Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: PowerRR on June 11, 2012, 10:08:34 PM



Title: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: PowerRR on June 11, 2012, 10:08:34 PM
For fun I'd like to list off some things that I could never stand from the GREATEST MOVIE EVER, and the few small things which have kept it from being absolutely 100% perfect in my book. Join in.

1. Young Noodles' mole
From the second you see him you can tell it's completely fake and just plastered on, almost as if it's a joke toward how noticeable and iconic De Niro's mole is.

2. Limo driver in the rape scene
Noodles is clearly raping the shit out of Deborah, and the limo driver is visibly just driving calm and careless, never looking back. Then all of a sudden he decides he's raping her too hard, quickly stops the limo and comes out all pissed off. WTF?

3. Secretary Bailey's big reveal
The first big clue we get is seeing his son, the same actor who plays Max as a kid. At this point on the first viewing we pretty much get it that he's still alive. But still, I've always hated how there's a scene of him in his office looking out the window at his son before Noodles actually meets him. I'd love if this scene were cut, and the first time that we actually get to see Bailey is the close-up which he slowly turns around to reveal himself to Noodles.

4. The Frisbee transition
I hear a lot of people love this. Why? The tension beforehand is great and I guess the transition from grabbing a Frisbee to grabbing a suitcase is cut together well. But why a Frisbee? Why are people playing Frisbee randomly in the dark? Wouldn't Noodles have seen the Frisbee  being tossed back and forth before it was used as a tension-breaker? Wouldn't he see the people playing? It's just dumb in my opinion.

Other than this I don't think I have a single problem with the movie. Maybe the child actors could have been slightly better, but they're still better than a majority of child actors in movies.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 12, 2012, 12:14:23 AM
I've mentioned my many problems with the (229MV of) the greatest movie ever throughout various threads, but I guess I'll consolidate 'em here:

1) We should see Noodles meeting and background with Eve, before she just turns up with him at the beach. (Fixed in the Cannes version).

2) After Young Deborah shuts Noodles out of her life -- she refuses to open the door and let him in after he ditches her for Max and is beaten up by Bugsy -- there is no justification for why she'd have cared about him so much all that time he was in jail, and want to see him after he gets out, and says "you're the only person I ever cared about..."  There should have been another scene with them as kids, with her taking him back and showing their love for each other. I am not certain, but I think I recall that there may have been an additional scene of this that was shot, but it is not in the restored footage shown at Cannes

3) Explanation of how the mausoleum and music got there (Fixed in the Cannes version).

4) Explanation of Old Noodles meeting with Old Eve. This footage was shot but is not in the Cannes version. However, with the Cannes version showing Deborah's performance as Cleopatra, it becomes clear that the theater she is performing in is not in the same building as the bailey Foundation's nursing home (the 229MV make it seem as if it's one building, which doesn't make much sense).

5) A little more explanation of how Max carried out his plan. (Footage was shot with Old Carol explaining this, but it was not restored at Cannes. Anyway, as we've seen with the scene of Old Carol describing Max's suicide,  she completely unreliable, so showing the footage with her wouldn't necessarily explain anything. Thought it would explain how Noodles met her and that the Bailey Foundation is a nursing home). I think that in the scene in Bailey's study, Bailey should have had a couple of more lines explaining his plan.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 12, 2012, 12:29:30 AM

2. Limo driver in the rape scene
Noodles is clearly raping the shit out of Deborah, and the limo driver is visibly just driving calm and careless, never looking back. Then all of a sudden he decides he's raping her too hard, quickly stops the limo and comes out all pissed off. WTF?




This doesn't bother me, because Noodles is a gangster and it is dangerous for someone to interfere with a gangster's "activities." (In a restored scene of a conversation between Noodles and the limo driver before the date, it is clear that the driver knows who Noodles is). Noodles may just as well have blown the head off the driver if he had tried to interfere. Finally, the driver couldn't take it anymore and stopped the car, and luckily for him, Noodles didn't kill him. But I can certainly understand why a limo driver would be hesitant to get in between a gangster and his girl.

btw, in The Hoods , the driver actually does interfere -- after Noodles starts roughing her up and tearing her clothes off, but --  before he can rape her (page 195). Still, I think it's certainly plausible that the driver would be hesitant to do so.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: PowerRR on June 12, 2012, 10:00:17 AM
2) After Young Deborah shuts Noodles out of her life -- she refuses to open the door and let him in after he ditches her for Max and is beaten up by Bugsy -- there is no justification for why she'd have cared about him so much all that time he was in jail, and want to see him after he gets out, and says "you're the only person I ever cared about..."  There should have been another scene with them as kids, with her taking him back and showing their love for each other. I am not certain, but I think I recall that there may have been an additional scene of this that was shot, but it is not in the restored footage shown at Cannes

I don't know about that one. You have to consider Deborah's age at the time, how many years have passed, and her real reason for not letting him in. When she was younger, she said she could never be with a 'two-bit' thug, though still implied she had feelings for him. Right after, Noodles is beaten up due to 'thug-related' activity. I don't think she doesn't let him in because she doesn't want him or care about him, but instead was proving her statement about not wanting to be involved with him for being a 'two-bit' thug. Maybe she was also simply afraid and didn't want any involvement with gang violence in the bar that age.

Then, many years pass by and she still cares about him. Maybe she truly never found anyone else, 'two-bit' thug or not. Maybe after all those years, she's decided to look past his gang-related lifestyle and want him for the person he is.

And as far as the limo driver, I understand he doesn't want to interrupt a mobster. But the way the scene is shot, it looks like he completely doesn't give a shit for the entirety of the rape. There's no shot or hint to show his fear or disgust, and not even a shocked reaction. Given his later reaction I understand that he obviously wasn't comfortable with it, but it definitely looks very strange to have him not seem to care at all for the entire scene.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: dave jenkins on June 12, 2012, 02:06:32 PM
I don't know about that one. You have to consider Deborah's age at the time, how many years have passed, and her real reason for not letting him in. When she was younger, she said she could never be with a 'two-bit' thug, though still implied she had feelings for him. Right after, Noodles is beaten up due to 'thug-related' activity. I don't think she doesn't let him in because she doesn't want him or care about him, but instead was proving her statement about not wanting to be involved with him for being a 'two-bit' thug.
Exactly right. Recall the use of doors as a motif. This is one threshold that Gangster Noodles doesn't get to cross.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on February 24, 2013, 06:38:11 PM
No matter how much someone tries to justify that rape scene, it is still the only complaint I have about this movie. I agree that also goes on for way too long, Christopher Frayling said something about this scene in that it was a rare of example of Leone loosing control and that he was upset at the reactions people had to it when it was shown in 1984.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Groggy on March 12, 2013, 04:44:25 AM
No matter how many times I watch the movie, I still dislike the '68 framing device. Dream, no dream, whatever, it stinks.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 12, 2013, 04:59:11 AM
No matter how many times I watch the movie, I still dislike the '68 framing device. Dream, no dream, whatever, it stinks.

I can understand that it stinks to someone who is in denial over the movie being a dream  :P


Even if you don't think it's a literal dream, there's definitely something dream-like at least in a metaphorical sense, the "American Dream" being shattered. Without the 1968 scenes, this is pretty much a straight gangster movie, with a circumcised Tom Powers.

If you simply view this as a straight, literal story, of a boy who grows up and becomes a gangster and runs away when his friend gets killed and then comes back 35 years later to find out his friend is really alive, then yeah, the 1968 scenes are seemingly unnecessary (to put it mildly). It plays just like a gangster story/mystery combination (which makes even less sense since the whole limousine/cemetery scenes are deleted).

Furthermore, why would a gangster/mystery story have the whole theme of Time?

No way can this movie be read without any dream element whatsoever, whether literal or metaphorical.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 12, 2013, 06:27:13 AM
Chris Nolan probably drew inspiration from OUATIA for Inception.  8)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: moviesceleton on March 12, 2013, 08:33:14 AM
Without the 1968 scenes, this is pretty much a straight gangster movie
I have to agree.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Groggy on March 12, 2013, 06:57:41 PM
Without the 1968 scenes, this is pretty much a straight gangster movie

Your point?


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 12, 2013, 09:47:13 PM
Your point?
OUATIA is no ordinary gangster movie.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Groggy on March 13, 2013, 04:31:28 AM
True, but a dramatically-stilted, ill-conceived framing device isn't the reason.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 13, 2013, 04:45:24 AM
Well, for me, framing devices give the story more depth, as long as the story and characters are interesting enough, otherwise it becomes unnecessarily convoluted.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 13, 2013, 06:13:27 AM
True, but a dramatically-stilted, ill-conceived framing device isn't the reason.

