Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 24, 2017, 10:36:32 PM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Films of Sergio Leone
| |-+  Once Upon A Time In America (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Bailey's anonymity
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 2 [3] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Bailey's anonymity  (Read 19244 times)
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7816

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2011, 04:24:23 PM »

1. alright, so once believes that Max indeed still retained feelings for Noodles and didn't want him to die after all. and dave jenkins believes that Max didn't intentionally keep Noodles alive cuz he cared for him, rather he kept him alive as a scapegoat?

2. My problem with jenkins's theory is that as long as the Combination knows that Noodles is the rat (and they did know that, cuz the cop that Noodles made the phone call to was corrupt), Max is fine. If Noodles gets killed in the shootout, which would have happened had Max not knocked him out, then the Combination would have been happy that the rat is dead and Max would be able to go forward with his plan. I don't see how keeping Noodles alive (for the time being, at least) in any way helps Max's objectives (unless you believe that Max still cares somewhat for Noodles and doesn't want him to die). The bottom line IMO is that as long as the Combination knows Noodles was the rat, I don't see how Noodles being dead or alive should in any way affect whether Max has anything to worry about from the Combination....

3. What is the significance of Max's final toast and hug with Patsy and Cockeye? Was it was purely for irony, or do you think Max did have some feelings for his gang and was somewhat guilty about what he was about to do?

« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 04:27:30 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7816

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2011, 11:03:47 AM »

I agree that Max feels guilty in 1968; that is plainly evident. When Noodles says "years ago I had a great friend; I turned him in to save his life," the look on James Woods's face is so perfect, it may be the greatest acting moment in the film.

I just wonder why Max really left Noodles alive... if someone really cares about a friend, he wouldn't leave him broke and on the run for the rest of his life. The Noodles of 1933 is completely cold and thinks of things strictly in terms of self-advancement; it doesn't make sense to me that he would be willing to destroy Noodles's life, but still have enough feelings for him that he would keep him alive. (Noodles's life for the past 35 years -- tormented by the belief that he betrayed his friends -- can hardly be called "living")

Logged
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2011, 07:02:33 PM »

That's Noodles's opinion too.

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7816

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2011, 09:35:44 AM »

looks like there may be a new Bailey in town: Obama has nominated Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to be the next ambassador to China http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/08/obama-gary-locke-china-ambassador and John Bryson to be the new Commerce Secretary http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/06/01/01climatewire-obama-names-bryson-for-commerce-republicans-99846.html

One bastard goes in, and another comes out!

« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 02:24:19 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7816

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2012, 07:30:43 PM »

I think you're on the right track here. Max is not operating alone, he's got some kind of tie-up with members of the Combination, but the rank-and-file wouldn't know about that. Still, Max's plan requires a certain amount of coordinating, and so it has to be, at some level, Mob approved. But Noodles is part of the plan. Despite what Carrol says (and how would she know what's true, Max lied to her too), Max needs to keep Noodles alive, not out of friendship, but to make him a credible scapegoat. Part of the narrative Max and his new masters are writing is that he and his gang were betrayed from the inside and so destroyed. Once the betrayer is taken care of, everyone is then free to move on (especially a "reborn" Max). A living scapegoat keeps people's attention on something other than how the trick is really being pulled, and anyway, scapegoats are more credible if they don't arrive already "pre-deceased." The problem with keeping things spontaneous, though, is that things can get out of hand, and they do, allowing Noodles to make his escape. Still, the Combination must know where he ended up: if they wanted to, they could have taken him out whenever, but since he was "going to bed early" every night for the next 35 years they decided to leave him alone. But finally, Max remembered and found one final use for him (except that didn't quite go as planned, either).

I find it hard to believe that Max would have anticipated that Noodles would get away. He expected him to be killed, just not in the bootlegging run with the others, but later. This fits with the film's over-arching theme of friendship and betrayal and provides an extra measure of irony: Max was the betrayer, while Noodles spent his civilian life believing wrongly that he was the betrayer (a kind of double betrayal).

I am trying to somewhat "consolidate" several old threads that discus the same thing, by linking to those old threads, for a more complete discussion.

Here is an old thread that discusses then issue of the plausibility of Bailey's anonymity
http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=6647.0


And here are two old threads on the subject of Max's plan to get with the mafia in 1933, and why he knocked out Noodles:

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=427.15
http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=816.15

On the question of why Max knocks out Noodles, thereby ensuring he would not go on the fateful bootlegging escort, I see that there are basically two theories:


A) Max As Merciful View:
 As close as he was to Noodles, Max can't bear to actually kill him. (This is consistent with some dialogue that Old Carol says at the rest home in some deleted scenes; but much of what she says is wrong and inconsistent with others scenes, so who knows if that means anything). Therefore, even though he is about to ruin Noodles's life, he still doesn't want him to die

B) Max As Sadistic View:
This viewpoint takes the opposite approach: it says that Max turned on Noodles completely. He was so angry at Noodles -- eg. for not wanting to join him in the new world of mafia bosses, not wanting to do the Federal reserve job with him, calling him "crazy," etc. -- that he decided to get him back in the most sadistic way possible: to keep him alive with misery and regret over having had his friends killed. Keeping Noodles alive with the belief that he had betrayed his friends is the best revenge Max can get on Noodles, the worst sort of pain he can inflict on him. It's far worse than death. So according to this view, he kept Noodles alive not in order to have mercy on him, but in order to torture him even worse.

