Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: Jupa on November 13, 2002, 06:00:38 AM



Title: Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jupa on November 13, 2002, 06:00:38 AM
This is a question that has defied scholarship for decades.  :) What is your opinion of this?


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Beejerama on November 14, 2002, 05:36:45 AM
Upon careful viewing, notice Wood's feet running alongside the truck.  (As he steps up the pace it appears he jumps onto the far side of the truck.)  


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Ramon on November 16, 2002, 06:55:44 AM

According to Christopher Frayling's Leone autobiography James Woods has overrun his contract, so a standin was used for that scene, not sure who played Woods' part. So James Woods didn't climb on the truck.

As far as the story goes I believe the senator does jump in the truck.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Cusser on November 16, 2002, 01:43:07 PM
Woods' character certainly, definitely, jumped into the garbage truck, watch it again a few times, absolutely happened.  Also, he arranged for that truck to be there (no regular pickups at night) in case Noodles couldn't go through with it.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Renny on November 16, 2002, 02:39:15 PM
You are very sharp in your analyzing. Good remark ;)


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: TBPJMR on February 05, 2003, 03:38:20 AM
Just like Mr. Williams I can't say if Senator Bailey jumps or not on the truck. And, just like Mr. Williams, I really don't care. I would have cared for Maximilian Bercovicz, but not for the Senator... so when the truck keeps moving and passes by, if the Senator's inside it, well that was his choice, but if he's not inside... it's the same. I believe Mr. Williams is taking his revenge, and he wants it full.

Bye and bye


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: shorty larsen on February 11, 2003, 12:15:17 PM
There's no visual proove of Max's suicide. And Sergio Leone plays with the lack of visual proove.

But I agree that Max personality and the tragedy of the film leads to the suicide end.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jupa on February 15, 2003, 09:55:01 AM
So you think there's no visual proof of James Woods jumping into the truck.OK,so you seem to be of different opinion with Beejerama and Cusser.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: shorty larsen on February 15, 2003, 11:20:44 AM
Yes, but I have an extremely bad vhs copy of the movie.

I'm not really able to confirm all the details described by our friends up here.

Anyway, it's maybe true that Woods wasn't able any more for the final scene, but I think Leone found a good solution by "suggesting" to us the suicide instead of "showing" it to us.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: noodles_leone on February 18, 2003, 12:00:57 PM
This is a question that has defied scholarship for decades.  :) What is your opinion of this?

According to the master (Sergio Leone himslef), the important point is not to know if max did it or not. What is important is that a man who looks like max did it, and FOR NOODLES, this man is Max. For Noodles.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: aaronson on February 20, 2003, 05:55:11 AM
[An interview in May 1984, the question was: is James Wood character representing Jimmy Hoffa ? and Sergio answered: Yes he is, you know that Jimmy Hoffa suddenly vanished and there was a garbage-truck
near Jimmmy House during few days before   [even our youngest friends well know Jimmy Hoffa who was the teamster mafioso syndicate boss )


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jon on February 26, 2003, 08:15:04 AM
I believe he does jump into the truck.Somebody runs alongside the truck,and if it isn,t Max then who is it supposed to be?


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: BDR529 on July 03, 2003, 03:30:08 AM
Obviously it's pointless to debate whether he jumped in the truck; it's symbolism and whatnot after all.  I would just like to say that jumping in a freakin' garbage truck with those stomach-churning threshers seems like one of the WORST methods of suicide I can imagine.  Why the hell didn't he just use the gun on himself?

In fact, I'd guess the scene is intentionally surreal and extreme (and of course ambiguous).  The 60s scenes start of dreamy and hazy, and only get more so as they go on, unlike the 10s and 30s scenes.  I would personally lean toward the interpretation that the 60s scenes are an opium dream of Noodles', but, of course, Leone obviously wanted the film to be open to ANY interpretation, so I'm not saying I'm RIGHT...


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: guybrush on July 03, 2003, 05:43:29 AM
Sergio himself once reminded one interviewer how Hoffa had disappeared like that, and that Max / the Senator was meant to portray Hoffa...
...
Besides, for what it's worth, even before knowing all this stuff about Max / Hoffa, many years ago while watching that scene for the very first time I thought I recognised the Senator jumping into that truck; and now I feel like Sergio wanted Noodles / the audience to believe the same...


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jupa on July 04, 2003, 06:24:29 AM
Od,I didn't know about Leone's Hoffa comment.Very interesting...


