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Author Topic: Did women like rape scenes ?  (Read 18631 times)
aaronson
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« on: April 29, 2003, 05:29:09 AM »

I'm very astonished and a little bit disgusted by the rape thema in Leone films.
    Remember:
  -   FAFOD:  The woman is not raped but she is obliged to leave her husband and her son and must live with Ramon.Not for sewing activities.  
  -   FAFDM:  Colonel Mortimer's sister is raped by El Indio, the scene is recurrent
  -   GBU:  Bill Carson 's girl friend seems to have been  raped by singing soldiers
  -   OUITW: Jill Mac Bain (well- prepared by Harmonica) was attacked by two excited guys.
  She also made love with Franck ... in order to stay alive.
    -  FOD: Rod Steiger (I don't remember the name of the character's) shows his dick and oblige a woman to touch it and...I let you imagine
    - OUATIA: Great, TWO rapes scenes for the same price, in the Jewelery and in a car.    
 
So, I agree that murders and rapes scenes were both frequent in the wild wild west.
But sorry I'm shocking by the way is showed: comic, glamourous, colored  . Leone delivered many excuses, the same reasons usually the rapers told when they are arrested:

   ...  She is a whore (Bill Carson' girl friend, Jill Mac Bain..) , ...she likes that (Jill Mac Bain, Eve in the jewellery ), ....she was already making love (Mortimer'sister), ....she is an arrogant and rich white woman (FOD), .... Oh the guy is handsome ( Gian Maria Volonte), ......she excited him for a long time (Deborah).

   I don't know if women like westerns and Leone films but I'm sure that Sergio was a little bit twisted  (more or less than fatty Hitchcock ?)  
 Have anybody informations about his sexual life ?  

  I'm specially sad for Claudia who was raped very young (in the true life it seems less funny).  Angry Sad Embarrassed

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Jon
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2003, 11:34:39 AM »

As far as I know Sergio was happily married for many years.I agree,there is a disturbing element to the treatment of women in his films,but the only scene I find a bit offensive is the FOD one which is seemingly intended to be funny[otherwise I love the film].The one in OUATIA is horrid,but it is the culmination of Noodles'somewhat twisted view of Deborah,there is no way it could have developed in a normal fashion.As to whether Leone himself has this view,well he did describe the Dedorah rape as 'an act of love',but possibly he meant it from the point of view of Noodles,not himself.Interesting subject though,would be interesting to read what others think.

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Il Buono
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2003, 03:28:24 PM »

I must agree with you, Aaronson, but I must admit it doesn't really bother me in all films but OUTIA.  I'd rather not have the rape sequences in that film.  It kind of spoiled the fun for me, especially the second with Deborah is way too long and disturbing.  

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Christopher
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2003, 08:25:19 PM »

Rape is disturbing. I wouldn't want to feel "entertained" by a rape scene.

I guess you could ask, is there a reason for the rape scene? Speaking of Hitchcock (who's a favorite of mine), he did have a rape scene in one of his movies named Marnie. This scene does absolutely nothing for the plot. It is completely pointless, and would be my only complaint about an otherwise good movie.

Stanley Kubrick also comes to mind. I've heard that people thought he hated women because of the treatment some women got in something like A Clockwork Orange. But in reality, regardless of the disturbing rape scene in it, Kubrick was married to the same woman for a very long time and had two daughters with her. He was known as being a very family-oriented person.

So with all of that said, I don't think you can tell what type of person Sergio was just by all of the violence towards women that might exist in his work. I don't know a lot about Leone's life, but I doubt that his "sexual life" has much to do with this in particular.

« Last Edit: April 29, 2003, 08:26:45 PM by Christopher » Logged
aaronson
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2003, 04:09:34 AM »

Jon, Christopher, Il Buono thanks a lot.  I appreciate your point of view.

  I 'am not sure that to be married for a long time with the same woman and have daughters is a sufficient  insurance against consequences of childhood traumas and old man vices ( look at the dark side of Hitch , and at the testament of  Stanley "Eye Wide shut" ) Dont forget Bill Clinton.

 I agree with you , its very easy to enjoy murders watching westerns and police stories (Peckinpah, John Woo..Sergio) But it's quite impossible with rape scenes.
When I was kid I was deeply shocked by  Last train to Gun Hill with Kirk Douglas and Man from high plains with Gary Cooper .

By the way  I like very much the fact that Sergio supressed some of boring west symbols:
  -  The kindly  and ( a little bit stupid) fully- feathered Saloon Girl
  -  The brave young WASP virgin  
  -  The female warrior,  Calamity Jane like.

  But he never found a new and specific area for women characters (except Jill Mac Bain and may be Debra..)  

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Jon
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2003, 10:44:47 AM »

Rape is disturbing. I wouldn't want to feel "entertained" by a rape scene.

I guess you could ask, is there a reason for the rape scene? Speaking of Hitchcock (who's a favorite of mine), he did have a rape scene in one of his movies named Marnie. This scene does absolutely nothing for the plot. It is completely pointless, and would be my only complaint about an otherwise good movie.

Stanley Kubrick also comes to mind. I've heard that people thought he hated women because of the treatment some women got in something like A Clockwork Orange. But in reality, regardless of the disturbing rape scene in it, Kubrick was married to the same woman for a very long time and had two daughters with her. He was known as being a very family-oriented person.

So with all of that said, I don't think you can tell what type of person Sergio was just by all of the violence towards women that might exist in his work. I don't know a lot about Leone's life, but I doubt that his "sexual life" has much to do with this in particular.

