Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: cigar joe on February 02, 2010, 03:34:42 AM



Title: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: cigar joe on February 02, 2010, 03:34:42 AM
Don't remember if this has ever been posted here or not. O0

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/article.jsp?assetId=P6630072

This turned out to be the final film from Sergio Leone, who passed away in 1989 at the age of 60. He was planning a massive epic about the siege of Stalingrad, and it's tragic that he was never able to make it. Like Stanley Kubrick, he didn't make that many films, but the ones that he did make are enough. Apart from his debut, The Colossus of Rhodes, this was his only departure from the Western genre. It's a gangster picture, but it's extremely different from any of the films I was making or from Francis Coppola's Godfather pictures. Once Upon a Time in America is grand, operatic, and it is structured as a meditation on the passing of time and history—personal history, social history, economic history. Robert De Niro and James Woods play two friends, children of Jewish immigrants who grow up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan into a life of racketeering. The Woods character understands the importance of leaving his roots, becoming a respectable citizen. The De Niro character can't do it—he can't deny his urges, his desires or his identity as a gangster. The film is majestic, with one of Ennio Morricone's most heartbreaking scores, but it's also brutally frank about sex, power and betrayal. The imagery is romantic, but the characters are not at all, and tension results in some remarkable scenes. De Niro's character takes the woman he loves (Elizabeth McGovern) to a deluxe restaurant on Long Island (it was actually shot in Venice) that he's rented for the night, and on the way home, he can't help himself—he needs to possess her: What begins as a romantic idyll moves into an upsetting scene of sexual violation. The longing to have more now is at the heart of the picture—there's a great scene early on in which one of the kids who grows up to be a gangster sits patiently on a stoop with a cream puff he's planning to give to a neighborhood girl in exchange for sexual favors. He sits and waits, and he takes one little bite, then another, then another, and he can't help devouring the whole thing. It's emblematic of the entire story. When Once Upon a Time in America was initially released here, it was cut almost in half and rearranged into chronological order, and while you could feel that there was greatness in the film, this version was really a violation of Leone's conception. The structure is extremely dense and complicated, moving back and forth in time, to devastating effect. The final scene of the picture takes place somewhere in the middle, and it ends on a profoundly haunting note. There was no one else like Sergio Leone. This is one of his greatest films.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: moviesceleton on February 02, 2010, 08:21:12 AM
Thanks for sharing O0


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: noodles_leone on February 03, 2010, 08:05:38 AM
 O0
First time I read this I think... it's nice!
I don't understand the following line thought: "This is one of his greatest films."
Doesn't make too much sense. When a guy does 7 movies, each one is both "one of his greatest" and "one of his worst".


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: moviesceleton on February 03, 2010, 08:50:18 AM
O0
First time I read this I think... it's nice!
I don't understand the following line thought: "This is one of his greatest films."
Doesn't make too much sense. When a guy does 7 movies, each one is both "one of his greatest" and "one of his worst".
I could make following distinction:
HIS BEST PICTURES:
OUATIA
OUATITW
GBU

HIS WORST PICTURES:
DYS
FAFDM
FOD
COR

But yeah, such categorizing is more suitable with directors like Hitchcock or Scorsese himself.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: noodles_leone on February 03, 2010, 10:01:36 AM
I could make following distinction:
HIS BEST PICTURES:
OUATIA
OUATITW
GBU

HIS WORST PICTURES:
FAFDM
FOD
COR

HIS STRANGE PICTURES:
DYS


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: The Firecracker on February 03, 2010, 08:16:37 PM
Like Stanley Kubrick, he didn't make that many films


Damn, really?

I know nobody cares about his stuff before The Killing but that doesn't mean the previous five don't count!

16 films seem like more than enough for one director to tackle in his lifetime.

At least it's a sight more than Leone's 7.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Dust Devil on February 04, 2010, 11:56:16 AM
At least it's a sight more than Leone's 7.

Though I'm pretty sure many people think the correct number is 6... :-X


Thanks CJ! O0



Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: moviesceleton on February 04, 2010, 01:46:37 PM
Though I'm pretty sure many people think the correct number is 6... :-X


Thanks CJ! O0


Unfortunately, bad movies count, too.

