Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Duck, You Sucker => Topic started by: Skullchrist on July 09, 2007, 10:20:34 AM



Title: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Skullchrist on July 09, 2007, 10:20:34 AM
If you watch the bonus disk for DYS it explains almost everything.  Believe me I had some serious questions and didn't really expect the bonus disk to offer much relief but I was pleasantly surprised.

Let me know if you have any specific questions.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: tucumcari bound on July 09, 2007, 10:53:27 AM
If you watch the bonus disk for DYS it explains almost everything.  Believe me I had some serious questions and didn't really expect the bonus disk to offer much relief but I was pleasantly surprised.

Let me know if you have any specific questions.


Everyone here who owns the new special edition disc has watched the special features for sure. I've watched them. Thanks though Skullchrist. Welcome to the boards!


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on July 09, 2007, 11:16:05 AM
I thought the special features and featurettes on the disc were great.  Enjoyed the Frayling piece and the locations feature.  I did like the Restoration short but I found I disagreed on some of the analysis by Kirk.  I don't buy into his analysis of the Ireland flashbacks and the menage a trois.  I was kind of surprised they included that opinion on the disc without alternate viewpoints.  It seemed to be his featurette and he states his interpretation of those segments.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: The Peacemaker on July 09, 2007, 11:25:36 AM
I was kind of surprised they included that opinion on the disc without alternate viewpoints.  It seemed to be his featurette and he states his interpretation of those segments.

Exactly.

And everyone on imdb is saying that this guy is Frayling and he answers all the questions. It was his interpretation, not the definite answers, but no one listens to me on imdb. Some people can be very single-minded.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on July 09, 2007, 11:28:54 AM
I was really surprised that it was on there without a counterpoint.  If I was involved in the production of the disc I would of been concerned with the inclusion of that personal interpretation.  I suppose it would of been difficult to provide a counterpoint within that feature.  It seemed to be Kirk's segment on the disc.  Maybe there should of been more discussion in another segment on the special features.   When I watched it the first time, I could see that people would possibly embrace that as the "truth".  Ridiculous.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2007, 12:23:23 PM
I don't think it's Kirk's point of view that is being put over, I think it's Glenn Erickson's. Kirk is the one being interviewed, but Erickson is the guy behind the documentary.

And Erickson, plugged in as he is (he's DVDSavant), is just one guy with a guy's opinion. It's not an opinion that most of us share, because the evidence for it is not in the film.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on July 09, 2007, 12:50:40 PM
Thanks Dave.  I was confusing the Restoration with the Sorting Out The Versions features.  You're absolutely right.  The feature and viewpoint was that of Glenn Erickson.  He provides the interpretation on the flashbacks.  I'm definitely in agreement....I don't share his interpretation.  The disc does have the disclaimer about commentary viewpoints...wish that there had been some counterpoint to Erickson on that perspective.   


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2007, 12:59:11 PM
I just looked at the restoration doc again, and Kirk, although he isn't explicit about it, sounds like he agrees with Erickson. At any rate, he claims that the final flashback operates like other Leone flashback, in that it gives new info that twists our understanding of the characters. For my part, I think Erickson and Kirk are reading too much into things. The only "new info" I take from the final flashback is that Mallory and Nolan and the girl were in a ménage à trois , and that they were very happy.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on July 09, 2007, 01:06:06 PM
I'll have to go back and watch each one again.  You're right on when you corrected me.  It was definitely Erickson's feature, Sorting Out The Versions, that I was referring to and that I disagreed with from the very first time I saw it.  The feature isn't bad, it's just that one point that I totally disagree with.  I'm with you on the smile.  I think they were involved in a menage a trois, and Sean's smile at the end was a smile of contentment.  Then it disolves slowly to the present and what happens at the end of the picture.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2007, 01:11:02 PM
You see things as I do. I guess you're a genius.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Skullchrist on July 09, 2007, 01:42:14 PM
 I think they were involved in a menage a trois, and Sean's smile at the end was a smile of contentment.  

Hmm.  I know I can't be alone in this evaluation, as it was mentioned on the bonus disk, but I believe John murdered Sean because he ultimately wanted the girl for himself.

Maybe I have a darker nature, lol, but John's smile in the last flashback was extremely sinister.  And Sean was smiling right before John shot him because he didn't know that John had actually turned him in.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on July 09, 2007, 01:47:42 PM
Quote
Posted by: dave jenkins
You see things as I do. I guess you're a genius.