OMG how can you call the 1968 scenes of OUATIA a "framing device"? It is so much more than that. It is as much a part of the story as the 1921 or 1933 scenes, whether you like it or not. That's not a matter of opinion.

A :"framing device" is eg. the scenes with James Stewart as politician in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Or William Holden in the pool in Sunset Blvd.

(Besides, the movie neither begins nor ends with the 1968 scenes; rather, the movie is a series of interwoven flashbacks. Therefore, not only are the 1968 scenes so much more important than mere framing devices, I don't even know if it's correct to call those scenes "framing devices" at all But that's beside the point).

If you think the 1968 scenes were done poorly, it's a matter of opinion; but you are just missing the point or misunderstanding them if you call them (mere) "framing devices."


(And that's all positive arguments, I'm not even getting into the normative arguments, like how the hell can you not think the scene where Noodles returns to Fat Moe's after 35 years is not an awesome scene. All I can do is pity you for missing out on the indescribable pleasure you are missing out on by being unable to enjoy those scenes. But that's another story).

Leone decided to make the story about a gangster returning to his old neighborhood after 35 years, after his first meeting with Harry Grey, seeing what a fantasy/dream world that man was living in, trying to make sense of his past, mixing fantasy with reality, etc.

  no matter what one's opinion of whether some of the time periods were done better than others has no bearing on the fact that the three time periods are co-equal parts of the story


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 13, 2013, 06:26:53 AM
Everytime I watch the yesterday scene with De Niro looking into the mirror, I start to feel funny....someone told me they're called emotions or something like that. Anyone else feel them?  :)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Groggy on March 13, 2013, 04:40:18 PM
Quote
All I can do is pity you for missing out on the indescribable pleasure you are missing out on by being unable to enjoy those scenes.

Why pity me? I get pleasure out of (most) of the rest of the movie.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 13, 2013, 06:05:30 PM
He probably meant there's more emotion to be felt with the 1968 scenes due to the regret, betrayal, and nostalgia felt by the characters.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Groggy on March 13, 2013, 07:00:16 PM
In theory you are correct.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 13, 2013, 08:18:48 PM
He probably meant there's more emotion to be felt with the 1968 scenes due to the regret, betrayal, and nostalgia felt by the characters.

who's he? me?

I didn't mean that at all


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 13, 2013, 08:50:53 PM
who's he? me?

I didn't mean that at all
My bad, I was actually speaking from my own point of view, what I said about the 1968 scenes are how I view them.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: LINCOLNS GRANDFATHER on March 16, 2013, 09:41:45 PM
I always wonder if there was more to story arc of Pesci in the hotel foyer.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 16, 2013, 09:43:52 PM
I always wonder if there was more to story arc of Pesci in the hotel foyer.

Him and Noodles continued their adventures in Goodfellas :)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 16, 2013, 09:51:52 PM
I always wonder if there was more to story arc of Pesci in the hotel foyer.

that's probably the most common question about "what footage is missing from OUATIA"? (along with the frisbee scene).


But based on everything I have read, there is nothing more to it. The point is that Pesci, the mafia head, is going to the hospital room, to meet with Treat Williams and/or James Woods, indicating that the mafia is getting involved in organized labor and/or Woods is already plotting to move on to bigger and better things.

It's a quick, subtle point; Leone likes what he called "indirect cinema," where you aren't told something directly but figure it out from what you are shown


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 12:52:22 AM
It's likely that there was more, I mean the man shot 10 hours of footage, and maybe a couple of minutes could've gone into the story arc of Pesci. Leone could've cut it out because of the "indirect cinema" that he liked to incorporate.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 17, 2013, 01:59:31 AM
It's likely that there was more, I mean the man shot 10 hours of footage, and maybe a couple of minutes could've gone into the story arc of Pesci. Leone could've cut it out because of the "indirect cinema" that he liked to incorporate.

well if, as Frayling says, there was 6-10 hours of usable footage (for an originally-intended 2-part movie), then there theoretically could be more to anything. But none of the 45-50 minutes of footage that Leone reluctantly had to remove (to get the movie down to 229-minutes) includes anything further on that scene with Pesci. So the point is that (no matter what he may have thought at the time of shooting, at least by the time of the movie's editing and release) Leone did not intend for there to be anything further about that.

I also thought that scene was a bit strange at first, but when watching this movie, there is soooo much that is hard to pick up on until later viewings. I am fully satisfied that that scene with Pesci at the hospital elevator is a simple, quick way of telling us that the mafia is getting involved with organized labor, and/or that the seeds are being sown for Max's moving on to bigger and better thngs


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 02:10:35 AM
Just curious, how many times have you seen OUATIA?


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: stanton on March 17, 2013, 03:27:27 AM
that's probably the most common question about "what footage is missing from OUATIA"? (along with the frisbee scene).


But based on everything I have read, there is nothing more to it. The point is that Pesci, the mafia head, is going to the hospital room, to meet with Treat Williams and/or James Woods, indicating that the mafia is getting involved in organized labor and/or Woods is already plotting to move on to bigger and better things.

It's a quick, subtle point; Leone likes what he called "indirect cinema," where you aren't told something directly but figure it out from what you are shown

Only that for this scene nobody figured it out. It is simply irritating.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 17, 2013, 03:32:09 AM
as with all of Leone's movies, I have seen OUATIA way more times than I can keep track of. If I was forced to ballpark a guess, I'd say about 20 times




Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 17, 2013, 03:36:05 AM
Only that for this scene nobody figured it out. It is simply irritating.

yeah, I didn't figure it out on my own either, until I had it explained to me.  didn't fully understand how Max implemented his getaway plan either until I discussed it here.

Perhaps part of that uncertainty/irritation with this scene (and maybe some others) comes from knowing that Leone was forced to cut some footage to get the movie down to 229 minutes; so we are left wondering, "maybe there is some deleted footage that further explains Scene X, or Issue X."


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 03:37:31 AM
With the 250 minute restoration, there's that scene where we see Noodles driving the car into the water, and pulling a disappearing act on the three, and we never see him as it cuts to the next scene. I never really understood this scene.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 03:39:07 AM
Only that for this scene nobody figured it out. It is simply irritating.

There's always less is more, even though it is frustrating to figure out so much with so little.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 17, 2013, 03:40:16 AM
With the 250 minute restoration, there's that scene where we see Noodles driving the car into the water, and pulling a disappearing act on the three, and we never see him as it cuts to the next scene. I never really understood this scene.

it's like him getting back at Max for when Max pretended to drown in that scene where the boys were trying out Noodles' invention with the salt and the cases of whiskey. it's like the reverse of that scene. And it served to cement the friendship between the gang; one of the key points of the movie is how, despite this being a brutal criminal gang, they cared deeply for each other, which makes the ultimate betrayal all the more profound


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 03:41:26 AM
I understand that it was kind of a way for him to get back at Max, but what puzzled me was why we never see Noodles reappear.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 03:43:35 AM
It doesn't really resolve as it cuts to the next scene.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 17, 2013, 03:53:24 AM
There's always less is more, even though it is frustrating to figure out so much with so little.

it depends on each case. There are several things I'd have like to have explained further in this movie. Some of them are explained in the 45-50 minutes of missing footage, of which approx. half has now been restored. I discussed those things extensively in the thread about the restoration so I won't do so here. (eg. Noodles meeting Eve, the shift from The Bailey Foundation old age home to the Deborah's dressing room, those are explained in the restored footage).

Also, the newly-restored footage, we see why Noodles is so interested in that new story playing on the TV in Fat Moe's, and how he knows that the Bailey scandal has something to do with why he was called back.

But there are some things that aren't explained at all in any restored footage and which I wish had more explanation. Eg. I always wished that there was another minute of Bailey explaining to us how he planned that getaway; it took a lot of explaining in these boards for me to understand it [eg. he must have used a corpse that had a similar figure to his from their funeral business] he just gives a simple line like 'that was a syndicate operation, the cops were in on it too,' and took quite a bit of explanation for me to understand that.

So, while the 45-50 extra minutes that Leone preferred to include illuminate some areas that require further explanation, there are definitely some places where it may seem somewhat confusing and that there is no further footage to explain it.

For me, this movie always seemed to be a tad frustrating in that respect, like there was a little some information tat maybe could have been a bit more fleshed out. I don't think anyone -- including people like me, who regard this as one of the greatest movies ever made, perhaps even THE greatest -- would argue that this a perfect, flawless movie. You can certainly be the greatest without being flawless.

if, theoretically, Leone could have released the movie literally as long as he wanted, would this have all been explained? who knows.



Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 17, 2013, 03:55:27 AM
I understand that it was kind of a way for him to get back at Max, but what puzzled me was why we never see Noodles reappear.

well we know that Noodles is alive cuz we see him in 1968  ;)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: stanton on March 17, 2013, 03:56:16 AM
it's like him getting back at Max for when Max pretended to drown in that scene where the boys were trying out Noodles' invention with the salt and the cases of whiskey. it's like the reverse of that scene. And it served to cement the friendship between the gang; one of the key points of the movie is how, despite this being a brutal criminal gang, they cared deeply for each other, which makes the ultimate betrayal all the more profound

One big flaw of the film is that Leone isn't able to put any life in Patsy and Cockeye. Both remain uninteresting secondary characters which don't have any other value for the film's story than to die. They are so uninteresting that there is no emotional resonance about their death.
Actually I think OuTA would be a better film without them.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 03:57:39 AM
On my first viewing [of the 229 MV], I had so many questions by the end of the movie I was like "...wtf?", and I gave it 3/5 stars.
I decided to give it another go, and this time really try to concentrate and enjoy the movie, and I ended up liking it even more, but as you said, there are still a few things that need a bit of explaining or closure.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 03:59:12 AM
well we know that Noodles is alive cuz we see him in 1968  ;)

I thought it was some foreshadowing, in that Noodles would in a way, be separated from the rest of the group, and "disappear" only to return in 1968.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: stanton on March 17, 2013, 04:01:04 AM
it depends on each case. There are several things I'd have like to have explained further in this movie. Some of them are explained in the 45-50 minutes of missing footage, of which approx. half has now been restored. I discussed those things extensively in the thread about the restoration so I won't do so here. (eg. Noodles meeting Eve, the shift from The Bailey Foundation old age home to the Deborah's dressing room, those are explained in the restored footage).

Also, the newly-restored footage, we see why Noodles is so interested in that new story playing on the TV in Fat Moe's, and how he knows that the Bailey scandal has something to do with why he was called back.

But there are some things that aren't explained at all in any restored footage and which I wish had more explanation. Eg. I always wished that there was another minute of Bailey explaining to us how he planned that getaway; it took a lot of explaining in these boards for me to understand it [eg. he must have used a corpse that had a similar figure to his from their funeral business] he just gives a simple line like 'that was a syndicate operation, the cops were in on it too,' and took quite a bit of explanation for me to understand that.

So, while the 45-50 extra minutes that Leone preferred to include illuminate some areas that require further explanation, there are definitely some places where it may seem somewhat confusing and that there is no further footage to explain it.

For me, this movie always seemed to be a tad frustrating in that respect, like there was a little some information tat maybe could have been a bit more fleshed out. I don't think anyone -- including people like me, who regard this as one of the greatest movies ever made, perhaps even THE greatest -- would argue that this a perfect, flawless movie. You can certainly be the greatest without being flawless.

if, theoretically, Leone could have released the movie literally as long as he wanted, would this have all been explained? who knows.



You are still  searching for explanations the film does not need. These are all questions I never asked me.

The point with the Pesci scene is that it is shot in a way which makes people assume that there will be something important resulting from it, and that does not happen as the film never returns to Pesci.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 04:01:19 AM
One big flaw of the film is that Leone isn't able to put any life in Patsy and Cockeye. Both remain uninteresting secondary characters which don't have any other value for the film's story than to die. They are so uninteresting that there is no emotional resonance about their death.
Actually I think OuTA would be a better film without them.

I agree with this, but that scene with Patsy and the cake was probably enough for me to connect with his character. The real emotion comes from the relationship between Noodles and Max.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 17, 2013, 04:01:40 AM
On my first viewing [of the 229 MV], I had so many questions by the end of the movie I was like "...wtf?", and I gave it 3/5 stars.
I decided to give it another go, and this time really try to concentrate and enjoy the movie, and I ended up liking it even more, but as you said, there are still a few things that need a bit of explaining or closure.

oh yeah, I was very confused after my first viewing; I didn't understand all the time jumps, among other things


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 17, 2013, 04:15:13 AM
One big flaw of the film is that Leone isn't able to put any life in Patsy and Cockeye. Both remain uninteresting secondary characters which don't have any other value for the film's story than to die. They are so uninteresting that there is no emotional resonance about their death.
Actually I think OuTA would be a better film without them.

well they are not terribly important as far as personal stuff go, but a gang wouldn't be very interesting with 2 characters.

As a criminal gang, they need to have a few members, so you have Cockeye and Patsy, but for the personal relationships, you focus on a couple of individuals, Noodles and Max.

of course, the betrayal between Max and Noodles hurts more, but  the point is that the gang was always together and cared deeply for each other, even if the personal stuff was between Noodles and Max. Cockeye and Patsy exist as members of the gang: Noodles and Max exist as individuals and as they relate to each other. I don't have a huge problem with it. Especially cuz James Hayden and William Forsythe are good actors and do a nice job.

btw, Hayden, (who played the 1933 Patsy), is (so far as I know), the only major cast member who is not currently alive; he died of a heroin overdose before the movie was released http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hayden


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 04:17:18 AM
What a shame  :'( RIP


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: moviesceleton on March 17, 2013, 07:07:03 AM
And you shouldn't forget that young Patsy gets the best scene in the history of cinema. For me that alone is enough to justify his existence in the film.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 17, 2013, 07:09:10 AM
It's definitely one of my favourite scenes from the movie too. I don't care what anyone else says, I would've picked the cream cake too.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: stanton on March 17, 2013, 08:02:36 AM
Not a remarkable scene for me.



Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Groggy on March 17, 2013, 03:21:16 PM
Only that for this scene nobody figured it out. It is simply irritating.

Agreed. Ambiguity obviously doesn't sit well with some viewers.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 17, 2013, 08:54:46 PM
Agreed. Ambiguity obviously doesn't sit well with some viewers.

well there's ambiguity and ambiguity. Now that I understand it I don't have a problem with it, but there are some things in OUATIA where a little less ambiguity may be in order (but again, it's somewhat muddled cuz of the deleted scenes)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: stanton on March 18, 2013, 03:41:24 AM
I don't think that anything is muddled, except for this one scene.

As I always said OuTiA does not need any further scenes to be understood. It only gets maybe a bit more complex, but only maybe.

Actually I think the film is way too long for its substance. Further scenes would make an already overlong film even longer. But that was the typical Leone problem since FaFDM.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 18, 2013, 03:43:30 AM
What scenes do you think are too long?
At first I thought 229 MV was way too long, but I can't think of anything I'd remove.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 18, 2013, 09:57:25 AM
Only that for this scene nobody figured it out. It is simply irritating.

Well that was quite straitforward to me since the first viewing... I also thought "hey, will we know more about this?" and became a little frustrated, but I had not heard of deleted scenes at that point so it seemed ok to me. And the idea is quite simple, being more or less the main topic of the film and stuff.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 18, 2013, 10:05:05 AM
What scenes do you think are too long?
At first I thought 229 MV was way too long, but I can't think of anything I'd remove.

Although I don't think the movie is too long, it drags a little. Many people, including Mc Govern, pointed out that the quality of the childhood scenes is never reached again in the film (no matter how many incredible scenes there still are). But it's a script flaw, not an editing one. From there, there is no perfect solution: you either cut stuff that are incredibly good (because that's what the 229min version is made of) or let the film drag here and there. Actually, I'm glad Leone chose to keep it that long. I'd rather have a flawed masterpiece than a perfect gangster movie. Especially as Leone's last work.

Another idea: may be the first hour is just too good for the film's own good.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Cusser on March 18, 2013, 01:04:42 PM
Casting of Elizabeth McGovern.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: stanton on March 18, 2013, 01:26:00 PM
Although I don't think the movie is too long, it drags a little. Many people, including Mc Govern, pointed out that the quality of the childhood scenes is never reached again in the film (no matter how many incredible scenes there still are). But it's a script flaw, not an editing one. From there, there is no perfect solution: you either cut stuff that are incredibly good (because that's what the 229min version is made of) or let the film drag here and there. Actually, I'm glad Leone chose to keep it that long. I'd rather have a flawed masterpiece than a perfect gangster movie. Especially as Leone's last work.

Another idea: may be the first hour is just too good for the film's own good.

Yes the first hour is much stronger than the rest. There ain't much of the brilliance of his westerns in this rest. It's always well made, but rarely really good.

Uhh, first hour ... if this includes the childhood scenes I have to correct me. the beginning is great until the childhood part starts. Actually I think that the film  does not really need all this childhood stuff. Especially as like I pointed out Patsy and Cockeye are superfluous for the film.

I don't know, I was a bit bored the last time I watched it, and didn't find much to cheer about. I won't re-watch it the next 20 years, only that this longer version will surely change that. But I will re-watch OuTW 5 or 10 times in this time slot. And all his other westerns (including Nobody) also several times.

Noodles, why is a perfect gangster film not a masterpiece?


