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Noodles_8
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« on: November 08, 2005, 12:56:25 PM »

I have seen this movie many times and think it is one of the most underated films of all time. It is a work of extraordinary genius.

Recently I obtained the DVD version which has commentary by Richard Shickel(hope I spelled it right) the former movie critic from the New York Times.

He advanced the theory that everything that took place in the movie was a dream by Noodles. I'm embarrassed to say that this possibility never occurred to me. After all, the movie does open up and close with Noodles getting high in the opium den and there is a certain haze to much of the movie. The movie did show a certain aspect of American life and showed it brilliantly, but could it all be shown through Noodle's dream?

Any theories?

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Dlanor
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2005, 03:44:39 PM »

In fact Noodles remembers his life in the opium den, this is not really a "dream" but memories, maybe he idealized his past a litlle, but everybody has the tendancy to do that about his past. But for the events wich took place after (I mean after the gang being killed), Noodle imagines all that, extrapolates all that because he doesn't accepts the death of the members of the gang and his split up with Deborah.
  The elements wich tends to prooves that this a dream are the following:

-The death of Max is the more obvious solution, this unlike faking of events by Max hiding his own identity, and becoming a senator is really unlikely.

-The fact that the old Deborah is identical to the young one (lol). It proves that Noodles sees what he wants to see. He wants to see Deborah as he loves her and he prefers to imagine all this story about Max because he doesn't accept his death.

-The wite light chosed by Tonino Delli Colli gives to the whole movie a "dream" feeling.

-Plus in the movie the characters seem to be separated and don't really listen to and understand each other, especially for Max and Noodles. Noodles progressively disconnects from the world of the gang. Max and Noodles are never on the same weath length, at the end they are near to the point to be stranger to each other.  We do have the feeling that Noodles belongs to another movie.

« Last Edit: November 08, 2005, 03:47:01 PM by Dlanor » Logged
Noodles_8
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2005, 04:02:11 PM »

Thanks Dlanor, all excellent points that you make, especially the point about Deborah's perpetual youth while everyone was older.

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Blueberry
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2005, 05:01:55 AM »

Go back a while on this board and you'll find all the theories, explanations, arguments, interpretations, and analysis you'll ever want, and then some, on the dream theory.

For a while back then I more or less decided that my attitude to this was to be: who cares?

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Amaze
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2005, 07:10:04 AM »

In fact Noodles remembers his life in the opium den, this is not really a "dream" but memories, maybe he idealized his past a litlle, but everybody has the tendancy to do that about his past. But for the events wich took place after (I mean after the gang being killed), Noodle imagines all that, extrapolates all that because he doesn't accepts the death of the members of the gang and his split up with Deborah.


makes sense to me.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2005, 04:07:15 PM »


For a while back then I more or less decided that my attitude to this was to be: who cares?
I'll take a double helping of that.

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Dlanor
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2005, 12:38:49 AM »

He might have use the search button, so? Undecided

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Concorde
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2005, 06:21:12 AM »

Do you guys really, truly think it was all a dream?  Shocked

You think a gangster in the 1920s took a snooze in an opium den and idly composed "Yesterday," the most successful pop song of all time, and even reworked it in a Muzak arrangement? And that he then invented what '60s Buicks look like? And dreamed up television broadcasting as an added extra?

Sounds like Noodles isn't the only heavy drug user around here....  Grin

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Dlanor
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2005, 06:49:17 AM »

Do you guys really, truly think it was all a dream?  Shocked

You think a gangster in the 1920s took a snooze in an opium den and idly composed "Yesterday," the most successful pop song of all time, and even reworked it in a Muzak arrangement? And that he then invented what '60s Buicks look like? And dreamed up television broadcasting as an added extra?

Sounds like Noodles isn't the only heavy drug user around here....  Grin


Good point, definitely good point. We could say that he doesn't hear the music (the music is for the audience). But concerning the TV... You may be right, around 1930 (not 1920), there wasn't many guys who have anticpated TV, in a such a way anyway, if it was, it wasn't the guy of the street...

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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2005, 09:00:15 AM »

Do you guys really, truly think it was all a dream?  Shocked

You think a gangster in the 1920s took a snooze in an opium den and idly composed "Yesterday," the most successful pop song of all time, and even reworked it in a Muzak arrangement? And that he then invented what '60s Buicks look like? And dreamed up television broadcasting as an added extra?




bravo TIM bravo.

i never did like the whole "dream" theory at all.



kodos to u sir.
i owe u a beer.

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Dlanor
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2005, 09:53:19 AM »

But wasn't it Leone himself who said it was a dream? Undecided

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Amaze
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2005, 10:24:44 AM »

what does it say in the script?

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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2005, 10:50:32 AM »

But wasn't it Leone himself who said it was a dream? Undecided

he said that is one way to interperate it.

he did not flat out say it was a dream.




even if he did u can always disagree with a director, though it is there vision. people do that all the time especially with paintings.(people say something contrary to what the artist says)

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Alan Shearer 9
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2005, 12:07:50 PM »

open to interpretation...

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Noodles_8
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2005, 12:15:50 PM »

True, you do have to stretch your imagination a little to see it as a dream. Of course Noodles couldn't know about The Beatles or Buicks. But I think SL was trying to show how part of American society developed and did it through this dream.

Can anyone answer me this.   If Max becomes the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, how reasonable is it that neither Noodles nor Moe have any idea what the U.S. Secretary of Commerce looks like. I'm sure there are newspapers in Buffalo and in New York where Moe lives. There is no cable T.V., but there is network T.V. and nobody knows who Commissioner Bailey is.

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