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Topics - tokyorose

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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 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?

Is the actor who dubbed the English lines for the drunken Union Captain the same one who provided the voice for Gian Maria Volonte in A Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More?  They certainly all sound like the same man, just without the Spanish accent in GBU.  Does anyone know this man's name?  Whoever he is, he's marvellous.  He brings tremendous character and depth to his performances, and he matches the screen actors' mouths so well I often forget the lines are dubbed.  Of all of the dubbing voice actors in the Dollars Trilogy, I'd say he's the best.

For a Few Dollars More / The Squeaky Clean Rape Scene
« on: February 26, 2007, 08:49:51 PM »
I'm about to be very pedantic and annoying here, so just skip on if you'd like.


In the final flashback when Indio groggily reminisces about his attack on the young couple and in particular, the rape of the female victim, the scene is so squeaky-clean that one wonders why the critics were making so much noise about Leone's films being ultra violent.  It would take the average woman several hours at the salon to look as good as this lady does in the wake of a vicious assault.  Her make-up is flawless and she hasn't a hair out of place.  And as for the fatal point-blank gunshot wound she inflicts on herself,  there is just one neat little bloodless hole in her side, and she dies instantaneously instead of bleeding to death, which is usually the cause of death by gunshot.  The whole thing seemed as though we had suddenly shifted gears from a spaghetti western to a Bonanza episode. 

Perhaps we're meant to believe that this is Indio's wierdly romanticized version of the actual event (and he does romanticize over the incident in a very wierd way) but I find that this presentation trivializes the horror of the woman's rape/suicide.  I think I'd feel much more antipathy for Indio and sympathy for Mortimer if there had been just a little more gritty realism.

But just a little more.  Hell, I thought Scooby Do was scary!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Allusion in Magnificent Seven
« on: February 26, 2007, 04:58:17 PM »
In the pilot episode of the television series "The Magnificent Seven," I heard the character Ezra say this line and nearly fell off my chair:
"There are two kinds of people in this world, my friend..."

Is this just a popular phrase, or was this a sly reference to Tuco's favourite saying?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Morricone Tribute
« on: February 26, 2007, 04:54:41 PM »
It was wonderful to see the tribute to Ennio Morricone on the Oscars last night, and how appropriate that the award was presented by Clint!  They actually played the theme from "The Good the Bad and the Ugly" as Clint walked to the podium.  Clint said, "What actor wouldn't like to ride on with that music playing behind him?" During the video montage showcasing Morricone's classic themes, they included the shootout from GBU and the audience applauded enthusiastically.  It was just a shame that Sergio couldn't have been there as well.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Tuco's accent
« on: February 20, 2007, 08:31:48 PM »
I love how every so often Tuco's accent slips from Mexican to New York Jewish.

Two examples:

When Blondie abandons him in the desert. 
Tuco:  "Get off that hawse!"

At Sad Hill, when Blondie tells him to dig. 
Tuco: "Wheyah?"

I think Eli himself even made a joke about his accent on one of the special edition dvd interviews.

Any other examples spring to mind?  (At least he never says oy vey!)

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Final Shootout
« on: February 18, 2007, 09:08:57 PM »
Wow!  That was a fast response to my first post, Tim!  And thanks very much for the welcome.

Well, here goes some more.

In the final shootout we all know Blondie was aiming at Angel Eyes, and it was established elsewhere on this board that Tuco was also aiming at Angel Eyes.  (Bravo, Tuco!  You passed the test!  I like how that scene is labelled on the DVD as "Triangle of Trust.")

What I want to know is who Angel Eyes was aiming at.  I'm not sure but it looks as though he was aiming at Tuco.   If this is so, it's pretty ironic considering that Tuco didn't even have any bullets, and it means that Blondie's fast shot saved Tuco's life.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / It's All Ours, Blondie
« on: February 18, 2007, 09:03:11 PM »
This is one of my favourite lines in the film, as it's one that might actually point to some good in ugly Tuco!

When Tuco finally splits open that sack and sees the long-awaited gold spilling out, he's  hysterical with joy and completely transparent.  And what are the first words out of his mouth? 

Not, "It's all mine!"  but, "It's all ours, Blondie!" He even refers to Blondie by name.  It seems that in that moment of emotional transport, he honestly did mean to share the treasure with his partner.

And right afterwards, when he sees the noose, his initial reaction to the betrayal isn't anger, but shock.  "Y-you're joking, Blondie.  You wouldn't...!"

I always feel especially sorry for Tuco at this moment, though we know it will all work out in the end!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / All An Act?
« on: February 18, 2007, 08:49:40 PM »
Hi, everyone.  I'm a new Eastwood fan, having discovered him rather late in life (his life, I mean, not mine) and have fallen in love with the Dollars Trilogy!  I've been enjoying the discussions on this board and thought I would add a few observations.

First of all, I'm wondering about the scene where Blondie hands a bound Tuco over to the law and collects the bounty money while Tuco is cursing non-stop.  The first time I saw it I simply thought Tuco was angry but now I'm wondering...was it all an act?  Surely Tuco and Blondie had already worked out their scam; I can't imagine Tuco sitting there so calmly atop the horse with his head in the noose if he truly believed he was going to die.   So the spitting in Blondie's face, the vicious slap, the furious curses, the match casually flicked down into Tuco's face...was it all  staged to convince the townspeople that Blondie and Tuco were enemies, when in reality they were partners in crime?

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