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13696  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re:BEST LAST LINE? on: November 06, 2004, 06:44:30 PM
Yeah, Belkin, shouldn't that read BEST LAST GESTURE?

Anyway, for best last line, I nominate the one at the end of Casablanca.
13697  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re:Best ending ever? on: November 06, 2004, 06:35:57 PM
This is actually quite an interesting topic, since the best movies don't necessarily have particularly memorable endings. Leone is a good case in point: his endings are often adequate without being great (however, he did direct one of my faves). Anyway, without further ado, my list, in descending order of interest:

vertigo (absolutely devastating)
casablanca (what's not to like?)
ouatia (a smile more mysterious than the mona lisa's)
strangelove ("We'll meet again....")
sanjuro (thar she blows!)
blue (love preisner's music)
the passenger (cinema's longest single-take ending?)
the year of the quiet sun (zanussi's homage to Ford)
the 400 blows (a freeze-frame for a lifetime)
reuben, reuben (that dog bounding toward Tom Conti at absolutely the worst possible moment: have never laughed so hard).
13698  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re:Duck, You Sucker Restoration issue on: November 06, 2004, 05:43:49 PM
I think I've mentioned this before; a source involved in the project tells me that AFOD, FAFDM and A Fistful of Dynamite (not DYS) are all being prepped as SEs for a box set release in 2005. And yes, the latter will be complete, uncut and will include the final flashback.

JH, do you know any more details about these releases? For example, will they all carry Italian audio tracks (I hope, I hope)?
13699  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re:Kubrick on: November 01, 2004, 04:02:21 PM
barry lyndon - apparently kubrick wanted leonard rosenman's music to have the same effect as morricone in leone's films

How does the epilogue of BL go? Something like:

It was in the reign of George III
the aforementioned personages lived and quarelled;
happy or sad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor,
they're all equal now.

Sounds like a pretty good tag for a SW, no?

Consider also the amount of dueling that goes on in the picture. The film opens with a duel (the death of Barry's father), Barry's life as a gambler requires him to fight many duels (to collect winnings), and there is a climactic duel between Barry and his stepson. Interestingly, there is no final duel in Thackeray's novel (the stepson merely gives Barry a thrashing), the one in the film is Kubrick's invention.

Given all this, I think it is safe to say that what Kubrick really wanted to do was make Spaghetti Westerns, but with his carefully fostered art-boy image he didn't want to be seen slumming. So he cleverly disguised an SW in the form of a slow moving artsy-fartsy epic. But he can't fool us......
13700  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re:Best non-leone spaghetti western on: October 31, 2004, 08:58:52 PM
ive looked online at what are considered the best non-leone spaghettis and wondered what the general consensus was on here. Unfortunatley theres only 8 choices in the poll option so sorry if ive left yours out.  :-\ you can specify in a post and put other.

My vote is for Death Rides a Horse.
13701  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Death Rides a Horse aka Da uomo a uomo (1967) on: October 31, 2004, 04:04:05 PM
the score to DA UOMO A UOMO(akaDEATH RIDES A HORSE) is one of Ennio Morricone's most outstanding pieces. It elevates an otherwise standard  revenge Italo western to operatic proportions.
The full score is one of the most sought after of the Morricone canon, eclipsed only by PER QUALCHE DOLLARO...
He did re-use themes from Fitful and FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE in the score..

it needs to be seen WIDESCREEN for full effect as a film

Huh, I thought I might be missing something, so I did buy the soundtrack album last week and had a listen. I must say it seemed rather pedestrian. Not as interesting as any of the Leone soundtracks, not even as interesting as those for Companeros or Face To Face. Hmmm. Well, I'll give it another try......

You're undoubtedly right about the widescreen version of the film. Those seeking to pass judgment on DRAH without having seen it in its proper form don't know what they're talking about.

BTW, how does the Italian title translate? A Horse Rides a Horse? Who can help me out here?
13702  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Death Rides a Horse aka Da uomo a uomo (1967) on: October 29, 2004, 06:32:14 PM
Don't really like the Morricone score as much as TBG

I grant that the score for DRAH is its weakest element.
13703  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Vamos a matar, compaņeros aka Companeros (1970) on: October 29, 2004, 06:27:05 PM

BTW, I pretty much can't stand Thomas Milan.

Companero, you have said a true thing.
13704  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re:Final Flashback? on: October 28, 2004, 01:15:20 AM

1) Sean's character, which i think develops ambiguously, he's supposed to be shattered by revolution at the start but needs to be told by Juan that revolution is a waste of time.

