Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In The West => Topic started by: Beebs on June 15, 2005, 10:23:09 AM



Title: An ancient race
Post by: Beebs on June 15, 2005, 10:23:09 AM
I've lately been tryin to figure out the line Charles Bronson gives when he says "so you found out your not a business man after all" "just a man" "an ancient race. then (or soon Im not sure) other mortals'll be along, and wipe them out"  I found it funny, I thnk he says "them out" as if not including himself.

Anybody got any ideas, I think Gramps can help out here.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: grandpa_chum on June 15, 2005, 10:55:59 AM
Frank: Morton once told me I could never be like him. Now I understand why. Wouldn't have bothered him, knowing you were around somewhere alive.

Harmonica: So, you found out you're not a businessman after all.
 
Frank: Just a man.

Harmonica: An ancient race. Other Mortons will be along, and they'll kill it off.

Frank: The future don't matter to us. Nothing matters now - not the land, not the money, not the woman. I came here to see you. 'Cause I know that now, you'll tell me what you're after.

Harmonica: ...Only at the point of dyin'.

Frank: I Know

My take on what I consider the greatest of all quotes/dialogue from any movie-

To me it's really about 3 things... First there is the whole western movie idea, they are a dying breed, JUST MEN who go out and do what they believe to be right no matter what others say nor how much money they throw at them. Everything that, I believe, Leone loved about the west, in the movie anyway, was being killed off by mortons, oportunists out for the big bucks who will sweep out anything in their way. I also think the fact that he says that "morton's will come along and they'll kill IT off" instead of them is important in understanding what he said(probably your point of discretion). I personally think IT  are those things that don't have a price, things which real men like harmonica and McBain did in the old west before "morton's'" came along and killed it off. Harmonica, frank(at the end anyhow), and McBain were men of an ancient race, men that didn't live by the money they made, but just did what they had to do, what they thought was right, whether people thought it was right or wrong.... Instead all the MEN disapear and are replaced by businessmen doing what they had to do to get more money.

Secondly I think it's a capper on the idea of the dying west, not only in terms of the setting (as above), but in terms of movies themselves. Leone may have made a great western, but it's a dying genre, other morton's will come along and they'll kill it off. Sure it's a stretch that he actually meant anything like that by it, but i definitly think if you read into it, it does apply.

Third, I just love the exchange because it's the perfect lead in to the final duel for revenge. They say how they are the last of a dying breed. Frank knew he couldn't go on knowing there was someone out there that had it in for him, he had to stand up to that. And he didn't care about the land, the money, or the woman, he just knew there was a score to settle and I think he knew he was probably going to die. It's all about the code of the old west(in the movies anyhow), if someone has a score to settle you meet em head on, half way, and you don't give up. Morton's hire men to make them more money, they don't settle scores, and if somebody comes after them they run, they were killing off the code, even if just in a fictitious world, that is pretty symbolic of the way a lot of people feel about life, right or wrong it's near impossible to be JUST A MAN, morton's have ruined that, it's all about business now... in fact it's really been one of the primary struggles of mankind... doing what you believe is right, or doing what will help you gain material.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Cusser on June 15, 2005, 12:30:46 PM
Nice explanation, grandpa_chum


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Beebs on June 15, 2005, 04:57:56 PM
Wow Gramps, that is exactly how I feel. Give or take some. I feel the same applies to farming. Farmer are usually said as "an honest farmer" someone who works for their own and doesn't depend on someone else killing food for them. they can get it themselves. Hunting falls in here. I have friends that ask how can you kill "innocent" animals. I say, "Listen, Buster, humans are apart of the food chain too. and there's no better feeling than to not depend on someone else for your own FOOD.  Gives you a feeling of self relieance and confidence.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Beebs on June 15, 2005, 05:03:39 PM
Sorry for the accidental bump of the post button.

Back to the west. Back then a man couldn't call another a liar or theif and get away with it. he had to be able to back it up. It could mean death. On the other hand a man could get in a fight with out a law suit crap. No one was "special". You had a right to protect yourself and if you couldn't, maybe you werent supposed to be where you are. if you got the picture you could go be a Morton. Morton's cripple was showing that he couldn't use that right to protect himself; he did it indirectly. Using paper and gold to get his protection. The just a man's race was composed of men who could protect themselves and went on to hold honor in their name. their word and a handshake was sufficient because bein called a liar was worh something. now idiot and liar are just children's words.  Check out a thread I did called Western Art or something like that in General Discussion.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Leonardo on June 16, 2005, 06:52:23 AM
My take on what I consider the greatest of all quotes/dialogue from any movie-
Fully agree, Grandpa. Powerful dialogue which I have never forgotten since I first saw the movie in 1968...and wonderfully explained by yourself: congrats!


