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Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: aym_playing on July 13, 2005, 08:56:53 PM

Title: Your Youngest and Strongest Will Die by the Sword
Post by: aym_playing on July 13, 2005, 08:56:53 PM
"Your Youngest and Strongest Will Die by the Sword" is written on the masoleum where Noodles visits his old gang.

Where does this quote come from? Would someone provide me the reference, if any?
Title: Re: Your Youngest and Strongest Will Die by the Sword
Post by: dave jenkins on July 13, 2005, 11:37:08 PM
It may not be an exact quote, merely an attempt to sound like a quote. It has a Biblical flavor so I used an online concordance and got this:

Jeremiah 11:21-23 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

   

    21 "Therefore this is what the LORD says about the men of Anathoth who are seeking your life and saying, 'Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD or you will die by our hands'- 22 therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine.
Title: Re: Your Youngest and Strongest Will Die by the Sword
Post by: redyred on July 14, 2005, 04:11:36 AM
Possibly, since they were Jewish, it's an English translation of the equivelent passage from the Torah?
Title: Re: Your Youngest and Strongest Will Die by the Sword
Post by: Leone Admirer on July 15, 2005, 01:24:53 PM
If I remember excactly, the quote also appears in either Little Caesar or Public Enemy. (I think it's Public Enemy when Cagney and his friend are children and the quote is read out.) This would fit with the many inter-textual referances from this film.
Title: Re: Your Youngest and Strongest Will Die by the Sword
Post by: aym_playing on July 16, 2005, 05:10:02 AM
Thanks for the reply. The only problem with this is, if I understand the Biblical reference properly, it is God who is punishing the people of Anathoth for rejecting the prophet Jeremiah. So why would a passage of condemnation be written on someone's masoleum? We of course assume that Max (James Woods) built the masoleum. Why would he choose that passage?

Taken out of the original context, the meaning becomes more tragic, a mere statement of fact. Somehow the ones with most life are snatched away, while we remaining ones are tired, weak and hardly appreciative of the life we have.

What do you suppose Leone wanted with this quotation?

In my hometown, three young men, 19, 19 and 20, were killed in a car accident. I knew two of them through their parents. When we buried them, and I saw the three caskets, I thought of this quote, and I thought of Noodles looking at the three corpses which he assumed belonged to his friends.

Thanks!
It may not be an exact quote, merely an attempt to sound like a quote. It has a Biblical flavor so I used an online concordance and got this:

Jeremiah 11:21-23 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society



21 "Therefore this is what the LORD says about the men of Anathoth who are seeking your life and saying, 'Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD or you will die by our hands'- 22 therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine.