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Author Topic: Harmonica's life  (Read 23383 times)
cigar joe
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2005, 05:56:40 AM »

Look at the shoot out at Cattle Corner and then watch when Cheyenne looks at the hole where the gunshot when in at the way station. Doesn't seem to be in a location that would coinside with a grazing flesh wound.

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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2005, 12:33:51 PM »

isn't it possible that harmonica knew that frank had killed jenkins, benson, and youngblood because they were all in with his brother, and they were taken care off along with his brother, for the same reason that is... and it seems to me like frank didn't want to kill any children, but he didn't have a problem doing so if it had to be done, so not killing young harmonica makes sense to me considering he found out the guys name was frank later on down the line... and about the harmonica, i'm sure after traveling around for 20+ years someone could master one 10 second song... so learning to play isn't an issue...

I like the grim reaper analogy... but realistically i would think harmonica has spent the years looking for the man who killed his brother, considering he didn't know his name, it could take some time.

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Harmonica: So, you're not a businessman after all.
Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race...
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2005, 08:15:31 AM »

Frank wasn't a child but a teen. I don't see why all of you want to make an analogy with the scene of the killing of Timmy and the one of harmonica brother's death. I don't think Leone had wanted to make a parralelism between the two scenes: if Harmonica was spared , that was because he didn't heard Frank's name? I don't think so, there is no link of meaning between Timmy's death and Harmonica's death. No proof of it.
 If Frank didn't know Harmonica's brother, how could he know that he was Harmonica's brother? And why they would be in the middle of the nowhere like that if it wasn't to settle an account?

And concerning Harmonica being the Grim Reaper, I think he may have been an Archangel, like Monco was, because Harmonica was also a man with no name, with the same type of characteristics.

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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2005, 02:13:04 PM »

Hey Joe (as Jimi once said) I have thought about it and the more I have the more i like it.  Now I should have viewed the film before writing this as I may be completely wrong but what you were saying brought the title of another spag film to mind 'Death rides a Horse' (as he would being one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse) and then I realised - though I may be wrong - you do not see harmonica ride a horse until after he's shot Frank.  And whose horse does he ride anyway?? Is it Franks???

I do like the analogy though and there is something new for me to chew over the next time I watch it. 

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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2005, 03:51:54 PM »

"....where you goin' with that gun in your hand".

That whole death senario thing was just something that gelled in my mind fairly recently.

I had always though that there may be something more to Harmonica from when after Frank asks him who he is he answers with dead men's names, but then I saw the restored DVD and caught the the end of the cattle corner shootout when Harmonica just pops back up.

On top of that someone (either here or on the SW in America board) mentions that he's wearing the exact same clothes as he does in the flash back.

Then you add in all the strangely creepy entrances that Harmonica makes and you start to think maybe there is more too it than meets the eye.

And what's his last line to Jill... something about comming back someday (I'd have to pop the DVD in to be sure). Well he'll be comming back for all of us someday....



« Last Edit: February 07, 2005, 03:56:57 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2005, 06:22:02 PM »

Jesussssssss!!! I am more and more convinced that there is something to that. Bertolucci and Leone wanted to make the quintessential western. Think of all the references to past classics.
This type of symbolism is sublime.
Thanx Joe, I think I'll enjoy it even more now.
 

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cigar joe
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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2005, 08:06:51 PM »

Well, when you have wizard masters working together using iconic characters and following ancient codes quoting the classics of a genre you get magic, more than the sum of the individual parts, it may not quite have been their intent but it lends itself to endless interpretations.

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« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2005, 08:04:22 AM »

isnt the great thing with these silent anti-hero leone characters the fact we dont know their past. They were probably nasty sons-of-bitches.  Undecided

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Dave Jenkins, Calder Benson, Jim Cooper, Chuck Youngblood. They were all alive until they met you, Frank.
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« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2005, 08:21:05 PM »

When Timmy comes out of the house Frank looks at him almost loving but his expression quickly becomes remorseful at the mention of his name.  Timmy now has to be killed.  This doesn't fit with the fact that Timmy's survival would have made him heir to the property but there is just something about Franks face that suggests he is doing something that even he is not comfortable with.

