Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In The West => Topic started by: drinkanddestroy on April 22, 2011, 02:37:05 PM



Title: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 22, 2011, 02:37:05 PM
Just watching the scene again where Jill first arrives at Sweetwater, and this occurred to me for the first time: Jill says that she and Brett were secretly married a month before, and that statement is never challenged. Not sure if this matters much, but are we supposed to believe her?
Or are we supposed to believe that upon seeing Brett and his family dead, she makes up this story about being married so that she will legally inherit all of Brett's possessions; (she believes he has lots of money lying around....and the first thing we see her doing upon entering the house is searching frantically for the money).
Or is this supposed to be another "intentionally vague...."?


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Groggy on April 22, 2011, 03:47:44 PM
Interesting idea, but I doubt it. You'll recall Jill's initial reaction is to get the hell out of there.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 22, 2011, 04:28:24 PM
Interesting idea, but I doubt it. You'll recall Jill's initial reaction is to get the hell out of there.

after she ransacks the place and finds that there is no money there!... initially, Sam tells her to come back to Flagstone with him, but she insists on staying in Sweetwater; it's only after she finds no money and has the encounter with Cheyenne that she decides to go back to New Orleans.... This fits perfectly: she decides to go home after finding no money.

However, if you disagree with my theory, you can instead say that she decided to go home after her encounter with Cheyenne, cuz she realized what a dangerous place it was....


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Cusser on April 22, 2011, 08:19:18 PM
after she ransacks the place and finds that there is no money there!... initially, Sam tells her to come back to Flagstone with him, but she insists on staying in Sweetwater; it's only after she finds no money and has the encounter with Cheyenne that she decides to go back to New Orleans.... This fits perfectly: she decides to go home after finding no money.

I agree with the above.  And back then, there were typically no written records of marriages in the west anyway.  And New Orleans was likely considered "The West" then as well. 

I guess another question is why Jill didn't immediately go back to Arizona (Sweetwater) with McBain at the time of the wedding?  I doubt that a hooker would have so much "business" and/or matters to warrant staying back a few weeks or months and traveling out later.  And don't give me crap about her having the hat or white dress made....


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Groggy on April 22, 2011, 10:12:28 PM
after she ransacks the place and finds that there is no money there!... initially, Sam tells her to come back to Flagstone with him, but she insists on staying in Sweetwater; it's only after she finds no money and has the encounter with Cheyenne that she decides to go back to New Orleans.... This fits perfectly: she decides to go home after finding no money.

However, if you disagree with my theory, you can instead say that she decided to go home after her encounter with Cheyenne, cuz she realized what a dangerous place it was....

But what would she gain by lying about it? If you assume the law is organized enough in those parts to check such things out, wouldn't they be able to verify or dispute Jill's claim?


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: cigar joe on April 23, 2011, 05:39:30 AM
But what would she gain by lying about it? If you assume the law is organized enough in those parts to check such things out, wouldn't they be able to verify or dispute Jill's claim?

That is what I would think.

But look at the place, it looks like a sagebrush, rock, and sand farm/ranch. What would she be able to do there, with no operating money, no live stock, no prior knowledge of the potential value of her water.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Dust Devil on April 23, 2011, 06:17:40 AM
What would she be able to do there, with no operating money, no live stock, no prior knowledge of the potential value of her water.

She'd find something to do, don't worry. >:D


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: cigar joe on April 23, 2011, 06:46:32 AM
She'd find something to do, don't worry. >:D

and all she would need would be a hot bath to wash away the nightly filthy memories.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Dust Devil on April 23, 2011, 07:05:38 AM
and all she would need would be a hot bath to wash away the nightly filthy memories.

Or a cold well. :D


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 23, 2011, 07:32:38 PM
That is what I would think.

