree than necessary; even "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals" (two films which really are made-or-broken on historical accuracy) have innumerable historical flaws that don't stand up under scrutiny.  Movies, generally speaking, are fiction, and most of them are designed to tell a story, so license with the historical fact is almost unavoidable.

As for watching it on St. Patty's Day, like I said I didn't mean anything by it.  It wasn't until it was too late that I realized why that might be disrespectful.  But then again, I have more Welsh blood than Irish in me, so I can't say I was too upset about it.  The only thing I really did to celebrate SPD was watching the Irish Brigade scenes in G&Gs.  So sue me.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Tim on March 19, 2006, 07:26:27 PM
  Groggy, I've always thought Gettysburg was pretty historically accurate, although some things are condensed for time and whatnot.  What things were you thinking of that were inaccurate?  At this point, I've seen the movie a ton of times so I've probably just gotten to the point where I accept it as the truth.

  As for Gods and Generals, I saw it in theaters and haven't seen it since so I won't comment.  I know it was the point of the movie with the whole religious side, but I got really tired of hearing about god and religion in that long, long movie.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Groggy on March 20, 2006, 05:38:31 PM
  Groggy, I've always thought Gettysburg was pretty historically accurate, although some things are condensed for time and whatnot.  What things were you thinking of that were inaccurate?  At this point, I've seen the movie a ton of times so I've probably just gotten to the point where I accept it as the truth.

The biggest one being that the 20th Maine remained on the Round Tops on July 3rd, and was not in any way shape or form involved in Pickett's Charge.  Also, Kevin Conway's character Kilrain was fictional.  And now quite a few people seem to think that Hancock and Armistead weren't as close of friends as the film (and admittedly generally accepted fact) made them out to be.  Most of the other errors are of little consequence.

Quote
As for Gods and Generals, I saw it in theaters and haven't seen it since so I won't comment.  I know it was the point of the movie with the whole religious side, but I got really tired of hearing about god and religion in that long, long movie.

Well. . . I really liked it when I first saw it.  I still think the battle scenes are great, arguably better than those in "Gettysburg", and I check them out every once in awhile, but I've only watched it the whole way through once since I've gotten it on DVD.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Tim on March 21, 2006, 02:56:05 PM
  Ok, those are legitimate points, but really the 20th Maine isn't that involved in Pickett's charge in the movie.  That conversation between Hancock and Chamberlain just seems to be a way of beginning the artillery barrage.

  And Kilrain is a fictional character, but I loved him in the book and the movie.  I thought Kevin Conway did a great job w/ the character, and even though he was fictional Kilrain allows the viewer to get to know both Joshua and Tom Chamberlain better.

  I did like the battle scenes in G and G, especially Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg with the 20th Maine out in the field.  And I always remember the scene w/ the Union and Confederate soldier exchanging things on Xmas.  I might have to rent that sometime soon just to refresh my memory.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: The Firecracker on April 16, 2006, 01:31:04 AM
Following on from my point about my friend Sean(real name John),doesn't the fact that there being a Johnny & Johnny, as painted on the toy train at Mesa Verde,re-iterate the likelihood of two Seans in the movie?Juan is quite willing to call himself John,so why not Mallory "Sean" to his family and friends in Ireland?Men whose name are Patrick in Ireland are also likely to be affectionally called Pat,Paddy or Packie!


sorry if this was already mentioned but...


perhaps Juan is willing to call himself John because the anglo version of the name "Juan" is in fact "John". I guess the same can be said about Coburn's character where the anglo version of "Sean" could be "John". Then again I am quite fond of the theory of Warbeck being Sean, which would make sense out of the title theme which signifies John's haunting memories of his old friend.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Banjo on April 16, 2006, 10:07:22 AM
Hey, this thread is really getting good. It makes sense that John/Sean's friend might also be called Sean ("They Shared a Revolution, A Woman . . . And a Name!") for the reasons stated above. There is an obvious parallel between the two revolutions and the two friendships, and that parallel is reinforced if the first friendship is between Sean and Sean and the second between John and John. And since Sean and John are variants of the same name (as are Jean, Jan, Johan et. al.) the secret title of DYS could be "My Three Seans." That would mean that the "Sean, Sean, Sean" lyric is not referring to any one person: the repetition actually names each of three characters in turn. And Morricone's score supports this: after the Mesa Verde job, which ends with a complete presentation of "The March of the Beggars" theme, that theme almost disappears from the movie (it recurrs once after Juan has killed Huerta). Instead, Juan begins to be associated with the more melancholy passage from the main DYS theme. It is the main DYS theme that contains (elsewhere) the "Sean, Sean, Sean" motif, so John and Juan become musically connected.
Firecracker,while we're looking at old posts i very much go along with what Dave Jenkins said above,especially with the Sean chants being made in triplicate in places!