Well.....Sean's character is complex, and he must respond to a complex set of changing circumstances. At the beginning of the film, he is through with revolution (we find out why later in the flashbacks). Once he believed in many things; now he believes only in dynamite. And in his own survival. He has some scheme concerning a mine owner, which I can't recall now, but Juan screws this up. So then he has only the revolutionary network to rely on. Conveniently, the killing of the mine owner appears to be a revolutionary act, so Sean is in their good graces, and he decides to go along to get along. Then Juan shows up and Sean sees a way to pull one over on the guy: get him to liberate prisoners while making him think what he's really doing is pulling his big bank job. So Juan ends up with no money but becomes a grand, glorious hero of the revolution. Of course, Juan doesn't want to be a hero, all he wants is the money. But since it was Juan's actions that got Sean back on board with the revolutionaries, Sean's trick is merely payback. Later, when Juan makes his speech about the peasants always dying for the revolution while the intellectuals go on talking, he is only reminding Sean of what he already knows. For a while he was flirting with the idea of returning to his old ways, but Juan sets him straight.

That's my take, anyway. I like the way the movie starts out with the two main characters as essentially boys with deadly toys, playing tricks on each other, and then develops into a film about mature male friendship. They don't make many movies like that, now or ever.
13705  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Death Rides a Horse aka Da uomo a uomo (1967) on: October 25, 2004, 11:37:06 PM
Having just seen DRAH for the first time (on the new Japanese DVD that has a good widescreen transfer), I'd like to nominate it for the best non-Leone SW (I consider My Name Is Nobody a Leone film).

I believe that we can dispense with the other claimants: The Big Gundown and Companeros, which both have their good points, to be sure, but which also have Tomas Milian. As I detest, loath, and despise Tomas Milian (or perhaps I should say his screen persona), I consider his presence in these otherwise estimable films a serious liability. Nonetheless, granting that others may not share my feelings, let us now turn to more positive arguments, namely, all the good things in DRAH.

I list them as follows, in descending order of importance:

Lee Van Cleef
Mario Brega
Groggy (I can never remember this actor's name)
Cool revenge plot
Bank heist
firearms demonstrations
outlaw gang that likes to laugh evilly often
clever ways of killing members of said outlaw gang
solid ending with a satisfying twist (including the reappearance of a gang member we'd forgotton about)

In other words, this film is more like FAFDM than any other film we are ever likely to see. If you can't have Leone, the next best thing is a really good imitation. Ergo, DRAH is the best non-Leone SW.

Arguments to the contrary?
13706  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: La resa dei conti aka The Big Gundown (1966) on: October 25, 2004, 10:01:56 PM
As I said earlier, the time on the box for the Japanese disc reads 115. I played the disc again last night to see what  the counter on my player would read out at as, and it was indeed 115 minutes at the end (plus 10 or 20 seconds). This includes the time for both  the MGM and the UA logos that play at the film's beginning.
13707  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Pure Beauty************ on: October 25, 2004, 09:52:09 PM
Nobody has brought this up yet, and I think this is worth mentioning. The younger Claudia is different than her more mature self, but every bit as alluring. Check her out in Visconti's The Leopard, where she has just a hint of baby fat and is very kittenish.

The interesting thing is that most women have a single period in their lives when they are at their peak of beauty, but Claudia looked good whenever she was filmed.
13708  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: La resa dei conti aka The Big Gundown (1966) on: October 22, 2004, 11:55:09 PM

The made in Canada DVD of DRAH is 112 minutes can you tell us the running time of the Japanese DVD Dave?

The box says 115.
13709  Films of Sergio Leone / A Fistful of Dollars / Re:YOJIMBO VS. FFOD on: October 22, 2004, 06:39:31 PM
i think yojimbo's probably a better film, but theyre both examples of two great directors not quite at their peak but making bloody exciting films.

That puts it rather well, I think.
13710  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: La resa dei conti aka The Big Gundown (1966) on: October 22, 2004, 06:34:46 PM

DRAH suffers from a lousy transfer on the US DVD, if its as good as you say it would be nice to see that Japanese DVD.

I thought the transfer was quite good. It isn't up to the quality of Gundown, though.

BTW, DRAH carries an MGM logo at the beginning, and Gundown wears Columbia's brand. Is it perhaps conceivable that we'll someday get standard US studio releases of these films on DVD?
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