But look at the place, it looks like a sagebrush, rock, and sand farm/ranch. What would she be able to do there, with no operating money, no live stock, no prior knowledge of the potential value of her water.

she thinks Brett has lots of money lying around (of course she doesn't realize that he has spent it all on the lumber/supplies for the new town...) Legally, she is not entitled to anything if she is not married to him; doesn't matter that they were engaged, or how many "filthy memories" they had together... Doesn't it make sense that she (especially being a hooker, who is willing to do whatever it takes it to bring in the dough) would just say she was married to him so that she'd inherit all the money that she believes is stuffed in the drawers?
Otherwise, why does she suddenly decide to leave, after initially telling Sam that she is staying? Two things happened between the time she told Sam she is staying, and the time she decides to leave: 1) she searches for the money but doesn't find it; and 2) she has her encounter with Cheyenne. Presumably, one (or both) of those would be the reason she changed her mind and decided to leave. Either cuz she had no use for the the place once she found no money (which fits my theory); or cuz her encounter with Cheyenne scared her and she fully realized what a dangerous place it was....


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Jill on April 24, 2011, 02:17:15 PM
I often wondered this too. It's unlikely Brett wouldn't bring her home if they were married.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Dust Devil on April 25, 2011, 01:51:19 AM
I often wondered this too. It's unlikely Brett wouldn't bring her home if they were married.

He had strong hands.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: dave jenkins on April 25, 2011, 11:03:42 AM
she thinks Brett has lots of money lying around (of course she doesn't realize that he has spent it all on the lumber/supplies for the new town...) Legally, she is not entitled to anything if she is not married to him; doesn't matter that they were engaged, or how many "filthy memories" they had together... Doesn't it make sense that she (especially being a hooker, who is willing to do whatever it takes it to bring in the dough) would just say she was married to him so that she'd inherit all the money that she believes is stuffed in the drawers?
Except she wouldn't inherit anything if she couldn't prove they had been married. The authorities aren't going to take her word for it, the burden of proof is on her. If she doesn't produce a marriage license she gets squat (it would have been different if they'd have lived together for a substantial period).

I guess you could argue that she says she's married just so she can spend the night alone at the farm so she can search the place, but she's not legally entitled to anything she finds. So, on this view, Jill is not only a whore, but a dishonest one.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 26, 2011, 07:46:51 PM
Except she wouldn't inherit anything if she couldn't prove they had been married. The authorities aren't going to take her word for it, the burden of proof is on her. If she doesn't produce a marriage license she gets squat (it would have been different if they'd have lived together for a substantial period).

I guess you could argue that she says she's married just so she can spend the night alone at the farm so she can search the place, but she's not legally entitled to anything she finds. So, on this view, Jill is not only a whore, but a dishonest one.

they obviously believe her without the marriage license; we don't see anyone inquiring about it  or doubting her (and I have no clue whether/how records were kept in those days/regions). but perhaps this is as far as Leone wanted to go with that issue; I mean, you can also spend time in court, with lawyers proving it, etc. but that is not what the film is about. Cinema only follows reality as far as the story wants it to; considering that the issue of marriage license is never brought up, I don't worry about that. Sure, if she had produced a marriage license, we'd definitely believe her. But since no marriage license was ever mentioned, I think it is a reasonable interpretation that she may have lied about being married


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: dave jenkins on April 27, 2011, 03:59:09 PM
The other thing is, the auction scene doesn't make any sense if Jill wasn't actually married to McBain. Jill would have nothing to sell. Of course, if everybody believes that Jill is really McBain's lawful wife, the scene would go forward as shown. But you have to wonder why Jill wouldn't put everybody wise earlier if it wasn't true. Why endure Frank's shenanigans if you don't have to, why not just cop to the fact that you aren't the heir and high-tail it outta there?


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Groggy on April 27, 2011, 04:37:40 PM
Good point Jenkins.

Then you also have to consider the timing. Jill utters this moments after finding Brett and the kids dead. Is she really that quick on her feet, that in a state of complete shock she thinks up this self-serving lie? Did she for some reason have this in her back pocket in case something happened? If the latter were the case, you'd have to assume Jill is far more devious than anything in the film indicates.