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jupa on July 04, 2003, 06:39:45 AM
Obviously it's pointless to debate whether he jumped in the truck; it's symbolism and whatnot after all.  I would just like to say that jumping in a freakin' garbage truck with those stomach-churning threshers seems like one of the WORST methods of suicide I can imagine.  Why the hell didn't he just use the gun on himself?

If he had shot himself,there would have been clear proof of his suicide,i.e. his body.But jumping into the garbage truck has the advantage that it is quite difficult to find your body and thus verify your death.If you just want to disappear for good,jumping into a garbage truck is your choice.  ;D


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Half-Soldier on July 05, 2003, 09:34:18 AM
Od,I didn't know about Leone's Hoffa comment.Very interesting...

I love the paralel between Max and Jimmy Hoffa - "we know but we don't know" - that's pure Sergio to reference his work with American knowledge. We want to beleive it is Max - a life gone to waste - but it's ambiguous. Max disapears and we are left with the grinding teeth and garbage as a metephor. It is interesting the interview with James Woods on the DVD "making of .." excerpt; he says he was present on set (suggesting his contract hadn't run out as Frayling suggests) and Leone chose to use a body double anyway to make it even more mysterious.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: aaronson on July 05, 2003, 02:36:27 PM
Max did.
Why?because he is a garbage (Idon't know if garbage is a bigger insult than bastard in english ,but in french "ordure " is very strong)
So a garbage must search a trash to die or even a truck , but nothing else.

Shooting  himself with a gun is definitively too noble for a garbage .



Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jon on July 06, 2003, 07:07:11 AM
Good point.I think at the end Max realises that he is 'garbage'.If Noodles HAD shot him than Max would have died with a sense of nobility,having the person whose life he took over take HiS life.But no,Noodles does not allow that,and Max kills himself in the most appropriate manner.By the end of the film,Noodles has attained a small amount of dignity,while Max lost all his.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: alexander on July 08, 2003, 10:09:05 AM
Woods' character certainly, definitely, jumped into the garbage truck, watch it again a few times, absolutely happened.  Also, he arranged for that truck to be there (no regular pickups at night) in case Noodles couldn't go through with it.

you know, i think the reason for the truck was scarier than that. i think the truck was there "in case Noodles couldn't go through with it." i think the truck was meant for noodles.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jon on July 08, 2003, 12:49:47 PM
I 've never thought of that,but it's definately an interesting idea,and it does make sense,after all,it is indeed doubtful that Max would have let Noodles live if he refused him,especially after hevung confessed everything.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: alexander on July 08, 2003, 06:03:41 PM
right! i feel that after max realized what a scum bag he was he decided to use the truck for himself. or did he?..


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: cigar joe on July 09, 2003, 05:49:58 PM
alexander, I think you hit upon an interesting point, exactly who was the garbage truck for!

If Noodles had shot Max, he would have left his body in the mansion and left. Who would have known to take his body and put it in the truck, Max would have had to have left prior instructions to somebody.

If Max prefigured that Noodles would not shoot him then the truck had to be his backup suicide plan.

If Noodles had answered Max's plea for Noodles to shoot him with his standard "You're crazy Max" would Max have then shot Noodles? Then the truck might have been for the both of them. Max teaching Noodles a final lesson by not only taking away everything from him but in the end also his life. Then Max commits suicide and disapeering at the same time with Noodles to spare Deborah and David?

 


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: cedet on July 13, 2003, 07:29:27 AM
My Opinion:
When Noodles exits the Bailey's mansion he says something like: I Hope that the investigation will not turn out...
It means to me: Secretary bailey, you had betrayed me, Patcsy, Cockeye, every friends you have for 35 years and now you want to die to avoid a trial?
The Max I know was over this....

I think Noodles gives Max the key to escape from his bad future and to escape again by changing name etc...

I think Bailey did not jump in the garbage because there was no blood inside, and in every scene of killing in this masterpiece there is blood...and in this important moment there is not...

I think once again, Max flees, just like Noodles did 35 years ago...
finally MAx did something that Noodles said....







Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: chico on July 13, 2003, 01:16:29 PM
Surely the parallel is between Max and jewish mobster Meyer Lansky rather than teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Half-Soldier on July 13, 2003, 04:07:41 PM
Surely the parallel is between Max and jewish mobster Meyer Lansky rather than teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa.

