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Messages - The Peacemaker

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I just received my copy of this and am blown away! When you first skim through it, I suggest ignoring the text and absorbing all the wonderful imagery first.  There are some amazing behind the scenes photos including costume tests and character/set designs that I found particularly interesting (though I agree with Le Bon that they left some awesome stills out of the book, the ones he described I've seen too and can be viewed here:  ).

A few additional bits that I found fascinating are the original story treatment registered with the Italian Film Ministry (including an alternate film title I've never heard of before, l won't ruin the surprise), production schedule, and some extra photos of deleted scenes. The last item confirms a long time suspicion that I and other Leone-philes have long held that there was a brief scene in which Frank and Cheyenne actually encounter one another on the streets of Flagstone before the latter is escorted to the Yuma train. That's a scene I truly wish never fell to the cutting room floor!

Overall, I believe it's worth every penny as it delivered on my "coffee-table book" expectations.   

Duck, You Sucker / Re: Soundtrack Question
« on: February 09, 2017, 09:02:40 PM »
Well my friend torrented Duck You Sucker and downloaded the best link he could find, so I'm not 100% on the exact source but I'm assuming it's the Italian blu ray or DVD. The version I got features the restored sequences (Mao quote, church dynamiting, full end flashback) with English mono sound mix (yes all the correct musical cues, bells & whistles) and Italian titles. It's SD quality (720x304 with the letterbox removed) but appears to be very high quality compression, which is why I assumed the torrent's source is blu ray rather than regular DVD.

The only downside to this version is the odd color grading (from what I understand is not unique to DYS alone but all of the Leone restorations). MGM managed to achieve a more natural look to the color palette of the film, the difference being noticeable when you first watch this cut though I quickly got used to it.

*post edit:
Just remembered another drawback to the version of DYS I inherited; the last two lines of dialogue by Juan ("Johnny!" "What about me?") are from the Italian cut despite the rest of the film being in English. So strange as both lines are uttered by Steiger on the MGM copy, so it's not like he never recorded the lines when the American distributors started cutting material before theatrical release.

Duck, You Sucker / Re: Soundtrack Question
« on: February 09, 2017, 10:54:02 AM »
I can confirm that the version of Giù la testa played over the original end credits is absent from the expanded soundtrack. It can be found (in stereo) on the Italian DVD and BD, and (in mono) on the German audio track of the 2003 MGM DVD and the 1989 LD of the US theatrical cut from Image entertainment (in horrible, wobbly quality). I hope this has been of help.

So I asked a friend of mine to torrent the film so I can make my fan edit. Much to my surprise, the version he got me was the English version straight from the Italian Blu Ray!

The final credits do in fact feature a Giu La Testa composition that is absent from all the soundtrack releases including the expanded one. Very interesting how there's some music from this film floating around somewhere that we can't seem to access (including the butchers who spearheaded the English restoration). I also happened upon a version of the theme featured on the Japanese CD that was not featured in the film or anywhere else. It is roughly the same length as the main theme from the vinyl releases and final flashback, but features no accompanying "Sean" chants, just instrumental punctuations. I found it at this link before you had to get an account, haven't signed up:

But back to the torrented copy; once you've seen the  Englih language version of the film from the Italian disc, you can't go back to the MGM copy. It's a travesty what the restoration team did, incorrect music and expletive deletion aside, you suddenly realize the 5.1 mix is awful beyond words once you've heard the original mono. Sure the explosions don't pack the same wallop, but the sound mix overall is so much cleaner and uniform. The 5.1 mix sounded like two drastically different audio sources cobbled together by a freshman film major (which I suspect is the case, the sound mix in the reistored scenes, like when Aschenbach is blown up in the church, sounds identical to the English mono with an extra bass-ey explosion. Seamless in the Italian blu ray copy, but sore thumb material on the MGM dvd).

I personally recommend every fan of this movie do themselves a favor and get a copy of the English mono version. It does true justice to this sadly overlooked film.

Duck, You Sucker / Re: Soundtrack Question
« on: July 01, 2016, 06:41:47 PM »

in response to your questions, have you read through this thread?

Thanks drinkinganddestroy, I read through it and the thread reinforced what I understood about the flashback scenes. My confusion lies with the music played during the end credits. In the Italian version, the Giu la Testa track played as the credits roll doesn't sound like any of the versions featured on my expanded soundtrack. It just seems so odd considering the CD seems to feature almost every musical piece or cue found in the film.  

Also, hello again cigarjoe, noodles_leone, and Novecento!

Duck, You Sucker / Soundtrack Question
« on: June 29, 2016, 07:06:32 AM »
Hey everyone, I haven’t posted on here for a few years now, mainly because I ran out of Leone stuff to talk about. Hope everyone has been well, nothing too crazy going on with me save for the normal life progression and whatnot. Anyway I had a soundtrack related question and came here to ask those who know best!