Plus there's her conversation with Cheyenne later on.

It seems a moot point to me, anyway, since Jill and Brett clearly were going to marry if they weren't already. And the Cheyenne scene indicates there was some affection there, not just gold-digging.

Maybe we can advance a conspiracy theory that Jill was in on Brett's death. >:D


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 27, 2011, 05:24:22 PM
The other thing is, the auction scene doesn't make any sense if Jill wasn't actually married to McBain. Jill would have nothing to sell. Of course, if everybody believes that Jill is really McBain's lawful wife, the scene would go forward as shown. But you have to wonder why Jill wouldn't put everybody wise earlier if it wasn't true. Why endure Frank's shenanigans if you don't have to, why not just cop to the fact that you aren't the heir and high-tail it outta there?

That's the whole point I am trying to make: she lies about being married to Brett so that she will inherit all the money she thinks he has lying around.... And when Sam tells her to leave, she insists on staying.

Later she decides to leave (and only stays after she is held back by Harmonica). In between the time she tells Sam that she is staying and the time she tries to leave, only 2 things happen: a) she searches frantically and unsuccessfully for the money; and b) she has her encounter with Cheyenne. So IMO it must be one (or both) of those 2 things that make her decide to leave.

a) If it is the failure to find the money that is the reason she decides to leave, that fits my theory nicely: she lied about her marriage so as to inherit Brett's money; as soon as she realizes he has no money, she decides to leave.

b) However, if you disagree with my theory about her lying about the marriage, then you can say that it is (also) her encounter with Cheyenne that makes her decide to leave, cuz she realizes what a dangerous place this is....

I don't know if anything here is dispositive; it may be one of those issues that may never be resolved 100%. But the reason I brought it up is cuz of 2 things I found somewhat strange:

1) we first find out from Jill that she is married to Brett at the moment she realizes he is dead, whereas if they were not married, she wouldn't be entitled to inherit all the money she thinks he has. 2) after initially saying she was staying in Sweetwater, she abruptly decides to leave. How do you explain that?

Bottom line: While I can't say I feel very strongly either way, I will say that if you follow my theory, it clears up both issues well. In a nutshell: Jill lies about the marriage and decides to stay to inherit the money she thinks Brett has left; when she realizes there is no money, she decides to bolt.





Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 27, 2011, 05:32:42 PM
Good point Jenkins.

Then you also have to consider the timing. Jill utters this moments after finding Brett and the kids dead. Is she really that quick on her feet, that in a state of complete shock she thinks up this self-serving lie? Did she for some reason have this in her back pocket in case something happened? If the latter were the case, you'd have to assume Jill is far more devious than anything in the film indicates.

Plus there's her conversation with Cheyenne later on.

It seems a moot point to me, anyway, since Jill and Brett clearly were going to marry if they weren't already. And the Cheyenne scene indicates there was some affection there, not just gold-digging.

Maybe we can advance a conspiracy theory that Jill was in on Brett's death. >:D

I do agree that she loved Brett and certainly intended to marry him. And I do not think she was a devious gold-digger, (though his being rich "doesn't hurt.") The only reason I advanced this theory is cuz it struck me as strange that at the moment we find out Brett is dead -- which makes her entitled to none of his wealth -- she says she is actually married. Isn't this a bit too convenient?

Also, how do you explain her initial decision to stay, and then her decision to abruptly leave? a) Is it just because her encounter with Cheyenne suddenly made her scared about what a dangerous place this was? b) Or is it because her reason for saying she was staying was actually just to search for the money? (The latter of course wouldn't conflict with her actually being married... as I said, nothing here is dispositive...)

One thing that does make me doubt my theory is that I have made every attempt to read, watch, and listen to every word Christopher Frayling has ever uttered about Leone, and I do not recall him ever mentioning this possibility that Jill was lying about her marriage....


