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: The Garbage Truck  ( 903 )
Polynikes
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« : July 27, 2023, 04:59:33 PM »

Some years ago, I commented on OUATIA in the tread "Why does this movie fare so poorly with audiences"?  In summary, I thought the nucleus of an all-time great film was there, but sadly I found it infuriating when it finished. It was visually impressive, beautifully filmed (albeit a little overdone in places), very well acted (particularly by the young actors playing the characters as youngsters) and a lovely haunting score by Ennio Morricone.....but I could not get past the jarring absurdities of the plot.  I then mentioned some of these, most of which have been discussed at length on this board in a number of threads.

However, there is one absurd piece of plotting I have not seen discussed elsewhere (forgive me if it has), which is Max/Mr Bailey committing suicide by hurling himself into a conveniently placed garbage truck.  Of all the ways for Bailey to disappear, this is almost Monty Python levels of silliness, totally out of keeping with the quality, tone and style of the film.  Or do others see this differently, and have I misunderstood what happened,  or missed some significance or profundity in this?

Don't get me wrong - there is much to admire about OUATIA. I just wish Sergio and co had gven more attention to the plot development.

Again, apologies if this has already been discussed elsewhere.

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« #1 : July 27, 2023, 11:31:18 PM »

Some years ago, I commented on OUATIA in the tread "Why does this movie fare so poorly with audiences"?  In summary, I thought the nucleus of an all-time great film was there, but sadly I found it infuriating when it finished. It was visually impressive, beautifully filmed (albeit a little overdone in places), very well acted (particularly by the young actors playing the characters as youngsters) and a lovely haunting score by Ennio Morricone.....but I could not get past the jarring absurdities of the plot.  I then mentioned some of these, most of which have been discussed at length on this board in a number of threads.

However, there is one absurd piece of plotting I have not seen discussed elsewhere (forgive me if it has), which is Max/Mr Bailey committing suicide by hurling himself into a conveniently placed garbage truck.  Of all the ways for Bailey to disappear, this is almost Monty Python levels of silliness, totally out of keeping with the quality, tone and style of the film.  Or do others see this differently, and have I misunderstood what happened,  or missed some significance or profundity in this?

Don't get me wrong - there is much to admire about OUATIA. I just wish Sergio and co had gven more attention to the plot development.

Again, apologies if this has already been discussed elsewhere.

Once you understand that the film has a dream-like qauality (regardless of what you think of the ?dream theory?) and that it?s not necessarily operating (only) on a literal level, these things won?t bother you so much ?.


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« #2 : July 28, 2023, 01:36:30 AM »

What Drink is saying is correct.

It's also important to know that the garbage truck may not be a literal image but a symbolic one. The fact that we see the open back of the truck doing it's grinding after Bailey disappears behind it (if that WAS Bailey--there's quite a bit of ambiguity in the scene) might indicate it's a metaphor for the system Max is part of. Also, there is probably an allusion to the Hoffa disappearance: one story mentions a moving van near the location where Hoffa was last seen, and in the film Hoffa the filmmakers actually show one being used to remove Hoffa's body at the end. You can read the garbage truck scene in several ways, and I'm sure SL wanted us each to find the interpretation we most prefer.



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« #3 : July 28, 2023, 02:38:00 AM »

But OuTW does not have a dreamlike quality.
The ending shot may give way to a certain kind of interpretations, but the film before never felt for a second like dream.


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« #4 : July 30, 2023, 09:57:47 AM »

Thanks for the replies.  For me, it really does not work whatever the explanation (ambiguity, dream or not dream etc.), and the poor quality of the writing of the plot tarnishes the otherwise splendid qualities of the film.  I think the brutal truth is that Leone could create and film scenes in a way few others directors can, but perhaps got too carried away with the cinematography, and did not devote enough time and attention to the script.  As with many films with plot problems, several writers rather than just one contributes to this.

In terms of the much discussed "was it all a dream", that does not work either way for me. If it is not a dream, it is muddled plotting. If it is a dream, that to me is a bit of a convenient excuse, and it also makes me feel like I have been conned into watching 4-5 hours only to be told it is a shaggy dog story.

Anyway, enough of my musings and  thanks for the replies.