I was discussing Duck You Sucker with a coworker and I was struck by his interpretation of the final flashback based on the infamous music cue. Like many Leone fans, it’s really bugged me ever since getting the DVD so many years ago (my how a decade goes quick). Now that I have more knowledge and equipment, I wish to put together my own fan edit with correct musical cues so I don't quietly curse to myself every time I view the film.

I know for certain that the flashback to the pub where Mallory kills his friend should feature the Giu la Testa #6 track on the expanded soundtrack (the restoration folks seem to have used Giu la Testa #5 instead with an odd cut and cross dissolve, why this was changed in the first place I haven’t a clue). The final flashback should obviously feature the full Giu la Testa theme that was released initially on vinyls in the 60s and 70s instead of the horrendous mix of GLT #5 again and another version of the main theme (I think I Figli Morti on the CD). The rest of the alterations seem minimal and IMO does not warrant reworking for my personal edit.

My main confusion comes from the end credits which, after hearing an Italian cut of the film online, sounds different from anything I’ve heard on the expanded CD. Here is a link to it (starts at 2:40):

Is it GLT #5 with a PAL speedup? Or is it a different version of the main theme that was never released?

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: 'West' blu ray May 31
« on: May 31, 2011, 09:37:04 AM »
Having seen the Scorsese restoration in Manhattan four years ago, I can say from experience that the new cut version does not feature all of the missing shots from the Italian cut. It did contain all the additional footage in the first scene and I think a few shots of the extras in the cheyenne/harmonica encounter scene, that's it. I personally think the reason for many of the shots not included in the restoration is because of the audio. If the shots were left out even for original American distribution, I doubt any English audio was recorded. Most of the shots are on average 10 to 15 seconds long so most of them do not feature dialogue, but a for the extended shot of Jill's entrance, there are numerous passengers speaking as the camera dollies, obviously in Italian. Also, I noticed the music ("Bad Orchestra") begins and ends at different intervals in the Italian version, as well as a few other scenes where additional footage remains. So I'm assuming this is probably the reason for much of the shots being left out, however it's anyone's guess.

I pre-ordered the blu-ray, so I should be receiving it sometime later this week. As soon as I view the movie, I will confirm if they add even more footage to the Scorsese restoration, but I highly doubt it.

Other Films / Re: McKinley! - a film by yours truly
« on: April 24, 2011, 11:02:52 AM »
Very funny, very well done, very creative. Your anarchist plays pretty well and has an interesting face. I remember him from your western.
Now some technical criticisms: I'd fasten up the editing qt some places. I'm not talking about fasten up the pacing, I know you don't want to, I'm talking about some shots that would work much better if you remove some useless photograms. Also, be careful when playing with depth of field. The shot where he takes the gun is very"wow look at what I can do with my camera I can blur out everything above the first 3 centimeters!". Same with the long traveling at the anarchist HQ toward the begining: it looks very pro and works very well but the depth of field is a bit too shallow, it's distracting and gives a kind of strange dream feeling to the scene.
I would also change some settings in color correction, the whole thing is a bit too bright for me. I would actually darken just a little bit dark and middle tons.
Last, and probably the less important, when playing in HD, especially full screen, the fishing lines get pretty noticeable. That could easily be fixed in after effect. Actually, if you could find someone who knows AE, most moves from the robot could be done by CGI (as long as the robot itself isnot CGI). By the way you probably have someone for AE, the opening sequence is done with it, right? Or is it just Photoshop+your editing software?

Anyway, I had a great time watching this, made me laugh, and I didn't see that bloodshot coming when he dies!

Glad you liked it. Here is my response to some of the critiques listed.

1) I somewhat agree with the editing pace. There are a few shots where I'd like to cut out just a few frames, however because this is the director's cut I wanted to flesh out the movie as much as possible. For the future student film festivals I intend on "trimming some of the fat" as some editor's would say. However I do not think the editing pace is sluggish. Just needs a slight trim, but it's not really necessary.

2) I also agree with you about the gun shot. My DP wanted to go ultra-ultra shallow which wasn't my original intention. However, as you said, it's sort of a "wow, look how cool this shot is!" kind of thing. Our target audience is college students at student film festivals, so I let him do the shot simply to show-off a bit (worked well cos I heard several students in the campus movie fest audience say "oh wow" and "awesome shot").

3) We will be doing color correction for future festivals. We were going to for the youtube cut but I wanted to put it up around the same time as the shortened CMF cut (so that more people would watch the good version) so we had no time to. Color correction will be worked on next week.

4) We deliberately purchased the thickest fishing line so it would be noticeable. We made most of the movie cheesy for comedic effect, so as Groggy mentioned, the whole thing was intentional.

In fact, as a bit of trivia, we place an inside-joke during the bird scene: the Polish subtitles that appear when the bird squawks is roughly translated to "The special effects in this film are questionable at best."