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Groggy on April 27, 2011, 06:15:04 PM
I do agree that she loved Brett and certainly intended to marry him. And I do not think she was a devious gold-digger, (though his being rich "doesn't hurt.") The only reason I advanced this theory is cuz it struck me as strange that at the moment we find out Brett is dead -- which makes her entitled to none of his wealth -- she says she is actually married. Isn't this a bit too convenient?

Seems more ironic than convenient to me.

Quote
Also, how do you explain her initial decision to stay, and then her decision to abruptly leave? a) Is it just because her encounter with Cheyenne suddenly made her scared about what a dangerous place this was? b) Or is it because she her whole reason for saying she was staying was actually just to search for the money? (The latter of course wouldn't conflict with her actually being married... as I said, nothing here is dispositive...)

This is where you might have a point, but I've honestly never given this scene much thought. I always assumed she just spent the night because she didn't feel like trekking back to Flagstone, though that seems incomplete. Maybe she just wanted to find a reason why Brett had been killed. Or maybe she was indeed greedy and wanted McBain's money, widow or not?

If anything scared her it was probably Harmonica's midnight appearance. I thought she was going to leave before Cheyenne showed up.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 27, 2011, 07:11:41 PM
Seems more ironic than convenient to me.

This is where you might have a point, but I've honestly never given this scene much thought. I always assumed she just spent the night because she didn't feel like trekking back to Flagstone, though that seems incomplete. Maybe she just wanted to find a reason why Brett had been killed. Or maybe she was indeed greedy and wanted McBain's money, widow or not?

If anything scared her it was probably Harmonica's midnight appearance. I thought she was going to leave before Cheyenne showed up.

1. Yeah, you are correct, I just remembered that: she was actually about to leave when Cheyenne burst through the door. So it was certainly not her encounter with Cheyenne that was her cause for leaving. Her only cause(s) for leaving could have been her failure to find the money and/or her midnight scare from Harmonica.

2. Her reason for initially wanting to stay is certainly not just cuz she was not in the mood of trekking back to Flagstone. When Sam says "you don't want to stay out here alone," Jill replies: "Why not? This is my home." If she was just not in the mood of trekking back, she could have told Sam to come back in the morning after she was rested.
Also, another point I just realized upon watching that moment again: As soon as she tells Sam "... This is my home," there is an immediate cut to her frantically searching through the drawers for the money. We don't see her walking around and checking the place out first, or mourning for her murdered husband/stepchildren, or anything else; rather, there is an immediate cut to her tearing the place up looking for the money. I don't think that is coincidental; I think that may well be intended to make the point: she wanted to stay only to look for the money.

3. Of course, even if it is true that Jill only wanted to stay to look for the money and decided to leave immediately upon failing to find it, that certainly doesn't necessarily mean she wasn't married to Brett; she could have been searching for what was rightfully hers to inherit. A woman who loses her husband can certainly be just as money-hungry as a woman who loses her fiance'.
But if you do think it a bit strange how she conveniently announces that she is married at the moment when she realizes she needs to be married in order to get the money, I think the scenes work well: she announces that she is married (in order to get the inheritance), declares that she is staying (in order to search for it), and then it follows that the first thing she does the moment she is in the house alone is to search for the money.

 If she was really married to Brett, and money was not at the forefront of her mind at the moment she realizes he is dead, then why is it that the first thing we see her doing in the house is searching for the money? I do not imagine that the first thing a woman would do after the funeral of her husband and stepchildren  is to search for money. However, if money moved to the forefront of her mind the moment she learned of Brett's death, then it all makes perfect sense: pretend that you were married to inherit his money, and then begin searching for it the first moment you could.

I am not saying that she didn't love Brett, or that she only wanted him for his money, or that she wasn't truly saddened by the death of him and his children. I certainly do not think that she is meant to be evil like that. I just think that she may have been opportunistic (which I imagine fits well with being a whore ;)) So as soon as she realized Brett was dead, she became focused on how she could get his money and did what was necessary to make sure it happened, ie. pretending to be married and then searching for it at the first opportunity.

