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Messages - Walter

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Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Harmonica's Tearing of Jill's Lace Bodice
« on: November 01, 2003, 05:39:17 PM »
Interesting thoughts but personally I think people are over analysing things...

Every time I've watched the film I've always felt that Harmonica was simply making more of Claudia's flesh visible - the rolling up of her sleeves, the ripping of her neckline - in order to entice/distract Frank's two killers from the hills.

Nothing more...

The fact Leone shoots it so at first it appears to be an attempted rape is merely to hoodwink the audience.

Overanalysing is half the fun...

I don't agree, obviously. I don't think the killers looked very distracted in the split second before Harmonica blew them away, so I don't subscribe to that point of view....

And for for the hoodwink... Okay, Leone had a western that already ran past 150 minutes, so he thought: Let's include a scene that means absolutely nothing.

I don't think so.......  :-X

Maybe Sergio just liked it rough?  There was quite a bit of enthusiastic b-slapping going on in OUATIA too.

I'd rather think that Sergio was just describing societies where the men liked it rough, as a rule. It is also a kind of critisism in it.  

And note that the manhandling of women and the consequences change a bit. In FFOD, the woman's only salvation is to run away.
FDM is much about the revenge against a molester/killer, thus, violence against women is not accepted.
In OUATITW, the woman actually wins; Cheyenne and Frank die, and Harmonica knows that his time (the time of gunfighters) is over. The "victories" over Jill (Frank's bizarre love-making, Cheyenne's intimidation of her,  Harmonica's threat) is all temporary, but she goes on into the future, popular and rich and in power. Even the patting of her behind that Cheyenne talks about, is controlled by herself. She doesn't have to put up with that kind of attention, so Cheyenne kindly askes her to, to reward the men.
And in OUATIA, Noodles indirectly destroys himself after the rape of his true love. She becomes an eternal, ageless beauty, he becomes a broken old man, sentenced to a lifetime of regret and remorse.  

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Your cast for a remake
« on: October 29, 2003, 12:02:19 PM »
two c's bellucci   ;D

Noted. I was too lazy to check it elsewhere....

Jude Law? Are you kidding? No way! Nix, nein, njet, hell no!

But Russell Crowe would actually make a perfect Harmonica. He can be so very, very dark and intense.

Jude Law? Get out of here!

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Harmonica
« on: October 29, 2003, 06:58:58 AM »
Exactly, no matter who I hear was considered for the part I simply cannot imagine anyone else filling the role.

The hardest part is to imagine Harmonica with a cockney accent... I think some changes in the story must have been made, too. Stamp is a splendid actor, but he has unfortunately chosen a lot of bad movies. I'd sack my agent, if I were him.  

Anyway, I also got this about Harmonica from Christopher Frayling (could be the interview on this site, or on the OUATIW-dvd - I ordered the book just yesterday), so it is probably true.

My favourite never-got-to-be moment from this film was that Leone supposedly wanted to kill off Eastwood, Wallach and van Cleef in the opening. Now, that would have been pretty damned cool....

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Your cast for a remake
« on: October 29, 2003, 06:45:40 AM »
Lots of good ideas here...

James Gandolfini is a very fine actor, and would have made a great Morton. Except it would look like the mafia is behind it all... I think Mr. Gandolfini is a bit to identified with his role as Tony Soprano.

Monica Belluci is a good choice. As I see it, the problem with finding more candidates for Jiull, is that Hollywood tosses out most of the female actors when they get close to 30. And it is hard to find an actress with as much character as Claudia Cardinale below that age. But Belluci could pull it off (how is her last name supposed to be spelled, anyway?).

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re:Judas! AMC sold my hide!
« on: October 28, 2003, 07:42:56 AM »
First off: some of us like to watch movies on TV, when there's nothing else on (and we're unable to watch the videos/DVDs due to other family members), or if we don't have the movies in question.  For example: the last time I watched FAFDM was at my grandparent's house on TV.  I wasn't planning to watch it, but since there was nothing else on or to do, I decided, why not? If, say, I was to watch the movie just to point out the cuts, then yeah, I could see you having a problem.  But is it a crime to watch the movie, and notice the cuts?  When I saw FAFDM on WGN, I did not yet have it on DVD.  (I do now, thankfully. ;D) Keep in mind that I'm fourteen and can't exactly do anything I want.  (Also keep in mind that FAFDM is shown in comparatively uncut versions on TNT and TBS.)