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 14, 2007, 05:56:45 PM
Duck You Sucker

Well I must admit that seeing this for the first time on the new pristine R1, wide screen SE DVD, with the original "mono" audio was a revelation. In 1970 I left New York City for first the Adirondacks, and then Montana, so my easy access to the theaters on Times Square was eliminated and the ability to be aware of much less be able to see the Spaghetti Westerns that occasionally graced the big screens in double & triple bills was curtailed.

My previous viewing experiences with this film were once on a 70’s or 80’s VHS tape and then dribs and drabs that I caught from time to time while switching through channels on TV. In regards to the Pan & Scan and commercial breached versions my reaction to Rod Steigers performance was decidedly negative. It seems in retrospect that the combination of cuts, trimmed scenes, and commercial breaks, emphasized the clownish facial expressions and exaggerated his accent while negating the serious side of his performance. Now viewed as a whole his performance becomes more easy flowing and contiguous. You realize that Steiger was playing Juan as a cagey Mexican bandito playing the fool when the situation required it and reverting back at the drop of a hat back to bandit leader.  With James Coburn’s performance I never had an issue.

I’m also mature enough now to see that this was a transitional film for Leone not only as a complete film but it was transforming before our eyes. I can see now why it tanked in the US. In Europe I believe you had the luxury of getting served your Leone in well paced over time releases, you had the opportunity to savor and enjoy and digest each and were ready to see what the maestro would serve up next.  We "kids" here in the US were blasted by both barrels in 1967 when both "A Fistful of Dollars" and "For A Few Dollars More" premiered within months of each other, and then theaters ran double bills for months at a time. Within a year "The Good The Bad & The Ugly" also hit the theaters and we were totally immersed in the Leone style and eager for more of the same, I think we may have been under the impression that these films were similar to the James Bond franchise where a successful formula would be repeated over & over.

"Once Upon A Time in The West" was a totally different animal it did not star Clint Eastwood (which was the way the dollars trilogy was promoted (strike one) it was misunderstood upon release and panned by the critics who did not understand its nature(strike two) it was then re-cut (Strike three) and released widely to a quick demise.

"Duck You Sucker" not really a traditional Western never had a chance, it was Leone’s reaction to the Zapata Westerns that never did have a wide showcase or following here in the US, his quotes & references to these Zapatas would have flown over the heads of most. While Leones previous "Dollars" films were just fun adventures, and "OUTITW" was an homage Western about Westerns, this film had a Leone message, a statement, it was not only that "Revolution is Confusion" but also to "keep your head down" (Duck You Sucker) and stay out of politics, because only the people who read books survive the poor who do the fighting and make the changes end up dead.

There are the comedy elements from his pervious films juxtaposed with serious new depths to his characters, the beginning of DYS is very reminiscent to GBU and the cat and mouse games played between Tuco and Blondie are reflected in the Juan/Sean relationship each using the other for opposite purposes. Juan is also the head of his extended family of banditi and all actions are shown to have consequences.

I’m pulled buy opposing emotions while watching this film, on one salient I want it to be another grand adventure a la GBU, and that is the way it started out. On another it’s not up to the mythic qualities of OUTITW, though it does quote from Eisenstein’s "Que Vive Mexico" and the Hollywood tradition of Zapatas, Leone purposely shuns the "romance of the sombrero" we get no ballads, no soldadas (ie, no beautiful Adelitas or Columbas),  no festivals all touchstones of the Italian Zapatas. On still a third salient the film has a very bleak ending. Not exactly a feel good fun to watch over and over.

OUTIA Leone’s next and last film continues in the mode and is equally beautiful but bleak. a film about melancholy and regret.

