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Author Topic: Thoughts on this film  (Read 92579 times)
Walter
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« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2003, 08:13:24 PM »

I must first admit that I haven't seen the Rhodos-film, but of the ones I've seen, I'd rank FoD as Leone's weakest movie.

Before you get the lynch-ropes out, let me add that Leone's weakest movie most certainly could be the best movie from most other directors....

The problem is the script; it doesn't allow the story to start properly, mainly the introduction to the main characters drags. And later the movie ends way too slowly. In the middle, there are many fine things. Leone's message, which may read like "beware of self-appointed saviours" is explained both originally, in depth and comes across quite clearly. Both actors and director sure handles well how the characters evolve and learn through the movie. (Simplified thumb-rule: In a good story, characters must always be changed by the story - unless it is a point of the story that they don't.)

Juan's transition from simple bandito to celebrated and highly unwilling revolutionary hero is great satire and great drama at the same time. It is hard not to think of Tuco when we meet Juan at first. But Tuco didn't change - and his stubborness to change was an important aspect with that character.

The action, and of course the use of striking visuals - faces, deserts or sinister tableaus of mayhem abd violence- are as great as one should expect from the great Sergio.

But the story still is unbalanced. It doesn't collapse, but it is shaky. Compare his other great movies, and observe how solid the structures of the stories are, how balanced and precise they are.

I suspect that Leone after all, had too little time to finish this. Remember that Once Upon a Time in the West didn't become a hit until AFTER FoD. Leone might have been under pressure here.

(Pardon me for shooting off my mouth so much, me being a Newbie and all. But it was so great to find this forum, I can hardly contain myself.  Wink)

« Last Edit: September 23, 2003, 08:13:53 PM by Walter » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2003, 06:44:46 AM »

  Very good analysis Walter.  BTW welcome aboard - I hope you come here regularly, we could use more people like you.  Grin

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shorty larsen
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« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2004, 02:18:38 PM »

Saw the movie again, today.

This was my first post in this topic:

"Anyway Duck You Sucker is my favourite Leone's movie for one simply reason: the extraordinary music of Morricone.

I think the Morricone score for this movie is the most sad of all, specially when Juan's son are killed (remember?).

OUTW is probably the best Morricone film of all, but DYS is my favourite one. "

After seeing the movie again today. I will go further.

DYS is my favourite Leone movie. Of course, it is not in the same cathegory as OUTW, a masterpiece jewel, and it is not in the same cathegory as OUTA, an epic movie, but it still my favourite one.

Why is that?

I think because, for example, Rod Steiger. This man is an enormous actor, he's incredible.

I think DYS is the sadest movie of Leone, really sadest. Only the score by Morricone is as sad as the movie.

It seems that on Leone's funeral, Morricone played the main theme of DYS. Of all the music composed by Morricone for Leone's movies, he chosed, maybe the sadest one, the one who expressed his sadness in that moment.

I think, as OUTA, that DYS is an extraordniary story of friendship.

There is, in DYS, an extremely powerful and sad scene. During the execution shooting scene. Sean sees Doctor Villegas, doublecrossing his collegues. And there is a flashback with Ireland. Then, and here is the scene, the camera comes back in zooms in Sean eyes. The expression of his eyes, of his whole face, with the music of Morricone in backgrounds, is really devastating.

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« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2004, 09:50:53 AM »

DYS is a perfect example of a transition film.Often transition opus are weak because they try to mix opposites.  

 1 First theWestern quadrilogy manner:big effect , large plans, strong music, cynic attitude, magic gun shots

  2 At last OUATIA manner: more subtile music, more psychology, no big plan , more dialogs  , more realistic .VERY different.

   For DYS, between 19th century films (Westerns) and 20th century one (OUATIA) Leone chooses a transition period (beginning of the 20th) , a transition style (motorcycle and horses, guns and machine-guns), transition country (if Europe and USA are in the 20th, Mexico seems still in the 19th) ,.

May be why many friends dont like  DYS. Too half/half,  not enough "Dollars" for some people , too "Dollars" for the others .

Not enough revolutionary for some people, too politic for the others.

Not enough magic ...too fairy tale for the others

And so on.


By the way, IMO Rod Steiger is a pure miscasting, Juan role was for Eli !

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« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2004, 10:42:31 AM »

I believe that DYS stands alone from the other westerns.  The message or theme throughout the film is DARK.   For me, one of its messages if to be careful about getting caught up in crusades. The music is haunting, more so than in other Leone films.
While OUATITW is still my favorite, and the $ films and GBU are fun to watch, DYS holds a special place for me.
It seems to explore motives and personalities.  A deeper film if you will.
Perhaps it is disjointed to those more expert in analyzing films, but then again, Leone may have created DYS to be presented the way it was because
"in Revolution, there is confusion".