(Actually, she doesn't say that she was married until someone calls her "Miss." Maybe that suddenly made her realize: I don't get the money if I am "Miss"; I better become "Mrs." fast!





Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: dave jenkins on April 27, 2011, 07:54:02 PM
OK, but why is she still pretending to have married McBain when she gets taken by Frank? When things get dangerous, why doesn't she choose the path of least resistance and admit that she is no obstacle to his plans? Wouldn't she try to convince Frank to let her go, and wouldn't the best way to convince him to do that be to explain that she has no legal claim on the land he's trying to get?



Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Groggy on April 27, 2011, 08:12:22 PM
Maybe she likes it rough.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 27, 2011, 09:24:31 PM
OK, but why is she still pretending to have married McBain when she gets taken by Frank? When things get dangerous, why doesn't she choose the path of least resistance and admit that she is no obstacle to his plans? Wouldn't she try to convince Frank to let her go, and wouldn't the best way to convince him to do that be to explain that she has no legal claim on the land he's trying to get?



well once she took the lie this far, I think it is understandable that she wouldn't want to suddenly announce what a fraud she has been. Perhaps that would cause her own legal troubles, she could get charged with fraud or false pretenses.... Once she went with the story of being Mrs. McBain, there was no turning back.

If she just wanted an easy way out of her conflict with Frank, it wouldn't have been necessary for her to admit she wasn't the legal owner; rather, she could have simply given the certificate of title (which Brett presumably had) to Frank and been done with it. And sure, Frank could have just killed her or forced her sign over the title to him by making her an offer she couldn't refuse... But I think Frank preferred doing the auction, cuz he is trying to transition from being a bandit to being a businessman. Therefore, it is in his best interests to buy the land at a public auction, where he acquires the rights (seemingly) legitimately...


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 27, 2011, 09:24:58 PM
Maybe she likes it rough.

This is Jill, not Carol  ;)


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: dave jenkins on April 28, 2011, 06:10:23 AM
well once she took the lie this far, I think it is understandable that she wouldn't want to suddenly announce what a fraud she has been. Perhaps that would cause her own legal troubles, she could get charged with fraud or false pretenses.... Once she went with the story of being Mrs. McBain, there was no turning back.
If your life is in danger, you no longer care about potential legal troubles, you only worry about staying alive. I can't believe Jill wouldn't have come clean with Frank in an attempt to free herself from him. If she didn't attempt this, then probably the strategy didn't occur to her, and for a very simple reason:  she really is the legal heir.

The plot depends on Frank and others believing that Jill is the legal heir. I guess it doesn't matter if she really is the heir as long as everyone believes she is. But it doesn't seem necessary for the plot, either, for Jill to be lying, and I don't see that we gain anything by believing that. In fact, you have to make a number of assumptions to accept the premise, probably too many to please William of Occam. One assumption is to discount the very simple convention of believing what characters say about themselves when there is no clear signal from the script that he/she is lying. When Vader said, "Luke, I'm your father," 1980 cinema audiences didn't question it, even though they knew Vader was evil. Absent compelling proof to the contrary, dramatic convention is to accept as fact statements characters  make about themselves and their relationships.

But as I say, it doesn't matter to the plot one way or the other. Jill is either the legal heir or merely the putative legal heir. The distinction does not make a substantive difference to the story.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: marmota-b on April 28, 2011, 09:11:55 AM
Yes, I think Dave is right - there are two possibilities and each of them is plausible and does not change the story much. Only perhaps the character.

But I'm thinking, even if you take her as the true Mrs McBain her searching for money is perfectly explicable - she's stuck alone on a farm in the middle of nowhere, with (I presume) no previous experience with farming - she's searching for something to live on! If she wanted to stay on the farm, she'd probably have to hire someone to work for her... When she realises there's no money to live on or hire someone with, and when she realises she's stranded in a dangerous place with no help at hand (during the midnight experience with Harmonica), she decides to leave after all.
That's the way I see it.