 ;D  Drag yourself down to my level at your own risk.  

I've been thinking about the flashbacks quite a bit.  I guess still smoothing out some of the rough edges of my thoughts.  The Sean character I think is quite complex.  There's a cycle of character definition between Sean, Nolan, Juan and Villega.  In his mind, Sean at times is betrayed and betrayer.  It's like a lot of the experiences and points of view of all those characters are summarized within the one character. I've read the threads on the Sean name issue and the Warbeck death subject and have been trying to reconcile everything.  I think one of the things about the menage a trois that is a really nice plot point is that Leone is possibly able to depict the conflict within one individual about revolution.  A lot of times the classic conflict about a revolutionary depicted in film and novels, is not being able to integrate the personal with the political.  I'm thinking the menage a trois could be a device to show that particular conflict in Sean.  In the earlier flashbacks, Sean is kissing the woman...he almost never wants to let go.  Perhaps he's embracing the personal.  In the last flashback, again, he's kissing her and almost ignoring Nolan as he's trying to cut in and get his share of affection and kisses.  Nolan was shown as the more activist of the two characters.  We saw Sean observe him as he was distributing revolutionary literature.  Nolan and Sean are the same but refracted a little differently.  In the pub, when Nolan informs on Sean, Sean symbolically is watching everything in a mirror.  He's perhaps watching his own revolutionary side....failing to live up to his political ideals.  If one were to think this way, it really wouldn't be necessary for Nolan to have the first name of Sean....symbolically he is Sean....he's a part of Sean.  While Sean is near death, for me the significance of the final flashback is that it reveals the menage a trois.  Also it's showing how Sean is trying to find peace before death.  He's trying reconcile the personal and political conflict within himself.  As a result, he would smile when Nolan would kiss the woman.  He's at peace and whole with the conflicts within himself.

Hmm.  I know I can't be alone in this evaluation, as it was mentioned on the bonus disk, but I believe John murdered Sean because he ultimately wanted the girl for himself.

Maybe I have a darker nature, lol, but John's smile in the last flashback was extremely sinister.  And Sean was smiling right before John shot him because he didn't know that John had actually turned him in.

It's open to interpretation.  I definitely don't see the smile as sinister.  There's very little to support such a view.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Skullchrist on July 09, 2007, 02:01:18 PM
It's open to interpretation.  I definitely don't see the smile as sinister.  There's very little to support such a view.

As someone mentioned, the music changes to a more harmonious and romantic nature when the girl and Sean embrace and then it cuts to John's face looking on and you can see his face slowly twist towards anger and hatred because she shrugged off his advances to the one she truly loves.

Why is everyone calling him Sean when even in the Irish paper he is referred to as John Mallory?


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2007, 02:07:45 PM
These questions are addressed in other threads. This is a good place to start: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1271.0
Be sure to follow the links that Juan Miranda makes to yet other threads on this topic.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: The Peacemaker on July 09, 2007, 02:20:17 PM
Why is everyone calling him Sean when even in the Irish paper he is referred to as John Mallory?

Simple common sense; why would an Irish newspaper post a reward for an IRA member?

Most likely it was a pro-British newspaper and used the anglicized version of Sean, which is John.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on July 09, 2007, 02:25:38 PM
 O0 Peacemaker.  A truly Irish paper would not refer to Mallory as an Irish terrorist.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: The Peacemaker on July 09, 2007, 02:30:12 PM
I think I figured it all out.


I read that John Ford's original name was Sean Feeny.


This is probably the reason why Leone has Sean change his name to John. It was a reference to his favorite director!


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Skullchrist on July 09, 2007, 02:52:37 PM
Simple common sense; why would an Irish newspaper post a reward for an IRA member?

Most likely it was a pro-British newspaper and used the anglicized version of Sean, which is John.

I read the other post about his name and I understand and agree, lol.  The theory that they are both Sean's I also happen to agree with and think is sheer brilliance.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: The Peacemaker on July 09, 2007, 02:58:32 PM
That could be true, yes.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: tucumcari bound on July 09, 2007, 03:10:07 PM
I read the other post about his name and I understand and agree, lol.  The theory that they are both Sean's I also happen to agree with and think is sheer brilliance.

If this theory is true than it is indeed sheer brilliance!


