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Messages - tokyorose

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly novel
« on: September 25, 2007, 05:46:29 PM »
Angel Eyes finds a recently deceased Union Officer (who, luckily, is just about his size) and steals his uniform, papers and identity.  That's how he gets into Betterville.

Some favourite new lines of Tuco's:

To Blondie in the monastery, imploring him to reveal the name on the grave:
"I will have a mass said for you every day.  Better yet - I will have a mass sung for you, even if it costs a little more."

To Blondie, just after learning that Blondie has accompanied Angel Eyes to the bombed-out town (when Tuco has just emerged from the bubble-filled bathtub):
"You talked!  You told him the name.  You betrayed your own partner, who loved you like a brother.  Who saved you from that awful desert, eh? Who shared his water with you?  Who carried you to the mission and stayed by your side night and day to nurse you back to health?"

To Blondie at the bridge as they place the dynamite:
"Tell me the name on the grave.  Then if you should be killed, I would use your share of the two hundred thousand dollars to honour your memory."

Blondie's reply:  "Let's not start that whole mass-and-candles business again!"

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly novel
« on: September 24, 2007, 07:47:18 PM »
I have a copy of the novel.  It does manage to fill in a number of plot holes:  how the gold came to be buried in sad hill cemetary in the first place, how Angel Eyes infiltrated the Union camp, etc.  Tuco has some additional lines, all of which are just as funny as his lines in the film.   

Unfortunately I did find the use of the nickname "Whitey" instead of Blondie very distracting.  And as for the ending duel, Tuco doesn't take part!  He sits it out!  Can you believe it?  Perhaps Millard was working from an earlier version of the script, as there are a few more little changes from the film.

For a Few Dollars More / Re: Lee Marvin
« on: August 07, 2007, 07:26:09 PM »
I'm used to Marvin in comic roles like Ben Rumson in "Paint Your Wagon" or Kid Sheleen in "Cat Ballou," and have a hard time imagining him as sober and sinister, though I'm aware he did play those sorts of roles. I think Van Cleef brought an urbanity and sophistication to Mortimer that Marvin doesn't convey.  Van Cleef really did seem like old Southern Aristocracy, and made a nice contrast to Eastwood's scruffy drifter.

Speaking of the background villains in High Noon, one of the others was Sheb Woolley, who played trail scout Pete Nolan alongside Eastwood's Rowdy Yates on Rawhide.

For a Few Dollars More / Re: Another Confession
« on: July 28, 2007, 08:50:02 AM »
Yes, they're not a trilogy as in a three-part story such as the Lord of the Rings films or Pirates of the Caribbean films.  They are three separate stories which are loosely related, due to the possibility that they share the same main character.  I would argue that while FOD and FFDM are stand-alones, GBU is meant to be viewed after the audience has seen at least one of the other two films.  This is suggested by Blondie's appearance in the cemetary, fully garbed in the same costume as the other two films, including the poncho.  This is the point where the audience is meant to say, "Hey!  Wait a minute!  We've seen that guy before!" and recognize him at least as the mysterious gunslinger, if not as Joe or Manco.

That point aside, would you say that Mortimer appears to be a sinister character up until the conclusion of the hat-shooting scene?

For a Few Dollars More / Another Confession
« on: July 27, 2007, 05:25:58 PM »
Though not nearly as intriguing as rrpower's...

This was the third of the Dollars trilogy that I saw, right after The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  I knew it was part of the trilogy and just rented it for that reason without reading anything about it.  Only Clint's picture was on the box too.  So imagine my surprise during that first scene on the train when the "reverend" lowers his bible and it's...aaaah!  It's Angel Eyes!  He's back from the dead!! Head for the hills!

Although I did figure out that he wasn't actually Angel Eyes, I wasn't sure whether he was bad or good until the scene where he and Manco play their footsies game out in the street.  But then, maybe Leone meant to keep us guessing up until then.

It was Once Upon a Time in America.  I live in a big city and urban gang warfare is a bit too close to home...cowboys and banditos in dusty deserts seem a lot more comfortably remote.  Still, OUATIA is a gorgeously realized film, and I was wowed by the scene where Noodles suddenly finds himself in the 1960's.  That was brilliant.

For a Few Dollars More / Re: Guys, I have a confession.
« on: July 27, 2007, 05:09:14 PM »
So...did you see the last scene of the movie?

For a Few Dollars More / Re: gauntlet
« on: July 27, 2007, 05:07:02 PM »
Kind of a  modern counterpart to the bowguard that a medieval archer would wear.  There's a moving scene in the first Lord of the Rings film where Aragorn takes the slain Boromir's bowgaurds and wears them for the rest of the trilogy, symbolizing the bond between the two men.  I could see Mortimer doing that for Manco, had things gone awry...but I'm glad they didn't!  :)

For a Few Dollars More / Re: Dumbest question ever...
« on: July 27, 2007, 05:03:27 PM »
"The watch is magical   and he/she wants revenge, too...   perhaps the ghost of the girl is in?"

Oooh...creepy!  Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt sings a Scottish ballad called "The Bonny Swans" where the ghost of a murdered girl haunts a harp.