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 18, 2013, 01:59:54 PM
Casting of Elizabeth McGovern.

you just have this cradle-robbing crush on Jennifer Connely  :P


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 18, 2013, 02:45:07 PM
Noodles, why is a perfect gangster film not a masterpiece?

Just a question of scope and ambition... To me a real masterpiece has to be something more. When watching GBU, I always have the feeling that nothing can beat it. However, OUATITW is way better. Because GBU is as good as a western can get while OUATITW is as good as cinema can get. Another way to put it would be in term of landmark for humanity, however pretentious it may sound. In 1000 years, no one will watch GBU again. But I bet (some) people will still be writing, discussing and arguing over Hamlet, The Odyssey and OUATITW.

One could see it the other way around (I tend to watch GBU more often than OUATITW because of its entertainment value), but it don't :) What do you think?


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 18, 2013, 06:40:32 PM
Well I prefer GBU over OUATITW in terms of cinematic and entertainment value.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 19, 2013, 03:03:27 AM
Man, you have no heart :D


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Senza on March 19, 2013, 03:44:36 AM
Maybe I'll appreciate OUATITW more when I get older, but for now, it's GBU because the story and characters appeal to me far more that OUATITW.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Cusser on March 20, 2013, 12:51:01 PM
you just have this cradle-robbing crush on Jennifer Connely  :P

That too. 

But even at that age you could tell that she'd be a star.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 20, 2013, 07:25:09 PM
That too. 

But even at that age you could tell that she'd be a star.

well, aside from De Niro, she definitely went on to have the greatest career of any of the cast members


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on March 21, 2013, 01:08:46 AM
well, aside from De Niro, she definitely went on to have the greatest career of any of the cast members

I still prefer Joe Pesci's career over hers :)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 21, 2013, 03:03:43 AM
I still prefer Joe Pesci's career over hers :)

I actually forgot about Pesci (since he had such a small part in the movie). I guess that's an interesting comparison/question for y'all: who would you say had a more successful career, Pesci or Connelly? You can define success any way you please: more well-known, more big roles, made more money, whatever you want. (But this is an objective question; I don't care who you think is a better actor, or who you think is hotter).

I'm looking through Connelly's filmography on IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000124/?ref_=sr_4 looks like she was hardly ever first-billed. Frequently, she wasn't even the first-billed woman in a movie.

I don't think Pesci was really a leading man either http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000582/?ref_=sr_1

Pesci won one Oscar (Goodfellas) and was nominated for one other (Raging Bull), both as a supporting actor.

Connely won one Oscar, as Best Supporting Actress in A Beautiful Mind.

of course, Pesci has one role that EVERYONE knows about (though that's at last partly attributable to being in one of the great movies of all-time.


Overall, I guess you'd say at this point that both have been solid stars but none of them "owned Hollywood."

But you're right, I guess Pesci probably gets the nod. So  guess I'll have to amend my initial statement to read "Other than De Niro, Connelly has the most successful career of all those with significant roles in OUATIA  ;)

BTW, Leone obviously didn't realize the star he was about to make either, because Connelly was billed... are you read for this.... 53rd!
and way down the list from the other child actors http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087843/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Groggy on May 17, 2013, 05:53:07 PM
Quote
Pesci has one role that EVERYONE knows about

Which? Lethal Weapon? Home Alone? JFK?


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 18, 2013, 09:31:45 PM
Which? Lethal Weapon? Home Alone? JFK?

Goodfellas. Certainly his most famous role. Possibly just cuz of one line. Funny how? like a clown? do I amuse you?


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on May 20, 2013, 04:47:49 AM
Goodfellas. Certainly his most famous role. Possibly just cuz of one line. Funny how? like a clown? do I amuse you?

Haha I think most people don't know if this is from Goodfellas or Casino (just like all the scenes from these 2 movies except for the opening of TG).


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Martin K on January 21, 2014, 09:23:59 AM
There are a few things i don't like. like the use of 'Yesterday' in the movie. Or the sentence 'Look at you, David Aaronson' (both the writing as Connely's acting", but the biggest problem I just have to put away when watching the movie. The fact that a gangster could pretend to die and have a political career after it.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 21, 2014, 04:52:46 PM
the biggest problem I just have to put away when watching the movie. The fact that a gangster could pretend to die and have a political career after it.

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10498.0



Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: Martin K on January 27, 2014, 04:55:17 AM
I read that. Still don't buy it.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: stanton on January 27, 2014, 05:42:44 AM
Me neither


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 27, 2014, 11:48:43 AM
But I do, so it's ok.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 27, 2014, 02:32:00 PM
My real big problem with the movie (I've mentioned it elsewhere but I don't know if I said it in this thread) is the idea of grown-up gangsters leaving a million bucks in a train station locker. BULLSHIT. When they were kids, they used the locker, fine. But once they are adults, they couldn't find a better place to keep all the savings from their enterprises? NO FRIGGIN WAY




Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: stanton on January 28, 2014, 02:21:36 AM
Actually, in both cases, it doesn't hurt the film. Such things are ok in movies ...


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2014, 02:28:47 AM
Yep! It could have hurt the film if it was a thriller or a whodunit. But it's not an Agatha Christie adaptation. The effect it's trying to achieve is emotions, not a rational "OOOOW! IT WAS MAX ALL ALONG!!! IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE NOW! OWNED!!!".


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 03:24:07 AM
(as an aside: if you consider the scenes that Leone wanted in the film and arre being added back in now - like the one in the cemetery and the one with Bailey's limo, etc. - then the movie does seem more of a literal mystery - still is symbolic, but more of a literal mystery as well, than it is in the 229MV. But that's just an aside. Anyway, point is that...) I am willing to accept a lot - perhaps even the idea that the cemetery would actually be sold and dug up (a Jewish cemetery would never be allowed to be dug up in a million years) but keeping their life's savings in a locker in a public place like that in which any two-bit thief could get to it, that's just ridiculous. That could have easily been written differently without affecting the story. They could have kept it hidden anywhere else - maybe behind a wall in Fat Moe's restaurant - and the story would work just the same, without that implausibility that IMO goes way beyond the usual suspension of disbelief. RE: the cemetery - though a Jewish cemetery would never be dug up, and while it's true that another reason could have been used for calling Noodles back in 1968 (and then the phony memorial plaque could have been erected somewhere other than a mausoleum, e.g. in a synagogue, which often have memorial  plaques) I can live with the cemetery angle, cuz it works for the symbolism of the past being dug up. For some reason, that never bothered me as much as the part about the suitcase.... What if it was the Mona Lisa being stashed in the railway locker? Would you accept that? Well, to these guys, the million bucks is all they have "worked" (and stolen and killed) for all their lives, they would guard that as you would guard the Mona Lisa. Maybe not behind a bomb-proof safe, but a railway locker? No adult would keep ten bucks there, let alone your life's savings


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: chris on January 28, 2014, 04:06:56 AM
...a Jewish cemetery would never be allowed to be dug up in a million years...

I think there are lots of examples in history where this has happened.  A search on Google for 'relocation jewish cemetery' produces 338,000 results.

Just picking 3 examples from the 338,000:

http://www.rookwoodjewishcemetery.com.au/page/our-history (http://www.rookwoodjewishcemetery.com.au/page/our-history)

http://www.zegk.uni-heidelberg.de/hist/ausstellungen/harbin/cemetery.html (http://www.zegk.uni-heidelberg.de/hist/ausstellungen/harbin/cemetery.html)

http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=1173810 (http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=1173810)


There's an old thread on spoilers flaws and interpretations and the flaws have been discussed many times before:

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=6647.0 (http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=6647.0)

Quick recap:

Bailey's anonymity

Secretary Bailey's identity not known to Fat Moe, Carol, Noodles etc?

In my opinion this is the one major flaw in the movie. It is reported that De Niro who at the time was very thorough had some heated discussions with Leone on some aspects of the film. We will probably never know exactly how Leone felt - all we are certain of is that in the screenplay Max was a "Senator". A Senator whom no-one had seen? This was thought to be implausible and his position was scaled down to a Secretary - it's still not really scaled down enough.

This is probably the biggest flaw in a Leone movie ever.
To suppose, that in an era of televisions, regular newspapers and radio programs, no-one (Fat Moe, Noodles,...) would somewhere recognize Max, is stupid. It just cannot be. Noodles wasn't living in Nicaragua, he was in Buffalo.

Its just possible that they scaled down Max from a Senator to a Secretery because they forsaw that flaw.

If somebody asked me who the Secretary of say Commerce or any department for that matter was for New york State I wouldn't know his name much less what he looked like. The only reason I believe Max was exposed on TV was because of the scandal.