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Poggle on June 16, 2005, 11:33:38 AM
I always like how Leone introduces characters that belong to irrelevant stories, they become intertwined into one big plot and story after like 45 minutes or so and then in the last half hour all the questions are answered, all the lines of the plot are tied up and everything comes to such a satisfying ending and there's usually only two people standing in the ruins of everything like two pillars in a destroyed Greek temple and that's where the heart of the story lies and I think Sergio did it the best in this movie.(Wow, that was one long sentence)
I like how everyone has died, everything has gone down and they're the only ones left in the midst of the building of the new West going on all around them and they settle their score in the ruins of the kind of cirlces they dueled in back in the old West, like in FAFDM and GBU. Never has Sergio's formula ever had such an importance to the story than that. The whole entire story is one giant Leone trademark using old American westerns as his canvas.

Wow, only two sentences and all of that :P


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Dlanor on June 20, 2005, 01:21:31 AM
. other mortals'll be along,

 ;D, yeah, intersting interpretation. Replace the "als" by "ons", and that's a whole different movie! ;)


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Beebs on June 20, 2005, 11:17:03 AM
;D, yeah, intersting interpretation. Replace the "als" by "ons", and that's a whole different movie! ;)

Haha, ya sorry guys. I should have looked up the script. Completely different.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: The Firecracker on April 20, 2006, 10:47:06 AM
I have friends that ask how can you kill "innocent" animals. I say, "Listen, Buster, humans are apart of the food chain too. and there's no better feeling than to not depend on someone else for your own FOOD.  Gives you a feeling of self relieance and confidence.



well I think it is a bit of a waste to kill an animal for food when you already have a fridge full of the stuff!

I can understand if you NEED to live off the land otherwise you will die, but I find it a little unsettling those hunters who hunt just for the sake of it.

I dont see what confidence anybody can recieve from killing a small defenseless animal.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: The Peacemaker on April 20, 2006, 12:32:00 PM
IMO, I think there's nothing wrong with killing an animal for food. Animals eat other animals and what most people forget is that humans are animals too! I think it's wrong if you kill an animal and do not use the body ( food ). In other words, I think it's ok to kill an animal for food but it's wrong if you kill it just to hunt and make you feel like a big man. But that's just my opinion!  ;D


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: franksgrandson on April 20, 2006, 02:23:47 PM
this is the scene of the whole film everything builds to this moment when Frank comes to face his destiny I never tire of seeing this, Fonda is at his best.
Jill and Cheyenne are also building to this with the Whittling on a peice of wood speach.
To try to explain these scenes to people who have not seen the movie is impossible, my sixteen year old daughter recently sat up one night with me and watched West and thought it was awsome now she is a Leone nut as well she cannot decide between West and GBU as her favourite.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: The Firecracker on April 20, 2006, 08:36:19 PM
IMO, I think there's nothing wrong with killing an animal for food. Animals eat other animals and what most people forget is that humans are animals too! I think it's wrong if you kill an animal and do not use the body ( food ). In other words, I think it's ok to kill an animal for food but it's wrong if you kill it just to hunt and make you feel like a big man. But that's just my opinion!  ;D

that is exactly what I explained in my last post. Nothing manly about killing a small defenseless animal.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Banjo on April 21, 2006, 04:20:27 AM
that is exactly what I explained in my last post. Nothing manly about killing a small defenseless animal.
The missus won't watch Face To Face because of Bennet shooting the rabbit,and i dare not show her Cemetery Without Crosses in which a rabbit is "knuckled" hard on the skull resulting in disturbing twithching and blood pouring-i didn't care too much for this!


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: The Firecracker on April 21, 2006, 11:09:47 AM
The missus won't watch Face To Face because of Bennet shooting the rabbit,and i dare not show her Cemetery Without Crosses in which a rabbit is "knuckled" hard on the skull resulting in disturbing twithching and blood pouring-i didn't care too much for this!
at least it was done to eat Banjo.

Bennet had plenty off rations and shot it anyway.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Banjo on April 22, 2006, 02:13:32 AM
CWC was depressing enough with that poor bunnie getting clobbered :'(


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: The Peacemaker on April 22, 2006, 01:07:00 PM
RIP poor bunny.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Poggle on April 25, 2006, 08:06:07 PM
You people better not see Bertolucci's 1900 then :P


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: The Well on March 22, 2013, 04:05:16 PM

Frank: Just a man.

