Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
March 22, 2023, 05:14:59 AM
:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Films of Sergio Leone
| |-+  The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  The Genius of the Blondie & Confederate Soldier Scene
0 and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
: 1 2 3 [4]
: The Genius of the Blondie & Confederate Soldier Scene  ( 5248 )
stanton
Bounty Killer
*****
Online Online

Posts: 3530



« #45 : January 12, 2023, 02:21:47 AM »

Really?

It is true until OuTW, but Giu la testa is the weakest of his westerns, and OuTA has several flaws.


noodles_leone
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6497


Lonesome Billy


« #46 : January 12, 2023, 05:54:52 AM »

I think DYS has qualities that weren't there in previous Leone movies and has some unmatched scenes (like the trucks under the rain scene). It is his most flawed film and is really hurt by those flaws. I don't like to rate it on the same scale because you can see the troubled production caused most of the flaws. OUATIA is flawed too but that's different. It has the flaws that come with its huge ambition. To me it's so good I don't care about the flaws, and I fear correcting those flaws would result in a weaker film.


Cusser
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2038


Remember, I always see the job through !


« #47 : January 12, 2023, 06:29:49 AM »

I like DYS and its music.  But Rod Steiger's Mexican accent ranks as bad as Vito Scotti's in the "Rifleman" Mexican bandit episode...

« : January 12, 2023, 06:31:25 AM Cusser »
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 16340


I have Something to Do with Death . . . So do you.


« #48 : January 12, 2023, 09:16:17 AM »


It is true until OuTW, but Giu la testa is the weakest of his westerns, and OuTA has several flaws.
Here's why you're wrong.

Leone started out cribbing from genre formulas. COR and FOD owe almost everything to films that came before them. FAFDM marks an advance: while still indebted to older films, we see things in it that are recognizable Leone-isms, touches unique to SL's films. Even so, there are no characters in FAFDM, only types. It's not until the next adance, GBU, that we finally see an actual character in a Leone film: Tuco (Blondie and AE remain genre types). For OUATITW, Leone pulled a fast one; he traded in types for archetypes, proving to everyone that he could make an epic film without characters (Jill and Cheyenne struggle to be characters but don't quite make it). That's why the film is (correctly) considered by some to be the first postmodern film.

But OUATITW was the kind of film that couldn't be repeated. Wisely, Leone went back to developing films that were character based. With DYS he scored a hattrick: Mallory, Juan Miranda, and even Dr. Villega are all living, breathing characters. By OUATIA, Leone was handing us characters by the shipping container (as far as males are concerned, anyway; SL always had trouble depicting women).

Leone's interest in developing characters from types also allowed him to expand out of genre formulas. Both FAFDM and OUATITW are revenge stories (not simple revenge stories as both are fairly complicated). Revenge is a very popular theme that's been packing them in since Aeschylus. The Elizabethan's had a popular run of them at the end of the 1500s, and the genre was revived under James I in the 1600s. Modern films continue to mine what seems an inexhaustible vein--I just watched a film yesterday from 2022 called Vengeance.

Revenge pictures work because they are easy to understand, allow for clear motivation on the protagonist's part, and usually develop and conclude in ways satisfactory to an audience (especially if that audience is composed of Drink and other 13-year-olds). But they have limited intellectual appeal.

That's because revenge stories simplify things; the world as we know it is too complicated for revenge stories in real life. And one of the things that complicates revenge in real life is the notion of ethics.

DYS examines the ethics of revenge and treats this theme in depth. Mallory took revenge on Nolan for the latter's betrayal, but came to regret it. Years later, Mallory eschews revenge when given the opportunity to exact it on Villega (for an almost identical betrayal). He allows Villega to judge himself, and in the process (perhaps) also allows Villega to find a way to redeem himself. OUATIA has a revenge component too: Years after a terrible betrayal, Noodles declines to respond to Senator Baily's temptation. Both Mallory and Noodles achieve moral victories over themselves. Leone wasn't showing us characters who were capable of that earlier in his career.

You know who else showed this kind of development in their work? Shakespeare (yeah, I'm equating SL with Shakespeare; get over it). As I mentioned above, revenge was a hot theme for dramas when Shakespeare was writing, and in fact he wrote a revenge tragedy called Titus Andronicus early on. It was the most popular of his plays in his lifetime. He could have written many more, but decided not to. Why? We'll never know for sure, but there might be a clue in Hamlet, a play with a revenge theme that ends up repudiating the ethics of revenge.