My question to all of you is, which view do you subscribe to?


---------------------
(I wish that in the final scene between Noodles and Bailey, Bailey had given a little more explanation. That brief "your eyes were too full of tears... the cops were in on it too..." is way too brief, and took me a long time, and with many message board discussions, to figure out what that meant. IMO another minute of dialogue by Bailey explaining a few things a bit better -- eg. how he planned it, did he get a similar body to his from his funeral parlor, the cops-Combination bootlegging job -- would have been preferable).

« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 07:33:56 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13240

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2012, 10:48:02 AM »

Regarding the possible anonymity of a cabinet member, here's a real-world example: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/06/us-commerce-secretary-accused-in-hit-and-run-crashes-found-unconcious.html

Until today, I don't think I'd ever heard of this guy. But now that there's a "scandal" his photo is given prominence, readers are noticing him, etc.

Bryson, Bailey . . . .

Logged

dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13240

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2012, 11:53:45 AM »

On the question of why Max knocks out Noodles, thereby ensuring he would not go on the fateful bootlegging escort, I see that there are basically two theories:


A) Max As Merciful View:
 As close as he was to Noodles, Max can't bear to actually kill him. (This is consistent with some dialogue that Old Carol says at the rest home in some deleted scenes; but much of what she says is wrong and inconsistent with others scenes, so who knows if that means anything). Therefore, even though he is about to ruin Noodles's life, he still doesn't want him to die

B) Max As Sadistic View:
This viewpoint takes the opposite approach: it says that Max turned on Noodles completely. He was so angry at Noodles -- eg. for not wanting to join him in the new world of mafia bosses, not wanting to do the Federal reserve job with him, calling him "crazy," etc. -- that he decided to get him back in the most sadistic way possible: to keep him alive with misery and regret over having had his friends killed. Keeping Noodles alive with the belief that he had betrayed his friends is the best revenge Max can get on Noodles, the worst sort of pain he can inflict on him. It's far worse than death. So according to this view, he kept Noodles alive not in order to have mercy on him, but in order to torture him even worse.

My question to all of you is, which view do you subscribe to?

I subscribe to . . .

C) Max as Rational View:

Max and his new masters decide to eliminate his gang and thereby make it possible to give Max a new identity. They decide the best way to eliminate the gang is to make it look like one of their group betrayed them to the cops. Max coolly settles on Noodles to be the scapegoat: Noodles is the only group member known to have challenged Maxís decisions; heís also something of an outsider, having been away from the gang during the time he was in prison. Heís also a dope fiend, the least reliable member of the gang. To make the scapegoating plausible, Max manipulates Noodles into calling the police. He further seals the deal by preventing Noodles from going along on the last job. Thatís what a rat would actually do: call the police, and then not show up for the ambush. What kind of idiot would go along to an ambush heíd helped set up? Thatís a good way to get yourself killed. The whole point of being a rat is staying alive to enjoy your ratty existence.

It only remains to make sure the rank-and-file know about the ratís perfidy. Then all the hoods in town will hunt him down and exterminate him. The added benefit provided is that while the hoods are intent on finding the rat, they wonít be focusing too much on the actual facts of the ambush. In conjuring terms this is known as mis-direction: the audience is looking at what the left hand is doing while meanwhile the right hand performs the trick. And since Noodles is resourceful, he provides a really good distraction. A lot of hoods will spend a lot of time tracking him down, and afterwards there wonít be any questions to ask. And Noodles wonít be alive to raise any doubts either.

Except that the plan goes wrong. Noodles beats the odds and makes it out of town. Still, the rat story can be made to stick provided Noodles never returns. Max and the Combination eventually learn whatís become of Noodles, but since heís keeping his head buried in the armpit of the world they decide to let him alone.  They can always get him if he looks like he could become a threat, but for 35 years he stays out of trouble. The wisdom of this course becomes clear when the very rational Secretary Bailey finally sees a way to make use of Noodles one more time . . . .

« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 11:56:31 AM by dave jenkins » Logged

drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7816

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2012, 02:36:34 PM »

I subscribe to . . .