Other Films / Re: McKinley! - a film by yours truly
« on: April 20, 2011, 09:40:56 PM »
I expected this to be like your super serious previous film but boy was I wrong!
This was a lot of fun.
Got some good laughs out of it which great considering that it's difficult to find anything humorous in today's two and a half hour comedies.
I'd like to hear details on how the robot McKinley prop was constructed.

Glad you enjoyed it! Yeah, I definitely wanted to do something much lighter this time around but still make a historical film. The four central characters in the movie are actual people who were involved in the McKinley assassination in one way or another (we have side-by-side comparisons of the of the actors in costume and their real-life counterparts here:

As for the robot, we built the entire thing in three long, grueling weeks with numerous trips to Home Depot. The torso is basically a metallic trash can which we banged out the distinctive ridges. The neck is an air vent joiner, the head is a plastic bowl which contains a brain made of clay and uncolored jello for the liquid inside. The arms were claw reaching devices that they sell at CVS. The wheels were old-styled bicycle wheels (two large wheels for the drive wheels and training wheels for it's trailing wheels which you don't really see in most of the shots). We basically moved the robot by pulling it on fishing wire. We also used fishing line to motion his arms.

For the exhaust pipes on his back trunk (a piece made of sheet metal) we just used pvc pipe but we sealed off the bottoms with a plug and some caulk. To create the smoke we chipped off pieces of a 50 pound block of dry ice, then dropped them down the pvc pipes. Then we took heated water and poured it down the pipes to create a smoke-like vapor which travelled up and out of the "exhaust" pipes.

The robot body was spray painted with metallic black paint to make it look like early 20th century iron and other sections like the arms and shoulders were painted copper.

Other Films / Re: McKinley! - a film by yours truly
« on: April 14, 2011, 05:44:10 PM »
Oh and the camera we used belongs to my D.P. (who I must say is amazingly talented). I believe it's a Canon 60d.

Other Films / Re: McKinley! - a film by yours truly
« on: April 14, 2011, 05:36:39 PM »
The short films I have been doing in college have been very serious so far, so with this movie we wanted to go all-out comedy. Glad the movie was enjoyed, it certainly is not expected to be taken seriously, we just want people to have a good time watching it and that's all.

And yes Cigar Joe, all the scenes were shot just below the summit of Mohonk Mountain. The first scene was shot in an open field beside Mohonk Road and the climax was shot in the Mohonk Mountain Preserve (about 50 feet away from the resort). Originally the plan was for the Mohonk Mountain House to be the villain's lair and we were to get the shot from atop the tower in the film which now serves as his lair. (This is what the shot would have looked like: )   However, on three separate occasions my film crew and I tried to buy visitor's passes to the resort and all three times we were given different excuses as to why we could not go up there. I am very upset because we were turned away, my assumption is they discriminated against us seeing as we are a bunch of college kids going onto a prestigious hotel resort's grounds.

Other Films / McKinley! - a film by yours truly
« on: April 13, 2011, 09:29:50 PM »
Hello all! Recently I have been working with my film team on a short comedy that we entered into Campus Movie Fest, the nation's leading college film festival. We won Best Comedy at my school, as well as Best Actor for the role of the villain, and a secondary prize, plus we get to move onto the international level.  8)

Anyhows, I have posted a link to the full version of the movie below rather than the shorter (and I feel slightly inferior) version currently competing in the festival. I would certainly appreciate some comments, thoughts and suggestions regarding the film. It is titled "McKinley!"

Other Films / Re: Shane (1953)
« on: April 13, 2011, 09:11:57 PM »

Nice to see you Peace, it's been awhile. What have you been up to? O0

Thanks for the greeting! I've just finished my newest short film: "McKinley!" I think I'll make a separate post regarding the film, but I must say I've been running around alot this year. Hope all is well for the board members.   O0

Other Films / Re: Shane (1953)
« on: April 13, 2011, 12:42:53 PM »
I recently re-watched the film myself after quite some time. First viewing I thought it was good not great. However when I saw it again a month ago I re-evaluated my first impression. I loved the movie. It's got everything I like in a western: breath-taking scenery, strong fearful villain (a big MUST), story of small ranchers and farmers against a force much stronger than they, and a fantastic musical score.

Liked just about everything about the movie. Though I do wish they explored Shane's PTSD a bit more, would've made for some dramatic sequences.

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: 'West' blu ray May 31
« on: April 13, 2011, 12:36:37 PM »
I just ordered mine.   ;)

Other Films / Re: The Proud Ones (1956)
« on: March 23, 2011, 08:26:38 PM »
What about the noisy spurs of the mexican gunslinger?

 I think it suffers from lack of a great antagonist for Ryan,

Gotta disagree with you there. I though Robert Middleton was a great antagonist. He played the character as a suave villain who controlled everything and thought he could do whatever he wanted because he had money. If anything, I wish he had more screen time and resorted to more desperate tactics to bump off Ryan's character.

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