Morricone’s score great as usual I find a just a tad bit uneven, the leitmotif’s for Juan and Sean/John are good but the grotto massacre theme just seems a bit to breezy & lighthearted for the images. Listening to the Frayling commentary I have an understanding of what he was attempting.

I’d now rate my favorite Leone films in this order.

GBU & OUTITW a tie
FAFDM
DYS
AFOD
OUTIA
COR 


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on June 14, 2007, 06:16:05 PM
On still a third salient the film has a very bleak ending. Not exactly a feel good fun to watch over and over.
Bleak for Juan Miranda, certainly (he's really alone at the end), not necessarily so for Mallory. The flashback intimates absolution, provides perhaps a foretaste of a blessed final state. Add Morricone's music, and you have something other than a downer ending.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 14, 2007, 08:53:16 PM
Quote
not necessarily so for Mallory. The flashback intimates absolution, provides perhaps a foretaste of a blessed final state. Add Morricone's music, and you have something other than a downer ending

a half downer then  O0


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: moviesceleton on June 15, 2007, 04:28:50 AM
As Frayling said, the biggest changes from Leone's earlier films in this movie are that all actions have consequences and that characters develop and affect eachother. That is more mature Leone and not everyone like it. I do like it, but I can't say which Leone I like better.

Joe, I can't understand how OUATIA is your least favorite of Leone's main films :o.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 15, 2007, 05:36:48 AM
Quote
Joe, I can't understand how OUATIA is your least favorite of Leone's main films


I prefer his Westerns, gangster films are ok but not something I'm into, I grew up in New York City and couldn't wait to get out into the wide open spaces of the West.

I hardly ever watch OUTIA, its a beautiful but depressing film.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: moviesceleton on June 15, 2007, 07:05:49 AM
I think you're one of those who don't like this new less-fun Leone.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 15, 2007, 08:04:48 PM
Well, I sometimes just like to have a good laugh, DYS is more than laughs, I just have to be in the mood for more serious fair. 


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: moviesceleton on June 16, 2007, 04:52:12 AM
Well, I sometimes just like to have a good laugh, DYS is more than laughs, I just have to be in the mood for more serious fair. 
Fair enough. Life ain't easy without laughter  ;D  ;D.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 16, 2007, 06:55:16 PM
Quote
Fair enough. Life ain't easy without laughter 


WE all have to cherish DYS as being Sergio's last great Western O0


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: The Firecracker on June 17, 2007, 06:49:51 PM
Been sayin' it since I got here. My favorite.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Sonny on June 17, 2007, 10:13:50 PM
saw it for the second time recently and I wasn't surprised when I found myself enjoying it even more than I did the first time I saw it.

I think with most, if not with all of Leone's filma, at least a third viewing for each is almost essential. (not to mention enjoyable  :))


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 17, 2007, 10:33:39 PM
I watched this again tonight & discovered the inspiration for some of Stiegers performance, just like he was mimicking Leone's hand movements incorporating them into his method, he also was doing Lou Costello, the first time in the stage when they ask him how many children he has this reaction is Lou Costello, he does him again at the bridge when he can't get the machinegun to work and then it starts shooting that whole shtick is an exact copy of Lou Costello I think in either their Foreign Legion or army flicks.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Sonny on June 17, 2007, 10:54:40 PM

interesting observation CJ


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 17, 2007, 10:57:43 PM
I was surfing to see if I could find an image, nada, but I did find out that it is from "Abott & Costello in the Foreign Legion"


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on June 18, 2007, 02:40:42 PM
I think with most, if not with all of Leone's films, at least a third viewing for each is almost essential.
Perhaps, but for full illumination, I'd expect at least 2 dozen viewings before an adept can be expected to advance.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: titoli on June 19, 2007, 10:00:51 AM
I want to thank CJ for his review filled (as I like them to be) with personal reminiscenses. Still, CJ, I can't be persuaded that Rod Steiger delivers as Wallach would have (for reasons I have explained elsewhere). I have no prejudices against Steiger (I like him in Le mani sulla cittŕ or in In the Heat of the Night) but Juan belongs to Wallach.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 19, 2007, 11:53:46 AM
Well now that I figured out that Steiger was doing a Lou Costello impersonation, I think that Wallach might have been more original in his interpretation.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on June 19, 2007, 07:02:14 PM
I like him in Le mani sulla cittŕ . . .
Saw this recently. Half the performance is the dubbing actor's, no?