No, Lansky died of natural causes,an old man, his wealth and Influence were all gone. Jimmy Hoffa disapeared at a time when much investigation surrounded him, and a garbage truck was spotted at the place where he was last seen.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Debby-2000 on November 17, 2003, 10:35:12 AM
IMO you should not be so fixed on whether Max is jumping or not.

The whole garbage trunk scene is a parallel scene that repeats the ealier scene where the boys wait for the horsewagon to cover the cop's view, so they can rob the old man, and just there, Max I think it is, turns up, helping the man.

So it's all a kind of dejavu, something that comes out of Noodles memories, as an updated memory, as he stands in front of senator Bailey's house, realizing that his own view/mind all the time has been figuratively blocked and that life has been a failure.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: cedet on November 17, 2003, 11:05:51 AM
Nice Shot Deby-2000, I did not see it that way until now, thanks!!!


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Walter on December 01, 2003, 04:30:11 PM
IMO you should not be so fixed on whether Max is jumping or not.

The whole garbage trunk scene is a parallel scene that repeats the ealier scene where the boys wait for the horsewagon to cover the cop's view, so they can rob the old man, and just there, Max I think it is, turns up, helping the man.

So it's all a kind of dejavu, something that comes out of Noodles memories, as an updated memory, as he stands in front of senator Bailey's house, realizing that his own view/mind all the time has been figuratively blocked and that life has been a failure.


Yes. Yes. The theory certainly is valid, on a symbolic level.

But in the plot, I always felt that Max wanted to be punished, and he wanted Noodles to do it. Of those who had the right to punish him, Noodles was the only one left. It was not just a suicide, he knew that he would be murdered before the trial anyway, so he had nothing to lose.
Noodles then turns the tables, and refuses this revenge. Perhaps to punish Max in his own way, by saying that the Max he knew had been dead for a long time. Or perhaps even in distaste for his former life as a murderer, as it seemed like he had gone straight for many years.

Why the garbage truck? The symbolic value is important, and I buy a lot of Debby-2000's analysis here.

But logically, Max may have had arranged his body to be picked up by the truck. So he made the pick-up anyway in a grotesque way, that also served like a self-punishment. Or even as a demonstration before the eyes of Noodles: "See what I'm doing to myself out of shame and love!"  


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jupa on December 17, 2003, 04:27:57 AM
Quote
I love the paralel between Max and Jimmy Hoffa - "we know but we don't know" - that's pure Sergio to reference his work with American knowledge.

I think Mr.Woods also said something like "we don't know,yet we know" in some Sergio Leone documentary (cannot remember the name).He said that after all these years he still received questions about whether his character jumped into the garbage truck.And his answer was something like "I really don't know if Noodles jumped into the truck".


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: COLONNA on December 18, 2003, 02:33:33 AM
Everybody seem to think that Max decided or not to jump himself.

I prefer the following idea, tell me what you think about:

The truck is sent by Mafia (remember Jimmy Hoffa) and Max knows it
Inside there are a driver and a killer
When Max approaches the driver start the motor
The killer shot Max and put the corpse in the smashing iron teeth

It's cleaner
It's a suicide
The truck is not prepared by Max before (very complicated no ?)  
Who is able to jump in a garbage truck ?Are you serious? >:(


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Walter on December 18, 2003, 03:05:38 AM
The truck is not prepared by Max before (very complicated no ?)  
Who is able to jump in a garbage truck ?Are you serious? >:(

Max wanted Noodles to kill him, so it would be pretty natural for him to have arranged the truck to be there, in order to vanish completely (and then protecting Noodles).

There could be a killer on the truck, but what was the reason Max ran out, if it wasn't to meet the truck? He did not try to escape - surely he would have made a better attempt than just walk out into the night. In my opnion, he must have known the truck was going to be there.

In films, people do sensational things, and the ending might very well carry a lot of symbolic meaning. So the notion of Max jumping into the smashing iron teeth doesn't seem too unreasonable.
I wouldn't do it, but I haven't betrayed my friends for money and power either. Not yet, anyway...


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: dollars on January 02, 2004, 06:49:22 AM
I am new to this board and this movie.  I watched it last night and thanks to my PVR I got to watch the last hour twice.  My thoughts are this.  

I think that the whole futuristic part of the film is an Opium induced dream.  I think that the truck is a symbolistic Metaphor "so to speak" of the end of That part of Noodle's life.  What makes me think this is that everything is pointing in that direction that he is coming out of his Opium induced state.  