There are other reasons for encouraging such discussions...
In my home country, when I was a teenager some twenty years ago, movie censorship was strong and hard. Scarface was mutilated, GBU wasn't shown at all until 1981, mostly due to it being "amoral" and Monty Python's Life of Brian was first banned, due to it being blasphemic. As videos got more common, big corporation started to control the import. And in fear of not getting a wide distribution, they cut heavily into the films, leaving them in worse condition than on the big screen.

This have changed totally - the state broadcasting channel shows for instance Leone films on Sunday evenings, not to mention what goes on at the cinema -  but we would never have seen this change if we didn't talk about, discuss and yell about the subject for years and years.

Keep it up, guys. And Groggy - watching Leone uncut won't hurt you one bit. Chasing 17 YO girls, however....

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re:Judas! AMC sold my hide!
« on: October 27, 2003, 07:11:33 AM »
You Americans have some fun problems.  ;D

Once Upon a Time in America butchered for cinema, alledgely Once Upon a Time in the West is censored on television (they take out Fonda firing the gun, killing the McBain kid), not to mention the roadhouse scene that were removed just to shorten the movie - and all the films get "nicer" language on the telly.  

It's fun, as a huge majority of the films I like come out of Hollywood, you yourself are unable to see them on television without having them raped.  :P

There was a time in Europe when cool films were generally hard to come by, but those days are over. And at least in my country, the days of movie censorship are over. Officially, more or less.

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Your cast for a remake
« on: October 24, 2003, 04:20:25 AM »
Hmmmm... it feels like Kevin Spacey should have a part. I'm just not quite sure which...

Harrison Ford as Frank?

Kevin Spacey would make a magnificent Angel Eyes, if we were talking GBU.

Harrison Ford is a brilliant idea. Ford have actually played more than good-guy roles before, but he would be really, really great as Frank. And he looks more convincing with a gun than my own first choice, Hanks.

Thanks for the kind words, Groggy.

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Your cast for a remake
« on: October 22, 2003, 04:36:43 PM »
Thornton as Frank. Hmm... why not? Or maybe John Cleese?  ;D

I still maintain that Buscemi would make an interesting Harmonica.

Donald Sutherland too old to do Cheyenne (born 1935)? Maybe Keifer then...

Paul Newman would make a wonderful Mr. Morton.

I still want Tom Hanks for Frank. But Michael Madsen would be nice , too. He sure has that evil smile and the sadistic glee in his eyes.

Donald Sutherland is too old for Cheyenne, and Kiefer isn't old enough.
But Mel Gibson is starting to look right. And he do has that warm-hearted villain in him.

Steve Buscemi is a great actor, but I don't think he has the right kind of controlled energy for Harmonica. And he doesn't look like he can keep a secret.
No, I would rather see someone like Edward Norton.

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Your cast for a remake
« on: October 20, 2003, 04:01:48 PM »
I still think a musical would be the best remake.... Actually, the thought of a remake is scary. But casting it is a bit fun.

Frank: Tom Hanks

Of course. Who else has such a good guy-image these days as Fonda had in the sixties? Hanks even played a good hearted killer in Road To Perdition. If he was able to pull it off (and I think he is), he would make a great Frank, and completely different than Fonda's

Harmonica: ..... not so easy. Bruce Willis could do it, sure, but he has already done the silent strong type too many times, and his angling of those roles are not so very far from Bronson's Harmonica. Surely it would be more fun if it was played a little differently than Bronson did it?
Banderas? No way. Too handsome, too elegant. Harmonica must look a underdog, that's a bit of the point. A close up of Banderas in the last duel would make this into a girlie-movie.
Actually, I think Brad Pitt could do it. He has screen presence, and some of that silent, soft-spoken authority that Bronson commanded. A bit of his own brand of madness would make a nice variety.

But this topic still feels like swearing loudly in a church....      

Hmmm interesting interpretation...

Of course, that interpretation is based on the assumption that Harmonica is in fact "all good". I'm not so sure that things are as uncomplicated as that.