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Kurug3n on June 19, 2007, 08:04:40 PM
my thoughts are i need to watch this movie :'(


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: The Peacemaker on June 20, 2007, 01:53:14 PM
my thoughts are i need to watch this movie :'(

I'm surprised you didn't get it yet.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Rojo Ramone on June 20, 2007, 08:46:36 PM
I just refreshed my memory of this film with the great R1 DVD that came out.

My thoughts on the film would be...while being a great buddy film, it's more of a war film than a western, which in my opinion would place the Dollars trilogy and OUATITW above it.
But, it's definately a Leone film which would rate above most other filmakers films.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 20, 2007, 09:06:01 PM
Its definitely not a Western per se, but it fts the (anti-)Zapata Western sub Genre, and fits also into an anti-War, anti-Pollitical film description.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: mike siegel on June 21, 2007, 01:43:33 AM
It was never meant to be as a western.
OUATITW was Leone's swan song to the western and the beginning of a new trilogy, North America:

OUATITW marks the end of the west as the last scene clearly shows: the pioneers, the gun fighters
and outlaws are leaving the scene, the railroad brings the east to the west which in Jill finally found
a 'mama'. Always important for a civilized world :).
GIU LA TESTA shows the results of industrialization and landgrabbing: poverty among the lower classes,
fat rich men who gained control under the capitalism. Revolution is the answer.
OUATIA finally is dedicated to the last period of American outlaws, the depression with its hoods, Prohibition
and the beginning of massive corruption in police force and politics - by then the criminal weight finally shifted
from the obvious outlaw bad guy to politicans (which brings us to nowadays  :-\).

France is the only country, were all three titles indicate this clearly for the audience:
IL ETAIS UNE FOIS DANS L'OUEST
IL ETAIS UNE FOIS LA REVOLUTION
IL ETAIS UNE FOIS EN AMERIQUE

Most misleading the titles were in my native Germany. ONCE UPON A TIME is the beginning of all
the fairy tales (Brothers Grimm etc.) which was supposed to be not working for western (the distributor thought).
So most of the Italian westerns, and action films in general, had to have strong violent action-oriented titles
like ENEMIES OF DEATH (Five Card Stud), KILL, AMIGO! (Quien Sabe?) or BODIES ARE COVERING HIS WAY (Il grande Silenzio). OUATITW became PLAY ME THE SONG OF DEATH (they even dubbed in that line, when Bronson gives
Fonda the harmonica before the dies). GIU LA TESTA became MELODY OF DEATH (Todesmelodie).

I love all three. Before them the DOLLAR - trilogy was groundbreaking, hip & cool and adorable. For almost 30 years I'm watching them now and never get tired of them.
But the 2nd trilogy in its whole is not as easy to love because sitting back and enjoy is not enough here. Thank god,
it shows how Leone developed over the years. A rich body of work.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Tuco the ugly on June 21, 2007, 01:58:01 AM
I remember watching this movie when I was a kid.
I didn't understand what it really was;it looked like a western yet it wasn't one,there were motorcycles,strange guns,there was this guy that looked like Tuco yet it wasn't him,there was the green Ireland in a movie that takes place in the sands,there were Nazis...
It was something really strange that I have never seen before but I somehow liked it,and during the time the love only became stronger.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on June 21, 2007, 05:12:52 PM
GIU LA TESTA shows the results of industrialization and landgrabbing: poverty among the lower classes,
fat rich men who gained control under the capitalism. Revolution is the answer.
Odd that you would say this, as the film makes it clear that revolution is NOT the answer (hence the On Patriotism scene). Instead, Leone suggests that personal relationships is the answer (choose a friend over a cause, any day).


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 21, 2007, 05:28:59 PM
Quote
Odd that you would say this, as the film makes it clear that revolution is NOT the answer (hence the On Patriotism scene). Instead, Leone suggests that personal relationships is the answer (choose a friend over a cause, any day).

Yea Mike I'd have to agree with dave jenkins on that point. Revolution is confusion.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: The Firecracker on June 21, 2007, 05:29:59 PM
Yea Mike I'd have to agree with dave jenkins on that point. Revolution is confusion.


