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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2011, 12:35:46 AM »

But it doesn't mean he is the US Secretary of Commerce, he may just be Secretary of Commerce for NYS.

1. Do you know if states have secretaries of commerce?

2. even if there is such a position: at 2:03:23 of the movie, the reporter says that there is a Senate committee in Washington investigating the Bailey Scandal. would the U.S. Senate be investigating a pension fund scandal involving a New York State Secretary of Commerce?

3. Finally, I think that if someone says "Secretary of..." without mentioning that it is for a particular state, it is generally the United Sates one. eg. every state has a secretary of state, but it would always be prefaced with eg. "New York State Secretary of State"; and if you are talking about a state senator, you would never just use the word "Senator." so IMO there is no doubt whatsoever that Bailey is the United States Secretary of Commerce


Anyway, in response to Groggy's post above: my understanding is that the political world we live in today is far, far  more scrutinized than was the last generation's. maybe cigar joe could verify this:  would you agree that the level of  scrutiny faced by a presidential appointee today dwarfs that of those 40 years ago? Additionally, whatever level of scrutiny there is, it's probably much less for a Commerce Secretary than it is for State, Defense, and Justice.

That's why (along with all the other things I mentioned in this thread) it doesn't bother me at all that Max was able to retain his anonymity as Commerce Secretary

« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 12:51:29 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2011, 04:09:31 AM »

1. Do you know if states have secretaries of commerce?

2. even if there is such a position: at 2:03:23 of the movie, the reporter says that there is a Senate committee in Washington investigating the Bailey Scandal. would the U.S. Senate be investigating a pension fund scandal involving a New York State Secretary of Commerce?

3. Finally, I think that if someone says "Secretary of..." without mentioning that it is for a particular state, it is generally the United Sates one. eg. every state has a secretary of state, but it would always be prefaced with eg. "New York State Secretary of State"; and if you are talking about a state senator, you would never just use the word "Senator." so IMO there is no doubt whatsoever that Bailey is the United States Secretary of Commerce


Anyway, in response to Groggy's post above: my understanding is that the political world we live in today is far, far  more scrutinized than was the last generation's. maybe cigar joe could verify this:  would you agree that the level of  scrutiny faced by a presidential appointee today dwarfs that of those 40 years ago? Additionally, whatever level of scrutiny there is, it's probably much less for a Commerce Secretary than it is for State, Defense, and Justice.

That's why (along with all the other things I mentioned in this thread) it doesn't bother me at all that Max was able to retain his anonymity as Commerce Secretary


1). one of the guys I take fishing was the Secretary of Commerce of NY for Avrill Harriman.

2). don't know would depend on the scope of the scandal.

3). Unless its a local TV news channel.

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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2011, 07:48:15 AM »

The Commerce Secretary isn't an inconsequential position though, they have a fair amount of control over (or at least say in) business regulation and the stock market. If it were the Secretary of Agriculture I might agree.

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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2011, 12:40:34 PM »

1). one of the guys I take fishing was the Secretary of Commerce of NY for Avrill Harriman.

2). don't know would depend on the scope of the scandal.

3). Unless its a local TV news channel.

RE: # 1: I have done some brief Googling and I've been unable to really find anything about New York State having a Department and/or Secretary  of Commerce, but I will take your word for it  Smiley

RE: # 3: I have never heard of eg. a state senator referred to as plain "Senator," even in local media. (I can't say anything about state secretaries, cuz I can't remember the last time I heard anyone refer to them at all  Wink)

RE: # 2: yeah, if a Senate committee was investigating a pension funds scandal involving a major national union, it is certainly plausible that it would subpoena a state Secretary of Commerce -- along with anyone else -- that is involved.

I still firmly believe that Bailey is the United States Commerce Secretary. Anyway.....

