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Author Topic: The movie's biggest flaws/your pet peeves?  (Read 25955 times)
PowerRR
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« on: June 11, 2012, 10:08:34 PM »

For fun I'd like to list off some things that I could never stand from the GREATEST MOVIE EVER, and the few small things which have kept it from being absolutely 100% perfect in my book. Join in.

1. Young Noodles' mole
From the second you see him you can tell it's completely fake and just plastered on, almost as if it's a joke toward how noticeable and iconic De Niro's mole is.

2. Limo driver in the rape scene
Noodles is clearly raping the shit out of Deborah, and the limo driver is visibly just driving calm and careless, never looking back. Then all of a sudden he decides he's raping her too hard, quickly stops the limo and comes out all pissed off. WTF?

3. Secretary Bailey's big reveal
The first big clue we get is seeing his son, the same actor who plays Max as a kid. At this point on the first viewing we pretty much get it that he's still alive. But still, I've always hated how there's a scene of him in his office looking out the window at his son before Noodles actually meets him. I'd love if this scene were cut, and the first time that we actually get to see Bailey is the close-up which he slowly turns around to reveal himself to Noodles.

4. The Frisbee transition
I hear a lot of people love this. Why? The tension beforehand is great and I guess the transition from grabbing a Frisbee to grabbing a suitcase is cut together well. But why a Frisbee? Why are people playing Frisbee randomly in the dark? Wouldn't Noodles have seen the Frisbee  being tossed back and forth before it was used as a tension-breaker? Wouldn't he see the people playing? It's just dumb in my opinion.

Other than this I don't think I have a single problem with the movie. Maybe the child actors could have been slightly better, but they're still better than a majority of child actors in movies.

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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 12:14:23 AM »

I've mentioned my many problems with the (229MV of) the greatest movie ever throughout various threads, but I guess I'll consolidate 'em here:

1) We should see Noodles meeting and background with Eve, before she just turns up with him at the beach. (Fixed in the Cannes version).

2) After Young Deborah shuts Noodles out of her life -- she refuses to open the door and let him in after he ditches her for Max and is beaten up by Bugsy -- there is no justification for why she'd have cared about him so much all that time he was in jail, and want to see him after he gets out, and says "you're the only person I ever cared about..."  There should have been another scene with them as kids, with her taking him back and showing their love for each other. I am not certain, but I think I recall that there may have been an additional scene of this that was shot, but it is not in the restored footage shown at Cannes

3) Explanation of how the mausoleum and music got there (Fixed in the Cannes version).

4) Explanation of Old Noodles meeting with Old Eve. This footage was shot but is not in the Cannes version. However, with the Cannes version showing Deborah's performance as Cleopatra, it becomes clear that the theater she is performing in is not in the same building as the bailey Foundation's nursing home (the 229MV make it seem as if it's one building, which doesn't make much sense).

5) A little more explanation of how Max carried out his plan. (Footage was shot with Old Carol explaining this, but it was not restored at Cannes. Anyway, as we've seen with the scene of Old Carol describing Max's suicide,  she completely unreliable, so showing the footage with her wouldn't necessarily explain anything. Thought it would explain how Noodles met her and that the Bailey Foundation is a nursing home). I think that in the scene in Bailey's study, Bailey should have had a couple of more lines explaining his plan.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 12:18:52 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 12:29:30 AM »


2. Limo driver in the rape scene
Noodles is clearly raping the shit out of Deborah, and the limo driver is visibly just driving calm and careless, never looking back. Then all of a sudden he decides he's raping her too hard, quickly stops the limo and comes out all pissed off. WTF?




This doesn't bother me, because Noodles is a gangster and it is dangerous for someone to interfere with a gangster's "activities." (In a restored scene of a conversation between Noodles and the limo driver before the date, it is clear that the driver knows who Noodles is). Noodles may just as well have blown the head off the driver if he had tried to interfere. Finally, the driver couldn't take it anymore and stopped the car, and luckily for him, Noodles didn't kill him. But I can certainly understand why a limo driver would be hesitant to get in between a gangster and his girl.

btw, in The Hoods , the driver actually does interfere -- after Noodles starts roughing her up and tearing her clothes off, but --  before he can rape her (page 195). Still, I think it's certainly plausible that the driver would be hesitant to do so.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 12:32:53 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 10:00:17 AM »

2) After Young Deborah shuts Noodles out of her life -- she refuses to open the door and let him in after he ditches her for Max and is beaten up by Bugsy -- there is no justification for why she'd have cared about him so much all that time he was in jail, and want to see him after he gets out, and says "you're the only person I ever cared about..."  There should have been another scene with them as kids, with her taking him back and showing their love for each other. I am not certain, but I think I recall that there may have been an additional scene of this that was shot, but it is not in the restored footage shown at Cannes

I don't know about that one. You have to consider Deborah's age at the time, how many years have passed, and her real reason for not letting him in. When she was younger, she said she could never be with a 'two-bit' thug, though still implied she had feelings for him. Right after, Noodles is beaten up due to 'thug-related' activity. I don't think she doesn't let him in because she doesn't want him or care about him, but instead was proving her statement about not wanting to be involved with him for being a 'two-bit' thug. Maybe she was also simply afraid and didn't want any involvement with gang violence in the bar that age.

