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cigar joe
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2017, 04:28:12 AM »

Does Peter Hanley's book, which provides excerpts of the original Italian script, shed light on the original dialogue between AE and the half soldier?

Don't remember that.

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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2017, 10:07:15 AM »

The only interesting thing in the scene is the very end, that Blondie has noticed that Angel Eyes's men have been following them - leads into the next scene, in the extended cut, in which they try to surprise him but he's not surprised.

More importantly: Before you criticize this seemingly unnecessary scene of dialogue, bear this in mind: In his BRD commentary,  by the scene where AE is discussing the cashbox with the half-soldier, Frayling mentions  that when filmed initially, that half-soldier scene had different dialogue than the one we hear about the cashbox. Frayling says that a different seen elsewhere in the movie explained the business with the cashbox. Later on, after filming, Leone & Co. decided to cut the latter scene,  but since that scene had necessary dialogue about the cashbox, during the dubbing they changed the dialogue in the half-soldier scene to be that  important dialogue about the cashbox

Now that we know the dialogue in this "lost" scene, we know that that was the scene Frayling was referring to. I do not know what the dialogue in the half-solider scene was initially -  perhaps a shooting script is available that could tell it to us – but as initially filmed, the dialogue in the "lost scene" was indeed very important. Only after they moved the dialogue to the half-soldier scene did it become "redundant" in the lost scene.

What's the difference between having the dialogue in the half-soldier scene at the beginning of the movie versus having it in this "lost" scene toward the middle or end of the movie? As it is in the finished film, it is in the early half-soldier scene, we know about the details about the cashbox early on; in the way the movie was madeinitially,  the viewer doesn't really fully understand the background of the cashbox and the ambush until much later in the movie.



Very good point. Can I quote you on the blog? I want to put this on there.

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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2017, 11:38:06 AM »

Here's the excerpt from the original Italian script crudely translated from German (don't ask) using Google Translate. I have made no revisions whatsoever. The translation is clunky but as you can see there's no backstory in the original version of this scene.

VALVERDE - (outside, day)

A sign announces: POST OFFICE OF VALVERDE. In the CLOSE-UP an old acquaintance of us comes: Banjo; He looks towards ...

A man wrapped in rags, who gestures with a gesture.
OLDER
Psst ... Heh!

Banjo goes up to the old man, and through his movement we discover, before the Postoffice, the stagecoach, on which we end the loading with luggage, as well as the group traveler, who is preparing to enter.
Banjo reaches the old man who says:
OLDER
Here is someone who has news for you ...

The old man leads banjo to a corner of the post office building. Sitting on the wood steps, with crutches on the sides, the trunk of a man. Half a man, with both legs missing. He wears the gray jacket of the confederates and an old and torn military uniform on his head. Turning to the cripple, the old man says:
OLDER
Speech ...

CRIPPLE (to Banjo)
Friend, since I've lost my legs, I'm constantly thirsty.

Banjo puts his fingers in his vest and throws him half a dollar.
The cripple, with his beret, hangs the half-dollar out of the air, and puts the cap with half a dollar in his head while he says:
CRIPPLE
So, friend, since I stopped dancing, I'm always sitting here and see all those who are here. One day, it will be three weeks, I see a guy and tell me this face is not unknown to me; It is very similar to Carson's pig. One of those with me at the Second Texas Mounteed was Rifles under Captain Baylor. I call him, and he wants to wrench me all the way. He says I'm wrong, and he's called Dik Russel. He gives me one, and I pretend to believe him. But I assure you that I would put a leg, that is, an arm on it, that the Carson was.

BANJO
And did he tell you where he wanted to go?

CRIPPLE
In the direction of San Antonio or Santa Fè, to go there to the crazy Sibley. And I think he meant it seriously, as his eyes looked quite fanatical.

The driver of the stagecoach is standing on the deck:

STAGECOACH BAR
Departure!

Banjo tosses the cripple another half a dollar and moves toward the coach, while the cripple in his back continues to babble:

CRIPPLE
I do not understand the taste of the people. And yet there is a bunch of madmen in this world. For my part, even if I were a centipede, I would whistle ...

« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 11:40:08 AM by Lil Brutto » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2017, 12:47:54 PM »

And here's a PROPER translation from Peter Hanley:

Valverde. A sign, POST OFFICE OF VALVERDE (seen in the film), provides a clue to the historical location of the scene. Angel Eyes appears on the scene and looks in the direction of an elderly man, who makes a gesture to him, saying, “Psst . . . Hey!” Angel Eyes heads for the elderly man and we see a postal stagecoach loaded with luggage, and there is a group of travelers in front of the Post Office. The elderly man says to Angel Eyes, “There’s someone here with some news for you . . .” He leads him to the corner of the Post Office building, where there is a “half man” (with both legs missing) sitting on some wooden steps. The man is wearing a gray Confederate jacket and an old, torn military cap. The elderly man says to the cripple, “Start talking . . .” Cripple: “Friend, ever since I’ve lost my legs, I constantly have thirst.” Angel Eyes sticks his finger in his waistcoat and throws a half dollar to the man. The cripple catches the coin with his cap, and then places the cap, together with the coin, on his head, and continues, “Okay, friend, ever since I gave up dancing [interestingly, in the film, the sign on the building behind Angel Eyes and the “half soldier” is inscribed BALLROOM MUSIC-HALL], I always sit here and I see everyone who comes by. One day, about three weeks ago, I saw this guy and said to myself, ‘This face is very familiar and looks like the bastard Jackson [called Carson in the script].’ He was with me in the 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles under Captain Baylor. I called out to him, but he said that I must be mistaken and that he is Carson [Dik Russel in the script]. He gave me a donation and I pretended that I believed him, but I tell you, I would bet a leg, that means an arm, that he was Jackson.” Angel Eyes replies, “Did he tell you where he was heading?” The Cripple replies, “Towards San Antonio or Santa Fe, to serve under some guy called Sibley. And I think he was serious judging by the crazed look in his eyes.” The driver of the postal stagecoach calls out, “Departure!” Angel Eyes tosses another half dollar to the cripple, and heads off towards the stagecoach. The rest of the scene (second foiled hanging) is similar to the film, except that the conversation between Angel Eyes and the middle-aged woman (sitting opposite) takes place inside the stagecoach.

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« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2017, 07:05:56 PM »

Very good point. Can I quote you on the blog? I want to put this on there.

 You are welcome to quote me if you wish, but you may want to go back and check out the commentary to get Frayling's words exactly.

 Also, one of you may wish to contact Peter Hanley to see if he can shed more light on this.

 So it seems that as the movie was initially conceived, the half-soldier provides just a tiny kernel of information about the cashbox; Angel Eyes  presumably goes around trying to learn more of the information;  we don't find out how he learns most of it, but by the time he meets Blondie, he has already learned it, which we find out in the chit-chat scene.

The final movie combines it all; Angel Eyes is lucky enough to find out all the info from the half-soldier early on.

On an unrelated note:
IMO, another thing that makes the half-soldier scene very important is what happens later on - the "golden-haired angel"  comment, establishing a prior relationship between Angel Eyes, Blondie and Tuco.

I  understand that that bit was not in the 148-min.  British version – I am not sure if it was in the 161-min. international cut. But IMO that bit is every but as important as the Fort Scene.

By the Way, is the half-soldier scene in the 148-min. British cut? That version seems to be awful.
In his commentary, as I recall, Frayling mentions the scenes that were cut, but doesn't always distinguish whether they were only cut from the 148-min. British version or even from the 161-min. US version.

« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 03:50:47 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2017, 02:33:24 AM »



On an unrelated note:
IMO, another thing that makes the half-soldier scene very important is what happens later on - the "golden-haired angel"  comment, establishing a prior relationship between Angel Eyes, Blondie and Tuco.



Later in the prison camp scene it also becomes obvious that at least Tuco and Sentenza knew each other from former times. But nothing indicates that there was more than a loose contact.

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« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2017, 02:47:38 AM »


By the Way, is the half-soldier scene in the 148-min. British cut? That version seems to be awful.
In his commentary, as I recall, Frayling mentions the scenes that were cut, but doesn't always distinguish whether they were only cut from the 148-min. British version or even from the 161-min. US version.

The UK version misses the following scenes.

1. A short segment with Confederate soldiers and the prostitute, who was Carson's girl-friend, before Sentenza beats her for information. The beating is also shorter (probably for self-censorship reasons)

2. The gunshop scene.

3. All scenes with the prison camp commandant. Tuco's beating by Wallace is then also considerably shorter (here surely for self-censorship reasons)

4. Tuco and Wallace on the way to the train. Tuco's killing of Wallace is also pruned down. (again self-censorship)

All infos taken from Frayling's "Spaghetti Westerns" book (1981). Frayling thought at that time that the 148 min version was the international version.