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2007, 03:56:45 PM
. . . his face slowly twist towards anger and hatred because she shrugged off his advances to the one she truly loves.
Huhhhhhhhhhhhhhh??????


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Skullchrist on July 09, 2007, 04:02:08 PM
Huhhhhhhhhhhhhhh??????

LOL!  I told you I have a unique take on it.  That's the sense I get in his body language.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2007, 04:42:31 PM
I think I figured it all out.
I read that John Ford's original name was Sean Feeny.
This is probably the reason why Leone has Sean change his name to John. It was a reference to his favorite director!
YOU figured it all out?

    
Quote
Homage to Sean Ford
« Reply #97 on: March 07, 2006, 07:35:29 PM »    
One more thought on the Sean/John issue: the use of the dual names may be yet another tip of the hat to John Ford, who was born Sean O'Feeney, and took on a new identity after travelling a considerable distance from the place of his birth (Portland, ME). The change of "Sean" to "John" is therefore a venerable American film tradition, one SL was aware of.
   




   
Re: Thoughts on this film
« Reply #98 on: March 17, 2006, 02:32:44 AM »    Reply with quote Modify message Remove message
As an addendum to the above:

According to Scott Eyman (in the Taschen book on Ford):

Quote
John Ford always claimed to have been born Sean Aloysius O'Fearna--or some equally florid variant.... And for ninety-odd years he was taken at his word. But the registry of births for Cape Elizabeth, Maine clearly records the birth of one John Martin Feeney...[and this is the name] on his school records at Portland High School and on his death certificate.
(19)

Eyman suggests that the reason he fabricated the story of his name change is so he could feel more Irish. This is certainly plausible, but it may be also he was called Sean by his family when young.

In any event, far from undermining my earlier point, this fact may actually strengthen it. SL of course had no way of knowing the truth, and even if he had, he was enough of a Fordian that, when faced with a choice between fact and legend, he would opt for the latter.

With such a pedigree, the Sean-to-John change in DYS certainly seems a tribute from the Lion of Rafran to the King of Monument Valley.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: cigar joe on July 09, 2007, 04:49:23 PM
Quote
cuts to John's face looking on and you can see his face slowly twist towards anger and hatred because she shrugged off his advances to the one she truly loves.

I agree with Skullchrist & Frayling on this, his smile sort of freezes and the music changes.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: geoman-1 on July 09, 2007, 04:53:01 PM

Maybe I have a darker nature, lol, but John's smile in the last flashback was extremely sinister.  And Sean was smiling right before John shot him because he didn't know that John had actually turned him in.
Very fascinating scenario Skullchrist. O0  I never considered this possibility. I was always under the impression
that John shot Sean because Sean fingered him at the pub and/or he wanted the woman for himself. I never considered
the possibility of John ratting on Sean, hence him being in custody. Now I'll have to re-think my entire evaluation
of the movie. :-[


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on July 09, 2007, 04:59:33 PM
I don't remember Frayling taking this position.  Erickson does in the featurette.   Perhaps Frayling points out the change in the music.  But it could be argued that the musical change just confirms the existence of the menage a trois, underscores Sean's smile as indication that in his mind he's reconciled and made peace with himself before dying.  It's just too out of left field to insinuate that Sean killed Nolan out of jealousy when the opportunity presented itself.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: cigar joe on July 09, 2007, 05:05:30 PM
Frayling mentions it when you watch the film with the commentary on, check it out. 8)


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: geoman-1 on July 09, 2007, 05:18:48 PM
Wait! Whoa! Hold your horses!  I just thought of this...Why would John make a
statement regarding "passing judgement" on the train prior to the collission?
If he shot Sean out of jealousy that would not be passing judgement in my book.
Therefore I believe John did NOT turn in Sean so he could have Ms. Chandler to himself.
He shot Sean because he fingered him and John became judge, jury & executioner at that
point in time, hence passing judgement.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on July 09, 2007, 05:19:54 PM
CJ, Frayling points out the change in the musical motif.  He also points out that the final flashback reveals the menage a trois and that the relationship between the three ran deep. His inference being how painful it must of been for Sean to shoot Nolan.   He never takes the same position as Erickson in the featurette.  He never infers that Sean's motivation for shooting Nolan was jealousy or even the idea that Sean informed on Nolan.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2007, 06:14:25 PM
Wait! Whoa! Hold your horses!  I just thought of this...Why would John make a
statement regarding "passing judgement" on the train prior to the collission?
If he shot Sean out of jealousy that would not be passing judgement in my book.
Therefore I believe John did NOT turn in Sean so he could have Ms. Chandler to himself.
He shot Sean because he fingered him and John became judge, jury & executioner at that
point in time, hence passing judgement.
Exactly. O0