Sorry, I'm being totally prejudiced. I haven't even seen COR...


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: stanton on February 05, 2010, 01:43:08 AM
For me the number is 9. Including Pompeji (which he at least directed) and Nobody, which is all his (even if he didn't directed it).


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: dave jenkins on February 05, 2010, 06:53:07 AM
For me the number is 9. Including Pompeji (which he at least directed) and Nobody, which is all his (even if he didn't directed it).
Somebody give this man a beer!


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: noodles_leone on February 05, 2010, 09:15:37 AM
Here we go again. No prisoners.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 27, 2011, 07:28:09 AM
Somebody give this man a beer!

and don't forget "A Genius, Two Partners, and a Dupe"!


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: stanton on January 29, 2011, 05:39:14 AM
and don't forget "A Genius, Two Partners, and a Dupe"!

No, that's surely not a Leone. Nothing Leonesque in it.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: dave jenkins on January 29, 2011, 02:17:43 PM
The number I'm thinking is  . . . 8 1/2. :D


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 30, 2011, 01:17:53 AM
No, that's surely not a Leone. Nothing Leonesque in it.

I have not seen that film yet, but I was under the impression that Leone produced it, or it was "presented by" Leone, or something like that. He did have something to do with it, no?


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Dust Devil on January 30, 2011, 02:35:13 AM
He did have something to do with it, no?

Yeah, but that hardly makes it his movie.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Novecento on January 30, 2011, 10:44:55 AM
Leone directed the introductory scene. You will definitely be able to tell this when you watch it.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 31, 2011, 12:58:34 AM
Leone directed the introductory scene. You will definitely be able to tell this when you watch it.

was he the producer as well?


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: stanton on January 31, 2011, 01:48:35 AM
Yes, his company produced it, just like MNIN.

And he directed the first scene. But that is an ordinary scene, and even if it bears many of the Leone trademarks it is nothing special, and everybody who tried to copy the Leone style could have done it in a similar way. Damiani too.
As a Leone scene it is one of his lesser ones, whereas nearly every scene in MNIN can compete with the best of him.

There are no reports that he was involved very much in the making of A Genius, and unlike MNIN Leone apparently never claimed that this was a film he was more interested in than for the money making aspect.

A genius is also a pretty strange film for a director like Damiani, who was not a wrong choice for a comedy. It is mostly an unfunny comedy which would have needed a talented guy like E. B. Clucher to make it work. A disappointment.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Dust Devil on January 31, 2011, 02:16:07 AM
whereas nearly every scene in MNIN can compete with the best of him.

Let's just not get carried away here. We've had discussions about this before, most of us agree that's not the case. It would be nice if it was, but it isn't.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 31, 2011, 04:43:23 AM
Let's just not get carried away here. We've had discussions about this before, most of us agree that's not the case. It would be nice if it was, but it isn't.

hey, everyone is entitled to his opinion  :)

I myself had mixed feelings about MNIN. I watched it once, but I didn't really "get it." I mean, I understood the basic metaphor of Hill as the Spaghetti Western and Fonda as the Hollywood Western, but I didn't really understand it fully, cuz the only Westerns I had seen by the time I watched MNIN were Leone's and a few from Hollywood. I had never seen any non-Leone Spaghettis, or any of the Trinity films.

I subsequently read up more about MNIN, and realized I should really have watched some other Spaghettis, and the Trinitys, before watching MNIN. I have not watched MNIN a second time yet, but from what I have read, I have a newfound respect for it. I plan to watch some more Spaghettis and the Trinitys and then watch MNIN again, and I think I will be able to understand and appreciate it better.