The italian title says it all.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Kurug3n on June 21, 2007, 05:33:19 PM
I'm surprised you didn't get it yet.

i would have but my damn bestbuy doesnt have it and borders is asking me to pay around 35 BUCKS!?!?


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: The Firecracker on June 21, 2007, 05:36:49 PM
i would have but my damn bestbuy doesnt have it.


Yeah It's a sad state of affairs at best buy. They have gotten rid of the more obscure older titles in order to make way for the new releases.

They don't even hold it (nor do they hold the SE's of the dollars trilogy!) on their online website where they even have THE HILLS RUN RED(?).


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on June 21, 2007, 05:42:50 PM
Fred Meyers has it for 19.99. Best deals are on line, though.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: mike siegel on June 21, 2007, 06:50:06 PM
Yea Mike I'd have to agree with dave jenkins on that point. Revolution is confusion.

Misunderstanding based on different language background on my side. 'ANSWER' meaning over here that (revolution) is the result of the politics, not a solution to the problem of poverty or what have you...


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 23, 2007, 05:55:06 PM
Quote
Misunderstanding based on different language background on my side. 'ANSWER' meaning over here that (revolution) is the result of the politics, not a solution to the problem of poverty or what have you...


Ok gottcha O0


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Kurug3n on June 24, 2007, 12:26:41 PM
FINALLY I GET TO SEE DUCK YOU SUCKER! My (strange) review:

What can i say about this film that hasnt already been said? I will start off by saying that if theres one person who can make Revolution look beatiful and horrible at the same time it could only be Leone. I can't understand why people see this as Leone's lowpoint in all of his films. If anything this movie is as great as all of his other movies excluding Collusus Of Rhodes. Leone balance's the characters and plot by making them both more obscurd every minute into the film. Especially the ending with Sean and Sean (YES ITS SEAN NOT JOHN THATS WHY THE CHORUS SINGS SEAN,SEAN) and that girl with them making out and SEAN'S disturbing smile at the end. Coburn is great but Steiger is better with his murederous yet family man character that is Juan. Possibly the best part out of the whole movie is Sean(John) and Juan shooting their machine guns at the people crossing the bridge and the that exploison! WOW! That was simply AMAZING! In the end this is seriously A Leone Must See just like all of his other films. ***** out of *****


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: The Peacemaker on June 24, 2007, 12:29:20 PM
Glad to see you liked it!


My second favorite Leone film.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Jill on June 24, 2007, 12:49:58 PM
A very good film. I feeled always a little strange: the first half is an adventure-comedy, the second a tragedy. But it works.
Poor Sean...  :'( :'( :'(


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on June 24, 2007, 09:37:56 PM
 O0


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: tucumcari bound on June 25, 2007, 08:24:25 PM
Glad to see you liked it!


My second favorite Leone film.

I'm guessing your favorite Leone film is OUATITW Peacemaker?


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: The Peacemaker on June 26, 2007, 11:38:22 AM
I'm guessing your favorite Leone film is OUATITW Peacemaker?

Of course!


My favorite film.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Rojo Ramone on June 26, 2007, 01:20:50 PM
It's definately Leone at the top of his game~i just prefer his truer westerns.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: tucumcari bound on June 26, 2007, 09:15:21 PM
Of course!


My favorite film.

As is mine! O0


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on November 05, 2007, 02:22:19 PM
though it does quote from Eisenstein’s "Que Vive Mexico" and the Hollywood tradition of Zapatas

Are there many quotes from Eisenstein's "Que Vive Mexico"? 

I didn't know much about that production.  On Friday, I came across an article from a Florida newspaper that talked a little about the film because it was being shown in a local theater.  There was a brief mention of Sergio.  The writer stated the film was very much admired by John Huston and Sergio, and quite influential.  The article talked about how Eisenstein was basically bankrolled ($25 grand) by Upton Sinclair to make a non political film of Mexico.  The production was doomed from the start because there was no way Eisenstein would ever not include his politics in his film work.  I guess he had an adventure similar to Orson Welles in South America....shooting tons of footage, exceeding budget and having the film taken away from him.

I guess I knew stylistically that Eisenstein is quite influential with the close ups, "facial landscapes" and the contrasting long shots that at times minimize the characters in the landscape.  In the commentary of DYS, on the opening sequence in the coach, it points out the references to Eisenstein's Strike, Potemkin and October in showing the ugly eatting close ups and how it's commenting on the ugly class prejudices and division being shown. 