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2007, 06:46:21 PM
Frayling reports:

Quote
Leone noted that, in many countries, the last flashback to 'the two Irishmen sharing the same woman' was excised, which irritated him considerably. 'This wasn't just libertarianism and free love; there was also a symbolic dimension. This woman represented the revolution everyone wanted to embrace. And Sean sees these images while smoking his strange cigarette. You don't know if he's dreaming, imagining or remembering . . . . And I inserted the scene in such a way that Juan also sees Sean's phantasm . . . So they are together again, just before the Irishman blows up."
(330)

Note what this doesn't say. There's nothing about betrayal or jealousy or negativity of any kind. Erickson found it, so why didn't Leone?



Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Skullchrist on July 09, 2007, 06:49:17 PM
I agree with Skullchrist & Frayling on this, his smile sort of freezes and the music changes.

Thanks CJ.  I knew I wouldn't be alone on this.  Not trying to be an iconoclast, IMHO it makes the most sense to me.

Are you related to Coffin Joe?   ;)


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: cigar joe on July 09, 2007, 08:26:32 PM
Quote
Are you related to Coffin Joe?

No  8)


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: cigar joe on July 10, 2007, 05:16:51 AM
Actually now watching this all again the commentary is made not by Frayling but in feature "Sorting Out The Versions", Frayling only comments that the music changes, the commentator mentions that the music changes and the rest.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: The Peacemaker on July 10, 2007, 12:09:10 PM
YOU figured it all out?

    




....like I said, that guy got it all figured out!


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: The Peacemaker on July 10, 2007, 12:13:41 PM
I think that Sean killed Nolan simply because he betrayed him to the Brits, as a few members here stated.


People read too much into these things. Leone himself said that they shared the same woman and it's pretty obvious that there was no jealousy. Sean's smile at the end of the flashback reinforces this.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 10, 2007, 06:02:24 PM
Yes. The simplest explanation is the best.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: geoman-1 on July 11, 2007, 04:19:25 AM
Totally O0   Can we now move on? ;)


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: noodles_leone on July 11, 2007, 05:54:48 AM
Hmm.  I know I can't be alone in this evaluation, as it was mentioned on the bonus disk, but I believe John murdered Sean because he ultimately wanted the girl for himself.

Maybe I have a darker nature, lol, but John's smile in the last flashback was extremely sinister.  And Sean was smiling right before John shot him because he didn't know that John had actually turned him in.

I'm against this interpretation. Of course no one can be sure of anything exept Sergio and Coburn, but since they are unfortunately not able to speak anymore... However, I truly hope i'm right since if the jalousie plot is the good interpretation, it makes the movie and its ending a really bad movie IMO, with no story at all... and if they are happy together at the end, that makes a masterpiece!

Do you really think that Leone would have made such a big mistake, ie instead of putting just another information at the end, he would have made a big revelation about a plot we don't care at all, since the story is about revolutions and friendship, not about a cliché love story? Morever, what is the point of the final discussion with the doctor if Coburn killed his friend because of a girl?


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: noodles_leone on July 11, 2007, 06:04:30 AM
Last point, that i already highlighted in another topic: Sergio Leone TOLD HIMSELF (i have the interview at home, it is Conversation avec Sergio Leone, by Noel Simsolo) that this girl is a metaphor for "the Revolution, that everyone wants to kiss". He never talks about jalousy. Never.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 11, 2007, 10:30:32 AM
I made this point above. Frayling includes such a quote in his book, probably a translation from the same interview.

Yes, it astounds me that people want to invent elaborate explanations for things just to make the film less interesting. The same thing happens when they insist on the "it's all a dream" reading of OUATIA.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: noodles_leone on July 11, 2007, 10:55:55 AM
I made this point above.

 i'm at work now so I didn't have the time to read the whole topic... Anyway, sorry :)

The same thing happens when they insist on the "it's all a dream" reading of OUATIA.