Outside Of The Mansion he is walking towars what appears to be "The Chinese Theater." Which is an unusual location for such a place...  A sense of returning from his Dream... The Truck has some kind of symbolic meaning in the lights... Two lights... Two Eyes, Coming back into focus... The passing of the Truck does indeed indicate the erasing of Max From Noodles Life... Or it could be, in Fact... All these weird hallcunations start to occur as he's metaphorically walking back to the theater... The Truck, The Man behind the Truck, The tunnel... The lights... THE KIDS IN THE CAR!!! and still that Chinese Building.  

I guess we will never know truely, but my take is that his mind is rambling a bunch of hallucinated things as he is coming from dream into reality.  

I just bought this film online and I'm sure that I will have much more to say... Few movies have effected me this way... I am much in the state that I was in after seeing Apocolypse Now and Clockwork Orange.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jupa on January 07, 2004, 06:40:42 AM
You made some good points.After all,the movie does end with Noodles getting high,and Sergio Leone was reported as hinting that the whole movie might be an opium-induced dream.However,Leone never gave a straight answer to this,just a vague hint.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: guy on March 09, 2004, 06:04:00 PM
again this is up to us.....sergio wanted it, like most of the film, to be ambigous.....personally i believe he did or would. he made his feelings very clear to noodles. plus in a part that was taken out during editing, treat williams, jimmy conway,visits senator bailey and tells him basically to get rid of himself as he had brought too much heat on his polititcal allies. allies no more however, max knew that if he did not kill himself the politicians or the syndicate would. h would never accept this. the only person who he could accept death from was the man he loved and betrayed, the man whoes life he stole and ruined, yet then gives it back. wennoodles refuses for the reasons we all know, the senator only has one choice........


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: TimeDest on March 10, 2004, 09:05:39 AM
No Senator Bailey didn't jump into the garbage truck.  To do so would be against his theory of craziness.  You see his father killed himself in the nut house.  Senator Bailey or Max whatever you want to call him never liked to be called "crazy" committing suicide would be a cowardly act.  I believe Senator Bailey  didn't kill himself he just escaped into the darkness.  Why would it be soo dark at that particular scene?  Unless the director wanted Senator Bailey to escape.  Plus when noodles looks into the Garbage you don't see one possible trace of human carnage.  Senator Bailey escapes only to fool with Noodles time again.  Time is stressed  alot in this movie.  When Noodles meets Max they meet through a watch.  However dreams don't ever have time they just happen when your sleeping.  Senator Bailey escapes and doesn't commit suicide is my main point to do so would be contradicting his charecter which tries to be opposite oh his nutty father.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Two Kinds of ... on November 06, 2004, 02:34:55 PM
IMO you should not be so fixed on whether Max is jumping or not.

The whole garbage trunk scene is a parallel scene that repeats the ealier scene where the boys wait for the horsewagon to cover the cop's view, so they can rob the old man, and just there, Max I think it is, turns up, helping the man.

So it's all a kind of dejavu, something that comes out of Noodles memories, as an updated memory, as he stands in front of senator Bailey's house, realizing that his own view/mind all the time has been figuratively blocked and that life has been a failure.
Bingo!   When Noodles first sees Max he is riding on the front of rubbish wagon.  The last time he "sees" him he is leaving in the back of a rubbish truck.   Interestingly, there's a foreshadowing of this when Noodles gets out of prison and the first time he sees Max, Max is dfiviging the hearse - but the corpse in back is alive.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: DJASh on November 16, 2004, 03:38:01 PM
One thing is certain..that scene is a work of cinematic genius.....the menacing garbage truck , the air of melancholy , the chinese garden visible in the background, the phantom car of young revellers disappearing into the depths of time....


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: grandpa_chum on November 16, 2004, 10:03:15 PM
not to mention the amazing use of "god bless america" as a sort of summing up of the movie.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Dlanor on November 20, 2004, 02:49:58 PM
You made some good points.After all,the movie does end with Noodles getting high,and Sergio Leone was reported as hinting that the whole movie might be an opium-induced dream.However,Leone never gave a straight answer to this,just a vague hint.

