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| | |-+  Did James do it or not?
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: 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%)
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: Did James do it or not?  ( 31755 )
Jupa
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« : November 13, 2002, 06:00:38 AM »

This is a question that has defied scholarship for decades.  :) What is your opinion of this?

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« #1 : November 14, 2002, 05:36:45 AM »

Upon careful viewing, notice Wood's feet running alongside the truck.  (As he steps up the pace it appears he jumps onto the far side of the truck.)  

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« #2 : November 16, 2002, 06:55:44 AM »


According to Christopher Frayling's Leone autobiography James Woods has overrun his contract, so a standin was used for that scene, not sure who played Woods' part. So James Woods didn't climb on the truck.

As far as the story goes I believe the senator does jump in the truck.


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« #3 : November 16, 2002, 01:43:07 PM »

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.

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« #4 : November 16, 2002, 02:39:15 PM »

You are very sharp in your analyzing. Good remark ;)


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« #5 : February 05, 2003, 03:38:20 AM »

Just like Mr. Williams I can't say if Senator Bailey jumps or not on the truck. And, just like Mr. Williams, I really don't care. I would have cared for Maximilian Bercovicz, but not for the Senator... so when the truck keeps moving and passes by, if the Senator's inside it, well that was his choice, but if he's not inside... it's the same. I believe Mr. Williams is taking his revenge, and he wants it full.

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« #6 : February 11, 2003, 12:15:17 PM »

There's no visual proove of Max's suicide. And Sergio Leone plays with the lack of visual proove.

But I agree that Max personality and the tragedy of the film leads to the suicide end.


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« #7 : February 15, 2003, 09:55:01 AM »

So you think there's no visual proof of James Woods jumping into the truck.OK,so you seem to be of different opinion with Beejerama and Cusser.

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« #8 : February 15, 2003, 11:20:44 AM »

Yes, but I have an extremely bad vhs copy of the movie.

I'm not really able to confirm all the details described by our friends up here.

Anyway, it's maybe true that Woods wasn't able any more for the final scene, but I think Leone found a good solution by "suggesting" to us the suicide instead of "showing" it to us.


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« #9 : February 18, 2003, 12:00:57 PM »

This is a question that has defied scholarship for decades.  :) What is your opinion of this?

According to the master (Sergio Leone himslef), the important point is not to know if max did it or not. What is important is that a man who looks like max did it, and FOR NOODLES, this man is Max. For Noodles.



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« #10 : February 20, 2003, 05:55:11 AM »

[An interview in May 1984, the question was: is James Wood character representing Jimmy Hoffa ? and Sergio answered: Yes he is, you know that Jimmy Hoffa suddenly vanished and there was a garbage-truck
near Jimmmy House during few days before   [even our youngest friends well know Jimmy Hoffa who was the teamster mafioso syndicate boss )


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« #11 : February 26, 2003, 08:15:04 AM »

I believe he does jump into the truck.Somebody runs alongside the truck,and if it isn,t Max then who is it supposed to be?

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« #12 : July 03, 2003, 02:30:08 AM »

Obviously it's pointless to debate whether he jumped in the truck; it's symbolism and whatnot after all.  I would just like to say that jumping in a freakin' garbage truck with those stomach-churning threshers seems like one of the WORST methods of suicide I can imagine.  Why the hell didn't he just use the gun on himself?

In fact, I'd guess the scene is intentionally surreal and extreme (and of course ambiguous).  The 60s scenes start of dreamy and hazy, and only get more so as they go on, unlike the 10s and 30s scenes.  I would personally lean toward the interpretation that the 60s scenes are an opium dream of Noodles', but, of course, Leone obviously wanted the film to be open to ANY interpretation, so I'm not saying I'm RIGHT...

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« #13 : July 03, 2003, 04:43:29 AM »

Sergio himself once reminded one interviewer how Hoffa had disappeared like that, and that Max / the Senator was meant to portray Hoffa...
...
Besides, for what it's worth, even before knowing all this stuff about Max / Hoffa, many years ago while watching that scene for the very first time I thought I recognised the Senator jumping into that truck; and now I feel like Sergio wanted Noodles / the audience to believe the same...

« : July 04, 2003, 05:45:06 AM guybrush »

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« #14 : July 04, 2003, 05:24:29 AM »

Od,I didn't know about Leone's Hoffa comment.Very interesting...

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