Interestingly, OUATITW is another movie that can not be understood without prior familiarity with other Westerns. Therefore, I had a similar reaction the first time I saw OUATITW: I actually HATED it, because that was pretty much the first Westerns I had ever seen aside from the Dollars films. So I completely did not understand OUATITW, which is really a film about the Western genre.  I didn't "get it" at all, and just thought it was a terrible movie dragged on forever and ever. Even so, as I was watching it, I understood that there was a deeper metaphor that I was not missing. So I decided to research it. Then, several months later, I finally watched OUATITW it for the second time -- after having read up on it in "Something to Do With Death," and watching many Hollywood Westerns -- with the dvd commentary. And I was absolutely blown away! Needless to say, it is now, as with all of Leone's films, among my favorite movies of all-time. Viva Leone!

Btw, just so y'all understand where I am coming from: I am 26-years old, and just saw GBU (my first Leone film and pretty much my first Western) less than 2 years ago.  I became instantly obsessed with Leone and Westerns, and have spent every moment since then making up for lost time, watching Westerns and reading every word I can find about Leone.

On that note, if anyone has any good suggestions for books about Leone, please let me know. I already own all of Frayling's books (which are incredible), and I have also read a book called "The Films of Sergio Leone," by Robert C. Cumbow (which IMO is terrible). If you have suggestions for any other books or research material on Leone, please let me know!

Thanks!


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: stanton on January 31, 2011, 06:29:46 AM
Let's just not get carried away here. We've had discussions about this before, most of us agree that's not the case. It would be nice if it was, but it isn't.

What other people think about this is not necessarily my concern and won't change my opinion. MNIN is one of the best directed westerns ever. And I can see it in nearly every scene. There are flaws in the conception, but the mere staging of the scenes is superb.
Look at the simple shot when Fonda leaves the ferry rides up a small hill and spots from there the "fishing" Hill down at the river. That's a magnificent shot. I can find this way of shooting often by Leone and Corbucci, but only rarely in other SWs.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Dust Devil on January 31, 2011, 07:25:00 AM
What other people think about this is not necessarily my concern and won't change my opinion.

Hell, haha, this is my sort of answer. Same here, but what I wanted to say is that many of us here do consider it to be connected with Leone, but at the same time have to bow down to the presented facts - MNIN just doesn't have that feeling of perpetual brilliance that all of his movies, save perhaps COR, have. DVD - this movie was made to be put on one, so that one doesn't have to watch all those boring scenes when the concept and character over-indulging drown the direction of the story and the message down.

MNIN is one of the best directed westerns ever. And I can see it in nearly every scene. There are flaws in the conception, but the mere staging of the scenes is superb.
Look at the simple shot when Fonda leaves the ferry rides up a small hill and spots from there the "fishing" Hill down at the river. That's a magnificent shot. I can find this way of shooting often by Leone and Corbucci, but only rarely in other SWs.

A Western very dear to me too. Watched it as a kid numerous times. Still, for me it is not his movie cause of what presented above.

Yes, that is a great scene, but say, what about the scenes when Nobody's in town? Those are Barboni scenes, not Leone scenes, as much as I like both directors for what they offered. The movies he directed don't have amplitudes that are that drastic.

Finally, Leone didn't strike me as someone who liked sharing his ideas and merits with anybody else. I'm thinking if MNIN was indeed his movie, he would have been credited as the director. Make no mistake about it. ;)


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 31, 2011, 02:19:56 PM


Finally, Leone didn't strike me as someone who liked sharing his ideas and merits with anybody else. I'm thinking if MNIN was indeed his movie, he would have been credited as the director. Make no mistake about it. ;)

I'm not so sure about that. One of the reasons Peter Bogdanovich didn't work out as director of DYS (according to Frayling) is that Leone wanted Bogdanovich to shoot the movie Leone-style (eg. tight close-ups) but Bogdanovich wasn't interested in shooting a Leone film, he wanted to do it his own way.

So it would seem that rather than refusing to share his ideas, Leone was actually quite eager to have movies he was involved with being filmed Leone-style.

("Something to do with Death" indeed describes how Leone would often not give full credit to some of those who worked on the films,  but I do not think that he refrained from sharing his directing ideas with those who directed films he produced)


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Groggy on January 31, 2011, 04:30:39 PM
hey, everyone is entitled to his opinion  :)

I myself had mixed feelings about MNIN. I watched it once, but I didn't really "get it." I mean, I understood the basic metaphor of Hill as the Spaghetti Western and Fonda as the Hollywood Western, but I didn't really understand it fully, cuz the only Westerns I had seen by the time I watched MNIN were Leone's and a few from Hollywood. I had never seen any non-Leone Spaghettis, or any of the Trinity films.