...But then we are assuming on the other hand that Max is a famous well known notorious gangster too. He's not Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Dutch Shultz, or Legs Diamond, just a one time bootlegger that went legit on the surface once prohibition ended. New York had a lot of ex bootleggers and plenty of speakeasy owners that went legit, Toots Shore is one I remember off the top of my head and 21 is another.

As CJ said, he's not Al Capone. He was just a smalltimer when he was gangster. Normal people from the neighborhood wouldn't have a clue who is the Secretary of whatever and politicians wouldn't know crooks like him. All the people that would know(notice Secretary Bailey being actually a bootlegger from NYC are the ones who get some benefit out of this situation.

Thinking logically, having a mouthpiece operating as the secretary would be the best thing to do. But as said, Max is a megalomaniac and he wants as high position as possible (and any higher position is not believeable to be possible).

It looks like credible to Europeans. At least I'm buying it, and noodles_leone seems to be buying it too. Okay, maybe now when you have pointed out some things I'm having second thoughts. But honestly I never had a problem with Max becoming Secretary. Leone said something like: "OUATIA is America seen through European eyes". And European eyes are much colored by movies.

Secretary of Commerce? Blech. Nobody knows or cares about the Secretary of Commerce unless he fucks up royal. It's one of those borderline useless cabinet positions. :D

Train station Lockers

Of course, the Secretary Bailey thing is nothing compared with other implausibilities in the film. I think it was Pauline Kael who first pointed out how ridiculous it was for the gang to be using a locker at the train station as their safety deposit box (train station lockers are cleared out every 24 hours).

Leone never told his movies were realistic. OUATIA is about 9999999999999 times more plausible than any of his other movies, but i think some of you guys are stuck with some reality problems with that film since it is the Leone movie that is closer to reality. WHich doesn't mean it HAS to be realistic.

In a movie, the director creates a world. Things that happens have to be plausible in THAT world, not our world. It means that as long as you're not shoked while watching the movie, i think the movie works. OUATIA works for me, obvously many things don't work for some of you.

"It seems fairly common in films for money to be left in train station lockers and there is a certain romance associated with stream trains and railway stations.  In the book The Hoods the gang keep their cash in banks, which are not usually perceived as very romantic places."

This is the best response to this complaint.  Leone simply wanted these crucial scenes - the pact made by the boys, and Noodles' discovery of the missing money, i.e., the betrayal - to occur within the romantic milieu of a train station, with all those evocative toots and whistles in the background.  I'm sure Leone was well aware of the improbable nature of this plot device, which only shows he wasn't afraid to dispense with "realism" if it happened to interfere with the cinematic effect he wanted.    

On a purely aesthetic level, the plot device also allows for a rather lovely example of narrative symmetry, as the lockers play an important role in all three time periods.

... the part about the suitcase in the locker is silly... I just think it was a poorly written piece of the screenplay. In fact, it's the single biggest thing that bothers me about my favorite movie of all-time. (Sure, there are other things that aren't explained properly because of the all the cut scenes, some of which will now be restored), but the suitcase is just an atrocious bit of script. Sure, it makes sense that some kids who make a few bucks would keep the suitcase with their earnings there; kids aren't that smart. But an adult gang of successful bootleggers/hitmen, with a million dollars put away, would keep all their earnings in a suitcase in a locker at a bus/train station? That is simply ridiculous.

My point with the lockers is that, throughout the movie, several events and circumstances are slightly unrealistic.  If the reason for accepting the dream theory is to try to reconcile things such as the bullet holes in the sheet, the telephone ringing, age shall not wither her, Bailey's anonymity, the garbage truck scene, the pagoda, the procession of 1930s cars, there are other things in the earlier time periods such as gangsters keeping cash in lockers at a railway station which can't be explained by the dream theory.

Stream trains and railway stations are conducive to romantic and nolstagic images, banks are not.  It's all part of Leone's style, imagination and his way of film-making. Realism comes well down in his order of priorities.
 
Sergio Leone: "Detail is important but it is not everything.  Vision is everything."


The first time I saw the movie I didn't like the ambiguity of the ending or Bailey's anonymity. I think I now understand much better Leone's reasons for the ambiguity and his take on the dream double reading.  The movie may have appealed to a wider audience and be more instantly appreciated if these had been simplified but then we probably would not be talking about it as much 30 years after the release date.

 


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2014, 04:19:36 AM
Thanks Chris.

I was already pretty smart back in 2007.

D&D: as a matter of fact, the case was stolen, so yeah, it was a stupid idea, but they did it anyway (because people are stupid) and got what they deserved. This is plain realism.  :P


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 05:55:09 AM
I think there are lots of examples in history where this has happened.  A search on Google for 'relocation jewish cemetery' produces 338,000 results.

Just picking 3 examples from the 338,000:

http://www.rookwoodjewishcemetery.com.au/page/our-history (http://www.rookwoodjewishcemetery.com.au/page/our-history)

http://www.zegk.uni-heidelberg.de/hist/ausstellungen/harbin/cemetery.html (http://www.zegk.uni-heidelberg.de/hist/ausstellungen/harbin/cemetery.html)

http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=1173810 (http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=1173810)

 

getting a Google hit doesn't mean anything.

Judaism has very strict laws about the treatment of a corpse.

There are in fact times when - with very complicated laws and specifications – the corpse of a jew may be moved, but there are lots of circumstances and laws that have to be kept. E.g. I once heard an Orthodox Jewish soldier in WWII speak (he passed away very recently), his brother was killed in the war, buried in France; after the war, this soldier wanted to move the body from the military cemetery in France to Israel, but there were lots of difficulties, it was a very complicated procedure to fulfill all the religious laws about moving a body, and he ultimately decided to leave the body in the cemetery in France.

When someone buys a plot in a cemetery, they own that piece of land, and it can't be taken away from them.

There is absolutely no way that a synagogue that owns a cemetery can say, "We wanna sell the land, all you people that have relatives buried there, you gotta move them." That would not only be  a violation of Jewish law, but it would be a violation of a contract – buying a cemetery plot means you own that piece of land, period. Not just Jewish law - I doubt that would be allowed in America at all. I do know that in some countries like France that don't believe that a corpse needs to be treated respectfully, there are laws that they can basically dig up any body after 100 years.

I'm telling you there is absolutely no way in the world that a synagogue would tell its congregants, "we're selling the cemetery, you gotta move your relatives." No way.

However, as I said, this implausibility doesn't bother me terribly, because having the cemetery dug up adds to the symbolism of Noodles's return, having his past dug up.

But the railway locker is the biggest bullshit in any Leone movie ever. Heck, it may be the biggest bullshit in any movie ever. Yes, n_l, if anyone is so stupid to do that, then they deserve to lose the money. Absolutely. But there is also absolutely no way anyone who isn't retarded would do that.

And, as I said, the script could have so easily been changed so that this would make sense. It could have been hidden ANYWHERE else. That's another reason this bothers me so much - because having it in the railway locker isn't necessary for the story. In the case of the cemetery, I can live with that sort of bullshit since it adds to the symbolism, it adds to the story (and besides, most people don't know Jewish law and wouldn't pick up on it; there are other mistakes about Judaism in the movie that most people wouldn't pick up on [e.g. Fat Moe's father would never ever have his daughter watch the store on Passover; no religious Jew would ever enter their place of business on Passover] but most people don't know about that stuff, and therefore, [as in the case of a courtroom movie that has mistakes in the law] that stuff doesn't bother me. But the suitcase in the railway locker is utterly ridiculous, and could so easily have been changed, so IMO it is a major flaw.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2014, 06:09:37 AM
And, as I said, the script could have so easily been changed so that this would make sense. It could have been hidden ANYWHERE else. That's another reason this bothers me so much - because having it in the railway locker isn't necessary for the story.

Yes it is. It's strong and beautiful. And it has something to do with childhood, dreams and cinema. Just like the key that Fat Moe left in the clock for 35 years. Who would do that? It's just fucking awesome. I'm willing to sacrifice any realism to get the scenes Leone got with that locker.

I know you won't agree and I don't want you to feel you've wasted your time. So here's a picture of Lenny Kravitz wearing a gigantic scarf:

(http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/6/8/7/157687_v1.jpg)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: chris on January 28, 2014, 06:50:36 AM
...When someone buys a plot in a cemetery, they own that piece of land, and it can't be taken away from them...

I think we'll agree to differ on this one. I live close to a large Jewish community and some years ago one of the major supermarket chains wanted to develop an area there that was falling into disrepair.  Part of the plans required the relocation of a cemetery and the graves, no-one objected and the relocation went ahead.

The three examples above were just the first three that came up and there may be better examples.  The information in them seems clear.

The New Rookwood Jewish Cemetery  http://www.rookwoodjewishcemetery.com.au/page/our-history (http://www.rookwoodjewishcemetery.com.au/page/our-history)

The Devonshire Cemetery was relocated at Botany and Raphael Cemeteries in 1902 to make room for Sydney’s Central Railway Station.