Sorry again, but on that point (off topic, i know): in the same interview Leone speaks about it and says that it may all be a dream, that it is one of the possible meanings of the smile at the end. He even say that opium is the only drug that makes you imagine the futur (I never tried). And he isn't answering to a question like "is it a dream?", he just speaks about the movie.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: Silenzio on July 11, 2007, 11:07:35 AM

Yes, it astounds me that people want to invent elaborate explanations for things just to make the film less interesting. The same thing happens when they insist on the "it's all a dream" reading of OUATIA.

Some people come to elaborate conclusions to satisfy their need to fully understand something.  I don't mind the Dream theory at all, hell I agree with it.  But the whole John turning the friend in and then killing him out of jealousy.... that is ridiculous.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 11, 2007, 11:41:16 AM
. . . in the same interview Leone speaks about it and says that it may all be a dream, that it is one of the possible meanings of the smile at the end. He even say that opium is the only drug that makes you imagine the futur (I never tried). And he isn't answering to a question like "is it a dream?", he just speaks about the movie.
SL, in my opinion, was just being a good showman here. He didn't want to exclude any reading that viewers might have, because he wanted all his customers to go away satisfied. But I doubt he was thinking about the dream idea when he was conceiving the project and making the film (sounds more like an ex post facto rationale). Man, cinema itself is a dream. Fifteen years of preparation just to put across a dream within a dream? Pardon me. I don't see Leone as a huckster, I see him as a serious artist making lasting art.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: dave jenkins on July 11, 2007, 11:47:05 AM
I don't mind the Dream theory at all, hell I agree with it.  But the whole John turning the friend in and then killing him out of jealousy.... that is ridiculous.
You have said well, my friend. The "John is the original betrayer" theory is even more ridiculous than the ridiculous Dream theory.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: geoman-1 on July 13, 2007, 05:27:48 PM

Do you really think that Leone would have made such a big mistake, ie instead of putting just another information at the end, he would have made a big revelation about a plot we don't care at all, since the story is about revolutions and friendship, not about a cliché love story? Morever, what is the point of the final discussion with the doctor if Coburn killed his friend because of a girl?
Exactly! Leone was too sophisticated to fall into that trap.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 05, 2012, 10:50:24 PM
so I just watched that "Sorting Out the Versions" special feature on the dvd. I must have seen it when I first bought the dvd, but never since: I don't remember any of it. Glenn Erickson wrote and edited the piece (did he also narrate it?) discusses the issue, among other things, of the Coburn character's name. (I know this has been discussed extensively but I just saw the piece so I wanted to discuss some of the issues that Erickson mentions).

According to Erickson, Coburn's name is definitely John. He says the only 2 sources for the name Sean are A) the promotion materials for the movie; plus B) Coburn's initial response when Steiger asks him his name, before quickly correcting himself and saying "John." Otherwise, the name John is used throughout.

According to Frayling, it's the same name; Sean is Irish for John. Erickson rejects this answer (though he does not mention Frayling by name); because the Irish newspaper that Sean is carrying around also says John Mallory. Erickson doesn't seem to be concerned with explaining away A) he just focuses on  B) According to Erickson, Coburn is dreaming a lot about his old friend, whom Erickson claims is named Sean (despite being called only "Nolan" in the script).  According to Erickson, John (played by Coburn) betrayed Sean (played by David Warbeck) to the British, cuz he wanted the girl for himself. And John has been walking around all these years with this terrible guilty conscience about that betrayal. Like the ghost of Sean has been haunting him all these years. Since he is dreaming a lot about Sean, when Juan asks him "what's your name," (which I believe occurs just after the first flashback?) he briefly responds "Sean," cuz he's been dreaming about Sean, before quickly correcting himself and saying his real name.
(and btw, not that this means anything at all, but on imdb, it says that the character played by David Warbeck is named "Sean Nolan." Is this copied from the official cast list?)

I agree with Erickson on one specific point: the fact that the Irish newspaper calls him John Mallory makes it difficult to believe that his real Irish name is Sean, and that John is merely the English version.