"They brought it to her father's hall
and there were the guests assembled all
they laid the harp upon a stone
and straight it began to play alone..."

What a marvellous idea.  The ghost of the girl in this film certainly does seem to haunt Indio and Mortimer and even Manco, by the end.

For a Few Dollars More / Re: And who will bury them?
« on: July 27, 2007, 04:58:10 PM »
Well, at least there are three bodies that won't need burying.  The smartest desperadoes in the whole Dollars trilogy are the three amigos in Agua Caliente who confront Manco, see Manco and Mortimer shoot the apples off the tree, and run like bunnies.  They had the right idea.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Blondie and his gun
« on: July 27, 2007, 04:48:42 PM »
I love the rattlesnakes on the grips of Blondie's guns.  They're courtesy of Rowdy Yates, from the second episode of Rawhide.  Rowdy got them from a nasty desperado who is killed, very Leone-style, on the belltower of a Catholic Church when the giant bell hits him in the back!  I could see any incarnation of the Man With No Name pulling a stunt like that.

It has been said that you can gauge the morality of Leone’s characters by the way they treat (or mistreat) children.  I think the same can be said of the way they treat women, or anyone who is vulnerable.

Angel Eyes’ cold, brutal evil is aptly demonstrated through his behaviour towards women and children.  He leers threateningly at the picture of Stevens’ family, implying that he would kill them all in order to get what he wants.  He does shoot Stevens’ young son, and we see Angel Eyes at the scene’s end through the lens of the woman’s horror.  Later, Angel Eyes beats Maria mercilessly (a scene Lee Van Cleef had to be doubled for, as he found it too traumatizing!) though she is a small woman and has obviously already suffered at the hands of her Confederate “customers.”  There is no need for the caption “the Bad” when we see scenes like these.

Tuco has very little interaction with women in the film, so it’s difficult to judge him in this regard.  His snarl at the pious matron during his hanging is played for laughs, and as for his charges of rape, we’re never certain whether we should take them seriously.  After all, his laundry list of crimes is so implausible that it seems as though he and Blondie could have made them up in order to increase the bounty.  Certainly it seems hard to believe that Tuco could have abandoned his wife and children in light of his look of terrible grief when his brother says, “it seems you once had a wife someplace.” Whatever the circumstances of her loss, Tuco is obviously distraught about it, and the moment is one of his most sympathetic in the film.

At Blondie’s hotel it is one of Tuco’s compatriots who unkindly calls the hotelier’s wife an “old hag;” Tuco merely shushes her into silence.  (She doesn’t seem to be too vulnerable, in any case.)  Perhaps the best equivalent of his dealing with a woman is the hilarious scene with the old gun-smith.  Of course, the gun-smith isn’t a woman but he is a gentle old man and no match for Tuco.  Yet although Tuco robs him of his money (not to mention a fine sombrero), at no point does Tuco physically harm the old man, call him names or engage in elaborate threats.  He lazily holds the pistol over his shoulder, letting that action do all his intimidating for him.  When Tuco leaves, he doesn’t even tie the man up.  The one physical action Tuco performs is the prank of gently popping the “Closed” sign into the old man’s mouth, and the old man doesn’t even seem too put out by it.  It seems that although Tuco is willing to take advantage of those weaker than himself, he does not hurt them, as Angel Eyes does.

In the deleted Socorro sequence we see Blondie’s sole interaction with a woman in the film, where he is in bed with a Mexican prostitute.  Though we never get to see the filmed scene, the stills show him tenderly holding and kissing the girl, a far cry from the “filthy rats” implied treatment of Maria.  Of course, Blondie’s sensitivity towards the vulnerable is evident throughout the film: his comforting the dying Confederate soldier and the dying Union Captain, even his pity for Tuco’s physical and emotional torment. (“And Tuco…is he…” “There’s nothing like a good cigar.”)  It is not difficult to imagine that as a lover, Blondie would be Good – in the moral, as well as the conventional sense.

And so the Good, the Bad and the Ugly earn their labels in this subtle way, though I think Tuco is more of a “Not-Quite-So-Good-But-Not-Quite-So-Bad.” But it doesn’t make nearly as catchy a title, does it?

For few Dollars More 6
The Good the Bad and the Ugly 15 (+1)
Once Upon A Time In The West 24
Duck You Sucker 13 (+1)
Once Upon a Time In America 2 (-1)

Yep.  And I can legally vote now, 'cause last night I watched the last of the six!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Blue or Gray?
« on: July 19, 2007, 06:40:51 PM »
Nothing of interest?  How about, "Fall in, you two!  We're off to fight the battle of Langston Bridge!"

And how do Blondie and Tuco get out of that one? 

For a Few Dollars More / Re: For a Few Dollars More caricatures!
« on: July 19, 2007, 06:23:44 PM »
"The Ugly, The Uglier, and the Really, Really Ugly."

Love Manco's hat full of holes.  But it's not fair...shouldn't Mortimer's hat have a few holes too?

These were great.  Though if I were Clint, I would be quoting Ginger from Gilligan's Island: "Ah well.  There's just no way to make me ugly."

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