In 1905 the tombstones and remains of the Raphael family were removed to Section 4 of the New Rookwood Jewish Cemetery.

In 1901, the cemetery was resumed to allow for the development of Central railway station, Sydney and representatives of deceased persons buried in the Devonshire Street cemetery were given two months to arrange for exhumation and removal of remains from the cemetery. All reasonable costs were borne by the Government of New South Wales. The remains that were unclaimed were relocated to a purpose-built cemetery named Bunnerong Cemetery. Remains that were claimed were transferred to a number of cemeteries as listed below. Bunnerong Cemetery, south of the city, had a tram line constructed to make the removal of recasketed remains as simple as possible. Bunnerong Cemetery was next to the Botany Cemetery and, in the early 1970s, was absorbed by that cemetery to create the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park.

The Jewish Cemetery in Harbin  http://www.zegk.uni-heidelberg.de/hist/ausstellungen/harbin/cemetery.html (http://www.zegk.uni-heidelberg.de/hist/ausstellungen/harbin/cemetery.html)

In the 1920's it had to be expanded and was relocated to Tai’an Street (now the site of the Ice Sports Center of Heilongjiang Province).

In 1958, the Chinese authorities decided to move the Jewish Cemetery to the Public Cemetery (since 1991 named Huang Shan Public Cemetery) located on the outskirts about ten kilometers from Harbin in the East. From approximate 3000 graves of which 1200 with tombstones, 853 were selected and transferred to an area of 6.532.00 square meters. On December 31, 1963, the Jewish community stopped functioning. Until that date 23 graves were added to the new location, bringing a total of 876 graves to the site. Only 480 gravestones could be identified today.

Photo Archives  http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=1173810 (http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=1173810)
Slovak Jews relocate the tombstones and coffins from the old Jewish cemetery to new Orthodox cemetery farther from the city center to make way for a tramway tunnel.

Oakdale Cemetery NC  http://www.oakdalecemetery.org/history.asp (http://www.oakdalecemetery.org/history.asp)
The beauty and prestige of Oakdale led to a large-scale removal of bodies from other burial grounds and cemeteries. Some 80 graves were relocated from St. James and dozens from plantations, most occurring between 1856 and 1859, but some as late as 1923. Reinterments are responsible for markers that bear death dates well before Oakdale was created.

 


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 07:09:03 AM
Yes it is. It's strong and beautiful. And it has something to do with childhood, dreams and cinema. Just like the key that Fat Moe left in the clock for 35 years. Who would do that? It's just fucking awesome. I'm willing to sacrifice any realism to get the scenes Leone got with that locker.



But that is precisely my point - none of the strength, beauty, childhood, dreams, cinema, key in the clock, etc. has to be sacrificed for the realism (btw, it's not actual realism I'm looking for, but movie realism, within the realm of usual suspension of disbelief, etc.); That key could have been to a locker or safe anywhere else - somewhere secure. It didn't have to be at the train station. So, you can keep all these beautiful themes and everything you love about the movie, like "I brought back the key to your clock."


Anyway, I'd love for you to tell me what themes, beauty, strength, etc. etc. would be lost by having the money kept somewhere that made sense?

---------------

btw, once we're discussing the subject of the locker - I once listened to the Richard Schickel dvd commentary; I remember that when we see the scene with Noodles finding the key at the cemetery – in addition to the one that he brought back to Fat Moe – Schickel pointed out that it was important to note, see , there has been a second key.
Of  course, I'm not doubting how it was possible for Max to get into the locket on his own - as I said previously, that would have been easy for anyone to do. I am just wondering - when Noodles returns in 1968 and finds all that money in the locker, is it the same locker as the one he found empty in 1933? It's a minor point, but I was never sure if it's actually the same locker or one nearby. Can you tell if it's the same one?


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2014, 07:25:55 AM
But that is precisely my point - none of the strength, beauty, childhood, dreams, cinema, key in the clock, etc. has to be sacrificed for the realism (btw, it's not actual realism I'm looking for, but movie realism, within the realm of usual suspension of disbelief, etc.); That key could have been to a locker or safe anywhere else - somewhere secure.

A railway locker is cool. It's like burying a chest in a desert island. It's not actually safe, but it's cool and cinematic. What would be anti-cinematic would be a scene where the gang come together to the railway locker and say:

"Now we're adults, let's change the location of the briefcase to a pointless place that has nothing to do with our childhood"
"Oh yeah that's a great idea Max, that's much safer."

I'm curious to see if that scene would have made it to the 229min cut. Then of course in the introduction of the movie we would have seen Noodles go to that other place where absolutely nothing interesting nor moving ever happened, find an empty case and leave. That wouldn't change at all the intensity of the film as it is. I'm really wondering why Leone didn't think of it.

Here is a picture of Christopher Walken and Al Pacino hanging out.

(http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2m8no7LoQ1qearaqo1_r1_1280.jpg)

You didn't even aknowledge the Lenny pic, but nobody can look at this one without smiling. If it doesn't work, just imagine the face of Danny DeVito when he'll notice that Pacino stole his tuxedo.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 07:32:35 AM
chris,

I am not doubting that Jewish cemeteries have been moved over the years. I am just saying Jewish law wouldn't allow it for this reason  - just to sell the land and tell the families to move the bodies. The way the movie has it, the synagogue sent letters to the families - we're moving the cemetery, move the bodies. That would never have happened. Never ever ever. Ever. I even just called a rabbi on the phone now and confirmed with him to be 100% sure - even though I already was 100% sure  ;)

Sure, Jewish cemeteries have been moved. There are untold numbers of ancient cemeteries in Europe which, after the Holocaust, (whatever was left of) the Jewish communities left the cities, and the cemeteries were desecrated, paved over to make way for shopping centers, apartments, stadiums, etc. and in order to preserve what was remaining and prevent further desecration, Jews moved the bodies elsewhere, so that they could remain in a proper Jewish burial. That was extenuating circumstances - moving the bodies to a safe place so that wouldn't be desecrated. Technically, it's allowable - under very specific circumstances and with very strict specifications – If you want to know how complicated the laws are, just remember that the Jewish soldier I met left his brother in a military cemetery in France rather than move him to a Jewish cemetery in Israel, because of all the complex conditions and laws incolved in moving a buried body – But not simply for a synagogue in America to say, "hey, we wanna sell the land, move the bodies." Sure, by the time Noodles gets back, the neighborhood has changed quite a bit, there are much less Jews and looks to be mostly Hispanic, but we're certainly not at a point where the cemetery is in danger of desecration and it's being moved for that reason... RE: your links that would explain the moving of cemeteries in places where there are no longer thriving Jewish communities. RE: the other links, I'd have to know the specific situations. (I can only speak for what those who follow the Jewish traditions i.e. the Orthodox, would do. I can't speak for Reform or Conservative Jews would do - they don't follow Jewish traditions, they just made up something in the past 300 years that can be summarized with, "The Torah doesn't apply in these modern times, so do whatever you want.... However, the community Noodles grew up in is clearly Orthodox – even though he and his gang certainly do not follow the religion, the cemetery they were buried in was administered by their Orthodox families' synagogue, Fat Moe's father, who certainly was ultra-orthodox, was buried in the same cemetery... Bottom line is that while under extenuating circumstances, bodies can be moved with very strict guidelines, the chance that an Orthodox synagogue in New York would one day just decide to just sell the cemetery and have all the bodies be moved is ZERO.

I just wanted to set the record straight about that  ;) although, as I said, this part of the movie does not bother me because A) most viewers wouldn't be aware of this; and B) having the cemetery aspect adds to the symbolism of the movie.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 07:38:12 AM
A railway locker is cool. It's like burying a chest in a desert island. It's not actually safe, but it's cool and cinematic. What would be anti-cinematic would be a scene where the gang come together to the railway locker and say:

"Now we're adults, let's change the location of the briefcase to a pointless place that has nothing to do with our childhood"
"Oh yeah that's a great idea Max, that's much safer."

I'm curious to see if that scene would have made it to the 229min cut. Then of course in the introduction of the movie we would have seen Noodles go to that other place where absolutely nothing interesting nor moving ever happened, find an empty case and leave. That wouldn't change at all the intensity of the film as it is. I'm really wondering why Leone didn't think of it.

Here is a picture of Christopher Walken and Al Pacino hanging out.