I subsequently read up more about MNIN, and realized I should really have watched some other Spaghettis, and the Trinitys, before watching MNIN. I have not watched MNIN a second time yet, but from what I have read, I have a newfound respect for it. I plan to watch some more Spaghettis and the Trinitys and then watch MNIN again, and I think I will be able to understand and appreciate it better.

I've seen MNIN three times now and still think it's mediocre.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Dust Devil on January 31, 2011, 11:32:09 PM
I'm not so sure about that. One of the reasons Peter Bogdanovich didn't work out as director of DYS (according to Frayling) is that Leone wanted Bogdanovich to shoot the movie Leone-style (eg. tight close-ups) but Bogdanovich wasn't interested in shooting a Leone film, he wanted to do it his own way.

So it would seem that rather than refusing to share his ideas, Leone was actually quite eager to have movies he was involved with being filmed Leone-style.

("Something to do with Death" indeed describes how Leone would often not give full credit to some of those who worked on the films,  but I do not think that he refrained from sharing his directing ideas with those who directed films he produced)

It is my personal persuasion the reason behind those possibilities was that SL wanted to see if the only reason for his movies/vision not reaching the audience in the US was himself. Just my two cents. ;)


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Dust Devil on January 31, 2011, 11:33:54 PM
In fact, all stories aside, nobody directed the movies he wanted to direct himself. Nobody was faster. That's what I'm sayin'.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 01, 2011, 01:01:57 AM
It is my personal persuasion the reason behind those possibilities was that SL wanted to see if the only reason for his movies/vision not reaching the audience in the US was himself. Just my two cents. ;)

while all his post-Dollars films indeed did not do well in America, the Dollars trilogy actually did very, very well in America; (not necessarily with the critics, but with audiences they made er... fistfuls of dollars  ;)


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Dust Devil on February 01, 2011, 01:43:56 AM
while all his post-Dollars films indeed did not do well in America, the Dollars trilogy actually did very, very well in America; (not necessarily with the critics, but with audiences they made er... fistfuls of dollars  ;)

Well I couldn't agree with this, but even if so - OUATITW was the turning point.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: stanton on February 01, 2011, 01:58:36 AM
Compared to Hollywood westerns of these years the Dollar trilogy was a success in the US, but not a very great one (If the box office data in the Hardy book is true).
Even a half baked film like The Cheyenne Social Club made more money than the first 2. Hang 'em High made more money than the trilogy films, even if it is half as attractive as those. The awful Bandolero also topped the first 2.
In the inflation adjusted list no Leone is amongst the first 50 most successful westerns.

According to Frayling OuTW made about a million. That's not impressive, but also not that bad for an European western.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: stanton on February 01, 2011, 02:18:31 AM
I'm not so sure about that. One of the reasons Peter Bogdanovich didn't work out as director of DYS (according to Frayling) is that Leone wanted Bogdanovich to shoot the movie Leone-style (eg. tight close-ups) but Bogdanovich wasn't interested in shooting a Leone film, he wanted to do it his own way.

So it would seem that rather than refusing to share his ideas, Leone was actually quite eager to have movies he was involved with being filmed Leone-style.

("Something to do with Death" indeed describes how Leone would often not give full credit to some of those who worked on the films,  but I do not think that he refrained from sharing his directing ideas with those who directed films he produced)

There is a Leone quote in which he says: ""I originally went into the role of producer with this principle in mind: 'A Sergio Leone film directed by someone else'."

He tried this with DYS but ended as the actual director for DYS, and fell flat on his face. The film got initially bad reviews and was less successful than the 4 predecessors.

But I think he did it with MNIN.

DYS showed how much Leone had developed his style since FoD, and it is a very good directed film, but it lacks the brilliant scenes all of the 4 films before had. He wasn't that interested in DYS, and the film lacks the naturalness of the earlier films, the effort to reproduce his style is always visible.