What I didn't realize was that the rape scene between Steiger and Maria Monti was kind of a direct quote to Que Vive Mexico.  Sergio does spend quite some time on that sequence.  In the commentary, there's talk of the opening quote setting the stage for his statement on revolution, his cynicism toward the popular political ideas of contemporaries after May 68.  It points out that in the opening scenes, he was trying to establish that this film was going to be very different from his other westerns.  In the rape scene, we see the threshing circle which we associate with the other films, but that we're given something entirely different than the usual gunfight or showdown.  In reading the article, it talks about the rape scene of the peasant woman that becomes the act which incites revenge and revolution against the "ruling class".  I didn't realize that the rape scene in DYS was really a direct quote in which Sergio was I guess subverting the material.   Because his film, unlike Que Vive Mexico, would not have a positive view of revolution, he reverses the scene having Juan rape the upper class woman.

Were there many other direct references like this?  Guess I should watch Que Vive Mexico and The Informer.  It would be real interesting I think.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on November 05, 2007, 06:43:38 PM
In the rape scene, we see the threshing circle which we associate with the other films, but that we're given something entirely different than the usual gunfight or showdown.  In reading the article, it talks about the rape scene of the peasant woman that becomes the act which incites revenge and revolution against the "ruling class".  I didn't realize that the rape scene in DYS was really a direct quote in which Sergio was I guess subverting the material.   Because his film, unlike Que Vive Mexico, would not have a positive view of revolution, he reverses the scene having Juan rape the upper class woman.
Wow, thanks, Raman-san, that's a great insight. I don't know Eisenstein well enough to make those (very necessary) associations.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Kurug3n on February 28, 2008, 09:13:41 PM
Anyone notice the shadow that Juan has when hes done peeing on the ants ;D ;D


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on February 29, 2008, 04:31:05 AM
Yea its a huge member, which is the lead up to the payoff when Juan un-bottons his pants in front of the aristocrat woman and she see's his junk and swoons.  O0

An old Juan Miranda joke:

Juan and a Texan are standing on a bridge, they both got to pee, the Texan and Juan both whip out their tools and begin to pee,  the Texan says to Juan, "boy that water sure is cool" and Juan replies "and deep too".


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on February 29, 2008, 10:44:12 AM
 ;D


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Tuco the ugly on February 29, 2008, 12:57:26 PM
An old Juan Miranda joke:

Juan and a Texan are standing on a bridge, they both got to pee, the Texan and Juam both whip out their tools and begin to pee,  the Texan says to Juan, "boy that water sure is cool" and Juan replies "and deep too".

That's actually and old racist joke.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on February 29, 2008, 04:43:22 PM
Racist, I always heard it told as two Texans???


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Tuco the ugly on February 29, 2008, 05:47:52 PM
Racist, I always heard it told as two Texans???

The joke goes like this:

Two black guys are standing on the breakwater, thinking if they should jump in the water or not. So the first one lowers his 'member' down in the water and goes: ''Shit! It's freezing!'', and the other one replies: ''Fuck it! It's full of sea-urchins down there!''.

Old joke.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on March 01, 2008, 04:14:58 AM
Old, Yea its origin is lost in time  O0


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Tuco the ugly on March 01, 2008, 08:45:26 AM
Old, Yea its origin is lost in time  O0

 O0


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Groggy on March 07, 2008, 04:35:09 PM
Wow, you guys are discussing penis jokes and rrpower is nowhere in sight. :D


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on March 07, 2008, 05:01:28 PM
Wow, you guys are discussing penis jokes and rrpower is nowhere in sight. :D
No doubt, however, that some region of his anatomy is burning. ;D


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: PowerRR on April 30, 2008, 03:10:48 PM
penis


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: manuel on April 15, 2009, 04:15:03 PM
I thought this film was good. Enjoyable but Leone's slow pacing often seems out of place and as a result, several stretches in the film are boring.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: cigar joe on January 21, 2013, 06:15:57 PM
Symbolism of the flashbacks from IMDb
   
by RhodyDave (Sat Jan 5 2013 11:31:17)   
   
I think the woman and the man in John's flashbacks are symbols for his relationship to the revolutions - Irish and Mexican. At first he's in 'love' with the 'girl' which is a symbol for the romanticized vision of revolution. The 'man' represents the reality of revolution - violence, loss, etc.