----

You didn't even aknowledge the Lenny pic, but nobody can look at this one without smiling. If it doesn't work, just imagine the face of Danny DeVito when he'll notice that Pacino stole his tuxedo.

you're right, there is no place as cool and interesting as a railway locker  ::)  :P 


Does the Lenny Kravitz picture come up because we are having a conversation about Judaism?  ;D You know his mother (and therefore he) is not Jewish  ;)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 07:53:01 AM
on this subject, n_l, what the hell is with this French law that allows any body to be removed from a grave after 99 years?



http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.555363

this story is very brief, it doesn't go into the details (they are pretty crazy).... I can get a longer story if you are interested. But how the hell can gov't decide to remove any body from a grave after a century?


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: chris on January 28, 2014, 08:10:29 AM
chris, I am not doubting that Jewish cemeteries have been moved over the years...
Good.  I get the feeling we'll never agree on this.  I'm not sure if you told the Rabbi that the cemetery had fallen into disrepair, the area was to be renovated and everything was being relocated to a larger modern cemetery in a different area.  But as you say it's not a particularly important point.

The location of the locker is the same,  top row 2nd from right but the locker number is different.

541 in 1920s & 1930s to 636 in 1968  (the numbers can be seen clearly on the extended Blu-ray).

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/locker/2_zps2abd5709.jpg~original)

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/locker/1_zpsf41b1273.jpg~original)

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/locker/3_zpsd79dbb8e.jpg~original)

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/locker/6_zpsd45c5adb.jpg~original)

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/locker/4_zpsc8897dd5.jpg~original)

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/locker/5_zps8efd17ca.jpg~original)

  


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2014, 08:14:09 AM
you're right, there is no place as cool and interesting as a railway locker  ::)  :P  

Not a single one. Remember OUATITW? Where does Elam lock the railway agent? Is there anything cooler than this scene with Elam and the old guy (apart from the scene with Elam and the fly, but a briefcase doesn't fit in the barrel of a gun)?

on this subject, n_l, what the hell is with this Franch law that allows any body to be removed from a grave after 99 years?



http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.555363

this story is very brief, it doesn't go into the details (they are pretty crazy).... I can get a longer story if you are interested. But how the hell can gov't decide to remove any body from a grave after a century?

Haha! It's easy to say when living in the USA where you still have room! We're in old Europe. There are people and stuff all over the place. I'm not concerned because I'll be buried under OUATITW's arch near Monument Valley.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 08:33:07 AM
Good.  I get the feeling we'll never agree on this.  I'm not sure if you told the Rabbi that the cemetery had fallen into disrepair, the area was to be renovated and everything was being relocated to a larger modern cemetery in a different area.  But as you say it's not a particularly important point.

  

There's no indication that the cemetery was in danger of being desecrated, and it's not true that everything was being relocated to a larger modern cemetery in a different area - the bodies of Noodles's 3 friends happened to have been moved to the fancy cemetery in Riverdale by some unknown person, but generally, it was up to the family of each dead person to move each body to wherever they wanted to buy a plot. The synagogue was selling the cemetery and telling all the families that had bought plots and buried loves ones there, "time to move." That would never happen.

Thanks for posting the pics of the locker  O0


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 08:44:29 AM


Haha! It's easy to say when living in the USA where you still have room! We're in old Europe. There are people and stuff all over the place. I'm not concerned because I'll be buried under OUATITW's arch near Monument Valley.

whether or not you'r concerned about where your corpse winds up doesn't matter. what matters is that there are people who do, people who bought plots, and the gov't shouldn't be allowed to say, "there's not enough room for people who paid money for plots to keep them, we're moving them all." There's always room for whatever you want it for, whatever you respect. France doesn't have much respect for private property or bodies of the deceased.

If the issue is room, why don't they really clear out ALL bodies of everyone dead more than 99 years? I mean, including all the kings and presidents et al? Something tells me they're not really clearing out ALL graves. Just the people that they think no one cares about.

The full story in this case is crazy. Just one example of the craziness: the French gov't demanded that in order to have the body moved, they'd need consent of all living descendants of the deceased, and proof of death of the other descendants. That's right, birth and death certificates for all descendants of someone who died in 1870, and whom a genealogist the family enlisted figured had over a thousand descendants. Eventually, the gov't relented on that particular demand.

The result may be that anyone who cares, for religious or other reasons, about the fate of their corpse of that of their loved ones, may simply decide not to be buried in France. Which, after all, may be the gov't's goal.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2014, 08:51:49 AM
whether or not you'r concerned about where your corpse winds up doesn't matter. what matters is that there are people who do, people who bought plots, and the gov't shouldn't be allowed to say, "there's not enough room for people who paid money for plots to keep them, we're moving them all." There's always room for whatever you want it for, whatever you respect. France doesn't have much respect for private property or bodies of the deceased.

If the issue is room, why don't they really clear out ALL bodies of everyone dead more than 99 years? I mean, including all the kings and presidents et al? Something tells me they're not really clearing out ALL graves. Just the people that they think no one cares about.

The full story in this case is crazy. Just one example of the craziness: the French gov't demanded that in order to have the body moved, they'd need consent of all living descendants of the deceased, and proof of death of the other descendants. That's right, birth and death certificates for all descendants of someone who died in 1870, and whom a genealogist the family enlisted figured had over a thousand descendants. Eventually, the gov't relented on that particular demand.

The result may be that anyone that cares, for religious or other reasons, about the fate of their corpse of that of their loved ones, may simply decide not to be buried in France. Which, after all, may be the gov't's goal.

You convinced me. I'll be offline for a while, building a cemetery in my garden. I won't accept dead kings in it though, because like you said, they already have their own spot.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 08:53:11 AM
You convinced me. I'll be offline for a while, building a cemetery in my garden. I won't accept dead kings in it though, because like you said, they already have their own spot.

If I've convinced you, then I'm starting to doubt myself.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2014, 08:54:19 AM
If I've convinced you, then I'm starting to doubt myself.

 ;D


I'm messing with you but concessions (is that the right word?) here in France have had a limited time for decades if not centuries, as far as I know (I'm not very aware of that topic).


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 08:58:18 AM
;D


I'm messing with you but concessions (is that the right word?) here in France have had a limited time for decades if not centuries, as far as I know (I'm not very aware of that topic).

if you really wanna know, I can quote you a few paragraphs about it from a much longer article on this story


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 28, 2014, 08:59:24 AM
Please do!


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2014, 04:14:09 PM
Please do!

ok, I'll copy this from an article I saw in an Orthodox Jewish newspaper http://hamodia.com/2013/10/30/french-policy-challenged-in-families-battle-for-kvod-meisim/
(but I'll translate the Hebrew words into English)

The French capital has a long, enigmatic and macabre history of disinterment and reburial and a very cavalier attitude toward the sanctity of human remains.

The now defunct Holy Innocents’ Cemetery (French: Cimetière des Innocents) was located in the center of Paris and was used from the Middle Ages until the late 18th century. In the 14th and 15th centuries, to relieve the overcrowding of the mass graves in Cimetière des Innocents, Parisians built arched structures called charniers or charnel houses along the cemetery walls and bones from the graves were dug up and deposited in them. Owing to health concerns, this ancient burial ground, along with 10 more of the city’s overcrowded cemeteries, were closed just before the French Revolution and the bones of over six million deceased Parisians were transferred to what are now known as the Catacombs. Cemeteries were then banned from the Paris city limits.

In 1824 the Montparnasse Cemetery (Cimetière du Montparnasse) originally known as Le Cimetière du Sud (Southern Cemetery) was created from three farms. At the time these farms were well outside the precincts of the capital. In fact some of the new “suburban” cemeteries were so distant at the time that the graves of several famous French men and women were moved to them to make them more popular with the bourgeois Parisians.

Only the city is authorized to sell plots; they cannot be bought and sold between individuals like property. Plots can be purchased  for 10, 30, or 50 years with the option to renew, or “en perpétuité” (forever).

Despite the fact that Giacomo Tedesco purchased his family plot in-perpetuity, the Paris municipal government exercised its legal right to disinter remains after 100 years and removed the bones of the Tedescos to the ossuary at Pere Lachaise where they were kept in drawers in an underground vault. Mrs. Therisa  (Yirat) Tedesco, who died in 1867, was disinterred in 1999. Her remains had been without proper Jewish burial for 14 years and her husband, who died in 1870, was disinterred in 2002. His remains had been without proper Jewish burial for 11 years.

Before the disinterment, the Paris municipality drafted a letter apprising the recipient of their plan. Ludicrously, the letter was sent to where the records indicated next-of-kin would be living at a non-existent address! When the first letter was, unsurprisingly, returned unopened it was re-sent to a descendant of the Jewish burial society — who may or may not have been Jewish but who, in any event, did not respond. With this tacit “approval” of the responsible parties the municipality proceeded to break the tombstone, remove the coffin and move the contents to the ossuary. Curiously, bones of two other people were discovered in the coffin containing Giacomo Tedesco’s remains and this would contribute to the bureaucratic boondoggle that was to follow.