 I just watched that scene again where Noodles & Fat Moe are watching the tv report in 1968. And I noticed that the reporter says that the guy that was supposed to testify before the Committee but was blown up in Bailey's car  is "District Attorney James Lister." However, only a local (eg. city, county) prosecutor is called "District Attorney." (The titles of the various federal [and state] prosecutors include "Attorney General," and "U.S. Attorney," and assistants and deputies thereof; but not "District Attorney). So this James Lister guy who was supposed to testify before the Senate Committee was the local prosecutor,( eg. the Manhattan DA, like the Steven Hill character on Law and Order ). IMO this brings up several potential possibilities/problems, which I will list below:

a) Possibility: District Attorney Lister is the lead prosecutor in this case. Problem: If Bailey is the United States Commerce Secretary and this is a scandal involving a major national union, this would almost certainly be a federal prosecution, not a local one;

b) Possibility: Bailey was the New York State Commerce Secretary. Problem: if this was a major scandal involving the pension funds of a union with members from many different states, it would still almost certainly be a federal prosecution, so again, Lister could not have been the lead prosecutor;

c) Possibility: Bailey was New York State Commerce Secretary and this was entirely a local scandal, so Lister was the lead prosecutor. Problem: Why is the US Senate committee investigating a matter that is entirely confined within New York State? You may want to answer that the Senate was only investigating this as a piece of a larger, general investigation into the scandalous alliances between organized labor and corrupt politicians; however, the reporter says the Senate committee is "investigating what has come to be called 'The Bailey Scandal.' " So the Senate investigation is seemingly focused entirely on this scandal, which would almost certainly mean this was a scandal involving a major national union, which would again mean that Lister could not have been the lead prosecutor in the case.

d) Possibility: Lister is not the lead prosecutor in the case; rather, he had initially uncovered the misuse of pension funds as a result of his local investigation in his jurisdiction, and further investigation (by Lister and/or federal agents/prosecutors whom he may have alerted to his findings) eventually uncovered what turned out to be a major national scandal. Now, the Senate committee was calling upon him to discuss the corruption he had uncovered, since he was a major player in this discovery; though now that it has turned into a federal investigation, he is no longer the lead prosecutor. If you believe in this option, then it would probably make sense whether Bailey was the Commerce Secretary of USA or NYS.

However, the problem with all 4 theories above is: Would the Senate committee really interfere with an ongoing prosecutorial investigation? As the reporter says, "a special team of detectives has been assigned to the case." There is no way anyone involved in the case would testify before a Senate committee during an ongoing investigation.

which leads me to the possibility that ........

e) (close your eyes, cigar joe; you are gonna hate this Wink): All this legal stuff may not be written very accurately. I mean, when it comes to anachronisms and other potential issues in Leone's Westerns (eg. trying to pinpoint the time a film takes place, etc.), I am often quick to dismiss looking too closely at the precise dates that stuff match up to; I don't know how particular the movies are intended to be in that regard. There is no doubt that (at least subconsciously), part of the reason I am so quick to be dismissive of this is cuz I don't know jack about Western history.  Therefore, it wouldn't be consistent of me to insist that every legal/political nuance of OUATIA was meant to be accurate, just cuz I happen to know about politics and law far more than I do Western history.
 

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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2011, 12:51:34 PM »

The Commerce Secretary isn't an inconsequential position though, they have a fair amount of control over (or at least say in) business regulation and the stock market. If it were the Secretary of Agriculture I might agree.

Unfortunately, every Cabinet member indeed has lots of power. Waaaaay too much.
But the issue is a) (RE: anonymity): whether or not you have ever seen this guy's picture in tv or in the newspaper http://www.commerce.gov/about-commerce/commerce-leadership/secretary-gary-locke ?

and b) (RE: confirmation investigation and hearings): Do you remember hearing anything about the Commerce Secretary's confirmation hearings? I follow politics very closely, and remember seeing  a helluva lot about the confirmation hearings for Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Supreme Court Justices, but nothing about Commerce Secretary. I am sure his investigations and hearings are far less extensive than that of other Cabinet Members.  Furthermore, with all of his connections, there is a good chance that Max is buddies with half the committee, including the Chairman!
I have no trouble whatsoever imagining that in 1968, a guy like Max, with mafia ties and all, could have forged a history and breezed through the confirmation hearings.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 04:02:09 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2011, 03:47:33 AM »

how many people here have ever seen this guy's picture on tv or in a newspaper? http://www.commerce.gov/about-commerce/commerce-leadership/secretary-gary-locke

Wow, I'm pretty sure this guy is a former friend of mine who died in a car accident 30 years ago!

