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| | |-+  "Duck, You Sucker!" vs. "Fistful of Dynamite"
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Author Topic: "Duck, You Sucker!" vs. "Fistful of Dynamite"  (Read 49568 times)
mgmguy
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« on: April 08, 2003, 07:17:01 PM »

I am John Kirk, the person at MGM who has supervised the recent restoration of "Fistful of Dollars" and the extended English language version of "GBU" (both remixed into 5.1 Dolby Digital). The "GBU" project will be finished next week, and then it will be time for me to move on to "Duck, You Sucker!" I really want to restore the original title to the film, because the re-release title "Fistful of Dynamite" has always sounded like a parody title to me. However, MGM may not let me do this, unless I can come up with a statement by Leone saying that he didn't like the re-release title. Does anyone out there know what Leone said - for or against - about the title change? If you do know something, please tell me where I can find it. Thanks for your help.

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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2003, 10:45:23 AM »

The French titel is "Il Útait une fois..la rÚvolution"
"Once upon time the revolution" sounds very good and i believe it 's one of the original titel.
Am i wrong ??

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mgmguy
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2003, 11:42:54 AM »

Yes, I do know of that title, but UA probably never seriously considered using it for the English language release. They only made title sequences for "Duck, You Sucker!" and "Fistful of Dynamite." One of the main reasons I want to go with "Duck, You Sucker!" for our English restoration version is that it is closest to the Italian release title "Giu la testa."

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Garry Cowell
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2003, 12:18:13 PM »

One of the main reasons I want to go with "Duck, You Sucker!" for our English restoration version is that it is closest to the Italian release title "Giu la testa."
Indeed! Also "Duck, You Sucker!" is uttered a couple of times through out the movie by John/Sean. Not to mention the title (on screen) Duck, You Sucker! acts as a punchline to the end of the movie! The words 'Fistful of Dynamite' look awfully odd appearing as answer to Juan question of "What about me?!"  Angry

Can you tell me if the forthcoming DVD version will contains the 'long' flashback scene at the end or the shorter one that currently exist on the MGM laserdisc?

I had the opportunity to watch the Leone restored longer cut (albeit in Italian) at the NFT in London (circa 2000) and was immensely impressed.

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shorty larsen
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2003, 12:38:21 PM »

Yes, the original Leone tittle was in italian: "Giu la Testa" wich doesn't means exactly "Duck you sucker", but this tittle is the closest one.

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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2003, 01:32:12 PM »

"Giu la testa" is apparently a colloquial expression that means "get out of the way". It perfectly suits the setting of the revolution which is about the old regime getting out of the way to make room for the new. It's also about the old making way for the young, which is why originally Leone intended to cast an older man as Juan (Jason Robards), and a younger man as Sean (Malcolm McDowell).
According to the Sergio Leone book by Oreste De Fornari, Leone was completely convinced that "Duck You Sucker" was a regular American expression, and no amount of pressure from anyone would get him to think otherwise. Personally, when I'm blowing people away, I like to use "Say Goodnight Gracie!".
I'm talking computer games, by the way.
So Leone was not at all interested in demeaning the movie by making it seem like a companion piece to Fistful of Dollars, or as part of a Once upon a time trilogy as the French seemed to want.

On another note, Juan's final line "What about me?" is not lip-sync, nor is it Steiger's voice. It was dubbed in afterwards for the English-speakers.

I look forward to an English-speaking release and hope that it will be as complete as the Italian CVC Special edition.

Tell me John Kirk, will you be including some "then and now" type location shots for aficionados?

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Jon
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2003, 02:13:13 PM »

I hope to God this release has the final flashbeck scene in it's entirety!I have the entire scene on a video of Ennio Morricone and I managed to put it into the film by copying it and the film onto another tape.It makes the ending so much better.Some versions of this film have the flashback,some don't,and some have a bit of it.it is so annoying!I read somewher that it was cut out of the original Italian version because it was too 'libertarian'?!

As for the title,I think Duck You Sucker is far better although OncecUpon A Time In The Revolution is pretty good!

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shorty larsen
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2003, 02:34:57 PM »

Does anyone has any news about a DVD release for this movie?

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cigar joe
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2003, 04:31:52 PM »

"Giu la testa" I think it litterally translates to "Watch your head" which would pass for "Duck you sucker" I guess, now adays in NYC you simply yell "Yoh", lol.

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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2003, 04:57:20 PM »

Yes, I will be putting the complete final flashback into the end of "Duck, You Sucker!" for theatrical re-release. I can't tell you anything about DVD plans; I work in the studio's Film Dept., and the Home Video Dept. is a world unto its own - so far it has only selected about half of the films I've restored in the last 5 or 6 years for release on DVD. I have heard that there are currently no plans to release the extended English version of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" on DVD. Therefore, you should tape it off AMC on May 10th and/or see it in a cinema this June/July if you live near NYC, LA, San Diego, Rochester (NY), Toronto, Santa Fe, San Francisco, San Rafael (CA), or Chicago. Dates for Houston and Silver Springs, MD will be settled later in the year.
But to get back to my original question, if anyone knows of any written statement by Leone regarding his preference of the English release title, please let me know where to find it, or I might not be able to restore the original one. Thanks!!

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cigar joe
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2003, 07:53:13 PM »

We can check in "Something to do with Death" by Frayling maybe there is a quote.

On "Gui la testa" I guess you could also translate it as "Heads Up" too.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2003, 07:54:03 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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mgmguy
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2003, 08:17:23 PM »

Thank you - I don't have the book, so I would appreciate your help when you have time to look through it. There's no immediate rush on it. I won't even be able to start on the project until around the middle of May.

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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2003, 12:43:28 AM »

I'm italian, and the literally meaning of Gi¨ la testa (note that the word Gi¨ must be written with the sign of the accent) is: "Bow down the head".
As for the further meaning Halis gives to that expression, I've never heard such a thing but I can't exclude that in some part of Italy it is used like this.
My opinion is that the title is referred to the explosions, for dynamite is a central element in the movie.
I hope you, Mr. Kirk, can get through and restore the original title, Duck you sucker.
In Italy there has never been other title than Gi¨ la testa, and the already mentioned (by Halis) report in De Fornari's book is for me an evidence (O, but maybe not for the MGM people you have to deal with...) that DYS was the title Leone wanted outside Italy.


« Last Edit: April 10, 2003, 12:45:56 AM by TBPJMR » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2003, 03:21:05 AM »

I'll just clarify that the further meaning I give to the expression "Giu La Testa" of "get out of the way" is not my personal translation. It was how Leone described the meaning in order to give substance to the idea of Revolution - make way for the new order.
I cannot remember exactly in which, of the many books or articles about Leone that I have read over the years, that I found this "get out of the way" explanation, but I have always clearly remembered it as his philosophy for using the term. However, I know I read this in English, so again it may have been slightly altered in translation. But I can assure you that the translator made a strong distinction about Leone saying that not only did it mean "Get your Head down", it also meant "Get out of the way".

Do check the De Fornari book to read about Leone's insistence that "Duck you sucker" was an everyday American expression. It's very funny.

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El Bon
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2003, 10:40:04 AM »


I have checked in "something to do with death" and it says
"once upon a time the revolution" was the title at script
stage.The Italian distributors made him change it. "I had to
change it to "Giu La Testa". Leone's original title was kept
for the French opening. In America it opened as Duck you
Sucker and  assumed the English title of FOD after bad
box office business. There is no direct quote of Leone
prefering DYS although Peter Bogdanovich says he wanted to  Giu La
use Giu la Testa as the Italian title.




Testa


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