Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Duck, You Sucker => Topic started by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 23, 2009, 07:43:55 PM



Title: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 23, 2009, 07:43:55 PM
I really like DYS and feel that is the equal or better of the rest of Leone's films.  But I was thinking if it works as part of the OUAT trilogy.  For one thing I'm not convinced that any of Leone's films can be thought of as being part of a trilogy.  Even the Dollars trilogy was creating by a clever marketing campaign (the myth of the Man with No Name).

DYS would seem to work better as a continuation of GBU.  Juan is Tuco, Sean is Blondie, maybe Ruiz is Angeleyes and Villega is the Union captain.  DYS expands and deepens GBU's themes of poverty and violence.  Both war and revolution benefit the few and slaughter many people.  GBU starts as an adventure, becomes more haunted and complex, and then ends as an adventure.  DYS starts the same way but ends with a very somber tone.  GBU is like adolescence, where you can be confronted by serious issues but can also hide from them.  DYS is adulthood, there's no place to hide.  The two movies complete either other.  (FaFDM and OUATITW also have similar themes:  the decline of old world romanticism and chivalry, the railroad as the dubious agent of change)

DYS might work with OUATIA with their common theme of poverty or OUATITW can work with OUATIA because one is about the end of old America while the other is dealing with the evolution and end result of the new society that was created in OUATITW.  But do all three of them work together?

Anyway I would love to hear any thoughts and ideas from the rest of you.   :)


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Groggy on July 24, 2009, 07:26:45 AM
Yeah, I don't exactly see the Once Upon a Times as a real trilogy. The films don't have any real connection with each other and claiming DYS fits into a trilogy "that touches three periods of America" is rather a stretch.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 24, 2009, 09:30:39 AM
claiming DYS fits into a trilogy "that touches three periods of America" is rather a stretch.

My feelings exactly.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Novecento on July 24, 2009, 09:37:20 AM
Yeah, I don't exactly see the Once Upon a Times as a real trilogy. The films don't have any real connection with each other and claiming DYS fits into a trilogy "that touches three periods of America" is rather a stretch.

Actually, I'd always viewed the trilogy as Leone's broad yet localized take on the development of America: the Wild West of the late 19th century; the Mexican revolution of the early 20th century; the second wave of immigrants in the first half of the 20th century.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Novecento on July 24, 2009, 09:40:15 AM
DYS would seem to work better as a continuation of GBU. 

Alex Cox suggests that Clint's picking up of the poncho towards the end of GBU may be viewed as signifying the stage before his arrival at the beginning of FOD wearing the poncho.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: noodles_leone on July 24, 2009, 09:52:30 AM
Alex Cox suggests that Clint's picking up of the poncho towards the end of GBU may be viewed as signifying the stage before his arrival at the beginning of FOD wearing the poncho.

Leone said it. ("Conversations avec Sergio Leone", Noel Simsolo)


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 24, 2009, 01:49:41 PM
Alex Cox suggests that Clint's picking up of the poncho towards the end of GBU may be viewed as signifying the stage before his arrival at the beginning of FOD wearing the poncho.

I guess.  I took it to mean that Blondie, by wearing the poncho from FoD and FaFDM, was now at full power and that he was firmly in control over Tuco and Angeleyes.  Just because Leone said it doesn't make it the only interpretation.  I forget but I think it was DJ who said something very smart along those lines.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Groggy on July 24, 2009, 02:06:41 PM
In one of our film classes the point was made that once a film is finished the director is just another spectator. Authorial intent is all well and good, but that does not exclude other ways of looking at something.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: noodles_leone on July 24, 2009, 03:12:53 PM
Old debate. I'm not entering it: do with the intentions of Leone what you want :)
(anyway, that's still something he said years after, in the mid 1980's, so it could also be a spectator standpoint and not even his real intention)


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 24, 2009, 04:00:45 PM
(anyway, that's still something he said years after, in the mid 1980's, so it could also be a spectator standpoint and not even his real intention)

Good point.  Also I've heard that Leone would change his viewpoint or alter stories over the years.  Directors and others who change movies don't seem to understand that their creating a new movie, not a director's cut of an existing movie.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Novecento on July 24, 2009, 06:34:26 PM
Leone said it. ("Conversations avec Sergio Leone", Noel Simsolo)

Yeh, you're right. I thought I'd read that somewhere before but I read the Alex Cox book much more recently.

Good point.  Also I've heard that Leone would change his viewpoint or alter stories over the years.

I've just re-read the relevant section of Simsolo again where Leone describes it as if he intended it to be this way. He actually ties it in really nicely with a discussion of the triel in the circular arena with the trilogy then also forming a complete circle as Clint rides off to begin his adventures in FOD.

He also says that he had the graveyard constructed around the circular arena to make it seem as if all the corpses in the graveyard were the spectators.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 24, 2009, 10:33:04 PM
I've just re-read the relevant section of Simsolo again where Leone describes it as if he intended it to be this way. He actually ties it in really nicely with a discussion of the trial in the circular arena with the trilogy then also forming a complete circle as Clint rides off to begin his adventures in FOD.

He also says that he had the graveyard constructed around the circular arena to make it seem as if all the corpses in the graveyard were the spectators.

I still believe that any movie is open to multiple interpretations or then why watch movies to begin with.  But thanks for Leone's thoughts on this.   O0


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: stanton on July 25, 2009, 05:30:34 AM
If a film is done and shown, then anybody's opinion is as good as the director's, (or any other people creatively involved in the making of the film).