But MNIN contains a lot of brilliant scenes.  At least the fillet pieces like the opening scene, Fondas battle with the wild bunch, the New Orleans duel scene and the harbour scenes top everything in DYS and can easily compete with the best scenes of the first 4.






Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: stanton on February 01, 2011, 02:22:40 AM


Yes, that is a great scene, but say, what about the scenes when Nobody's in town? Those are Barboni scenes, not Leone scenes, as much as I like both directors for what they offered. The movies he directed don't have amplitudes that are that drastic.


Barboni was a good director, but not a great one. Barboni was the director A Genius had needed to become a good and funny film.

The comedy scenes in Nobody are not the ones I care for very much, but most of them are also very well shot and staged. The style is there.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 01, 2011, 03:26:53 AM
Here are the gross earnings of the Dollars films in the USA, as listed on p. 287 of Frayling's "Spaghetti Westerns."

FOD -- $3.5 million
FAFDM -- $5 million
GBU -- $6 million

Wikipedia (citing Howard Hughes) says that in 1967, FOD grossed $4.5 million in the USA.

I am no expert in what these figures mean relative to other films, but my understanding, according to what I have read and heard in Frayling's works, is that each film of the Dollars trilogy was a tremendous success in the USA


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 01, 2011, 03:34:24 AM
RE: the discussion of DYS:

IMO it is a terrific film, up there with all the other Leone films (and a friggin' incredible score by Morricone, as usual). However, while it does have some elements of a Western (eg. Mexican bandits, stagecoach holdups), I do not consider it a Western film. I think the only reason some people refer to DYS as a Western is cuz it was directed by Leone.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: stanton on February 01, 2011, 05:06:10 AM
Here are the gross earnings of the Dollars films in the USA, as listed on p. 287 of Frayling's "Spaghetti Westerns."

FOD -- $3.5 million
FAFDM -- $5 million
GBU -- $6 million

Wikipedia (citing Howard Hughes) says that in 1967, FOD grossed $4.5 million in the USA.

I am no expert in what these figures mean relative to other films, but my understanding, according to what I have read and heard in Frayling's works, is that each film of the Dollars trilogy was a tremendous success in the USA

That's what I thought too. But the data of Hardy tell a different story:

FoD: 4,25 mio
FaFDM: 4,35
GBU: 6,11

Some US Westerns of these days:



Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: 45,95 (29,2 in the adjusted list)
Little Big Man: 15,0
Paint Your Wagon : 14,5 (erghh ...)
True Grit: 14,25
The Professionals: 8,8
Hang em High : 6,78
El Dorado: 6,0
The War Wagon: 5,93
Hombre: 5,6
Bandolero: 5,5
The Wild Bunch: 5,3
5 Card Stud: 4,25


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: cigar joe on February 01, 2011, 05:37:26 AM
If Leone could have only patented the "Italian Western" and had been able to limit the right to making them perhaps he would not have gotten to the point where he became disillusioned by the sheer amount of quick buck rip offs, knock offs, and parody's etc., etc. The 600 or so Italian/Euro Westerns that flooded the market diluted the product.

There are a lot of Spaghetti's out there that have some brilliant sequences, great scores, nice styling, interesting stories, but not, sad to say, all in one film.

Aside from Leone's Westerns I count about 15-18 as very good, but as most on the board here know my tolerance level is low and especially low for slap stick comedies.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 01, 2011, 07:35:30 AM
That's what I thought too. But the data of Hardy tell a different story:

FoD: 4,25 mio
FaFDM: 4,35
GBU: 6,11

Some US Westerns of these days:



Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: 45,95 (29,2 in the adjusted list)
Little Big Man: 15,0
Paint Your Wagon : 14,5 (erghh ...)
True Grit: 14,25
The Professionals: 8,8
Hang em High : 6,78
El Dorado: 6,0
The War Wagon: 5,93
Hombre: 5,6
Bandolero: 5,5
The Wild Bunch: 5,3
5 Card Stud: 4,25


hmm... perhaps Frayling was referring to how well the Dollars did relative to other Spaghettis, or relative to the movies' budgets?