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COLONNA
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« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2004, 02:04:27 AM »


because
"in Revolution, there is confusion".

As Noodles said  to young  Jimmy Conway after the oil bath:  you (the workers) shall be always fucked .(french subtitle)

Leone fascist ? Surely not.   But a little bit conservative ?

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« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2004, 12:29:37 PM »

Not at all!!!!!

Leone is realistic. That's all.

Anywhere, anytime, workers have been fucked. That's a reality.

But Leone does not say that is good. Not at all. I think he says exactly the opposite. The message of DYS, to me, is that even during the so called revolutions the workers and the poor people gets fucked.

And Leone is, in my mind, by the side of the poor people, against the rich people but also against the revolution leaders all around the world, who only replaces one system in wich the workers get fucked by another similar system, in wich the workers still gets fucked. Juan saids it clear: the people that can read the books sit around the polished tables and talk and talk and talk, and eat and eat and eat. But what happened to the poor people? They're dead!.

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« Reply #37 on: February 29, 2004, 01:40:45 PM »

Yeah, Leone was left leaning, though not as much as, say, Sergio Corbucci. While DYS is ambiguous about whether or not the revolution was a wholly good thing, the fact that the story deals with the struggles, emotions and above all humanity of the revolutionaries, while the government and the army are clearly the bad guys, show that leone was certainly not a fascist.

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« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2004, 03:57:13 AM »

personally i think this is leone's weakest film...though i have yet to see colossus of rhodes. Though i hate the way his films have been cut mercilessly i actually think FO Dynamite is too long! There are completely arid scenes. Having said that there are also brilliant ones that equal the best bits of dollars trilogy and OUATITW. Problem probably stems from the fact he wasnt expecting to direct the film. Sad

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« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2004, 03:59:57 AM »

politically i think leone sympathises with the plight of the poor classes but believes revolution ultimately causes them the most pain as the middle classes always end up with the spoils and exploit the workers. He called himself an anarchist, though he has been accused of being a communist and even a fascist by peter bogdanovich! Not sure about that tho.

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« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2004, 01:26:53 PM »

Who is Bogdanovich anyway? How many movies considered as pieces of art has he made?

He was supposed to be Orson Welles apprentice and instead of that.....

But to say that someone is fascist is very dangerous. What is fascism anyway. Beside classical occidental interpretations, we could discuss for hours about that.

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« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2004, 01:45:09 PM »

He was one of those 70s New Hollywood kids (Robert Altman, Bob Raffelson, Hal Ashby -were closest to his kin).
made The Last Picture Show & some crap
Cybill Sheperd movies.. But like most of his generaton were screwed by the 1980s. As Jaws & Star Wars (blockbuster mentality) started to unfold.
-For anybody has been subjected to Mask starring Cher & Sam Elliot.
The man saw better movies than he made.   Wink

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Walton
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« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2004, 05:43:41 AM »

I'd be reluctant to call Leone a fascist (although I never had to work for him). Anarchist and cynic perhaps. I've always felt FOD was a very cynical, bleak film. In Frayling's book, Leone makes it fairly clear that his view of politics was shaped by his life in post war Italy, where he felt betrayed by all forms of government. FOD really expresses his attitude towards politics. The idea of 'duck you sucker' is almost a caution - it's better to stay out of the way, because if you become involved, you will most likely lose everything. This is what happens to both Jaun and John. Jaun's stated position in the tent scene is that his country is 'me and my family' and the loss of his family results from his, admittedly reluctant, involvement in the revolution. It's interesting to note that in Frayling's book, Leone tells of meeting a man in Paris who thanked him for making the film. The man had become estranged from his sons because of their political disagreements, then his sons saw FOD and came back to the family. Leone, apparently, was most gratified to hear this.

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« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2004, 03:21:23 AM »

I recently saw this film again and I really enjoyed it.  There are very moving, strong scenes in it.  Only I found it difficult to see the whole picture, because (I have to admit) I'm not really familiar with the background and history of this revolution.  I could understand everything, but could anyone sketch some more detailed background on this?  I'm very interested in history but also very bad in it (if I only paid more attention in class)... Embarrassed

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« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2004, 01:49:02 AM »

theres no doubt this is a good film and is brilliant in places (the start in the stagecoach, the flashbacks, the end) but there are too many dragged out, laborious scenes that put people off. i can appreciate them but the casual leone fan won't. he likes the hard-hitting Dollars Trilogy.

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