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Messages - tokyorose

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A Fistful of Dollars / Re: Prologue
« on: July 19, 2007, 06:17:15 PM »
Aw shucks.  T'warn't nothin'.  And I forgot to mention that Joe gives Marisol a fistful of dollars to provide for her family until they are settled in their new home.   He also refuses to tell Ramon her whereabouts, enduring torture and risking death.

Although she only speaks ten words in the entire film, Marisol plays a very important role in revealing Joe's moral side.  When Joe smiles at her in the first scene (the first hint we have of his humanity) she slams the window, furious that he has stood by and done nothing to help her or her family.  She, like the audience, does not yet understand that Joe is not indifferent: he is simply biding his time.  However, during the hostage exchange when one of Ramon's men threatens to kill her husband, she sees Joe's deliberate move forward stop the would-be murderer.  When Joe wisely advises her to proceed with the exchange and get little Jesus to safety, Marisol's look is one of silent realization and gratitude, a visual signal to the audience of just how much Joe has done for this woman.

After Joe rescues Marisol from the small house and urges her to leave with her family, Marisol turns and, almost as proxy for the audience, asks the motivation for all he has done. In so doing, she lifts Joe's emotional veil in a way that is never again done for the Man with No Name.  It is as Doctor Watson once said of Sherlock Holmes, "For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart, as well as of a great brain..." 

Again, it's as though the creators of that prologue never saw this.  Or perhaps they were used to dramas where the audience is assumed to be stupid and is beaten over the head with explicit and repetitive dialogue.  By contrast, Leone challenges his audience to piece the story together using images, music, juxtaposition and symbolism.  This is why his films can be enjoyed over and over again.  As the viewer becomes more and more skilled, he can perceive more and more nuances to the story and characters.

For a Few Dollars More / Re: Another Horse
« on: July 16, 2007, 08:01:09 PM »
I guess that's a horse of a different colour.

(Sorry! Couldn't resist!)

A Fistful of Dollars / Re: Prologue
« on: July 16, 2007, 07:53:03 PM »
I find the prologue absolutely hilarious.   The Clint stand-in who's about a foot too short and has a poncho the length of a prom dress...hee hee!  And now he's not just the Man with No Name - he's the Man with No Face!  Just a hat tilting up and down!  Who did they think would fall for this?

And I really don't see why the network thought Joe was amoral, or immoral, for that matter.  Silvanito tells him very early on that the Baxters and the Rojos are killing the town, and Joe ends up ridding the town of them.  True, he profits from it, but he could have profitted by simply joining one of the gangs himself.  And it's made clear from the beginning that one of Joe's main motives for staying in San Miguel is the plight of Marisol.  The very first thing that catches Joe's attention when he arrives in the town is the crying, bullied child and the imprisoned woman.  He is haunted by them, and his saving of the little family is courageous, compassionate and entirely altruistic.

Joe also comes back and saves Silvanito when he could have escaped the potential vengeance of the Rojos.  About the only scene where I find his morality questionable is when, hiding in Piripero's coffin, he stops to watch the murder of the Baxters.  But by this point his face is so battered that it's difficult to tell what he feels: it might be satisfaction, it might be partly guilt, or it might simply be curiousity.  But since he didn't set up that particular situation - the Rojos made their own assumption that Joe was hiding with the Baxters  and wanted an excuse to murder them - Joe can't be blamed for the cruelty of it.

The samurai in Yojimbo didn't need a prologue, and Joe doesn't need one either.  As was posted earlier, the prologue actually makes Joe's actions more selfish, rather than the other way around.  I prefer the idea that he saved the town for his own reasons...even including a fistful of dollars!

For a Few Dollars More / Re: Voice Actor for the Captain
« on: July 04, 2007, 01:27:51 PM »
He was the Burgermeister??? "Zere'll be no more toy makers to ze king!"  Wow!  Thanks for discovering his name.  What an incredibly talented man, and what a shame his work usually went uncredited.  Thanks for the information!

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.

Angel Eyes and Wallace had a scam going confiscating and selling prisoners' possessions.  What if Wallace had appropriated Tuco's pistol and Tuco simply took it back after he killed Wallace?

A Fistful of Dollars / Re: Favorite moment
« on: April 25, 2007, 07:33:45 PM »
1) Joe's surprise and chaugrin when he sees someone coming into the Rojo's storeroom, gives the someone a bop on the beezer, and realizes it's poor Marisol. 