I suppose that is one way to read the scene. Here is another: Although Frank had come to Sweetwater with the intention of killing all of the McBains, the possibility of sparing one now presents itself. Maybe it isn't necessary to kill Timmy as well, Frank reasons. After all, this kid isn't going to be able to get the station built on time, and even though he is now the legal heir, he'll only be inheriting a box of sand. So why waste a bullet? Mr. Morton has undoubtedly been impressing upon Frank the need to pay as little as possible for a property, and those extra bullets can really add up.

But is that really the best move? Who knows what kind of legal complications ensue if Timmy is left alive? Maybe there's a special survivor's clause that gives the McBane estate a break for catastrophic loss. This doesn't seem to be the case given subsequent events, but then, at the moment of decision, Frank doesn't have the deed in front of him to consult. He has to make a decision based on imperfect knowledge, and it has to be the right one. The agony of indecision shows on Frank's face.

Suddenly one of the men calls Frank by name. Perfect! The decision has been made for him, and Frank can now act and put the blame on the guy who spoke unwisely. Frank wriggles out of another one, the snake.

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« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2005, 04:17:42 AM »

They didn't have any hesitation on gunning down Maureen right at the git go.

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« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2005, 04:59:35 AM »

isn't it possible that harmonica knew that frank had killed jenkins, benson, and youngblood because they were all in with his brother, and they were taken care off along with his brother, for the same reason that is...

I think if Jenkins et al had been connected to Harmonica's brother, Frank might have figured out who Harmonica was a bit earlier.

A side note about the flashback - did the young harmonica fall or did his brother kick him away to spare him the agony of having caused his brother's death? See I think it looks like he was kicked away, and I always assumed those last words we see him say but can't hear are some kind of last message to Harmonica.

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« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2005, 09:22:37 AM »

  That is some good points, Joe. I thought about the "rising from the dead" and the end of the gunslinging west. But, I didn't take into it the other things you bring up, namely taking Cheyenne at the end. Ya know, I wouldn't be surprised though this really was Leone was going for. His gift of double meanings, symbolism,  opera, et al. all fits in place with that.

As for Harmonica's brother, I always thought he was saying.. "you... you son of a bitch!" to Frank. At least, that is what it looks like to me.

Looks like I have to watch the movie..... again!  Wink(#18 now or something. )

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« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2005, 04:46:59 PM »

IMHO, I don't think Harmonica was kiked away. It appears to me he falls out of exhaustion. Creating a state in the kid, where he hates Frank for putting him up to this and also feels guilt for not holding out longer for his brother. As inner conflicts go, this surpasses Sophies's choice.
I too always considered: Son of a bitch referred to Frank.

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« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2005, 07:30:45 PM »

IMHO, I don't think Harmonica was kicked away. It appears to me he falls out of exhaustion. Creating a state in the kid, where he hates Frank for putting him up to this and also feels guilt for not holding out longer for his brother. As inner conflicts go, this surpasses Sophies's choice.
I too always considered: Son of a bitch referred to Frank.


Yup. That's the way I read it. (Good observation regarding Sophie's Choice, too).

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« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2005, 09:19:59 AM »

I also thought initially that Harmonica fell from exhaustion (with the guiltyness it supposes). But my mother told me his brother kicked him away. I didn't want to believe it. I watched the scene several times even in slow motion, and I found she was right. Plus he kicked him away just after having spoken, so it make sense. In my opinion he spoke to Frank and his pals.
 In most American movies, this scene 'd have just been shown like that and that's all. But it's really different with all the symbolism and Roman Latin mythologic style Leone and morricone added to it.
  I think there is one problem with the fact Harmonica being the man with no name or even more the Rapper, it's the fact... that Harmonica does have a past... The past we see in the flash back, so it fits bad with Harmonica being the Grim Reaper, unless he is a total hallucination.

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