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« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2017, 03:53:02 AM »

Later in the prison camp scene it also becomes obvious that at least Tuco and Sentenza knew each other from former times. But nothing indicates that there was more than a loose contact.


That's right - and IMO that is a bit weird without the earlier "golden-haired angel" line telling us that they have known each other previously, though they're obviously not the best of friends, since Tuco is afraid to even touch the food before Angel Eyes does

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« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2017, 04:01:11 AM »

One thing about the "lost scene" - Angel Eyes says it was pure luck that he got a job in Betterville.

Once we have seen the Fort scene - in which Angel Eyes learns that if Bill Carson were alive, it would only be in Betterville -  it makes sense to us: AE enlisted and tried to get a job at Betterville so that he would meet Carson. To have a later scene say that he got the job at Betterville purely out of luck, is not as  good as us believing that he did it intentionally after learning that Carson would be at Betterville.

On the other hand, in the US and British versions,  which do not include the Fort scene, as previously discussed, it's a bit nutty just having AE convenienetly being at Betterville, the place where Tuco acting as Carson shows up. But with the "lost scene" it makes a tad more sense, AE explaining to Blondie that he simply got lucky. So, in my opinion, if you don't have the Fort scene, the dialogue in the "lost" scene ( akathe AE-Blondie Chit-Chat Scene) may be preferable than the dialogue in the "half-soldier" scene.

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« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2017, 05:47:20 AM »

That Sentenza was intentionally at the prison camp, and not by luck, was always what I assumed, without knowing about the fort scene. For that information I never needed that fort scene.

But this chit-chat scene is even with the not altered Half-Soldier scene, much too talky, much too explainable. The transformation from some of the information to the Half-Soldier scene is the perfect solution. In that case the film wouldn't have benefited from not knowing these details for a long part of the film's runtime. While in OUTW the including of the Rising scene destroys one of Leone's boldest story-telling ideas.

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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2017, 09:27:26 AM »

That Sentenza was intentionally at the prison camp, and not by luck, was always what I assumed, without knowing about the fort scene. For that information I never needed that fort scene.

But this chit-chat scene is even with the not altered Half-Soldier scene, much too talky, much too explainable. The transformation from some of the information to the Half-Soldier scene is the perfect solution. In that case the film wouldn't have benefited from not knowing these details for a long part of the film's runtime. While in OUTW the including of the Rising scene destroys one of Leone's boldest story-telling ideas.

I agree that the movie as it is now - with the half-soldier scene as it is and no chit-chat scene - is better than the old half-soldier scene plus the chit-chat scene. And that's why the Master made the final film as we see today  Smiley

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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2017, 10:22:03 AM »

The only interesting thing in the scene is the very end, that Blondie has noticed that Angel Eyes's men have been following them - leads into the next scene, in the extended cut, in which they try to surprise him but he's not surprised.

More importantly: Before you criticize this seemingly unnecessary scene of dialogue, bear this in mind: In his BRD commentary,  by the scene where AE is discussing the cashbox with the half-soldier, Frayling mentions  that when filmed initially, that half-soldier scene had different dialogue than the one we hear about the cashbox. Frayling says that a different scene elsewhere in the movie explained the business with the cashbox. Later on, after filming, Leone & Co. decided to cut the latter scene,  but since that scene had necessary dialogue about the cashbox, during the dubbing they changed the dialogue in the half-soldier scene to be that  important dialogue about the cashbox

Now that we know the dialogue in this "lost" scene, we know that that was the scene Frayling was referring to. I do not know what the dialogue in the half-solider scene was initially -  perhaps a shooting script is available that could tell it to us – but as initially filmed, the dialogue in the "lost scene" was indeed very important. Only after they moved the dialogue to the half-soldier scene did it become "redundant" in the lost scene.

What's the difference between having the dialogue in the half-soldier scene at the beginning of the movie versus having it in this "lost" scene toward the middle or end of the movie? As it is in the finished film, it is in the early half-soldier scene, so we know about the details about the cashbox early on; in the way the movie was made initially,  the viewer doesn't really fully understand the background of the cashbox and the ambush until much later in the movie.




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« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2017, 10:33:30 AM »

From another thread...

I seem to remember that in the novelisation of GBU Angel Eyes comes across the aftermath of a battle (at Apache Canyon i think) and takes the uniform and papers from a body. The novel was taken from the shooting script as it  also included how the money came to be buried at the beginning.

I'll have to check the original Italian script for this scene.

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