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Author Topic: were Jill and Brett McBain really married?  (Read 15556 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« on: April 22, 2011, 02:37:05 PM »

Just watching the scene again where Jill first arrives at Sweetwater, and this occurred to me for the first time: Jill says that she and Brett were secretly married a month before, and that statement is never challenged. Not sure if this matters much, but are we supposed to believe her?
Or are we supposed to believe that upon seeing Brett and his family dead, she makes up this story about being married so that she will legally inherit all of Brett's possessions; (she believes he has lots of money lying around....and the first thing we see her doing upon entering the house is searching frantically for the money).
Or is this supposed to be another "intentionally vague...."?

« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 04:29:07 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 03:47:44 PM »

Interesting idea, but I doubt it. You'll recall Jill's initial reaction is to get the hell out of there.

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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2011, 04:28:24 PM »

Interesting idea, but I doubt it. You'll recall Jill's initial reaction is to get the hell out of there.

after she ransacks the place and finds that there is no money there!... initially, Sam tells her to come back to Flagstone with him, but she insists on staying in Sweetwater; it's only after she finds no money and has the encounter with Cheyenne that she decides to go back to New Orleans.... This fits perfectly: she decides to go home after finding no money.

However, if you disagree with my theory, you can instead say that she decided to go home after her encounter with Cheyenne, cuz she realized what a dangerous place it was....

« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 04:33:44 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2011, 08:19:18 PM »

after she ransacks the place and finds that there is no money there!... initially, Sam tells her to come back to Flagstone with him, but she insists on staying in Sweetwater; it's only after she finds no money and has the encounter with Cheyenne that she decides to go back to New Orleans.... This fits perfectly: she decides to go home after finding no money.

I agree with the above.  And back then, there were typically no written records of marriages in the west anyway.  And New Orleans was likely considered "The West" then as well. 

I guess another question is why Jill didn't immediately go back to Arizona (Sweetwater) with McBain at the time of the wedding?  I doubt that a hooker would have so much "business" and/or matters to warrant staying back a few weeks or months and traveling out later.  And don't give me crap about her having the hat or white dress made....

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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2011, 10:12:28 PM »

after she ransacks the place and finds that there is no money there!... initially, Sam tells her to come back to Flagstone with him, but she insists on staying in Sweetwater; it's only after she finds no money and has the encounter with Cheyenne that she decides to go back to New Orleans.... This fits perfectly: she decides to go home after finding no money.

However, if you disagree with my theory, you can instead say that she decided to go home after her encounter with Cheyenne, cuz she realized what a dangerous place it was....

But what would she gain by lying about it? If you assume the law is organized enough in those parts to check such things out, wouldn't they be able to verify or dispute Jill's claim?

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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 05:39:30 AM »

But what would she gain by lying about it? If you assume the law is organized enough in those parts to check such things out, wouldn't they be able to verify or dispute Jill's claim?

That is what I would think.

But look at the place, it looks like a sagebrush, rock, and sand farm/ranch. What would she be able to do there, with no operating money, no live stock, no prior knowledge of the potential value of her water.

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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 06:17:40 AM »

What would she be able to do there, with no operating money, no live stock, no prior knowledge of the potential value of her water.

She'd find something to do, don't worry. Evil

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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 06:46:32 AM »

She'd find something to do, don't worry. Evil

and all she would need would be a hot bath to wash away the nightly filthy memories.

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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2011, 07:05:38 AM »

and all she would need would be a hot bath to wash away the nightly filthy memories.

Or a cold well. Cheesy

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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2011, 07:32:38 PM »

That is what I would think.

But look at the place, it looks like a sagebrush, rock, and sand farm/ranch. What would she be able to do there, with no operating money, no live stock, no prior knowledge of the potential value of her water.

she thinks Brett has lots of money lying around (of course she doesn't realize that he has spent it all on the lumber/supplies for the new town...) Legally, she is not entitled to anything if she is not married to him; doesn't matter that they were engaged, or how many "filthy memories" they had together... Doesn't it make sense that she (especially being a hooker, who is willing to do whatever it takes it to bring in the dough) would just say she was married to him so that she'd inherit all the money that she believes is stuffed in the drawers?
Otherwise, why does she suddenly decide to leave, after initially telling Sam that she is staying? Two things happened between the time she told Sam she is staying, and the time she decides to leave: 1) she searches for the money but doesn't find it; and 2) she has her encounter with Cheyenne. Presumably, one (or both) of those would be the reason she changed her mind and decided to leave. Either cuz she had no use for the the place once she found no money (which fits my theory); or cuz her encounter with Cheyenne scared her and she fully realized what a dangerous place it was....

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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2011, 02:17:15 PM »

I often wondered this too. It's unlikely Brett wouldn't bring her home if they were married.

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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2011, 01:51:19 AM »

I often wondered this too. It's unlikely Brett wouldn't bring her home if they were married.

He had strong hands.

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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2011, 11:03:42 AM »

she thinks Brett has lots of money lying around (of course she doesn't realize that he has spent it all on the lumber/supplies for the new town...) Legally, she is not entitled to anything if she is not married to him; doesn't matter that they were engaged, or how many "filthy memories" they had together... Doesn't it make sense that she (especially being a hooker, who is willing to do whatever it takes it to bring in the dough) would just say she was married to him so that she'd inherit all the money that she believes is stuffed in the drawers?
Except she wouldn't inherit anything if she couldn't prove they had been married. The authorities aren't going to take her word for it, the burden of proof is on her. If she doesn't produce a marriage license she gets squat (it would have been different if they'd have lived together for a substantial period).

I guess you could argue that she says she's married just so she can spend the night alone at the farm so she can search the place, but she's not legally entitled to anything she finds. So, on this view, Jill is not only a whore, but a dishonest one.

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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011, 07:46:51 PM »

Except she wouldn't inherit anything if she couldn't prove they had been married. The authorities aren't going to take her word for it, the burden of proof is on her. If she doesn't produce a marriage license she gets squat (it would have been different if they'd have lived together for a substantial period).

I guess you could argue that she says she's married just so she can spend the night alone at the farm so she can search the place, but she's not legally entitled to anything she finds. So, on this view, Jill is not only a whore, but a dishonest one.

they obviously believe her without the marriage license; we don't see anyone inquiring about it  or doubting her (and I have no clue whether/how records were kept in those days/regions). but perhaps this is as far as Leone wanted to go with that issue; I mean, you can also spend time in court, with lawyers proving it, etc. but that is not what the film is about. Cinema only follows reality as far as the story wants it to; considering that the issue of marriage license is never brought up, I don't worry about that. Sure, if she had produced a marriage license, we'd definitely believe her. But since no marriage license was ever mentioned, I think it is a reasonable interpretation that she may have lied about being married

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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011, 03:59:09 PM »

The other thing is, the auction scene doesn't make any sense if Jill wasn't actually married to McBain. Jill would have nothing to sell. Of course, if everybody believes that Jill is really McBain's lawful wife, the scene would go forward as shown. But you have to wonder why Jill wouldn't put everybody wise earlier if it wasn't true. Why endure Frank's shenanigans if you don't have to, why not just cop to the fact that you aren't the heir and high-tail it outta there?

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