2) Joe's race with the Rojo's back to the Rojo hacienda. 

3) That eerie shootout where Joe just won't stay down!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: So, you two have met?
« on: April 25, 2007, 06:06:31 PM »
Angel Eyes seems quite familiar with Tuco, but not so much with Blondie.  He has neither a name nor even a nickname for the gunslinger. "I want that blond alive."

Yet Tuco and Blondie are aware of each other's aquaintance with Angel Eyes.  "Hey Blondie...isn't that Angel Eyes?"

I suggest that the twosome might have spotted Angel Eyes shortly before Tuco's trial in the second town where they play the "hanging game."  Possibly Tuco pointed him out to Blondie.  Angel Eyes certainly is there at the town, actually watching the hanging, and has already figured out that Blondie and Tuco are not antagonists but partners.  "A golden haired angel watches over him."  Angel Eyes could have realized that Blondie was cool, cunning, and not too particular about his partners .

For a Few Dollars More / Re: Riding
« on: March 18, 2007, 01:17:46 PM »
By this point Eastwood would have had seven years experience riding on the tv series Rawhide, so odds are he is probably the best rider.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: GBU Spoofs In Popular Culture
« on: March 17, 2007, 05:36:03 PM »
If this is a reference it's an homage (or just plain rip-off!) rather than a spoof, but there is a scene in Peter Jackson's film The Fellowship of the Ring where the fellowship first enters the wood of Lothlorien.  Gimli, out in front, is proudly boasting about his skills as a guide when he very nearly walks into an arrow whose wielder is out of the frame.  The perspective suddenly shifts to show us a group of armed elves who certainly should have been visible to Gimli and friends, being that close!

Is this just a coincidence, or was it inspired by the scene in GBU after Blondie and Tuco leave the bombed out town and are captured by the soldiers at the Union battle camp?  Tuco's blithe boasting and nearly walking into the bayonets (with soldiers off-frame) is certainly similar, as is the inability of the characters to see anything that is not in the frame.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Blondie's Backstory
« on: March 16, 2007, 02:58:19 PM »
I just love the priceless look the captain gives Tuco when he says, "I'm with him!"  You can hear the captain thinking, "Whaddaya mean you're from Illinois too?? You're a Mexican!"

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Blondie's Backstory
« on: March 14, 2007, 07:56:37 PM »
And if he is indeed the same character who appears in A Fistful of Dollars, perhaps his entering the Mexican war was connected with the mysterious someone he was unable to help.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: All An Act?
« on: March 14, 2007, 07:52:59 PM »
In the novelization, it appears that the partners in crime do plan their con beforehand; Blondie tells Tuco, "Let's make a deal" right before the first hanging, and before the second hanging, Tuco is doing the same cursing and screaming bit.

However, he doesn't curse and scream the second time around in the film, so it does appear that in the context of the film Tuco wasn't acting the first time.

Other Films / Re: Eastwoods worst western?
« on: March 07, 2007, 07:35:10 PM »
I think Hang 'Em High is one of Eastwood's best westerns (it doesn't hold a candle to the spaghetties, but then what does?) because of the way it challenges the audience to think about the complex relationship between law, justice and vengeance, just as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly challenges the audience's views on morality and war. 

High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider deal with the same issues as Hang 'Em High, but on a very simple level.  A quasi-supernatural hero arrives who knows with complete certainty who is good and who is bad, (and everyone in these films is morally black or white: there are no shades of grey, as there are in real people) and is easily able to thwart them without ever having to concern himself with law.   There isn't really much we can take from this and use in our lives.

I find Hang 'Em High fascinating in that the protagonist, Jed Cooper, undergoes a spiritual journey as a result of his ordeal and finds that there are no easy answers.  Although the publicity material says that Cooper is determined to exact vengeance on all the men who tried to lynch him, this is simply not true.  He learns that each of his persecutors is an individual with a host of complex factors that mitigate or aggravate each man's guilt.  He learns that law and justice are not always synonomous, and that it is not vengeance that heals, but love. 

Add to this Clint's quietly moving performance and direction by Ted Post, one of the best directors from Rawhide, and you have a unique film that, like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, uses the Western genre to ask probing questions that still face us today.

For a Few Dollars More / Re: The Squeaky Clean Rape Scene
« on: February 27, 2007, 04:07:21 PM »
Yeah...funny I should be complaining about this when I can't stand gore-fest movies at all...

That perfect hair and make-up was pretty surreal, though.

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