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Question: Did James Woods jump into the garbage truck at the end of Once Upon a Time in America?
Yes   -34 (60.7%)
No   -9 (16.1%)
I really do not know   -13 (23.2%)
Total Voters: 52

Author Topic: Did James do it or not?  (Read 29046 times)
Cusser
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« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2006, 08:17:47 PM »

There is no reason for a decades-old garbage truck to be there at night at all - so either Bailey arranged it in case Noodles didn't follow through.  Or  maybe a dream.  I personally think Bailey/Max did jump into it, but interesting idea that he may have faked his death again.

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C Youngblood
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« Reply #46 on: January 02, 2006, 08:33:04 AM »

Couple things.   The first time we meet Max, he is driving a "garbage" wagon, or at least a junk wagon.  The last time we see him he is diving into the back of one.  He has gone from the front to the back during his life.

The other idea we see a few times is that he's always making Noodles believe he is dead.   Is the last dive into the truck just another trick?

Nice points. Seemes logical.

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« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2006, 02:54:15 PM »

James Wood jumping in the truck, certainly not but Max probably! If you watch carefully the moment when Max disappeared behind the truck , you will see his feet running and jumping on the left side of the truck.

Anyway, loads of things are unsure in this movie because it was Sergio wish to let everybody imagine that this was just a dream may be as he declares in Conversation avec Sergio leone (Noel Simsolo)

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« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2006, 01:36:19 AM »

Woods' character certainly, definitely, jumped into the garbage truck, watch it again a few times, absolutely happened.  Also, he arranged for that truck to be there (no regular pickups at night) in case Noodles couldn't go through with it.

He does not jump in the truck. It is not even woods.  Look inside that truck dude. No blod, no bones. At that point we are already coming out of the dream and moving into that overlap/twilight where god bless america is starting up again. 

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« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2007, 09:33:34 AM »

Couple things.   The first time we meet Max, he is driving a "garbage" wagon, or at least a junk wagon.  The last time we see him he is diving into the back of one.  He has gone from the front to the back during his life.

The other idea we see a few times is that he's always making Noodles believe he is dead.   Is the last dive into the truck just another trick?

Very good points! That idea of Max goes from the front to the back, from honesty/friendship/happiness to dishonesty/"friendshipless"/sadness is very interesting.

And yes, the viewer is left wondering whether the jumpi into the truck is yet another fake death.

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« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2007, 03:21:00 AM »

And remember, that Leone seemed to have a fascination for faking a death to start over with a clean slate, like Fonda's character at the end of My Name is Nobody (a few years earlier).

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« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2007, 06:26:26 PM »

He definitly jumped in the truck, no question about it, in my opinion.

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« Reply #52 on: March 21, 2013, 08:14:07 AM »

There is no reason for a decades-old garbage truck to be there at night at all - so either Bailey arranged it in case Noodles didn't follow through.  Or  maybe a dream.  I personally think Bailey/Max did jump into it, but interesting idea that he may have faked his death again.


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  Wink])
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

« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 09:32:22 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2013, 06:37:12 PM »


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  Wink])
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

Cool link! Is that on the bonus features of the DVD?

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« Reply #54 on: March 21, 2013, 08:16:56 PM »

Cool link! Is that on the bonus features of the DVD?

yes

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