Harmonica: An ancient race. Other Mortons will be along, and they'll kill it off.


My take on what I consider the greatest of all quotes/dialogue from any movie-

To me it's really about 3 things... First there is the whole western movie idea, they are a dying breed, JUST MEN who go out and do what they believe to be right no matter what others say nor how much money they throw at them. Everything that, I believe, Leone loved about the west, in the movie anyway, was being killed off by mortons, oportunists out for the big bucks who will sweep out anything in their way. I also think the fact that he says that "morton's will come along and they'll kill IT off" instead of them is important in understanding what he said(probably your point of discretion). I personally think IT  are those things that don't have a price, things which real men like harmonica and McBain did in the old west before "morton's'" came along and killed it off. Harmonica, frank(at the end anyhow), and McBain were men of an ancient race, men that didn't live by the money they made, but just did what they had to do, what they thought was right, whether people thought it was right or wrong.... Instead all the MEN disapear and are replaced by businessmen doing what they had to do to get more money....

wow, an excelent analysis; would just add that this is not an issue of a "western" or even of a time frame of this western, but a general human position lived on until today. Now it comes to me there were discussions on whether ther is a politics in Sergio's films or not; and thats it - depends on how is it defined; where is the border line between the life and politics.

Off topic, but may be interesting and QUESTION: Im not an English native speaker and have a problem with the meaning of "ancient" in the context "man - an ancient race"  ; when I went trough some dictionaries all stated what I thought before - that its something that hapenned a long time ago; however, a local dubbing expressed it as a "dying off race" e.g. something that still goes on.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 23, 2013, 07:24:56 PM
although this bit of dialogue is very important to the theme, it always bothered me how Harmonica has it with Frank, like they're discussing philosophy like a couple of old buddies. Harmonica despises Frank more than anyone in the world, Frank traumatized him when he killed his brother, he is walking around for all those years with the trauma, symbolized by the harmonica that he wears like a cross around his neck, (trauma which isn't relieved until he kills Frank, at which point he can finally tear the harmonica off his neck). I just think that if I was in Harmonica's position, I'd just wanna say let's go and shoot it out, I wouldn't sit there chatting philosophy, as if the two men reach some sort of understanding or something. Harmonica despises Frank and I just don't think that bit of dialogue would occur between men that despise each other like that.

Of course, the dialogue itself is important for the movie, but maybe it could have been done differently, like between Cheyenne and Frank or Cheyenne and Harmonica or whatever.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: moviesceleton on March 24, 2013, 03:02:16 AM
Harmonica despises Frank
Does he really? I mean, of course they're not friends and Harmonica wants to kill Frank but is "despise" the right word to be used here?

Of course, the dialogue itself is important for the movie, but maybe it could have been done differently, like between Cheyenne and Frank or Cheyenne and Harmonica or whatever.
Is Cheynne of the ancient race? Just wondering.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Senza on March 24, 2013, 03:48:44 AM
although this bit of dialogue is very important to the theme, it always bothered me how Harmonica has it with Frank, like they're discussing philosophy like a couple of old buddies. Harmonica despises Frank more than anyone in the world, Frank traumatized him when he killed his brother, he is walking around for all those years with the trauma, symbolized by the harmonica that he wears like a cross around his neck, (trauma which isn't relieved until he kills Frank, at which point he can finally tear the harmonica off his neck). I just think that if I was in Harmonica's position, I'd just wanna say let's go and shoot it out, I wouldn't sit there chatting philosophy, as if the two men reach some sort of understanding or something. Harmonica despises Frank and I just don't think that bit of dialogue would occur between men that despise each other like that.

Of course, the dialogue itself is important for the movie, but maybe it could have been done differently, like between Cheyenne and Frank or Cheyenne and Harmonica or whatever.

Whilst I liked this dialogue between the two, there was something off with this scene that I couldn't pinpoint, and I think you nailed it. But I do understand that it kind of shows a mutual respect between the two in that they are both dying breeds of the old west, Fonda was the villain of the west and Bronson was the hero of the west, and soon their types will be extinct.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 24, 2013, 03:56:47 AM
Does he really? I mean, of course they're not friends and Harmonica wants to kill Frank but is "despise" the right word to be used here?



ARE YOU KIDDING???? April Fools Day is still 8 days away. How would you feel toward someone who killed your brother?