Needless to say, Hamlet is a better play than Titus Andronicus. And DYS and OUATIA are better films than FAFDM and OUATITW. The difference (though not entirely) is in the depth of seriousness in which they treat their themes. And seriousness is only possible when characters are well imagined.

Another one of Leone's preoccupations was with heterosexual male friendships in general. Men bond with men in all his films, but the friendships in his early movies never rise above standard buddy-movie fare. It is only later that we see more profound relationships: Mallory and Nolan; Mallory and Miranda; Mallory and Villega; Max and Noodles. When characters are depicted with depth, their relationships will also be profound.

Mallory, Juan Miranda, Noodles--they are superior representations of people--the people in real life--to the types we see in earlier Leone. Character is a fundamental requirement for the greatest kind of cinema. And DYS and OUATIA are the greatest kind of cinema.



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
Jenko Morningstar
Chicken Thief
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 27


Sergio Leone & Comic Book Fan


« #49 : January 13, 2023, 01:35:18 PM »

I always thought Mallory and Juan were the more grounded versions of Blondie and Tuco. You're right about Sergio going from "mythical" to more human and complex, I do have to say I personally prefer his earlier stuff up until OUATITW. I remember jumping from A Fistful of Dollars (saw the Dollars trilogy backwards) to Once Upon a Time in America (did the same for the second trilogy) and it felt astonishing. We went from a world of few characters that dealt with sort of "mythical" situations to a gigantic world full of many, many characters and details that dealt with human situations in an epic scale. Blew my mind at first. Then I saw the other two films, DYS and OUATITW, and I got how Leone went from point A to point B.

Jenko Morningstar
Chicken Thief
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 27


Sergio Leone & Comic Book Fan


« #50 : January 13, 2023, 01:37:30 PM »

Very good point. It's almost as if we're talking about two different movies.
Lol. I was Indeed talking about the extended edition guys  ;D

Jenko Morningstar
Chicken Thief
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 27


Sergio Leone & Comic Book Fan


« #51 : January 13, 2023, 01:48:54 PM »

I'd absolutely include the short scene with Blondie and Tuco leaving the mission. Besides the road littered with dead bodies, Tuco tells Blondie how far away the cemetery is, and how the journey will take them through several states and crossing enemy lines.

I first saw GBU in 1968 when I was 15, and probably took me a couple of viewings until I really realized the anti-war message...
It's crazy to me how he manages to pull it off so well, combining the story of these three men searching for gold and the stuff to do with the Civil War without it feeling convoluted. I also appreciate the variety of emotions that Leone gives us with the war, I was thinking about what DJ said the other day "the war doesn't only kill, it saves" and I realized how it's not so much of a one note thing.

It makes us laugh when Tuco thinks that the soldiers they're seeing are Confederates but they're from the Union instead, and when they fake carrying a victim of the war to prevent any suspicions of what they're really out to do which is exploding the bridge.

There's also the photo shoot scene with the soldiers when Tuco is getting out from the Union camp alongside Wallace. I mean, it doesn't last very long, but it's not irrelevant either because it has actual dialogue and dubbing in it. The soldiers come out of that thankful and with smiles on their faces. As little as it is, it gives us a positive spin of the war, it's not all death and suffering.

« : January 13, 2023, 01:50:44 PM Jenko Morningstar »
uncknown
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 649

What about me?


« #52 : January 16, 2023, 04:10:07 PM »

Re: Box- office. success of GBU:
 The film was an enormous hit , the soundtrack was an enormous hit.
Journalists, like Brian Hannan and Frayling make the mistake of basing its box- office on the VARIETY rental chart which places it out of the top ten for 1968. If one goes by the GROSSES, it makes the top ten.
Why the discrepancy?
 Simple.
Rental figures are supplied by the film distributor, I.e. United Artists.
UA was pissed at Eastwood who demanded fifteen percent of the North American gross to appear in GBU.
By underreportong the actual take they hoped avoid a big payout.
Eastwood sued.






