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Author Topic: Il mercenario aka The Mercenary/A Professional Gun (1968)  (Read 54041 times)
titoli
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« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2006, 11:25:54 AM »

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Why do you call the Italian versions "original"? This may be appropriate for GBU, which did follow BBC by several months, but for DYS Juan's English can be said to be the original in that much of it was recorded directly at the time of shooting (which was a first for an SL picture, and occurred only at Steiger's insistance). The Italian dubbing of Juan came later.

Because the dialogues were thought up and written in italian and then adapted (don't know how well) intp english.

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« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2006, 02:54:12 PM »

No, after filming begins there's eventually no "original" version except the original script.

OUATITW for example we have five actors who speak English translated from Italian, a bilingual actress(Cardinale, who speaks English with the Americans, Italian with the Italian), and the rest are either Italian or German. Since the Italians are the best at dubbing to make sure that the lips and the words go together(And they usually do perfectly!), you know they have to alter lines, titoli Tongue Ferzetti and Stoppa are among the few actors whose lines were probably from the original Italian script.

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« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2006, 03:31:36 PM »

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No, after filming begins there's eventually no "original" version except the original script.

The original version is the one planned by Leone. And Leone planned it in italian (better, in roman dialect). Otherwise we ought to credit Mickey Knox as co-author, which is not the case. And Leone couldn't care less about what the actors were saying, as he knew that in dubbing he would have decided what was going to be said and what not. Movies were shot in Italy with actors reciting numbers (everybody knows that). Vittorio De Sica used to arrive on the set of a movie where he was just playing without knowing one line of dialogue, just being told the gist of  the scenes. He improvised and then dubbed himself with the original dialogue he shlould have known. Leone had no control whatever on the english version as he knew not the language. The one he cared about and controlled was the italian. The screenplays were written in italian. Be sure that if one wants to study the characters he must analyze the italian dialogues, not certainly the english ones.

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« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2006, 07:51:57 PM »

Leone had no control whatever on the english version as he knew not the language. The one he cared about and controlled was the italian. The screenplays were written in italian. Be sure that if one wants to study the characters he must analyze the italian dialogues, not certainly the english ones.
This is just so wrong-headed I can barely contain myself. If Leone didn't care about the English dialogue, then why was it he just happened to use excellent writers of dialogue on all the English dubs of every one of his films? There is a HUGE difference between the English dubs of Leone's films and those of his fellow SW directors. We can be confident that Leone DID care about the English dubs: the proof is in the pudding.

Leone was not De Sica or Visconti or anyone else. Today it is standard to watch Italian films in their original language with the appropriate subtitles (which can be done badly or well). This is not true of Leone for a very good reason: There is no definitive version of each of his films (the exception may be OUATIA); as the language changed in the dubbing so did the films. Mickey Knox SHOULD get some credit for the films he wrote dialogue for. The Italian version and the English version (and the French and German et. al.) of any given Leone work represent different films.

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« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2006, 08:30:02 PM »

Leone may be responsible in specifics with the Italian version during the dubbing stage, but it is not to say that the way he has his films dubbed in Italian based on the actors' lip movements is different from how other countries will do it, besides doing it the best, of course Tongue
His intent for the Italian version being what it is because of his first hand involvement in it vs. being the original are far from the same thing. When an Italian movie has actors from various countries, the "original" dialogue of the script is just framework for something that takes on a life of its own depending on the actors + the people who are responsible for translating the dialogue for the actors. It's almost an organic creature Shocked

I agree with dave jenkins, Leone is way ahead of guys like Bertolucci(1900 English dub = Sad ) and Corbucci when it comes to dubbing. Even the Bergman English dubs were terrible and he's the auteur of all auteurs Tongue Ever listen to the French version of OUATITW? TERRIBLE! Jack Wolff's lines sound like they were recorded in a portable toilet.

Leone could also intend for a movie to be a certain way to another country, too. You could even say OUATIA's "original" version was Italian because the script was Italian, but the result was determined by the fellow who translated the script and eventually the people responsible for the dub in other languages. An "original version that the movie was intended to be" is a myth, buddy!

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« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2006, 11:04:23 AM »

The problem is whether we intend Leone to be an author or a hack. I think he was an author, so he wanted to have control of any aspect of his work and dialogues were just after images and actors. How could he have any control on english language if he didn't speak it at all (I don't believe he could catch subtleties in the english adaptations of Knox, about whose renditions I'm not over-enthusiastic, judging from FADM and GBU). And in any case, it is sufficient to compare any italian version with the english one to understand the control behind the first completely absent from the second. You argue that Knox' versions are better than those made for other movies. Good. The merit goes to Leone and to those who saw behind his movies potential blockbusters (which they were, at least partially)  : nobody in USA could see money earning potential and care about a good  Bergman or Bertolucci. The fact that you tell me the french version is awful confirms how much he cared about the foreign versions of his movies.

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« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2006, 11:28:17 PM »

1.The problem is whether we intend Leone to be an author or a hack.

2.And in any case, it is sufficient to compare any italian version with the english one to understand the control behind the first completely absent from the second.

3.The fact that you tell me the french version is awful confirms how much he cared about the foreign versions of his movies.
1.Why must we choose between "hack" and "author"? Isn't it possible that Leone was neither hack nor author, yet still responsible for bringing the world some of the greatest movies ever made?