Frank killed Harmonica's brother, an incident that has traumatized Harmonica since he was a young boy -- he carries that harmonica around, playing that haunting melody, it symbolizes his pain and trauma; trauma and pain that is only complete when he kills Frank; it's only then that he can tear off the harmonica from his neck; he needs it no more; his mission is complete.

He has made it his life's mission to track down Frank and kill him, to avenge his brother's death.

"Despise" is, if anything, too kind a word to describe the feelings Harmonica has toward Frank.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Senza on March 24, 2013, 03:59:03 AM

ARE YOU KIDDING???? April Fools Day is still 8 days away. How would you feel toward someone who killed your brother?

Frank killed Harmonica's brother, an incident that has traumatized Harmonica since he was a young boy -- he carries that harmonica around, playing that haunting melody, it symbolizes his pain and trauma; trauma and pain that is only complete when he kills Frank; it's only then that he can tear off the harmonica from his neck; he needs it no more; his mission is complete.

He has made it his life's mission to track down Frank and kill him, to avenge his brother's death.

"Despise" is, if anything, too kind a word to describe the feelings Harmonica has toward Frank.

*man kills your brother, and is approaching you*
You: Let's talk about philosophy, shall we?


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: moviesceleton on March 24, 2013, 06:28:01 AM
"Despise" is, if anything, too kind a word to describe the feelings Harmonica has toward Frank.
"Despise" implys lack of respect. Harmonica might despise Morton - but Frank he hates. There's a difference.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: noodles_leone on March 24, 2013, 06:40:07 AM
Of course, the dialogue itself is important for the movie, but maybe it could have been done differently, like between Cheyenne and Frank or Cheyenne and Harmonica or whatever.

No! It's more than "important to the movie", this IS the movie. These two guys, they are "ancient race" and that's when they meet they talk about philosophy. They hate each other but don't despise each other, just like MS said. They despise modern world.
Frank is an asshole and he killed Harmonica's brother. This has to be settled. And that's more important to Harmonica than anything else in the world. However, they're both facing the modern world, they despise it, and it's slowly killing their friends, their way of life, everything they stood for. And since Harmonica has basically no life appart from vengeance, and since Frank has been trying so hard for years to adapt (and that's all he has been doing during the whole movie), that's kind of important to them. And here "kind of important" probably means "obsessive". That's what every one is talking about during the whole movie.

The meaning of the dialogue is "we kill each other, but we're doing it the right way, between people who share the same value; we hate each other but a world made only of Cheyennes, Harmonicas and Franks would be a much better place than what is going on. Fuck so called civilised America."
It's also important to Harmonica to let Frank know EXACTLY why he is killing him (not because he's an asshole, not because he's a bad guy, not because he killed Jill's familly, just because of his brother) and to Frank to have some dignity and correct his mistake (his mistake is not killing people, it's trying to adapt) before dying.

The question isn't "would we act like Harmonica?", it is "would he behave this way"? The answer is quite obvious: yes, ancient race people behave this way.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: cigar joe on March 24, 2013, 08:00:06 AM
I'm closer to Noodles views on this, for me it is THE Mythological Western vengeance confrontation, between an ancient race of mythological beings not mortal men.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 24, 2013, 02:43:16 PM
find me one dictionary that says "despise" is related to a lack of respect.

Every definition/synonym listed by a dictionary will use words like "loathe" "detest," "feel contempt for," etc. But nevermind the semantics over your erroneous definition. The point is that Harmonica hates Frank with every fiber of his being. Frank has traumatized Harmonica to the point that Harmonica's entire life's mission has been to kill Frank and avenge his brother's death. Harmonica is tormented. the harmonica music is one of those very rare brilliant pieces of film music that tell the story, you could figure out the story from the music. That music represents pain echoing from the recesses of his soul, a pain deep down, calling out and begging to be released. A trauma that has defined Harmonica's life.


So much so that he has to kill Frank himself. When Frank's men are paid off by Morton and want to ambush Frank in Flagstone, Harmonica stops them from doing so -- not because he feels it would be undignified to for Frank to die from a bullet in the back rather than a proper duel playing by the rules (and let's remember, Frank himself hasn't palyed by "the rules"; he has massacred a family including little kids in cold blood -- but because he, Harmonica, wants to be the one to pull the trigger. To avenge his brother's death. And to tell Frank, the moment before dying, that he is avenging his brother's death.