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 01, 2011, 07:37:33 AM
btw once you mention Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, I just had to say: isn't that an overrated movie? I mean, it is good, but not nearly as good as people make it out to be.

That movie could never figure out whether it is serious or a comedy. I don't like that sort of schizophrenia. Anyone agree with me on that?


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: cigar joe on February 01, 2011, 03:25:32 PM
btw once you mention Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, I just had to say: isn't that an overrated movie? I mean, it is good, but not nearly as good as people make it out to be.

That movie could never figure out whether it is serious or a comedy. I don't like that sort of schizophrenia. Anyone agree with me on that?

I agree, it only (for me anyway) has a few great sequences the rest is so-so, and I don't like the "raindrops" music video insert, nor the A cappella score.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Groggy on February 01, 2011, 09:15:06 PM
I used to think so about Butch Cassidy but a recent rewatch changed my tune.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Groggy on February 01, 2011, 09:32:12 PM
If Leone could have only patented the "Italian Western" and had been able to limit the right to making them perhaps he would not have gotten to the point where he became disillusioned by the sheer amount of quick buck rip offs, knock offs, and parody's etc., etc. The 600 or so Italian/Euro Westerns that flooded the market diluted the product.

There are a lot of Spaghetti's out there that have some brilliant sequences, great scores, nice styling, interesting stories, but not, sad to say, all in one film.

Aside from Leone's Westerns I count about 15-18 as very good, but as most on the board here know my tolerance level is low and especially low for slap stick comedies.

btw CJ there's an idiot on IMDB claiming Italians can't make Westerns. If you're in the mood for a rumble. ;)


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: cigar joe on February 02, 2011, 03:49:51 AM
btw CJ there's an idiot on IMDB claiming Italians can't make Westerns. If you're in the mood for a rumble. ;)

not drystyx ? lol.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Groggy on February 02, 2011, 02:09:38 PM
Nah, it's someone who can string a sentence together.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 02, 2011, 03:15:59 PM
I agree, it only (for me anyway) has a few great sequences the rest is so-so, and I don't like the "raindrops" music video insert, nor the A cappella score.

the Raindrops video is cute by itself, but it doesn't fit with the movie. As I said, this movie is schizophrenic; it seems like it can't decide if it wants to be a 1960's musical, a comedy, or a serious Western (or all 3). And in the last of the three musical montages (the one depicting the bank robberies in Bolivia), the song (if you can call it that) was really irritating.

Paul Newman is always great, and it's a good movie. But it's just ridiculous when I see it wind up on top of so many "Top Movies" and "Top Westerns" list. I think of it as a Western for non-Western fans


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Groggy on February 02, 2011, 03:28:53 PM
I think Butch Cassidy is pretty straightforward in its silliness. I wouldn't say "schizophrenic" applies when there's little serious content.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 02, 2011, 04:21:35 PM
I think Butch Cassidy is pretty straightforward in its silliness. I wouldn't say "schizophrenic" applies when there's little serious content.

well, if it was a straight comedy, I wouldn't have minded as much. i don't think you can call it a straight comedy either; it's not like eg. "My Name Is Nobody."

Take for example the scene where the girl says that she'll do everything for Butch & Sundance, except "watch you die." That is a very serious and somber scene, and no comedy/silliness there. There's lots of stuff that just doesn't fit together.

Of course, even serious Westerns can have comic relief; eg. Leone's films are full of gags. But it's the WAY it's done more than anything. "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid" just crossed that line into silliness/comedy while retaining some level of seriousness, which bothered me.

I would bet that hardcore fans of the Western genre do not like it nearly as much as those who are not hardcore Western fans.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: cigar joe on February 02, 2011, 04:51:57 PM
Quote
I would bet that hardcore fans of the Western genre do not like it nearly as much as those who are not hardcore Western fans.

I would say that was true.


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Groggy on February 02, 2011, 05:32:32 PM
I would bet that hardcore fans of the Western genre do not like it nearly as much as those who are not hardcore Western fans.

I enjoy having my integrity as a Western fan impugned on occasion.