Anyway, I never understood why people argue about the fact that someone in the US might know what the secretary of commerce looks like while the only way many people SHOULD know Bailey's face is tabloid:

He's with a famous actress, hence, his face is famous.

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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2011, 04:06:53 AM »

Wow, I'm pretty sure this guy is a former friend of mine who died in a car accident 30 years ago!

Anyway, I never understood why people argue about the fact that someone in the US might know what the secretary of commerce looks like while the only way many people SHOULD know Bailey's face is tabloid:

He's with a famous actress, hence, his face is famous.

I am not arguing that it is impossible that in the time Bailey has been Commerce Secretary, someone from his old life (who was not in on his death and rebirth) would have recognized him somewhere. But even so, would they have risked their own safety by blowing the lid on this? I mean, if one of 'em would have sat down with the National Enquirer and given them the scoop, they'd have been sleeping with the fishes before the ink was dry...

« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 04:16:57 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2011, 04:35:46 AM »


If Gary Locke had been involved in a scandal and there were rumors about rigged contracts, bribery, the international Mafia and the illegal use of Transport Union pension funds, a District Attorney, who was scheduled to testify in Washington before a Senate committee, had been blown up in a car belonging to Gary Locke, the Senate committee was investigating a scandal called "The Locke Scandal", the District Attorney was the second witness in the Locke scandal to meet a sudden and violent end, the first witness, the Undersecretary of Commerce had fallen to his death from his 15th floor office just a month ago, the television company broadcast pictures of the blown-up car, the Undersecretary of Commerce's dead body, an interview with Locke's attorney and an interview with the head of the Transport Union, do you think that the people of New York would still not know who he was or the television company would not have included a picture of him in their report?

The scriptwriters obviously realized that they had a bit of a problem with this - Senator Bailey was dropped down to Secretary Bailey and when Bailey's attorney is asked "Do you feel there's a connection between these two deaths?", he originally replied "The F.B.I. is looking into it. Ask them."
  
Perhaps if we'd seen the scenes of the car tailing Noodles, the car blowing up, a hippy changing the TV channel before the end of the broadcast and Jimmy's conversation with Bailey in his study...


Indeed, once the scandal hits, Bailey's cover is blown. No doubt about that.

But the issue we were discussing was whether, before there was any scandal, it makes sense that Bailey could have not had his cover blown.  I was arguing that it is indeed plausible that if he maintained a clean record without any scandals, the Commerce Secretary could have retained relative anonymity, insofar as few people knowing what he looked like.

Sure, if there was some sort of scandal, Gary Locke's picture would be all over tv and the newspapers. But until now there have been no big newsworthy events surrounding him, and I would bet that well over 99% of Americans have never seen his picture

« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 04:38:19 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2011, 05:03:28 AM »

I still think it doesn't make too much sense. Especially not in the real world, but I think it works for the film good enough, but if you look to close at it, it indeed might be a big flaw.

And as Noodles Leone said above about Bailey's relationship with a famous actress, it seems not that Max is trying to hide himself. He seems to be a guy who enjoys the public, giving VIP partys and having high society friends and having power and the will to show this power. I can't imagine him as a minor politician working in the shades, even if he probably is one of those in the background who makes the decisions which others have to sell.

And all this wouldn't work with his past, and especially not in the city where this past has happened.

It's a flaw, but it is a film and not the real life, so it is not a real problem. And I watched the film 3 times without even thinking about this.

Btw what was the idea or the neeed of Max killing his friends and becoming reborn. Ooops, I actually don't remember why he did it.

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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2011, 05:11:09 AM »

I still think it doesn't make too much sense. Especially not in the real world, but I think it works for the film good enough, but if you look to close at it, it indeed might be a big flaw.

And as Noodles Leone said above about Bailey's relationship with a famous actress, it seems not that Max is trying to hide himself. He seems to be a guy who enjoys the public, giving VIP partys and having high society friends and having power and the will to show this power. I can't imagine him as a minor politician working in the shades, even if he probably is one of those in the background who makes the decisions which others have to sell.

And all this wouldn't work with his past, and especially not in the city where this past has happened.

It's a flaw, but it is a film and not the real life, so it is not a real problem. And I watched the film 3 times without even thinking about this.