We don't know what went on between Harmonica's brother and Frank, and why Frank killed him. But we do know that that incident has scarred Harmonica for life. No, more than that, it has DEFINED his life. His life has been tormented by that and his life's mission is to avenge that.

Harmonica hated Frank as badly as any one man can hate another man. And I don't believe he had an ounce of respect for him just because he was a gunfighter and perhaps played by some sort of "code of the gunfighter." Perhaps it's true that Harmonica and Frank share the same outlook on the new, changing world: they both know that the new world has no place for them. But sharing an outlook with someone on a particular point does not mean that you have to respect him in any way, or sympathize with him in any way, or despise him any less. So even though they may share the same outlook (and fate), it doesn't make sense to me why Harmonica would want to have that chat with Frank -- why he would want to seem to sympathize with him or relate to him on any level. He despises him fully till the end and I just don't think that he would have that chat.

Again, that chat perhaps could have involved Cheyenne instead -- Harmonica and Cheyenne or Frank and Cheyenne. (Maybe you can argue that between the three of them, Frank and Harmonica are the two "main" characters, I don't know). But I just didn't like that dialogue occurring between Frank and Harmonica; that dialogue would seem to be taking place between 2 men who sort of in some way sympathize with each other; and even though it's true that new world is killing off the likes of Harmonica just as it is Frank, I just don't see Harmonica wanting to share any "understanding" with the man he hates with every fiber of his being.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: moviesceleton on March 24, 2013, 03:22:43 PM
In my vocabulary, respect and contempt are contradictory. Thus lack of respect = contempt = despise. But I'm not the native English speaker here...

I think the whole concept of a duel shuns the notion of despising your opponent. The way I see it, offering a duel is indeed an act of respect. 


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 24, 2013, 04:28:21 PM
In my vocabulary, respect and contempt are contradictory. Thus lack of respect = contempt = despise. But I'm not the native English speaker here...

I think the whole concept of a duel shuns the notion of despising your opponent. The way I see it, offering a duel is indeed an act of respect. 

--- I don't wanna harp on the semantics, I'll just say I believe that Harmonica hated Frank with every fiber of his being and didn't respect him either. He hated Frank in the way free people hate Nazis.


A duel has nothing to do with respect. When you wanna kill someone, and it's the Wild West (or more accurately, the Western movie genre), you can't just put a bullet in back of his head like in The Godfather; but you have to go through this "fair fight ritual" called a duel. That's just the way it's done in Westerns. (Please don't respond with the examples from Westerns where people were shot in the back. yes, those happened, but generally in cases where it was A) a demythologizing/revisionist/anti western; or B) a very very bad guy. the point is that anyone who is not very bad, and some who are thoroughly evil, have to go through a duel to kill the guy). Not out of any respect for your enemy; if anything, it's for your OWN respect: a respectable guy only kills someone playing by the rules of a duel; you aren't  a respectable guy if you kill outside the rules of a duel. And you aren't manly. You are a tough guy if you can play by the rules and face your opponent and still kill him.
 I can bring you a hundred million and one examples from AW's of people who killed others in a duel without any respect whatsoever for them; nothing but complete and total contempt; despising; hatred. you name it. Are you saying Frank Miller or Will Kane had respect for each other? Mortimer and Indio? Blondie and Angel Eyes?  The examples would be endless.

So, if you are an Italian in the 1960's and working for the godfather, you can put a bullet in back of someone's head; but if you are a WASP 80 years earlier and riding the saddle yourself, you had to go through a duel to do so.  It has nothing to do with "respect." It's just the way you killed someone. At least in the a movies!


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Senza on March 24, 2013, 06:28:05 PM
"...Cheyennes, Harmonicas and Franks would be a much better place than what is going on. Fuck so called civilised America."

If Harmonica did think this, then that would kind of mean he would hate Jill and what she represents. Unless you mean that the "civilised America" consisted of businessmen like Morton, then I agree.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: The Well on April 01, 2013, 12:07:50 PM
No! It's more than "important to the movie", this IS the movie. These two guys, they are "ancient race" and that's when they meet they talk about philosophy...

I was a bit slow on the uptake, what Harmonica means by "an ancient race", thanks for the clue. I agree that "MAN" is meant in the level of philosophy. However, in my view, it is not necessary that Harmonica includes Frank into this category; he just responds when hearing "MAN". Frank stylizes himself into the role of the "MAN" just in this moment.


