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16  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The best movie ever made... on: July 22, 2017, 05:22:53 PM
Actually, such films exist, many westerns are quite simple, but many westerns surely not like that, even many Wayne westerns are not like that. And especially westerns made after 1960 are often not that simple.

On the other hand the spaghetti western hero also always wins. With only a few exceptions, but in Us westerns the protagonists also do not always win.

I think I may have worded my response a little off, but I feel this video describes well the differences in which I perceived between American Westerns and Spaghetti Westerns.
17  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The best movie ever made... on: July 22, 2017, 04:18:20 PM
That makes me wonder 1) how did you make the connection spaghetti-John Wayne. I never saw a picture of Wayne eating spaghetti (maybe it does exist, though) but still I can't figure out what was (and is) your conception of spaghetti western before (and after) watching Leone's movies. BTW, I assume you haven't seen yet For a Few Dollars More and Duck You Sucker. What are you waiting for? 2) Have you watched The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance? 3) How did you ever come to watch Leone's movies at all, as you seem not to have a particular interest for westerns, let alone spaghetti westerns? 4) In your messages you never mention Morricone.

Ugh. Forgive me. I totally forgot about Morricone. I have been a fan of Morricone before even watching spaghetti westerns.  Yes, the soundtrack is another major element of the films.  I made the spaghetti western connection to John Wayne mainly cause I'm just a youngster, and although I do watch many classic movies that span well before my time and even my parent's time, westerns wasn't something I ever got into earlier.  I just looked at old westerns as old westerns.  I know there is some overlap between the John Wayne era and Spaghetti westerns, but I didn't really know how to differentiate between them because I knew very little about them, the time frame, and where they came from.  I have not seen FAFDM or DYS yet.  I'm trying not to watch too many of his movies once after the other.  These are not movies I can just watch and overlap with something else. They're quite a mouthful to chew on and I'd rather take some time and think on them and maybe watch them again before watching too many others.  I have not seen the Searchers or the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, but I have heard many good things of them and are open to giving them a shot.  I came to watch SL's movies because OUATITW was on Netflix and I figured I'd give it a try.  At this point in life, I'm not particularly into westerns, but I have been paying more attention to them and watching more that I find on Netflix or other streaming channels.  I also have a personal collection of movies with some classic westerns I need to check out.  I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid a couple years back and I enjoyed that as I do most Redford and/or Newman movies.  I also saw the 2004 film Blueberry, which I really liked despite it's poor-to-mediocre critic rating.  So yeah, that's where I am with westerns. 
18  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The best movie ever made... on: July 22, 2017, 02:41:08 AM
I am new to SL films, and spaghetti westerns in general.  I've only seen a handful of other modern westerns.  Whenever I heard the term spaghetti western, I thought of old John Wayne style movies.  I've never seen through a whole John Wayne 1950s style American western, so maybe I'm not being fair, but they strike me as very boring and ridiculous.  Kind of like a cliche happy-go-lucky film where people sing cheesy songs and the good guy always wins and rides off into the sunset at the end of the film.

Boy did OUATITW change my expectations around.  It was nothing like I had expected.  I'm in my early 30s and I get why a lot of people my age can't stomach a movie like this.  The long drawn out scenes seem to have too little stimulation for most movie watchers these days and their patience is challenged beyond their limit.  But I found the scenes to be very fascinating and intense, and the long drawn out pauses bring my imagination to life an really make the gears in my mind start turning.  Also the movies totally have an artistic side like I had never expected from a spaghetti western.  The script is amazing in particular to me.  Every line seems to pack a punch that hits you right in the feels, but nothing like the cheesy one-liners you find in comic-book based movies.  The cinematography and movie set is absolutely top notch, even for these days in filming.  There seems to be nothing present in any scene of this movie that makes you think this is just a movie set and not the real wild west.  The story line is touching, poignant, mysterious at times, and even prophetic.  SL nails it with the snapshot of these characters during the time span of the film and keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what led the characters to these points during the film.  And last but not least, Claudia Cardinale is friggin beautiful.   She is the perfect personification of the good life that survives out of the brutality of the old west. 

