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dave jenkins
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« Reply #45 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.

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« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2005, 03:08:40 AM »

could someone explain  the relationship between the girl and Coburn''s friend? I can''t understand their kiss in the final flashback!    it''s so ambiguous....

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2005, 08:25:08 PM »

could someone explain  the relationship between the girl and Coburn''''s friend? I can''''t understand their kiss in the final flashback!    it''''s so ambiguous....
Could it be it''s ambiguous because.........it''s supposed to be?

You know, sometimes Leone is *intentionally* ambiguous. Like at the end of OUATIA, when James Woods disappears and we''re not sure what happens to him. Does he jump into the back of the garbage truck? Does someone kill him and throw him in? Does he hitch a ride somehow? Or does he just use the truck for cover while he escapes down a manhole? We don''t really know, and obviously we''re not meant to. Leone would have given us more information if he felt we needed it.

The same is true about the final flashback in DYS. Is the woman the sister of Sean''s friend? Or are Sean, the woman and the friend particiapating in some kind of menage a trois? Again, we don''t know.

What we do know is that the image of the three young people cavorting about the beautiful Irish countryside is an image of happiness, one of paradise lost and perhaps one of paradise promised. It has a special meaning for Coburn''s character, one that the rest of us may *apprehend* without necessarily being able to fully *comprehend*. It is, however, enough to know that this idyllic vision occupies his mind at the point of dying.....

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« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2005, 11:19:37 AM »

Whoa!... where the hell did you get sister? if there is one thing i''m sure of it''s that the woman is not related to either of the men by blood... thats a bit too specific and deliberate to just be something you get from an ambiguous flashback... obviously they both enjoyed the same woman and didn''t mind sharing.

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« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2005, 09:05:01 PM »

Whoa!... where the hell did you get sister? if there is one thing i''m sure of it''s that the woman is not related to either of the men by blood... thats a bit too specific and deliberate to just be something you get from an ambiguous flashback... obviously they both enjoyed the same woman and didn''t mind sharing.
Okay, maybe she's not a sister. But she could be a cousin....

By the way, gramps, is incest some kind of hot-button topic with you? Cousins do marry each other, and they are certainly "related by blood." No reason to over-proscribe our reading of the final flashback, it seems to me. lol.

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« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2005, 09:20:15 AM »

anyway coburn seems to be glad for that kiss, he smiles while they kiss each other...  I read someone said this could be an additional reason for Coburn to kill his friend... but I don't think so... near to death everybody would surely like to remind happiness' moments

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« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2005, 11:30:45 AM »

I think the fact that they share is surprising, you really figure that his friend will be expelled (because it fits with the codes you are used too) and that would be a dramatic scene.
 It makes the film far less sad. If the film had added to the betrayal an angry rivalry between them, it would have been terribly sad. The film finishes by a positive aspect of their relationship, and is less sad like that.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2005, 06:39:52 PM »

I think the fact that they share is surprising, you really figure that his friend will be expelled (because it fits with the codes you are used too) and that would be a dramatic scene.
 It makes the film far less sad. If the film had added to the betrayal an angry rivalry between them, it would have been terribly sad. The film finishes by a positive aspect of their relationship, and is less sad like that.
And it may not even be a memory; it could be an idealized or wished-for event.

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« Reply #53 on: March 06, 2005, 01:03:29 PM »

And it may not even be a memory; it could be an idealized or wished-for event.


As to what it meant to me, having seen the extended flashback in the Italian version, I took it to be a look of jealousy too. Not only is the standard Irish flashback more concise but it lends a more upbeat ending to Mallorys plight.

Personally, as quoted by myself elsewhere, I found the extended flashback too be too long winded, even by Leones standards. I'm told that the new DVD will include this longer scene but I think the film to be better off without it.

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« Reply #54 on: March 06, 2005, 01:44:01 PM »

i can't understand the fact that someone who loves leone can prefer a short version of DYS... just enjoy the camerawork, the music, the feelings! a part of leone's talent is the use of the time... it is easy to express very strong feelings in a short time, it is more difficult to do it the way leone did it. More difficult but may be more efficient.

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« Reply #55 on: December 25, 2005, 07:58:32 AM »

Does anyone have the flashback clip that used to be linked to here...& a place to post it, hopefully? I have the 2003 DVD version, which lacks the entire 3 minutes..& I'd love to see it....& Lord knows when the new DVD will be released across the pond.

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« Reply #56 on: April 27, 2006, 01:16:52 AM »

I too would greatly appreciate a copy of the final flashback.  Is there any chance of a link being reactivated?  If not, then perhaps there is some other way to transfer it privately.  I'd prefer the high quality version.

Thanks.

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« Reply #57 on: April 27, 2006, 02:56:40 AM »

Can you not get a copy of "Giu la Testa" the Italian version as this has the final ending you mentioned.

 It's also far better quality than other versions I've seen for example you see far greater detail in the 'Black and Tan' flashback scene.

Unfortunately the French version I have "Once upon a time ...Revolution" omits this final 3 minutes.

I'm sure an English version I saw in the eighties had the scene with Juan with the final utterance "What about me ?...."

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« Reply #58 on: April 27, 2006, 05:05:50 AM »

Well........I've now seen it....as the Encore Western Channel recently showed DYS....& the scene was intact.
The movie itself was unwatchable...in ridiculous pan & scan fullscreen...but the scene was lovely.

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