In the scene in the car, John is romancing the girl, while the man/soldier is driving or leading them down the literal road to revolution and death. The man tries to interrupt John's romance and John responds by mashing the accelerator to the floor, hastening the trip to it's inevitable and bloody end.

In the final flashback, John and the girl are again romantically engaged, while the man (the Revolution) impatiently looms over his shoulder, waiting to steal the romantic vision of the girl from John. When John sees what the reality of the Revolution does with his 'girl' he loses his smile, his innocence, and his romantic ideals for good.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 22, 2013, 01:33:23 AM


In the final flashback, John and the girl are again romantically engaged, while the man (the Revolution) impatiently looms over his shoulder, waiting to steal the romantic vision of the girl from John. When John sees what the reality of the Revolution does with his 'girl' he loses his smile, his innocence, and his romantic ideals for good.

But how does that fit with the smile on Coburn's face at the end of the final flashback -- the smile he breaks into while watching his friend kissing his babe



Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: noodles_leone on January 22, 2013, 02:39:59 AM
"This girl is also the Revolution, that everyone wants to embrace*" - Sergio Leone in Conversations Avec Sergio Leone

*in French, "embrasser" has a double meaning: 1) literal translation of "to embrace" 2) to kiss


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: noodles_leone on January 22, 2013, 02:41:26 AM
But how does that fit with the smile on Coburn's face at the end of the final flashback -- the smile he breaks into while watching his friend kissing his babe

To me this smile never breaks. At most, what we have is a smile that goes from joy to nostalgia. And this nostalgia is old Corburn's one.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on January 22, 2013, 06:03:04 AM
The girl can be the Revolution, she can even be Eire, or Gaia. There's no way Nolan can be the Revolution--he betrays the cause!


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 22, 2013, 06:47:18 AM
The girl can be the Revolution, she can even be Eire, or Gaia. There's no way Nolan can be the Revolution--he betrays the cause!

does that necessarily mean he can't represent the Revolution? remember Villega says that even after he betrayed the revolutionaries, "I still believe in the same things; I can continue to serve the cause!" That's when Sean screams "SHUT UP VILLEGA!" and has the flashback to himself killing Nolan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg_hPzmZYC4 (this just so happens to be one of the sondtrack comparison videos).

Nolan was definitely an idealistic revolutionary, and presumably would have gone  on being one -- just as Villega wanted to -- if Sean hadn't killed him. (No, I am not getting into any other theories now about the possibility that Nolan's ratting on Sean, and Sean's execution of Nolan, was due to jealousy over the babe. I'm only focusing on the straightforward interpretation, that Nolan ratted on Sean only cuz he couldn't take the torture anymore and that Sean executed him cuz he believed that any rat must be executed. [Remember Rififi - "I liked you Macaroni. But you know the rules"])

We know Sean is much more of a cynic now, he has lost the idealism he had in Ireland. Maybe part of it had to do with seeing his fellow revolutionary rat on him? Maybe the fact that Nolan (and Villega) end up squealing is part of the theme that revolutions are ultimately far less lovely than they initially seem?

I am not taking any position, one way or the other, about the earlier post with the theory of who represents whom. All I am saying is: IMO, the fact that Nolan ended up squealing does not preclude the possibilit that Nolan can represent the Revolution


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Groggy on January 22, 2013, 10:37:53 AM
Indeed, if one pursues the idea that revolutions invariably eat their own or else betray their principles, it makes Nolan the exemplar of the Revolution!


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on January 22, 2013, 01:41:34 PM
Gentlemen (and you too, Drink), you are confusing categories. Revolutionaries are not identical with the revolution they participate in. Revolutionaries can betray other revolutionaries, they can betray the ideals of the revolution, etc. Revolutionaries are humans with free will. But a revolution is an historical event. It is a thing, complicated though it may be, and not a person. It has no will of its own. Further, it cannot violate the law of non-contradiction (wherein A cannot be both A and non-A). It is impossible for a Revolution to "betray" itself, because it is only itself, it cannot "become" its non-self. The expression "revolutions eat their own" is a semantic game that attributes human traits to historical events; of course, once you've made such an identification en passant it is no great trick to substitute one human image for another.