But of course, a director's take on his own film deserves more of our interest then the opinion of the salesman living next door.
Only, we shouldn't trust them too much. All people involved in making a film have reasons to make up things by hindsight.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: dave jenkins on July 25, 2009, 11:51:34 AM
I really like DYS and feel that is the equal or better of the rest of Leone's films.  But I was thinking if it works as part of the OUAT trilogy.  For one thing I'm not convinced that any of Leone's films can be thought of as being part of a trilogy.  Even the Dollars trilogy was creating by a clever marketing campaign (the myth of the Man with No Name).

DYS would seem to work better as a continuation of GBU.  Juan is Tuco, Sean is Blondie, maybe Ruiz is Angeleyes and Villega is the Union captain.  DYS expands and deepens GBU's themes of poverty and violence.  Both war and revolution benefit the few and slaughter many people.  GBU starts as an adventure, becomes more haunted and complex, and then ends as an adventure.  DYS starts the same way but ends with a very somber tone.  GBU is like adolescence, where you can be confronted by serious issues but can also hide from them.  DYS is adulthood, there's no place to hide.  The two movies complete either other.  (FaFDM and OUATITW also have similar themes:  the decline of old world romanticism and chivalry, the railroad as the dubious agent of change)
You have some good observations here. I would add that the idea of one-up-manship that surfaces in FAFDM returns in a more developed form in DYS. Recall the hat shooting scene between Monco and Blondie and the boy's comments about the games people play. Then consider the initial contest between Juan and Firecracker in DYS: every time Juan threatens the other (or does something to inconvenience him) Firecracker responds by blowing something up. I have argued elsewhere that the contest continues throughout much of the film, though with increasing subtlety: for example, Mallory's ploy to get Juan caught up in the Revolution is a response to Juan's killing off Mallory's employer. Mallory has had his meal ticket taken away from him, so he makes sure Juan won't have the chance to make any money either. Eventually socio-political events overtake the "game" and obviate it, but not before a bond is established between the two men. The friendship follows that pattern established between Monco-Mortimer and continued by Blondie-Tuco.

All of which is to say that there is a natural progression from FAFDM to GBU to DYS. Although there is also a buddy relationship in OUATITW (between Harmonica and Cheyenne), that film as a whole bears less resemblance to the other Leones than the other Leones bear to each other. Indeed, it's possible to imagine OUATITW as having never been made: if Leone had made FAFDM, GBU, and DYS without OUATITW intervening, we would not feel that anything was missing. OUATITW, with its conscious use of archetypes and  reliance on earlier Westerns, is sui generis, and thus really can't be grouped with the other Leone films.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on July 25, 2009, 06:10:12 PM
Very true.  Of course OUATIA continues the buddy relationship even further, focusing on the toll that time, betrayal, and fate has on the lives of Noodles and Max.  Maybe rather than two trilogies, we could say that FoD is a prototype, OUATITW is a standalone effort, and FaFDM/GBU/DYS/OUATIA is Leone's life's work on the nature of male friendship and the way that politics or greed or ambition destroys that most sacred of bonds.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Dust Devil on July 26, 2009, 12:19:21 PM
I never thought it was a classic trilogy sharing characters or plot, but there's obviously a ethereal yet very ambitious bond between OUATITW, DYS and OUATIA, so I say that it is, or at least I consider it to be, for what it's worth.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Novecento on July 27, 2009, 06:27:12 AM
I never thought it was a classic trilogy sharing characters or plot, but there's obviously a ethereal yet very ambitious bond between OUATITW, DYS and OUATIA, so I say that it is, or at least I consider it to be, for what it's worth.

Yes I agree, and I think Leone viewed it that way too after he had completed the OUAT trilogy. In Simsolo, he says it was only with this trilogy that he really was able to fully display his own style exactly as he wanted. Regardless of any plot connections, there is certainly a very clear division in visual style between the two trilogies.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Novecento on July 28, 2009, 05:35:36 AM
Some interesting recent observations from a member called The Highweed Kid at SWDB:

Quote
Blondie in GBU is already younger than serape-wearing Blondie in Fistful of Dollars or For A Few Dollars More.  GBU was made last, but chronologically, it is the first in the series.

To prove my point:
GBU - Civil War Setting, including 1851 and 1860 revolvers.   

FOD and FOAFDM - 1870s or later setting, Colt 1873 Peacemakers, Winchesters, etc.

In GBU, Blondie wears a duster and a broad brimmed light colored hat through most of the film.  He did not yet own the serape and brown hat and other clothes. He gets his brown hat and vest and other Man With No Name clothes from Angel Eyes, and he gets his serape from the dying soldier.   In GBU, we see how The Man With No Name started out.    I would think that it is obviously chronologically first!


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: cigar joe on July 28, 2009, 06:07:54 PM
been there done that  O0


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Novecento on August 04, 2009, 03:41:28 PM
Only broadly relevant but this is Sergio Sollima commenting on his trilogy and how his departure from the Cuchillo role in his second film differed from Leone's approach:

Quote
I had worked with Donati before. He was technically very close to my style of writing and imagining a
screenplay. However, in Faccia... his contribution was minor compared to other projects. Faccia.. is really my
child. Tomas was already in my mind when we started creating Faccia. After Resa... he was my fixed choice,
and we always had a very proficient collaboration, in every movie. I knew that Beauregard would be something
completely different from Cuchillo, I took the risk. I don´t know today if I did the right thing by changing
drastically the character typology. Maybe, continuing the second movie with another Cuchillo story would have
been more convenient from a box office point of view. Leone did his dollar trilogy in this sense. But I have
never been a successful money maker. I was too much interested in what I wanted to express at that very
moment in time. Box office was another story... just consider that Django clearly beat Faccia.. with respect to
mere business.


Title: Re: DYS and the OUAT Trilogy
Post by: Colonel Günther Ruiz on August 04, 2009, 03:57:18 PM
Its probably been done in Italy but a book and/or a movie about the three Sergio's would be interesting.  As always, thanks Novecento.   O0