I've seen OUATITW 3 times so far, and I plan on seeing it many more times.  I can see how it could be a hard argument to say it is the best film ever made, but when I first saw it, it broke all my expectations of it and made me really appreciate it.  Now on watch number 3, it has catapulted itself into what will probably be my personal favorite movie.  I have seen TGTBatU and FoD, and although I liked them, they cant seem to compare with OUATITW.  It's possible that my opinion will change and maybe I will see a movie I think is better, but this movie definitely has a special place in my heart.  Even my 18 mo old son seems to have an appreciation for this. He loves the opening scene with the whiny windmill pump, and the ticker machine.  He seems to really pick up on the intensity of the drawn out scenes and the many sound effects used in the film. 
19  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: "Something to do with death" on: July 21, 2017, 12:04:32 AM
Of course they are related. In the flashback, they both look Indian, or at least half-Indian (much more than Charles Bronson does, although Bronson does have a slightly ethnic look.)

That's interesting and funny you commented on Bronson's slightly ethnic look.  Have you ever seen the movie, Smoke Signals?  It's one of those movies that seems to get funnier (and all around better) everytime I watch it.  Anyways, there's a scene between the two main characters (Victor and Thomas), who are both Indians from the Cour d'Alene reservation in Idaho, and on their way to pick up Victor's father's deceased ashes, Thomas keeps pestering Victor about his father and how he looks like Charles Bronson.  It's a hilarious movie and a must-watch in my mind. 

Actually found a clip from that scene.

20  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: were Jill and Brett McBain really married? on: July 20, 2017, 11:42:30 PM
I'm a little new to this movie, new to this message board, and new to spaghetti westerns altogether!  I first saw OUaTitW only several months ago, and I loved it so much, I've seen it several times since.   I have seen TGtBatU and FFoD, but OUaTitW wins them all in my heart and mind. 

Anyways, I ran across this message board just googling some questions I had about the film and ultimately stumbled upon some other interesting topics that other viewers had brought up.  The second time I saw OUaTitW, I actually had thought the same thing that I wondered if Jill was bluffing on the marriage claim at the funeral.  You have all provided very interesting views on the matter, and I agree that there could be several plausible pieces of evidence you could draw to support whether she was in fact married or not, but either way, SL didn't seem to want to make an intentional point of this in hopes to not distract from the other major points.  Also maybe we're all looking into it a little too much?  I understand finding little clues and drawing a subjective belief on whether she was or wasn't married, but either way, it doesn't tip the story one way or another. 

It could be one of those things that was meant to be understood and taken at face value, or it could be a little gift to the viewer from SL to get a chance to fill in the blanks yourself with whatever you want to see in it.  I could see it either way.  I don't tend to see extremes in the situation.  For instance, the film seems to generally portray Jill as someone who's not perfect, but trying to do the right thing, and generally making progress.  I gather this mainly from her first conversation with Cheyanne in talking about her desire to marry and have a family in the future (in contract with her promiscuous past).  It would be an extremely deviated thought to think Jill, after just learning about her new family's slaughter, would instantly be thinking of how she can get money out of the situation.  It's not that it's impossible, but it's just more of an extreme.  If she did lie about being already married to Brett, her claim could be out of honor to want to carry on the McBain family name, or our of pure sympathy for what just happened.  I do understand that Sam wants to take her back and she refuses, and then you see immediately following that is her rummaging through drawers looking for something.  But there are even multiple clues as to what her intentions were on finding anything of value - could have been for self gain, or to find clues on why the massacre took place. 

Either way, I like that these little possibilities exist in the background of the main storyline.  It's almost like a choose your own adventure in our mind without actually being able to significantly deviate the entire story plot away from what SL intended.   And it's even cooler that you can find many other situations like this throughout the movie where you question the motives of why characters do what they do, and you seem to constantly stumble upon multiple plausible answers.   Well done SL.
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