Quote
Of course, even serious Westerns can have comic relief; eg. Leone's films are full of gags. But it's the WAY it's done more than anything. "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid" just crossed that line into silliness/comedy while retaining some level of seriousness, which bothered me.

To borrow a phrase from Peter O'Toole (not applying to this film of course), I see it as "a comedy with tragic relief." There are some "straight" scenes but they're definitely the minority of the film. And who said comedy can't have serious elements, anyway?


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 02, 2011, 08:32:00 PM
I enjoy having my integrity as a Western fan impugned on occasion.

To borrow a phrase from Peter O'Toole (not applying to this film of course), I see it as "a comedy with tragic relief." There are some "straight" scenes but they're definitely the minority of the film. And who said comedy can't have serious elements, anyway?

of course, a comedy can have serious elements, and vice versa. no movie has to try to fit perfectly into a particular label/genre. But it depends on how it's done. Usually at least I like to get a feel of whether the movie is a serious one with comic relief, or a comedy with serious elements. I think "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" tried straddling the line and you never can quite get a feel for what it is. Hard to explain it in a tangible way; it's just a feeling I get.

And I was referring to the belief that GENERALLY, I think the movie does better with non-Western fans than with hardcore Western fans. No intent to impugn the Western cred of any of the distinguished Leoneites (or is it Leoneistas?) on this forum :-)

btw, i've come to realize that bad movies do not bother me nearly as much as ones that are good but overrated ;)


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Dust Devil on February 02, 2011, 10:58:10 PM
Yeah, but, what about Scorsese and OUATIA?


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: noodles_leone on February 03, 2011, 04:18:43 AM
I'm with the grog on that one. I like the fact that they did a comedy with a kind of weird, somber and tender nostalgia feeling all over it. It's what makes it a bit unique and definitly raises the movie to another level. Not to forget it perfectly fits the story (remember that what we're really witnessing in the end of Butch and the Kid. They're cool and fun, but they're dying).

Yeah, but, what about Scorsese and OUATIA?

Who are these guys?


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Senza on March 14, 2013, 03:38:25 AM
hey, everyone is entitled to his opinion  :)

I myself had mixed feelings about MNIN. I watched it once, but I didn't really "get it." I mean, I understood the basic metaphor of Hill as the Spaghetti Western and Fonda as the Hollywood Western, but I didn't really understand it fully, cuz the only Westerns I had seen by the time I watched MNIN were Leone's and a few from Hollywood. I had never seen any non-Leone Spaghettis, or any of the Trinity films.


Shit! I never really saw it like that, I was ready to give MNIN 5/5 stars, but I didn't quite get the entire picture. Now that you've mentioned that metaphor, I'll probably watch the trinity films and re-visit the film soon, maybe this time I can give it a higher rating [which I really want to].


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 14, 2013, 04:32:56 AM
Shit! I never really saw it like that, I was ready to give MNIN 5/5 stars, but I didn't quite get the entire picture. Now that you've mentioned that metaphor, I'll probably watch the trinity films and re-visit the film soon, maybe this time I can give it a higher rating [which I really want to].

yeah, that's the basic theme of the movie: after the initial spag craze, a few of spag comedies came out (most famously the Trinity ones, starring Hill) and by that time, in the early 70's, the spag sub-genre had basically become a parody of itself; so I guess Leone figured if anyone would do a send-up of his sub-genre, it should be him.

So, Fonda represents the classic AW gunfighter hero, older, distinguished, clean-cut etc, while Hill represents the spag, the messy, dirty dude, the spag character, and the history they bring with them: Henry Fonda, who played Wyatt Earp, Frank James, and so many other Western heroes; and Hill, who played all those comedic spag characters.

and at the end, with all the seld-conscious mythmaking (like the duel being photographed for posterity), Fonda leaves town, representing the AW bowing out and passing the torch to the spag.

btw, Hill has said that of all the movies he starred in, MNIN was his fave


Title: Re: Scorsese on OUTIA
Post by: Senza on March 14, 2013, 04:35:25 AM
It's funny how Hill represents SW's but is not very violent.