C) Max as Rational View:

Max and his new masters decide to eliminate his gang and thereby make it possible to give Max a new identity. They decide the best way to eliminate the gang is to make it look like one of their group betrayed them to the cops. Max coolly settles on Noodles to be the scapegoat: Noodles is the only group member known to have challenged Maxís decisions; heís also something of an outsider, having been away from the gang during the time he was in prison. Heís also a dope fiend, the least reliable member of the gang. To make the scapegoating plausible, Max manipulates Noodles into calling the police. He further seals the deal by preventing Noodles from going along on the last job. Thatís what a rat would actually do: call the police, and then not show up for the ambush. What kind of idiot would go along to an ambush heíd helped set up? Thatís a good way to get yourself killed. The whole point of being a rat is staying alive to enjoy your ratty existence.

It only remains to make sure the rank-and-file know about the ratís perfidy. Then all the hoods in town will hunt him down and exterminate him. The added benefit provided is that while the hoods are intent on finding the rat, they wonít be focusing too much on the actual facts of the ambush. In conjuring terms this is known as mis-direction: the audience is looking at what the left hand is doing while meanwhile the right hand performs the trick. And since Noodles is resourceful, he provides a really good distraction. A lot of hoods will spend a lot of time tracking him down, and afterwards there wonít be any questions to ask. And Noodles wonít be alive to raise any doubts either.

Except that the plan goes wrong. Noodles beats the odds and makes it out of town. Still, the rat story can be made to stick provided Noodles never returns. Max and the Combination eventually learn whatís become of Noodles, but since heís keeping his head buried in the armpit of the world they decide to let him alone.  They can always get him if he looks like he could become a threat, but for 35 years he stays out of trouble. The wisdom of this course becomes clear when the very rational Secretary Bailey finally sees a way to make use of Noodles one more time . . . .


Interesting.

I always wanted another couple of lines of explanation by Bailey for how he set up that whole betrayal. Yeah, we know he planned it all along, it was a Syndicate operation, the cops were on in it too. That much we know. But I think they could have explained how it was done, just a bit better.

If you consider some lines by Old Carol that never made it into the 229MV, she says Max actually cared about Noodles and didn't want to include him in his suicide -- the "Max as sympathetic view." But Old Carol has shown to be completely unreliable -- both in her dialogue that made it into the 229MV (about Max planning his death); and in some deleted dialogue (about Eve killing herself) some of which is in direct contradiction to what we've seen in the opening scene. I bet that at least some of the cuts to Old Carol's dialogue may have been not just due to timing concerns, but cuz it was inconsistent with other parts of the movie. Maybe cuz parts were later re-written. Who knows. Either way, Old Carol is utterly unreliable.

So all we have are the couple of lines of explanation by Bailey (that IMO are inadequate), and therefore I guess there's a whole shitload of theories we can propose as to exactly how Max carried out his plan.

Someone here once proposed that Max used a different body (that looked somewhat similar to his size) from their funeral home. Could be, though the funeral business is never mentioned aside from that one scene where Max picks Noodles up from prison. That business, which is their cover, is discussed much more in The Hoods. (Actually, in the scene where the strikebreakers are roughing up Jimmy Conway, the strikebreaker played by Richard Bright calls the gang "Fat Moe's boneyard boys." I guess that's a reference to the funeral business).

Logged
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13240

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2012, 05:56:34 PM »

Regarding the possible anonymity of a cabinet member, here's a real-world example: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/06/us-commerce-secretary-accused-in-hit-and-run-crashes-found-unconcious.html

Until today, I don't think I'd ever heard of this guy. But now that there's a "scandal" his photo is given prominence, readers are noticing him, etc.

Bryson, Bailey . . . .
I hadn't noticed earlier, but now I see that D&D had a link to an article on Bryson at the time of his appointment. Interestingly, in that earlier article, there's no picture of the guy. We only get the picture once there is a "scandal."

Logged

drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7816

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2012, 06:46:49 PM »

I hadn't noticed earlier, but now I see that D&D had a link to an article on Bryson at the time of his appointment. Interestingly, in that earlier article, there's no picture of the guy. We only get the picture once there is a "scandal."

and this is in an era of the "24/7 news cycle," with internet and cable news shows updating every minute, etc. Nobody knows who the fuck Bryson is until the scandal hits, and the few who know his name don't know what he looks like.

Now consider 1968, when there was no cable and no internet. The only way for anyone to see you was in a newspaper, or on one of the 3 broadcast tv channels, which a few news reports at specified times of the evening. And the fact that it was more than 30 years after Max left New York and his gangster days behind.

Never a problem for me that he could be Commerce Secretary... until the scandal hits. Then it's over.

 

Logged
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13240

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2012, 10:53:57 AM »

The Commerce Secretary Scandal continues to deepen. Now we know just how evil this guy is: http://prestowitz.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/12/why_arent_we_more_upset_that_the_commerce_secretary_drives_a_lexus

Logged

drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7816

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2012, 02:07:30 PM »

The Commerce Secretary Scandal continues to deepen. Now we know just how evil this guy is: http://prestowitz.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/12/why_arent_we_more_upset_that_the_commerce_secretary_drives_a_lexus

 Grin Grin Grin

Few things in the world are sillier -- and display less economic literacy -- than protectionism.


Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.036 seconds with 18 queries.