"Other Morton's will come along  and they'll kill it off"

My article on the restoration of the The Big Gundown
http://thekinskifiles.blogspot.com/2009/01/cinemaretro-13-big-gundown.html
Cusser
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2038


Remember, I always see the job through !


« #53 : January 17, 2023, 07:39:01 AM »

Re: Box- office. success of GBU:
 The film was an enormous hit , the soundtrack was an enormous hit.

In the US, radio stations played the Montenegro adaptation of the title track; was a big hit, apparently was #2 record one week in 1968 but got beat out by "Mrs. Robinson".

The soundtrack album by Morricone (1-record, 11 tracks) was available, don't know if that sold well back then or not (I bought a copy, still have it).

uncknown
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 649

What about me?


« #54 : January 17, 2023, 02:56:28 PM »

The LP was certified Gold- at least $  million dollars in sales. Iirc it peaked at number three, a considerable accomplishment for a purely instrumental score.
 GBU was a cultural touchstone:Bobby Kennedy referenced it, tv shows ) GET SMART) parodied it, people talked about it.
Eastwood emerged from it a major film star.
Had he been the lead in OUTIW, it might not have been a huge it, but it would have opened big based on his presence.
You can't seriously claim that OUTIW, OUTIA, DYS had anywhere near the worldwide impact of GBU.
I applaud French audiences for turning out in huge numbers. For whatever reason they ' got it'.
It made Bronson a Euro star years before he attained that status in America!


"Other Morton's will come along  and they'll kill it off"

My article on the restoration of the The Big Gundown
http://thekinskifiles.blogspot.com/2009/01/cinemaretro-13-big-gundown.html
stanton
Bounty Killer
*****
Online Online

Posts: 3530



« #55 : January 18, 2023, 01:16:57 AM »


Rental figures are supplied by the film distributor, I.e. United Artists.
UA was pissed at Eastwood who demanded fifteen percent of the North American gross to appear in GBU.
By underreportong the actual take they hoped avoid a big payout.


But if this is true, then maybe the figures for the other films are also not true, are also too low.

And checking Wikipedia the grosses of other films I had listed from the Variety list are also much higher. And UA had much, much bigger hits with the Bond films, which also were comparatively more successful in Europe than in the USA.

 

« : January 18, 2023, 01:26:46 AM stanton »

Cusser
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2038


Remember, I always see the job through !


« #56 : January 18, 2023, 07:30:17 AM »

OUTIW.... made Bronson a Euro star years before he attained that status in America!

Before OUTIW, Bronson was pretty well known in USA with Magnificent Seven, Great Escape, and Dirty Dozen being big hits.  Europeans always have seemed to embrace the Leone films and Morricone more than Americans.

Bronson (Charles Buchinsky) did not speak any English at home during his childhood in Pennsylvania, like many children he grew up with. He recalled that even back when he was in the army in WW2, his accent was strong enough to make his comrades think he came from another country (despite Bronson having been born and raised in PA).

stanton
Bounty Killer
*****
Online Online

Posts: 3530



« #57 : January 18, 2023, 08:16:23 AM »

Before OUTIW, Bronson was pretty well known in USA with Magnificent Seven, Great Escape, and Dirty Dozen being big hits.  Europeans always have seemed to embrace the Leone films and Morricone more than Americans.



But these were all minor roles, others were the stars of these films. He became a star in Europe in the late 60s, and only a few years later also in the USA with the Michael Winner films.


uncknown
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 649

What about me?


« #58 : January 18, 2023, 03:02:41 PM »

Re: United Artists
They only distributed the first two films.
They financed and distributed GBU.
UA financed and distributed the Bond films in America .
In the Sixties they bulk of their income came from America.
Remember, these films were not released in the Eastern bloc or China!


"Other Morton's will come along  and they'll kill it off"

My article on the restoration of the The Big Gundown
http://thekinskifiles.blogspot.com/2009/01/cinemaretro-13-big-gundown.html
emmo26
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 308


« #59 : January 21, 2023, 08:46:46 AM »

Another UA Stalwart is Michael Cimino, whose western flop Heaven's gate was a 5 hour flop .... He has a birthDAY that is the same as Arch Stanton's deathDAY..... Feb 3rd


**************** ZZ TOPĀ“s 1st Gig **************
: 1 2 3 [4]  
« previous next »
:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
0.037155