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: Tex on April 02, 2013, 09:46:27 AM
Interesting point, Well. The only clue Harmonica gives is that "Man" is a race that will be killed off by Mortons. Frank is, at lest literally, killed of by Harmonica (is Harmonica a man?).

But what I really want to know is, what is it about Morton that he is not a Man? Is it that he relies so heavily on money, paper, and machine to live? In that sense he is not fully a man, but don't all men have man-made crutches of some kind? Frank sets up the analogy nicely when he compares Morton's desk to his gun ("only much more powerful"). I think Frank realizes he a man of the gun, not of the desk, and if he was right that the desk is mightier than the gun, then perhaps it is right to say that he is killed off by the desk wielding Mortons. After all, Morton shot Cheyenne, right?


Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: The Well on April 05, 2013, 02:11:08 PM
Interesting point, Well. The only clue Harmonica gives is that "Man" is a race that will be killed off by Mortons. Frank is, at lest literally, killed of by Harmonica (is Harmonica a man?).

But what I really want to know is, what is it about Morton that he is not a Man? Is it that he relies so heavily on money, paper, and machine to live? In that sense he is not fully a man, but don't all men have man-made crutches of some kind? Frank sets up the analogy nicely when he compares Morton's desk to his gun ("only much more powerful"). I think Frank realizes he a man of the gun, not of the desk, and if he was right that the desk is mightier than the gun, then perhaps it is right to say that he is killed off by the desk wielding Mortons. After all, Morton shot Cheyenne, right?

The beauty of this discussion (not this film since this is a general phenomenon) is that each gesture and word can be interpreted in hundreds of ways; and it does not matter how Sergio L. meant this or that, how deep or extensive he was on this or that, there is still a space for anyone to make his/her own positive progress; I hope that a OUATITW message is a positive one.

Back to your "what I really want to know" (who does not want to know?); grand_chum and Beeps gave nice suggestions in previous posts. My wording is, that "MAN" stands for "FAIR" within this framework; and this would be the answer to your question "what is it about Morton that he is not a Man?" - because Morton does not play fair. Frank told us clearly that Morton in fact hired him to remove small obstacles from the track and there were a few. Morton cannot make excuses that he did not know what went on starting with Dave Jenkins; he bore all the responsibility for his desire to see the blue of the Pasific.  (and by the way to make money)

In this respect Harmonica is probably the "MAN", while Frank grasped this title only for this ultimate fatal moment to express to Harmonica that he will play fair with his gun regardless of the outcome.

(I will be happy if someone tells me Im wrong and gives me his tru story  ;)



Title: Re: An ancient race
Post by: The Well on April 05, 2013, 04:52:36 PM
... Harmonica despises Frank more than anyone in the world, Frank traumatized him when he killed his brother, he is walking around for all those years with the trauma, symbolized by the harmonica that he wears like a cross around his neck, (trauma which isn't relieved until he kills Frank, at which point he can finally tear the harmonica off his neck)....

Yes, this is the best explanation to keep the source of Harmonica's motivation within the frame of this opera.

I do not want to spoil this drama, but it comes to me an alternative. Its not inevitable that he has been carrying his cros all the time; he might as well been waiting for the right time and place to deliver the justice. His hate towards Frank might have been transformed to a postponed impersonal decision to exercise the justice in a fair way based on law. He comes to act as a Court, if you wish as the Supreme Court.

Although the legal institutions in them days might not be perfect, still there were rules and law punishing a criminal act (It was all in order. Seals, signatures, everything). And Harmonica does not want to be a criminal. Officially he has no evidence against Frank since That was always one of Frank's tricks. Faking evidence.

In fact the duel is initiated explicitly by Frank, only implicitly by Harmonica. Thus killing him in the duel from the legal point is a selfdefence for him and the revenge on his brother.

I this respect, the impressive sound of harmonica would not represent the deep long lasting Harmonica's trauma, but a robust and unanmbiguous announcement that the Judgement Day has come.

What contradicts the above alternative is the long row of more dead men starting with Dave Jenkins, which had been growing probably continually through some time and Harmonica had been following it with a rising tension that reirritated his old aching wounds; another moment breaking my alternative is the "IF situation" if Frank had come to the Cattle Corner to make the appointment and Harmonica killed him - what the hell of legal thoughts came through Harmonica's mind to keep him clean!

Anayway, as I perceive it, Harmonica acts as a judge without emotions bringing the justice, while Frank acts as a villain wanting to kill Harmonica since he spoiled something that belongs to him and posing himself as a MAN is his decision to act as a MAN only in the decisive  moment of his existence.