 Leone said clearly that he made the second part thinking it was an opium dream in "Conversations". But , maybe he let the freedom to the viewer to not think it.
  This scene of disapearence of Max is really disturbing. No physical elements tends to proove that Max did it. But the fact that the shot of the truck is so long and these two damned red lights  answer symbolically to the audience question.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jupa on December 28, 2004, 09:00:59 AM
When and where did Leone say it clearly that the second part was an opium dream?I understand he only vaguely hinted at the possibility of the whole thing being a hallucination or a dream.


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: tsuris on December 30, 2004, 12:59:41 PM
Ijust watched Woods'' interview on the DVD.  He says that he was on the set when the scene was filmed, but Leone used a stand-in on puppose to make Max''s fate less clear.


According to Christopher Frayling''''s Leone autobiography James Woods has overrun his contract, so a standin was used for that scene, not sure who played Woods'''' part. So James Woods didn''''t climb on the truck.

As far as the story goes I believe the senator does jump in the truck.


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: vladamir44 on December 30, 2005, 11:14:48 PM
I thought the number of the garbage truck (35) was apt, as we know that Max built his current persona over the course of thirty-five years.  Just seconds before, Noodles expresses how unfortunate it would be for all that hard work to go to waste.  I guess the hand reaching out for help on the garbage truck was symbolic as well.


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: C Youngblood on December 31, 2005, 03:49:21 PM
Very good points.

My first thought, just after seeing the movie, was that the truck was there to kill Noodles, after Noodles had killed Max. But Noodles didn't kill Max, so Max ran out to tell this to the truckdriver. But many things that you have mentioned seemes sense. I really like the theory about the parallel between the garbage-wagon and  the garbage-truck.

But WHY IS NOODLES SMILING IN THE END ???


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: Two Kinds of ... on December 31, 2005, 06:29:52 PM
Couple things.   The first time we meet Max, he is driving a "garbage" wagon, or at least a junk wagon.  The last time we see him he is diving into the back of one.  He has gone from the front to the back during his life.

The other idea we see a few times is that he's always making Noodles believe he is dead.   Is the last dive into the truck just another trick?


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: Cusser on January 01, 2006, 08:17:47 PM
There is no reason for a decades-old garbage truck to be there at night at all - so either Bailey arranged it in case Noodles didn't follow through.  Or  maybe a dream.  I personally think Bailey/Max did jump into it, but interesting idea that he may have faked his death again.


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: C Youngblood on January 02, 2006, 08:33:04 AM
Couple things.   The first time we meet Max, he is driving a "garbage" wagon, or at least a junk wagon.  The last time we see him he is diving into the back of one.  He has gone from the front to the back during his life.

The other idea we see a few times is that he's always making Noodles believe he is dead.   Is the last dive into the truck just another trick?

Nice points. Seemes logical.


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: roberti on February 26, 2006, 02:54:15 PM
James Wood jumping in the truck, certainly not but Max probably! If you watch carefully the moment when Max disappeared behind the truck , you will see his feet running and jumping on the left side of the truck.

Anyway, loads of things are unsure in this movie because it was Sergio wish to let everybody imagine that this was just a dream may be as he declares in Conversation avec Sergio leone (Noel Simsolo)


Title: Re:Did James do it or not?
Post by: Young Noodles on March 13, 2006, 01:36:19 AM
Woods' character certainly, definitely, jumped into the garbage truck, watch it again a few times, absolutely happened.  Also, he arranged for that truck to be there (no regular pickups at night) in case Noodles couldn't go through with it.

He does not jump in the truck. It is not even woods.  Look inside that truck dude. No blod, no bones. At that point we are already coming out of the dream and moving into that overlap/twilight where god bless america is starting up again. 


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: Jupa on January 22, 2007, 09:33:34 AM
Couple things.   The first time we meet Max, he is driving a "garbage" wagon, or at least a junk wagon.  The last time we see him he is diving into the back of one.  He has gone from the front to the back during his life.

The other idea we see a few times is that he's always making Noodles believe he is dead.   Is the last dive into the truck just another trick?

Very good points! That idea of Max goes from the front to the back, from honesty/friendship/happiness to dishonesty/"friendshipless"/sadness is very interesting.

And yes, the viewer is left wondering whether the jumpi into the truck is yet another fake death.


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: Cusser on January 30, 2007, 03:21:00 AM
And remember, that Leone seemed to have a fascination for faking a death to start over with a clean slate, like Fonda's character at the end of My Name is Nobody (a few years earlier).


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: tucumcari bound on February 24, 2007, 06:26:26 PM
He definitly jumped in the truck, no question about it, in my opinion.