« : July 30, 2023, 10:00:14 AM Polynikes »
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« #5 : July 30, 2023, 11:57:50 AM »

Quote from: drinkanddestroy on May 04, 2014, 01:32:22 AM

all those who says it is definitely not a dream have to explain away way to much. yes, they have tried to offer explanations, and they may make sense for one or two of the problems, but the dream interpretation explains these things much more easily and clearly, and IMO correctly. For example, why the final smile? Why the pagoda? Why the 1930's cars in 1968? Why would a man kill himself in a garbage truck if he has a gun? Yes, the anti-dream people have tried to say, "It was a costume party, the garbage truck allows Max to possibly disappear again, the pagoda is a reference to this or that, etc etc etc." but IMO it's just way too much that you have to try to explain away, the dream interpretation explains these things much more clearly and satisfactorily. I think what bothers you anti-dreamers is that you feel that if you support the dream interpretation, then it's like the whole thing never happened. "And then I woke up --- haha, I fooled you, it never happened." But that's not the case: all the themes and ideas of the movie remain just as strong - heck, they may even be strengthened - with the dream interpretation.


Quote from: drinkanddestroy on March 21, 2013, 07:14:07 AM

it definitely is a tad ridiculous that suddenly, conveniently, the garbage truck shows up out of nowhere, in middle of the night on a street in Long island! BUT now that we are getting the restored scenes, we know that in the scene where Noodles watches the limo that has been tailing him blow up outside Bailey's home (which he later watches on the news on the TV in Fat Moe's), we see that garbage truck is already there outside the Bailey home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyCnTX_Nqoc so the garbage truck doesn't just come out of nowhere.

as to the issue of whether or not Bailey jumps into the garbage truck: they specifically used a double that looked like Woods, so that it looks LIKE him, but it removed the certainty. as Woods said, "we know, but we don't know, but we know."
This fits with the general fantasy-like nature of Noodles' return to New York in 1968. As the famous shot outside Bailey's home: where we see the 193o's cars go by, so we assume we are back in the 30's, but then the camera cuts back to Noodles' face and we see we are still in 1968! one of the great shots in the movie, indicating the fantasy of it all.
I do not mean to re-ignite the "dream theory" debate; I, for one, believe it's definitely a dream but I have no interest in re-igniting the debate; my point is that, whether or not you believe it's a dream, on SOME level, you have to believe that there is some fantasy-like or dream-like to the 1968 scenes. (Besides, if it's all literal, wtf would a man with a gun instead to choose to commit an awfully-painful suicide by getting crushed by a garbage truck?! I suppose the cynical among you could say Leone was setting up for a sequel, where Max comes back [as if this movie wasn't ling enough  ;)])
So the scene with Bailey and the garbage truck fits with the ambiguity of it all: we don't actually see Bailey jump in and get crushed in the truck; rather, we see a man from afar that looks very much like Bailey, and the truck passes him and suddenly he's gone. To Noodles at least, that man is Bailey.

here is vid of Woods talking about the garbage truck scene: we know, but we don't know, but we know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOD6V-kJebU&feature=youtu.be


There's more threads on the garbage truck.

here is one post thread:

Here is an intereting thread from (Why di Max knock out DeNiro)

alexander, I think you hit upon an interesting point, exactly who was the garbage truck for!

If Noodles had shot Max, he would have left his body in the mansion and left. Who would have known to take his body and put it in the truck, Max would have had to have left prior instructions to somebody.

If Max prefigured that Noodles would not shoot him then the truck had to be his backup suicide plan.

If Noodles had answered Max's plea for Noodles to shoot him with his standard "You're crazy Max" would Max have then shot Noodles? Then the truck might have been for the both of them. Max teaching Noodles a final lesson by not only taking away everything from him but in the end also his life. Then Max commits suicide and disapeering at the same time with Noodles to spare Deborah and David?


Here are a few more threads:

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=3565.msg38283#msg38283

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=5338.msg74540#msg74540







« : July 30, 2023, 12:01:05 PM cigar joe »

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« #6 : July 30, 2023, 04:13:05 PM »

The last 45 seconds of "Million Dollar Baby" always reminded me of the ambiguous way that Leone and then Eastwood wanted to end these two films.  Is that Frankie (Eastwood) or not....maybe....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGsZxAi5FCk

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« #7 : July 31, 2023, 03:41:16 AM »

My problem with the Dream Theory is that proponents always assume the film has both dream and non-dream elements, and that they can distinguish between the two. In fact, it's all a dream, a circular one. The door motif is an indicator, the use of mirrors, another. http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=6937.0



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