Then, many years pass by and she still cares about him. Maybe she truly never found anyone else, 'two-bit' thug or not. Maybe after all those years, she's decided to look past his gang-related lifestyle and want him for the person he is.

And as far as the limo driver, I understand he doesn't want to interrupt a mobster. But the way the scene is shot, it looks like he completely doesn't give a shit for the entirety of the rape. There's no shot or hint to show his fear or disgust, and not even a shocked reaction. Given his later reaction I understand that he obviously wasn't comfortable with it, but it definitely looks very strange to have him not seem to care at all for the entire scene.

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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 02:06:32 PM »

I don't know about that one. You have to consider Deborah's age at the time, how many years have passed, and her real reason for not letting him in. When she was younger, she said she could never be with a 'two-bit' thug, though still implied she had feelings for him. Right after, Noodles is beaten up due to 'thug-related' activity. I don't think she doesn't let him in because she doesn't want him or care about him, but instead was proving her statement about not wanting to be involved with him for being a 'two-bit' thug.
Exactly right. Recall the use of doors as a motif. This is one threshold that Gangster Noodles doesn't get to cross.

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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2013, 06:38:11 PM »

No matter how much someone tries to justify that rape scene, it is still the only complaint I have about this movie. I agree that also goes on for way too long, Christopher Frayling said something about this scene in that it was a rare of example of Leone loosing control and that he was upset at the reactions people had to it when it was shown in 1984.

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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 04:44:25 AM »

No matter how many times I watch the movie, I still dislike the '68 framing device. Dream, no dream, whatever, it stinks.

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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 04:59:11 AM »

No matter how many times I watch the movie, I still dislike the '68 framing device. Dream, no dream, whatever, it stinks.

I can understand that it stinks to someone who is in denial over the movie being a dream  Tongue


Even if you don't think it's a literal dream, there's definitely something dream-like at least in a metaphorical sense, the "American Dream" being shattered. Without the 1968 scenes, this is pretty much a straight gangster movie, with a circumcised Tom Powers.

If you simply view this as a straight, literal story, of a boy who grows up and becomes a gangster and runs away when his friend gets killed and then comes back 35 years later to find out his friend is really alive, then yeah, the 1968 scenes are seemingly unnecessary (to put it mildly). It plays just like a gangster story/mystery combination (which makes even less sense since the whole limousine/cemetery scenes are deleted).

Furthermore, why would a gangster/mystery story have the whole theme of Time?

No way can this movie be read without any dream element whatsoever, whether literal or metaphorical.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 05:10:42 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2013, 06:27:13 AM »

Chris Nolan probably drew inspiration from OUATIA for Inception.  Cool

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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2013, 08:33:14 AM »

Without the 1968 scenes, this is pretty much a straight gangster movie
I have to agree.

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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2013, 06:57:41 PM »

Without the 1968 scenes, this is pretty much a straight gangster movie

Your point?

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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 09:47:13 PM »

Your point?
OUATIA is no ordinary gangster movie.

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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 04:31:28 AM »

True, but a dramatically-stilted, ill-conceived framing device isn't the reason.

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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 04:45:24 AM »

Well, for me, framing devices give the story more depth, as long as the story and characters are interesting enough, otherwise it becomes unnecessarily convoluted.

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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 06:13:27 AM »

True, but a dramatically-stilted, ill-conceived framing device isn't the reason.

OMG how can you call the 1968 scenes of OUATIA a "framing device"? It is so much more than that. It is as much a part of the story as the 1921 or 1933 scenes, whether you like it or not. That's not a matter of opinion.

A :"framing device" is eg. the scenes with James Stewart as politician in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Or William Holden in the pool in Sunset Blvd.

(Besides, the movie neither begins nor ends with the 1968 scenes; rather, the movie is a series of interwoven flashbacks. Therefore, not only are the 1968 scenes so much more important than mere framing devices, I don't even know if it's correct to call those scenes "framing devices" at all But that's beside the point).

If you think the 1968 scenes were done poorly, it's a matter of opinion; but you are just missing the point or misunderstanding them if you call them (mere) "framing devices."


(And that's all positive arguments, I'm not even getting into the normative arguments, like how the hell can you not think the scene where Noodles returns to Fat Moe's after 35 years is not an awesome scene. All I can do is pity you for missing out on the indescribable pleasure you are missing out on by being unable to enjoy those scenes. But that's another story).

Leone decided to make the story about a gangster returning to his old neighborhood after 35 years, after his first meeting with Harry Grey, seeing what a fantasy/dream world that man was living in, trying to make sense of his past, mixing fantasy with reality, etc.

  no matter what one's opinion of whether some of the time periods were done better than others has no bearing on the fact that the three time periods are co-equal parts of the story

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