(if you wanna read the rest of the article, you can click the link above... I'd be happy to translate any of the italicized words, which are Hebrew)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: chris on January 29, 2014, 07:59:39 AM
...a Jewish cemetery would never be allowed to be dug up in a million years...

I am not doubting that Jewish cemeteries have been moved over the years. I am just saying Jewish law wouldn't allow it for this reason  - just to sell the land and tell the families to move the bodies. The way the movie has it, the synagogue sent letters to the families - we're moving the cemetery, move the bodies. That would never have happened. Never ever ever. Ever...

Sure, Jewish cemeteries have been moved...

There's no indication that the cemetery was in danger of being desecrated... it was up to the family of each dead person to move each body to wherever they wanted to buy a plot. The synagogue was selling the cemetery and telling all the families that had bought plots and buried loves ones there, "time to move." That would never happen.

It's a fair point that relocating Jewish cemeteries is not common.

Max and the rest of the gang do not seem to have been particularly religious.  From 'The Hoods':

The rabbi said, “God bless you gentlemen.  I'll say a prayer for you.”  I should have left well enough alone, but in Yiddish I answered, “It really isn't necessary, Rabbi. We're agnostics.”

The rabbi's “God bless you gentlemen...” was to thank Max and Noodles for covering the cost of a burial plot and funeral for an unexpected death in a very poor family. It reminded Noodles of the like predicament his family was in years ago and I'm not sure what happens to those who die with insufficient money to purchase a burial plot and for whom benefactors can't be found.

Putting religious aspects to one side, there's possibly a clause or something in the small print in the grave purchase contract which covers relocation and in many countries the authorities can obtain compulsory purchase orders where, for example, modernisation is needed or better transport links are required.

Over the years communities move from place to place.  The family of the real Noodles and his Jewish neighbours may have moved from the Lower East Side to Brooklyn to the Bronx.  If many Jews moved out of the area and were replaced by others with different religious beliefs it's possible that there were insufficient people to support the synagogue and the cemetery.

In the movie Noodles gets out of his car and looks around.  Many of the shops near to the synagogue are boarded up and there is visible evidence that the owners have relocated:

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/cemetery/1_zps79b66aac.jpg~original)


The notice on the synagogue indicates that services may have ceased:

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/cemetery/2_zpsda283bd3.jpg~original)



The cemetery adjoining the synagogue is very small and possibly there is no space available for further burials.

(http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/chris5522/cemetery/3_zps54ad99f9.jpg~original)


In the movie we are simply told that the Beth Israel Cemetery had been sold. In the shooting script, there are a few further details:

"A sign announces the strides of progress and the monument of modernity that will soon take the place of graves and stones and corpses."

The script then goes to the probably not filmed scene where Noodles enters an office inside the synagogue. Noodles is told that there was a time limit to respond to letters and it has expired.  Unclaimed caskets have gone to the Bronx.  He is then told that the bodies of Max, Cockeye and Patsy have been reinterred at Riverdale.

    


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 29, 2014, 09:34:35 AM
Chris - of course the gang is not religious! Not in the least - the movie is explicit about that (and the book even more so). But that is not the point - the cemetery is owned by the synagogue, by religious people, and they would not sell a cemetery. Of course, neighborhoods change. There are plenty of Jewish cemeteries in neighborhoods where Jews are no longer there. But the cemeteries don't move just because the community does. The cemetery would only be moved if, as in the case of some places in Europe today, the cemeteries are actually being descrated - there are many cities in Europe where Jewish cemeteries are destroyed, there was one in  Belarus recently that was descrated to make way for a soccer stadium, one of many sad exampled - and only in cases like those would the bodies be moved, to prevent further descration... But they'd never move the cemetery just because a Jewish community moves out of a neighborhood. I doubt very much that you can find me a single instance of this happening in America.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 29, 2014, 09:37:29 AM
Anyway, I think I've said all I can on this topic. If you don't agree with me, that's fine :-) but as I said, this piece of bullshit in the movie doesn't bother me anyway ;-)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: dave jenkins on January 29, 2014, 11:21:06 AM
Reading through this thread it is apparent that when chris writes "Jewish Cemetery" he means something very different than when Drink uses the term. After pages of discussion, the semantic obscufication is dispelled. It appears, then, that both sides were arguing correctly from their respective positions all along. The end.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: noodles_leone on January 29, 2014, 11:30:33 AM
Also, Lenny Kravitz.


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 29, 2014, 12:05:07 PM
For Lenny's sake, lets hope he got one set of genes from the neck up and the other from the waist down.....


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: chris on January 31, 2014, 02:54:16 AM
My final words on the subject, hopefully, are regarding Noodles' conversation with the Secretary of the Synagogue. If this scene had been filmed and left in the movie, it may have explained the situation more fully.

From what we know of this scene it seems clear to me that the Synagogue's original letter was simply advance notification to relatives that the cemetery was being relocated to the Bronx. The letter contained a deadline date and if the relatives had any concerns over the relocation or wished for reinterment at a different cemetery they should contact the Synagogue before the deadline date.

 


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 31, 2014, 03:44:02 AM
I believe that the scene where Noodles visits the synagogue and the rabbi tells him that the letters were sent out eight months ago and that the bodies of Max, Cockeye, and Patsy were already relocated, actually was filmed. I'm not sure if it was deleted cuz Leone decided it was unnecessary, or if Leone wanted it in but just had to delete it along with others scenes he had to delete reluctantly to get down to 229 minutes. Anyway, just having read the scene from the script, I don't think it was necessary to keep that scene in; I think that when Noodles tells Fat Moe what the rabbi told him, that suffices, and it's not necessary to show the rabbi telling it to Noodles.

However, with Leone, of course, it's never just about story. It's about the artwork. The filming, the music, the construction, the production design, etc. etc. Therefore, even if that scene is unnecessary to explain the plot, that doesn't mean the movie wouldn't be better without it... And who knows, maybe one day, if we really get ALL the deleted scenes, we'll know for sure  :)

Maybe, in the not-to-distant future, all DVD/BRD's will allow you to make fan edits with seamless branching; of course, some discs already have that, eg. OUATITW allows us to choose between two versions, but I am talking about a full fan edit version, allowing us to choose whatever we want... we can start with the 229 mins. as a base, and then have a menu come up and show each new added scene in OUATIA, and whether or not we want it; we can have GBU that allows us to skip the Cave scene; and some fans may want to skip some of the other recently restored scenes, but e.g. keep in the Fort scene.... One day, maybe, there'll be no need for "bootleg" fan edits. Let's just hope that day comes sooner rather than later  ;)


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: chris on January 31, 2014, 08:52:33 AM
As it stands the only useful extra information in the synagogue scene is where the secretary says:

"I mean, there was a time limit for this. It's up. Unclaimed caskets went to the Bronx..."

To me this signifies that the synagogue isn't saying we're closing the cemetery, hard luck, do something with the remains of your loved ones.

To me it's more likely that the synagogue is giving relatives advance notification of the relocation and giving them the opportunity to voice their objections and to let the synagogue know if they would prefer reinterment at a different cemetery.

I can see how, without this scene and based solely upon Noodles' conversation with Fat Moe, a different interpretation is possible.

I've not seen any evidence that the scene was filmed and it may conflict with other scenes in the released version of the movie. In the movie the synagogue doesn't look active, there's a notice fixed to the wall outside that as of Jan 1 services will be held at 159 Bedford Ave Brooklyn, kids are playing outside and there's graffiti on the wall. In the script the synagogue is active, two people are at their prayers, the secretary is putting up a poster announcing the next Bnai Brith meeting and Noodles follows the secretary through a side doorway into a messy office full of filing cabinets.

 


Title: Re: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?
Post by: dave jenkins on January 31, 2014, 11:11:11 AM

However, with Leone, of course, it's never just about story. It's about the artwork. The filming, the music, the construction, the production design, etc. etc. Therefore, even if that scene is unnecessary to explain the plot, that doesn't mean the movie wouldn't be better without it... And who knows, maybe one day, if we really get ALL the deleted scenes, we'll know for sure  :)
All it takes is money, Drink. Specifically, your money. Here at Friends of LeoneSM, we pride ourselves on making every effort to hunt down and restore footage missing from the Master's extant work. These tireless efforts, however, don't come cheap. The number of man hours involved could prove to be infinite. That's why we need your help. Give whatever you can. Every little bit helps. But remember: the more you give, the more you'll feel that you have done as much as you personally can to accomplish this great goal. And you just can't put a price on that level of personal satisfaction. So dig deep, Drink. Reach into your pocket and give, and give, and give. Give until it hurts. Andrea and the rest of us here at FoL HQ will thank you for it. O0