There is, of course, still the problem of why Brett did not bring her to the farm immediatelly, but I think there's an explanation to that, too - in his family. It seemed to me their wedding was a bit of a hasty business, and Brett probably decided afterwards that he wanted to prepare his children for the fact. I think, even though he seems uncompromising towards his children, he certainly loves them, and it makes sense to me that he would be in a conflict between his passion for Jill and love for his children. And that he would resolve it in such a weird manner. He did some other cleverly ambitious but weird things. ;)


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Groggy on April 28, 2011, 09:52:29 AM
True, or he needed time to get materials and legal rights ready for Sweetwater.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: marmota-b on April 29, 2011, 12:58:44 AM
Well, I still think my explanation is better - he could be perfectly well getting materials and legal rights for Sweetwater with a wife at the farm. Better, I'd imagine.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: il brutto on April 29, 2011, 05:00:29 AM
Before reading this discussion nothing ever made me doubt about Jill and Brett marriage. After, I remain of the same idea.
There is a clue that convince me to believe Jill was not lying about her marriage: when Brett is talking to his elder son (Patrick?), he refers to Jill as "his mother", and he replies that his real mother was dead.
So, I guess Brett uses this expression just because he had married Jill, also with the intention to give a "new" mother to his children.
I think he would have not talked that way if they were just engaged or simple lovers.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: cigar joe on April 29, 2011, 07:12:46 AM
Good point, I'm wasn't about to stick in the DVD just for this topic, But I do remember that statement. O0


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 29, 2011, 07:17:12 AM
Before reading this discussion nothing ever made me doubt about Jill and Brett marriage. After, I remain of the same idea.
There is a clue that convince me to believe Jill was not lying about her marriage: when Brett is talking to his elder son (Patrick?), he refers to Jill as "his mother", and he replies that his real mother was dead.
So, I guess Brett uses this expression just because he had married Jill, also with the intention to give a "new" mother to his children.
I think he would have not talked that way if they were just engaged or simple lovers.

so if they were about to get married in a few hours, you don't think Brett would have used the word "mother" yet?


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: il brutto on April 29, 2011, 09:31:38 AM
so if they were about to get married in a few hours, you don't think Brett would have used the word "mother" yet?

I could be wrong of course and your guess makes perfect sense too, but my opinion also comes from the idea I made of  the character of Jill through the whole movie. I mean: what her character is metaphor of.
She represents the hope in the future, she is the symbol of the transition from the old world, the old West,  and the new world that is going to be born with the railway construction. She is the "trait d'union" between the old times and the modern times. So, to me, absolutely a positive character.
But maybe it's me to be too romantic and not enough cynical to see a different interepretation....consider I fell in love with Claudia Cardinale since the first time I saw her getting off the train in Flagstone (and I was only eight)....


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Groggy on April 29, 2011, 09:42:52 AM
Sorry Drink, you seem to be grasping at straws at this point.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 29, 2011, 11:30:55 AM
Sorry Drink, you seem to be grasping at straws at this point.

 I was never married to this theory. Just floatin it out there  ;) I thought it was just mighty convenient that she says she is married when she realizes Brett is dead (and all the money wouldn't have belonged to her if they weren't married yet).


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: marmota-b on April 29, 2011, 04:15:25 PM
Maybe most of the fuzz has escaped me, but allow me to ask - what does it have to do with OUATITW? ;)


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Jill on April 30, 2011, 10:19:59 AM
Are we even sure she only searches for money? I always thought she searched for the reason Brett was killed.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: marmota-b on April 30, 2011, 11:04:09 AM
Are we even sure she only searches for money? I always thought she searched for the reason Brett was killed.

Right! I had thought that too and forgot about it in the heat of this discussion. :D


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Dust Devil on April 30, 2011, 12:53:11 PM
Are we even sure she only searches for money? I always thought she searched for the reason Brett was killed.