2.Also, even if we grant that the Italian versions of the films are products of Leone's "control" and other versions are the result of the complete absence of control (whatever that means), how does that signify? Maybe the absence of control is exactly what was required to make, for example, the English-language versions as good as they are. Perhaps "control" works well in Italian, but not in English. Anyway, we have SL English films that are great. Let's suppose that the Italian versions are great too. Is it necessary for one version to be better than another? I say tomato and you say la tomatina (maybe that's Spanish; you take my meaning).

3. The fact that the French language version in one particular case is bad doesn't mean all non-Italian versions are bad. (Actaully, I recall people on this board liking the French dub of OUATITW). We need to examine every version on its merits.

Titoli, I'm sure the Italian versions of Leone films are excellent, and I would love to learn more about them, but that doesn't change the fact that the English language films have critical and popular reception histories of their own and can be admired without reference to the Italian versions.

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« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2006, 05:06:43 AM »

Dave, we are not discussing whether this or that foreign version of the movie is excellent or not, we are discussing whether the italian versions are the "Ur-text" (sorry to have to write this german expression) on which to base any critic of Leone's work. If he's a hack, you don't mind. If he isn't, then, to understand what his "poetics" are, you have to take into consideration the only one on which he could have (and actually had) control. I could tell you that many (most?) italian versions of foreign movies are probably better than the originals, a work unfinitely better than that made by Knox for Leone. Still I wouldn't make a serious consideration of the director's work without having the original version at hand. This has been made possible by DVD, where the subtitles allow you not to lose a word. This is also why I wouldn't ever try to make a serious critic of films coming from places whose language I don't understand. I never feel at ease watching japanese movies because, in spite of Japan being probably the non western country more near to us, I can't relate to it the way I can with western world movies. So I just watch them but I wouldn't even dream of writing something worth of consideration about them.

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« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2006, 05:35:48 PM »

The Ur-text of a film is its visuals: photographic compositions in montage. Pure cinema does not rely on dialogue to tell its story or announce its themes. Even the music in a film is more important than what the actors say to one another. Cinema is not filmed theater. Words are always of lesser importance in cinema, and this is particularly true of the genre we call Sergio Leone.

Also, it IS possible to comment on the films of other countries even when you do not know the language, if the films are sufficiently cinematic to begin with. Are you telling me you can watch, say, a film by Kurosawa and remain unable to communicate anything intelligent about it? Leone didn't speak Japanese, and he had no such problem: in fact, he was probably Kurosawa's greatest interpreter. The reason is that Leone understood the universal language of images.


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« Reply #54 on: March 06, 2006, 08:58:26 PM »

The Menu is in Japanese (of course) so I can't read the selections. I'm wondering what the choice on the bottom left is (3rd down on the left side)--when I press it my DVD freezes up. All the other selections work fine.

Anyone know?

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« Reply #55 on: March 07, 2006, 09:01:13 PM »

It plays the trailer. Too bad it's not working for you.

BTW, do you know about the easter egg? This was mentioned on another thread, but I'll repeat it here. On the right side of the menu you have selections for the audio, and below that whether you want the Japanese subtitles displayed or not. The audio has two options, English and Japanese. I can't remember which choice comes first, but you want to position the cursor on the second option from the top. Then move the cursor left until the gun Franco Nero is holding is highlighted. Press enter and you will get to view the shorter cut of the film, A Professional Gun. The longer cut is better, but it is kinda fun to have this other version included.

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« Reply #56 on: March 07, 2006, 09:10:07 PM »

It plays the trailer. Too bad it's not working for you.

BTW, do you know about the easter egg? This was mentioned on another thread, but I'll repeat it here. On the right side of the menu you have selections for the audio, and below that whether you want the Japanese subtitles displayed or not. The audio has two options, English and Japanese. I can't remember which choice comes first, but you want to position the cursor on the second option from the top. Then move the cursor left until the gun Franco Nero is holding is highlighted. Press enter and you will get to view the shorter cut of the film, A Professional Gun. The longer cut is better, but it is kinda fun to have this other version included.

Yeah, I actually saw that somewhere on this board. I tried the easter egg and it works, but I really have no desire to see the same film cut to pieces. Tongue

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« Reply #57 on: September 30, 2006, 11:59:45 AM »

I just picked up the 'time in italy' set and the first thing i watched was companeros.
great story, great cast and great print
I've now seen django, navajo joe, hellbenders, great silence and companeros by corbucci.
Stylewise, unlike Leone, corbucci is all over the place, each film and story are wildly different.
The comedy element introduced in companeros worked very well, it may have been more down to the actors and their sparing, but i enjoyed it.
I'm intrigued to hear about 'the mercenary' now as i've read that companeros was basically a remake.
please let me know if its worth getting a copy.
As far as corbucci, i'd also be interested to hear if his other ess well known westerns and other films are worth seeing
thanks

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« Reply #58 on: September 30, 2006, 12:52:45 PM »

The Mercenary came before Comapneros, so if anything, Companeros is a remake of The Mercenary.

I liked Companeros much more than The Mercenary. It's much more fun, even though it gets a bit too preachy about the " wonderful " revolution.

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« Reply #59 on: September 30, 2006, 01:54:04 PM »

I have yet to see The Mercenary, but Compaņeros was super great.

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