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 21, 2013, 08:14:07 AM
There is no reason for a decades-old garbage truck to be there at night at all - so either Bailey arranged it in case Noodles didn't follow through.  Or  maybe a dream.  I personally think Bailey/Max did jump into it, but interesting idea that he may have faked his death again.


it definitely is a tad ridiculous that suddenly, conveniently, the garbage truck shows up out of nowhere, in middle of the night on a street in Long island! BUT now that we are getting the restored scenes, we know that in the scene where Noodles watches the limo that has been tailing him blow up outside Bailey's home (which he later watches on the news on the TV in Fat Moe's), we see that garbage truck is already there outside the Bailey home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyCnTX_Nqoc so the garbage truck doesn't just come out of nowhere.

as to the issue of whether or not Bailey jumps into the garbage truck: they specifically used a double that looked like Woods, so that it looks LIKE him, but it removed the certainty. as Woods said, "we know, but we don't know, but we know."
This fits with the general fantasy-like nature of Noodles' return to New York in 1968. As the famous shot outside Bailey's home: where we see the 193o's cars go by, so we assume we are back in the 30's, but then the camera cuts back to Noodles' face and we see we are still in 1968! one of the great shots in the movie, indicating the fantasy of it all.
I do not mean to re-ignite the "dream theory" debate; I, for one, believe it's definitely a dream but I have no interest in re-igniting the debate; my point is that, whether or not you believe it's a dream, on SOME level, you have to believe that there is some fantasy-like or dream-like to the 1968 scenes. (Besides, if it's all literal, wtf would a man with a gun instead to choose to commit an awfully-painful suicide by getting crushed by a garbage truck?! I suppose the cynical among you could say Leone was setting up for a sequel, where Max comes back [as if this movie wasn't ling enough  ;)])
So the scene with Bailey and the garbage truck fits with the ambiguity of it all: we don't actually see Bailey jump in and get crushed in the truck; rather, we see a man from afar that looks very much like Bailey, and the truck passes him and suddenly he's gone. To Noodles at least, that man is Bailey.

here is vid of Woods talking about the garbage truck scene: we know, but we don't know, but we know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOD6V-kJebU&feature=youtu.be


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: Senza on March 21, 2013, 06:37:12 PM

it definitely is a tad ridiculous that suddenly, conveniently, the garbage truck shows up out of nowhere, in middle of the night on a street in Long island! BUT now that we are getting the restored scenes, we know that in the scene where Noodles watches the limo that has been tailing him blow up outside Bailey's home (which he later watches on the news on the TV in Fat Moe's), we see that garbage truck is already there outside the Bailey home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyCnTX_Nqoc so the garbage truck doesn't just come out of nowhere.

as to the issue of whether or not Bailey jumps into the garbage truck: they specifically used a double that looked like Woods, so that it looks LIKE him, but it removed the certainty. as Woods said, "we know, but we don't know, but we know."
This fits with the general fantasy-like nature of Noodles' return to New York in 1968. As the famous shot outside Bailey's home: where we see the 193o's cars go by, so we assume we are back in the 30's, but then the camera cuts back to Noodles' face and we see we are still in 1968! one of the great shots in the movie, indicating the fantasy of it all.
I do not mean to re-ignite the "dream theory" debate; I, for one, believe it's definitely a dream but I have no interest in re-igniting the debate; my point is that, whether or not you believe it's a dream, on SOME level, you have to believe that there is some fantasy-like or dream-like to the 1968 scenes. (Besides, if it's all literal, wtf would a man with a gun instead to choose to commit an awfully-painful suicide by getting crushed by a garbage truck?! I suppose the cynical among you could say Leone was setting up for a sequel, where Max comes back [as if this movie wasn't ling enough  ;)])
So the scene with Bailey and the garbage truck fits with the ambiguity of it all: we don't actually see Bailey jump in and get crushed in the truck; rather, we see a man from afar that looks very much like Bailey, and the truck passes him and suddenly he's gone. To Noodles at least, that man is Bailey.

here is vid of Woods talking about the garbage truck scene: we know, but we don't know, but we know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOD6V-kJebU&feature=youtu.be

Cool link! Is that on the bonus features of the DVD?


Title: Re: Did James do it or not?
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 21, 2013, 08:16:56 PM
Cool link! Is that on the bonus features of the DVD?

yes