Another interpretation would be that Harmonica's first impulse was indeed to rape Jill. It would be natural for him to feel threatened by her - she represents civilization, matriarchy and the "new America", he represents the "old Wild West" and boy's/men's world that's dying. Thus, his first impulse is to "show her who's boss" (rather like Clint Eastwood does to the town belle in High Plains Drifter).

He stops himself because he sees that she doesn't enjoy his approach, thus proving that he possesses the one thing that Frank is lacking - empathy. Although both Frank and Harmonica belong to the same "ancient race" this is the one thing that divides them. This is what makes Harmonica good and Frank bad. The very same thing which separates Blondie from Angel Eyes.

The problem with this interpretation is of course that you will have to accept that Hamonica is pretty darn messed up when it comes to women. I do think this is the case however, as is clearly displayed in the "farewell scene". The guy can't even look Jill in the eyes! Leone seems to have been interested in this behaviour in men who have "damages souls" ("something to do with death") - whenever I see the scene in question, I am always reminded of Noodles' behaviour towards women. Not very flattering for our friend Harmonica, but I really think that Leone's intention was to make the character more complex than the mere stereotype of an "avenging angel".

Interesting, very interesting take on the scene.
 It could also be that Harmonica wants to demonstrate that he indeed CAN rape her, but won't. Thus showing Jill that he is not the threat.  

But I like the idea that the scene's function is to show the main differnece between Harmonica and Frank. It is, after all, important to know whom to cheer for. That's how we get involved in the story; if all the characters are a-holes, who cares who gets killed?

Joe in FOD doea a kind thing in the movie, saving the woman, Blondie in GBU shows humanistic traits several times and Manco in FFDM shows respect to and helps out Mortimer. But the acts of humanity and kindness gets more and more diluted, confused and ambigiuous as Leone's films grow more ambitious.

I would not compare the scene with Harmonica with Eastwood's character in High Plains Drifter, though. The Drifter hates the town and everybody in it, and the rape must be seen as a part of the relentless plan that leads to the total humiliation of the entire society - and later the destruction of it.    

But we sure do agree in that Harmonica is one complicated piece of work! ;)

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:DVD is EXCELLENT!
« on: October 12, 2003, 05:40:18 PM »
Got it today,and it's great.The restoration is very good with fine picture and sound quality.Haven't watched all the filn yet but heard some of the commentary,although a bit 'patchwork'it is full of interesting facts and observations.The documentaries are great too,i especially liked the old interviews with Sergio and Henry Fonda.In many ways a better DVD than the OUATIA DVD,and far better than the shoddy FOD realease,I would say this is the best realease on DVD of a Leone film yet.ENJOY!!!

What else to say, now that I have seen the dvd,  than I agree completely with Jon? A magnificent dvd in all ways possible! This sure as hell was worth waiting a few years for!

And I liked what I've heard so far from the commentaries a lot better than those on OUATIA.

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:DVD is EXCELLENT!
« on: October 11, 2003, 04:04:22 AM »
I got mine in the mail yesterday. I saw the review on BBC films, five out of five stars, and a lot of bragging about the picture and sound.

Today is Saturday, I have a widescreen tv and a surround system... And a bottle of Jack Daniel's.

Oh yes. Life can be sweet.  ;)


Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Remake?
« on: October 08, 2003, 08:34:53 AM »
On the IMDb board for OUATITW there was a very long thread as to who should be who in a remake.  But I agree, pretty much nothing could work.  

It would be fun as a musical comedy... Imagine, three men waiting for the train. They see nobody, but hears a lone harmonica. Then they turn as the whole orchestra fall in, just to see the platform turn to a huge stage and Robbie Williams gives a upbeat, step-dancing version of "Did you remember to bring me a nice horsie?"....

I must get back on medication.......  :o

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Good news!
« on: October 08, 2003, 08:28:18 AM »
 I looked up the OUATITW DVD on, and it's only $13.99!!!!!!!!!  :o I hope my aunt gives me my Amazon gift certificate for my b-day this year (November 1st)!  My God, I hope that price stays the same when it comes out!  *rings hands excitedly a la Sergio* I'm so excited.

$ 13,99 is shamefully cheap. Could be a pre-order discount, but you won't have to pay until it is shipped anyway. So why not order it at once, and count on your aunt?  ;)

I ordered my (British version) copy months ago, and it may or may not be in my mailbox at home today when I get home....

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