Yeah, me too... :-[


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 01, 2011, 01:22:29 AM
first thing we see in the house is her looking through the drawers... how can she expect to find the reason Brett was killed there?


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: marmota-b on May 01, 2011, 10:45:59 AM
There could be letters or something like that...


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: El_Chuncho on May 06, 2011, 11:47:48 AM
.....Or lots of money.
Ultimately that is the reason for the McBains' murder. So by rooting around looking for money etc she is inadvertently looking for the motive.....or "The Why"! Though I doubt the motive is what she is interested in at the beginning.
Remember Cheyenne says that he could see she had been busy looking for a heap of "whys"...the round, yellow ones that go DING!
Have to admit I never thought about whether Jill was bullshitting about being married or not.
It's an interesting point!



Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: marmota-b on May 08, 2011, 01:57:37 AM
Well, there certainly are many whys and hows - both for Jill and the viewer.
There's certainly the why, if Brett was murdered for money, the farm hadn't been - and looked - ransacked before Jill started her search.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: El_Chuncho on May 08, 2011, 03:24:21 AM
By murdered for money I didn't mean a heap o' gold on the farm or whatever: nothing so direct as that.
I meant the money and power that Morton (and by now, Frank) is driven by and that continues to motivate him and thereby motivates the shooting.
Sweetwater represents money to both McBain and Morton: "The Why".


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: marmota-b on May 08, 2011, 08:56:51 AM
Oh, I know that. I mean and meant, we know that now that we've seen the whole film, but at the point Jill is looking for that something, she does not know about Morton and the Sweetwater deal, and if you're a first time viewer, neither do you.

We should, I think, try to keep that first time viewer mindset, because at the time OUATITW was shot, there were no DVD's and no playback option. You went to a cinema and watched a film end on end. In most cases, what you got from that viewing was what you had and what you could draw your conclusions about the story on. Unless you got a chance to see it twice, which does not always happen with cinemas.
So the reasons and puzzles I tried to list here in this thread (rather inconsistently, I know) were more or less what I can recall of my first impressions and opinions.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: marmota-b on April 11, 2013, 04:39:49 AM
I saw it in cinema this Sunday, and I noticed something I had not paid so much heed to before that makes me certain now that yes, they were married.

When Jill is ransacking the drawers, at one point she takes out a small white bouquet (lillies of the valley? - apparently a favourite for weddings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_of_the_Valley)) and lingers over it for a very short moment. I realised that that must be her wedding bouquet which Brett kept as a memento - why else would it be there?
And I don't mean that question just in terms of the world of the film; I think it's a visual clue to the viewers: here's a bittersweet memory.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: dave jenkins on April 11, 2013, 07:44:50 AM
I saw it in cinema this Sunday, and I noticed something I had not paid so much heed to before that makes me certain now that yes, they were married.

When Jill is ransacking the drawers, at one point she takes out a small white bouquet (lillies of the valley? - apparently a favourite for weddings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_of_the_Valley)) and lingers over it for a very short moment. I realised that that must be her wedding bouquet which Brett kept as a memento - why else would it be there?
And I don't mean that question just in terms of the world of the film; I think it's a visual clue to the viewers: here's a bittersweet memory.
game, set, match.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: cigar joe on April 12, 2013, 04:24:46 AM
I saw it in cinema this Sunday, and I noticed something I had not paid so much heed to before that makes me certain now that yes, they were married.

When Jill is ransacking the drawers, at one point she takes out a small white bouquet (lillies of the valley? - apparently a favourite for weddings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_of_the_Valley)) and lingers over it for a very short moment. I realised that that must be her wedding bouquet which Brett kept as a memento - why else would it be there?
And I don't mean that question just in terms of the world of the film; I think it's a visual clue to the viewers: here's a bittersweet memory.