The girl can operate as a symbol of something other than herself (the revolution, Ireland, whatever) because we know hardly anything about her. We know too much about Nolan--and about Mallory, too--for either to represent the revolution itself. Nolan can be an archetype of Betrayal--a Judas figure--because he can be identified with his act. Likewise, Mallory can be the archetypal Avenger. But those archetypes are human. When you see a statue that is used to embody a concept--Victory, say, or Liberty--it operates successfully because it is most emphatically NOT a character from history, a book, a play, or a film.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Groggy on January 22, 2013, 01:55:55 PM
A character with motivations or background can still operate as a symbol Jenkins. You're advancing from a false assumption.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on January 22, 2013, 02:04:43 PM
A character with motivations or background can still operate as a symbol Jenkins. You're advancing from a false assumption.
Again, the more abstract the symbol, the less specific the character can be.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Senza on February 23, 2013, 07:30:08 PM
It definitely is a different film from the dollars trilogy, and OUATITW. I actually liked this movie, and it's growing on me, the more I watch it. When I first saw it, I watched the cut down 137 minute version, I loved the first half of the film, which showed us how Juan and John meet and during this first half the movie became an action comedy but the second half started losing that momentum as it shifted into a dark war drama, where the humour from the first half was severely lacking. I didn't really like this change in tone, and the whole John/Sean backstory flashback was missing so it became very confusing. I decided to buy the DVD with the 157 minute restored version, and the restored flashback scenes, and was still confused about the flashback sequence until I read many discussions/interpretations about it on this forum, and only then did it makes sense [even though it was frustrating to figure out, I actually like how Leone lets us figure it out for ourselves and leaves some ambiguity there]. I don't really mind the change in tone now, but I wish more of the comedy between John and Juan could've been added in the second half.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Mr.Cho-Cho on January 05, 2016, 04:43:40 AM
I just rewatched this film for the first time, after only seeing it once 10 years for the first time.

Back then I was 19 years old and perhaps my film and general world and historical knowledge was somewhat limited. I found it quite long and laborious in comparison to Leone's other films, but I decided to watch it again. It really was like watching a different film, I really liked it and whilst I still think it's probably the weakest out of the 6 main films, it would be a highlight of any other director's career.

What I really appreciated this time was Rod Steiger's Juan. I read a few criticisms that he's not as good as Tuco and indeed that Steiger and Leone had an argument as to how the character should be portrayed. I think Steiger's characterisation was solid and best fit the overall town of the film and the history. He is a vile bandit at the start and then through his own actions (with John's assistance) he realised the importance of the revolution for himself. Although of course he was partly right about Revolution when he said about "the middle class read and plan the attacks but it's the poor who carry out the jobs" (I'm paraphrasing). Especially when Dr. Villegas (sic?) "informed"; but I was glad that John lied at the end to Juan to help him continue his belief in the revolution and additionally that his family died for a just cause.

Even though I believe it's Leone's weakest, I would say that it's his most intellectual and profound work and I really admire it. Admittedly I did watch the original DVD version (147 minutes?), but I will buy the Special Edition as I have all the dollars in that same edition case too (as well as the original DVDs). One thing I'm not a massive fan of in the movie is the soundtrack, some of it's really good, but I think overall it's a bit out of sync with the rest of the film.



Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Jill on June 15, 2017, 07:38:00 AM
I really need to rewatch this again - I've seen it twice but it was long ago. Any advice on which version to get, since I know there are quite a few? Which one is the fullest?

Also - is it just me, or does Mallory's first appearance have Tim the Enchanter vibes?


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: dave jenkins on June 15, 2017, 05:30:31 PM
Also - is it just me, or does Mallory's first appearance have Tim the Enchanter vibes?
Well, I guess John Cleese does bear some resemblance to James Coburn.


Title: Re: Thoughts on this film
Post by: Novecento on June 16, 2017, 11:46:43 AM
I really need to rewatch this again - I've seen it twice but it was long ago. Any advice on which version to get, since I know there are quite a few? Which one is the fullest?

Looks like the Leone film group just re-released it:

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Giu-la-testa-Blu-ray/174747/

I'm assuming it's the same as the old Italian BD?