However, I find this idea that it was Coburn who betrayed Warbeck kind of ridiculous. So Coburn -- who was a revolutionary -- betrayed Warbeck, another revolutionary, to the British, because he wanted the girl for himself; then Warbeck ratted out Coburn? Come on. Please. There ain't no way that one revolutionary would rat out another revolutionary; not cuz of idealism, but cuz of pragmatism: how the fuck could Coburn expect Warbeck to do anything other than to rat him out in turn? And then wtf does it mean when Coburn tells Villega that he only judged once? As Erickson describes the Coburn-Villega relationship, Village is a "fellow guilty informer." But the what the fuck did he "judge"? He "judged "Warbeck for banging his girlfriend? And Besides, in the scene where Warbeck rats out Coburn in the pub, the British soldier asks warbeck, "is it him?" So it is clear that that Warbeck has been tortured into revealing the identity of Coburn the revolutionary. if it was true that Coburn ratted out warbeck out of jealousy, and then Warbeck in turn ratted out Coburn, wtf would the soldier be asking "Is it him?" So i don't buy this theory of Erickson's at all; I don't even believe there is a 1% possibility that it is correct.

Sure, I believe it's true that Coburn is haunted, but it's not because he ratted out Warbeck to get the girl for himself. Rather, he is haunted by the fact that he killed Warbeck -- Coburn shouldn't have judged Warbeck: Warbeck only ratted out Coburn because he was tortured, and therefore, Warbeck didn't deserve to be killed.
Coburn had "judged" Warbeck, and for that, Coburn is guilty. And in the end, perhaps Coburn achieves a measure of redemption cuz when a similar thing happens with Villega -- he betrays revolutionaries cuz he is tortured -- Coburn refuses to judge him. So there is a parallel between that moment in the two revolutions: in both cases, one person betrays others after being tortured: in the first, Coburn "judges" him, and kills him. In the second, Coburn -- perhaps because he has grown up, perhaps cuz he no longer believes in revolution, perhaps because he has become more humane -- refuses to "judge" the betrayer; thereby redeeming himself.

If you adopt Erickson's approach, the parallel between the two is lost. While I am unsure as to the issue of the Coburn character's real name, I unequivocally reject Erickson's assertion that Coburn ratted out Warbeck to get the girl, and that is what's been eating at Coburn all this time.


Title: Re: No Confusion about Sean or John
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 05, 2012, 11:08:50 PM
Continuing with Glenn Erickson's opinions discussed in previous post: Now we come to the final flashback. (Remember, the whole point of this segment by Erickson is to point out the distinctions between the various versions of the movie), Erickson says that in the older, cut versions, the brief flashbacks seem to just be about Coburn's idealistic, beautiful memories of Ireland. But with the restored final flashback, we see that it is about more than that, there's much more negativie elements than that. Erickson mentions how  in that final flashback, the music changes when the girl goes from Coburn to Warbeck, indicating a tension about the love triangle. Erickson points out that the musical change is associated with the flashback scene in the pub, which, according to him, involves Coburn betraying Warbeck. So, according to Erickson, this final flashback explains it all -- we see now why it is that Coburn betrayed Warbeck -- cuz Warbeck took his girl.

So how do you explain Coburn's final smile? Erickson acknowledges this difficulty, and simply says that "it is ambiguous." Sorry Glenn, but that doesn't satisfy me.


IMO, we can't know anything for sure unless we know which musical cue in the final flashback is correct. As  discussed in the thread about the soundtrack comparison: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10181.0
 in the UK dvd, the music continues uninterrupted, which IMO indicates that Coburn was at peace with Warbeck sharing his girl, consistent with the final smile. (And further showing the depth of the Warbeck's betrayal: ie.  they were such close friends, even happily sharing the same girl, yet Warbeck betrayed Coburn).
But in the restored MGM dvd, where the music changes once the girl moves from Coburn to Warbeck, that would indicate tension over this love triangle. So why Coburn's smile at the end of that flashback?

Well, it's hard to know how to interpret it all without knowing which musical cue is correct.

In a recent post in that thread, UNCKNOWN says he believes that the restored version of the music is correct. http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10181.msg156174#msg156174
 IF that's the case, then there would be tension over the love triangle. (IMO, it is pretty clear that there is at least SOME tension; after all, we see Warbeck trying to push Coburn away from the girl, even while smiling. But not a major sort of tension, that would harm their friendship). If there is indeed tension and it is not a happy love triangle, then I do not understand Coburn's smile at the end of the final flashback. (Please don't say "it's a devious smile, cuz he knows he is about to betray Warbeck to the Brits.") As I said in the previous post, I completely reject that theory of Erickson's.

However, THE CLINT vigorously disputes that the SE is the correct version http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10181.msg157989#msg157989


So I still don't think we know for sure what the correct music is. It would really, really, really be awesome if we knew the answer to that.