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8461  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Scorsese on OUTIA 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 Wink
8462  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Scorsese on OUTIA 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.
8463  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: my 2 worst Westerns: THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (1995) and WILD BILL (1995) on: February 02, 2011, 04:13:41 PM
The Quick and The Dead was the first Western I ever saw. I hated it so much, I decided that the whole Western genre sucked and swore I'd never ever watch a Western again (!)

Several years later, I watched GBU, just cuz I heard that it was a famous movie (I first heard of it cuz I am a huge Metallica fan, and they always come out to Ecstacy of Gold; I am also a huge Seinfeld fan and it was mentioned on an episode); I did not even know it was a Western till I started watching it! Well, my opinion of Westerns changed drastically after that  Smiley
8464  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / my 2 worst Westerns: THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (1995) and WILD BILL (1995) on: February 02, 2011, 03:20:25 PM
My two worst Westerns were both released in 1995:

1) THE QUICK AND THE DEAD -  the worst Western I have ever seen. (and the fact that it has a great cast and still sucks so bad just further shows how awful this movie is).

2) WILD BILL

Opinions?....

8465  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Scorsese on OUTIA 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
8466  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Scorsese on OUTIA 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?
8467  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Scorsese on OUTIA 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?
8468  General Information / Film Locations / Re: How are the interiors in Mini Hollywood? on: February 01, 2011, 07:31:34 AM
That is a good question. I have noticed that one of the links to the "then & now locations" does show some interiors, I particularly remember the interior of the Stevens hacienda, and the interior of the "little house" as being actual interiors.

yeah but that is from FOD. I am wondering about the "El Paso" set from FAFDM
8469  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Scorsese on OUTIA 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.
8470  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Scorsese on OUTIA 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
8471  General Information / Film Locations / How are the interiors in Mini Hollywood? on: February 01, 2011, 01:51:36 AM
On the dvd commentary to FAFDM, Frayling says that the interiors in the El Paso scenes were actually shot inside those very buildings in the El Paso set (unlike other Leone films, where interiors were often shot in Cinecitta Studios in Rome).

I have not visited the El Paso set (now called "Mini Hollywood"), but I have looked through many pictures from people who have (eg. on the Sergio Leone Places of Memory site) and I have only seen photos of the exteriors of the town.

So I am just wondering if anyone knows how the interiors look today? Is it really as it was in the film? Eg. if you walk into  the saloon, Manco's or Mortimer's hotel, the bank etc., does it look on the inside just as we see them in the movie?
8472  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Hour of the Gun (1967) on: February 01, 2011, 01:12:34 AM
I completely stand by my previous comments - this is one bland, unimaginative telling of Tombstone. I also forgot to add that it falls victim to courtroom scenes in the 3rd act. That's almost always unforgivable and lazy, this is no exception.

I think the courtroom scenes are just fine; they are pretty brief and just set the stage for the Clantons' revenge (though I am a recent law school graduate, so perhaps a bit biased  Wink

On the subject of courtroom scenes in a Western: have you seen "The Return of Frank James"? The courtroom scenes in that one are absolutely hilarious!
(btw, that is a terrific movie; as is "Jesse James." The newspaper editor is just great; and I wonder if that influenced John Ford's creation of a funny, drunk newspaper guy in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.")
8473  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Scorsese on OUTIA 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. Wink

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  Wink
8474  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Hour of the Gun (1967) on: January 31, 2011, 02:31:41 PM
Good to hear Jill. I've wanted to see Hour of the Gun for a long time but can't seem to track it down.

Groggy: you can get Hour of the Gun on iTunes. And don't pay any attention to the naysayers; this is a very, very good film. Garner is good as Earp, and Robards is absolutely terrific as Holliday.

The Firecracker: I have to respectfully disagree with you: this is not the most accurate portrayal of the Gunfight, considering that this movie depicts the gunfight as having actually taken place in the OK Corral, when in fact it took place in a lot near the corral.

and just for the record (in case it wasn't settled;-) My Darling Clementine is a wonderful film

8475  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Scorsese on OUTIA 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. Wink

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)
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