Btw what was the idea or the neeed of Max killing his friends and becoming reborn. Ooops, I actually don't remember why he did it.

-- Max is power-hungry, and not the most rational guy in the world either, as evidenced by his asinine plan to rob the Federal Reserve.

-- Max  needed to dump Noodles in order to move up into the union/mafia world, which Noodles would never have gone along with... Patsy & Cockeye may well have gone along with him, but perhaps he had them all killed so he could get their share of the money in the suitcase...

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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2011, 06:45:17 AM »

I am not arguing that it is impossible that in the time Bailey has been Commerce Secretary, someone from his old life (who was not in on his death and rebirth) would have recognized him somewhere. But even so, would they have risked their own safety by blowing the lid on this? I mean, if one of 'em would have sat down with the National Enquirer and given them the scoop, they'd have been sleeping with the fishes before the ink was dry...

You'd think they would put the "touch" on him and ask for hush money rather than blowing the lid on it, no? Might as well profit on it too.

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« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2011, 03:21:40 PM »

-- Max  needed to dump Noodles in order to move up into the union/mafia world, which Noodles would never have gone along with... Patsy & Cockeye may well have gone along with him, but perhaps he had them all killed so he could get their share of the money in the suitcase...
No, the Combination just didn't need them. The organization had a use for Max, but the merger made Patsy and Cockeye redundant. Personnel were accordingly downsized (with extreme prejudice).

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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2011, 01:27:55 PM »

so you don't think it was as simple as Max just wanting their money?

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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2011, 09:19:28 PM »

I have never been fully satisfied with the circumstances, manner, and motivations behind Bailey's death and transformations. Different bits and pieces have been discussed in various threads, but I'll take this opportunity to try to tie up some loose ends for myself here.

One thing I never understood is why Max leaves Noodles alive?

I have read (probably in STDWD?) that in a deleted scene of the elderly Noodles visiting Carol in the rest home, Carol -- who believes that Max committed suicide by beginning the shootout on that fateful night -- tells Noodles that Max didn't want to include him in his suicide, but that he "didn't give a fuck about" Patsy and Cockeye. So I guess Carol believes that Max wanted to die but he liked Noodles and didn't want Noodles to die (and presumably that is why Max knocks out Noodles, so that he won't be able to go along with them on the fateful trip).

But now that we know the truth, that Max fakes his death, I do not understand why Max left Noodles alive? Again, Noodles probably did not go on the trip cuz he had been knocked out by Max -- but why did Max want to keep Noodles alive? On another thread, I remember someone wrote that Max wanted Noodles to live in guilt for having killed him (which I guess would be even worse than death). So this whole scenario ws set up by Max so that Noodles should spend his life in guilt over having killed his buddies.

But I can't buy this theory. Now that Max is faking his death and transforming himself, it is in his best interests to get rid of everyone from his past life that is not in on his plan. I know Max says when he meets Noodles at the end something like  "My mind was never as clear as it was (on that night)... I took everything from you... and left you with 35 years of grief over having killed me." But I still can't believe that Max would risk his own security by intentionally leaving alive his former partner, just cuz he wanted Noodles to spend his life living in agony.
(Maybe like Carol thought, Max really did have feelings for Noodles as a close friend and therefore despite the disagreements, didn't want him to end up dead... but I have a hard time believing that as well. Max's statements to Noodles at the end indicate that he clearly planned to take everything away from Noodles and if he had any feelings left for him, he wouldn't have left him broke and miserable the way he did...)

So, I am wondering if someone can explain how it went down, how and why Max ensured that Noodles was left alive.....

Thanks

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« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2011, 08:08:31 AM »

Some wonder why, if Max's plan for Noodles to betray the gang to the police was known to the mob, did they send hit men after Noodles. My take on this is that, for the plan to succeed, the fewer people who knew about it, the better. Possibly Frankie knew about it. But in the 1930s, the Combination had many bosses and underbosses and there's the mob's killing arm which the press nicknamed Murder Inc.  Noodles and the rest of the gang are not "made" men.  It is known that the boss of Murder Inc. did not like rats and ordered contracts on rats whose betrayal had nothing to do with the mob. And if no-one took retribution against Noodles, how would it look to others in the mob who were not in on Max's plan?
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).

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