Good observation, I also remember just recently seeing a close up screencap somewhere of Jill's hand and her wedding ring someplace.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Cusser on April 12, 2013, 11:25:33 AM
Actually, I was surprised that she didn't show a wedding certificate.  Even though the west likely didn't have too many of those, maybe Naw'lins did.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Tex on April 12, 2013, 11:46:51 AM
Good observation, I also remember just recently seeing a close up screencap somewhere of Jill's hand and her wedding ring someplace.

Here ya go, Joe. From marmota in a previous thread.

(http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/5161/watchleone.png) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/541/watchleone.png/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: marmota-b on April 12, 2013, 12:44:45 PM
Would wedding rings have had stones?
I kind of looked out for it in the cinema, I must confess (seeing it all on a big screen helps! sitting in the fourth or fifth row helps!), but I only noticed a ring with a stone. Which does not mean a simple wedding band's not there, just that I didn't notice... after all, I was also just enjoying the whole experience. :D


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Usaviator on July 20, 2017, 11:42:30 PM
I'm a little new to this movie, new to this message board, and new to spaghetti westerns altogether!  I first saw OUaTitW only several months ago, and I loved it so much, I've seen it several times since.   I have seen TGtBatU and FFoD, but OUaTitW wins them all in my heart and mind. 

Anyways, I ran across this message board just googling some questions I had about the film and ultimately stumbled upon some other interesting topics that other viewers had brought up.  The second time I saw OUaTitW, I actually had thought the same thing that I wondered if Jill was bluffing on the marriage claim at the funeral.  You have all provided very interesting views on the matter, and I agree that there could be several plausible pieces of evidence you could draw to support whether she was in fact married or not, but either way, SL didn't seem to want to make an intentional point of this in hopes to not distract from the other major points.  Also maybe we're all looking into it a little too much?  I understand finding little clues and drawing a subjective belief on whether she was or wasn't married, but either way, it doesn't tip the story one way or another. 

It could be one of those things that was meant to be understood and taken at face value, or it could be a little gift to the viewer from SL to get a chance to fill in the blanks yourself with whatever you want to see in it.  I could see it either way.  I don't tend to see extremes in the situation.  For instance, the film seems to generally portray Jill as someone who's not perfect, but trying to do the right thing, and generally making progress.  I gather this mainly from her first conversation with Cheyanne in talking about her desire to marry and have a family in the future (in contract with her promiscuous past).  It would be an extremely deviated thought to think Jill, after just learning about her new family's slaughter, would instantly be thinking of how she can get money out of the situation.  It's not that it's impossible, but it's just more of an extreme.  If she did lie about being already married to Brett, her claim could be out of honor to want to carry on the McBain family name, or our of pure sympathy for what just happened.  I do understand that Sam wants to take her back and she refuses, and then you see immediately following that is her rummaging through drawers looking for something.  But there are even multiple clues as to what her intentions were on finding anything of value - could have been for self gain, or to find clues on why the massacre took place. 

Either way, I like that these little possibilities exist in the background of the main storyline.  It's almost like a choose your own adventure in our mind without actually being able to significantly deviate the entire story plot away from what SL intended.   And it's even cooler that you can find many other situations like this throughout the movie where you question the motives of why characters do what they do, and you seem to constantly stumble upon multiple plausible answers.   Well done SL.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 21, 2017, 02:03:31 AM
 O0

Welcome aboard  :)


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: stanton on July 21, 2017, 02:26:18 AM
Without reading anything in this thread here, I think she must have been officially married to McBain, otherwise she can't be the legal heiress of the Sweetwater land, and then Frank and Morton would not have needed her.


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: Cusser on July 21, 2017, 06:34:02 AM
I bet someone faxed a copy of the marriage certificate to Lionel Stander's waystation  O0


Title: Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 21, 2017, 01:35:17 PM
I bet someone faxed a copy of the marriage certificate to Lionel Stander's waystation  O0

Fax?  ::) That is soooooooo 1990. You mean e-mail  ;)