Good points!I also love Hitchcock,who was married to the same women for atleast 50 years,never cheated as far as I know[I have read 2 of his biographies]and yet some of his films,brilliant as they are,such as Vertigo and Marnie,do have a misogynist point of view.

I do think that a rape scene,if it is to be in the film,SHOULD be disturbing.I find the rape in OUATIA hard to watch,especially as I actually know someone who was raped in real life,but rape does happen,Robert De Niro's character WOULD have done what he did,and this by no means suggests that Leone condones it.It does weaken the film a little because we lose sympathy for Noodles.

Compare this to Straw Dogs,yeah,for most of it's length a good film,but here we have a rape that turns into midway through into a love scene,as Susan George's character suddenly responds sexually to her attacker.This I do find offensive.and how about anotherr film,Naked,in which the director Mike Leigh appears to condone his hero's horrid treatment of women.I don;t think Sergio can bec accused of that.

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shorty larsen
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2003, 12:51:01 PM »

I agree. Rape DOES HAPPEN. It exists everywhere, specially in the poor countries. I don't know if Leone was obsessed by this idea, if it was a vice or if he suffered himself a rape, or someone in his family.

I think the rape scene in OUTA is extremely essential in order to understand Noodles personnality and his extremely complicated relationship with Deborah.

If Leone didn't include the scene we had lost a very important detail in the understanding of De Niro character.

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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2003, 04:02:44 PM »

I'm specially sad for Claudia who was raped very young (in the true life it seems less funny).  Angry Sad Embarrassed

Excuse me if I'm being naive, but what do you mean by this?  Huh  Can I assume that this was why she had the illegitimate child in 1959?  Or am I completely misinterperting you?

(P.S.: BTW, I was Valentin Zukovsky, but I'm on an "X-Files" kick, so excuse me.)

« Last Edit: April 30, 2003, 06:55:16 PM by The Cigarette-Smoking Man » Logged


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Il Buono
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2003, 09:53:19 AM »

Quote
I think the rape scene in OUTA is extremely essential in order to understand Noodles personnality and his extremely complicated relationship with Deborah.

If Leone didn't include the scene we had lost a very important detail in the understanding of De Niro character.

Ok, but my question is: Wouldn't it have been better not having the rape sequence in order to get more in touch with the character.  Those are really scenes were we stop identify with the character.  I can understand why Leone put it in, to complicate the character, to not make a Hollywood-hero out of him, but I believe the scenes were not that necessary.  It didn't help me really understand the character.  But it is only my humble opinion...

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Jon
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2003, 12:44:28 PM »

Possibly.I think the film would maybe have been more enjoyable,may possibly have been more successful commercially,and more appealing to women[my wife refuses to watch the Deborah rape scene],but I don't think,artistically it would have been as good.Don't forget that Leone,who often claimed that The Godfather was 'soft',set out to portray gangsters as they really were.From a viewer's point of view the scene does weaken the film a bit,we lose sympathy for Noodles and only regain it a little bit in the 1968 scenes near the end,and even then not completely.

I admire Leone for this a great deal,but yes,if the scene was removed it may have made it more enjoyable.

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guybrush
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2003, 01:26:53 AM »

I think the rape scene in OUTA is extremely essential in order to understand Noodles personnality and his extremely complicated relationship with Deborah.

If Leone didn't include the scene we had lost a very important detail in the understanding of De Niro character.

I agree 100% with Shorty.
In my opinion the rape scene is not there to be enjoyed or hated, nor should we try to deduce anything on the director's sexual tastes.
Leone made the rape happen because that would help us better understand Noodles, his flaws (he's far from perfection, to say the least...), and his frustration after realising he will never get to share a lifetime with Debrah because of his troubled background.
Besides after the rape we are left with the clear perception that Noodles is somehow shameful and perfectly aware he has lost the love of his life once for all.

...Oh yes, after the rape I remember I felt more sympatethic with Debrah and liked Noodles less, but... don't you share my opinion that, once we know that the rape scene has been shot, having it removed would make Noodles' character uncomplete?

Aaronson, your question brought me to remember why I like this movie so much: would have we loved OUATIA, despite its crude scenes and its main character's big flaws, had it not been directed by Leone and played by the best De Niro of all times (not to mention Morricone's themes, of course)? Hmmm... don't think so.

Please guys let me know what you think about it.


« Last Edit: May 02, 2003, 04:50:45 AM by guybrush » Logged

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aaronson
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2003, 04:41:11 AM »

Excuse me if I'm being naive, but what do you mean by this?  Huh  Can I assume that this was why she had the illegitimate child in 1959?  Or am I completely misinterperting you?

(P.S.: BTW, I was Valentin Zukovsky, but I'm on an "X-Files" kick, so excuse me.)

10 or 15 years ago , I don't exactly remember when, Claudia confessed  that she was raped when she was 16 years old by a friend of her parents. And she was obliged to see him during two years. It seemed a very heavy and painfull secret for her.She wait many years before to be able to say the whole story.I remember I laught as a stupid macho about this two years affair.  So the scene with Franck  (a very beautiful scene, really the only  scene of sensuality in Leone movie) looks like a repetition.
I don't know if Sergio knew this story , may be it's only a coincidence...  

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aaronson
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2003, 05:05:39 AM »


Aaronson, your question brought me to remember why I like this movie so much: would have we loved OUATIA, despite its crude scenes and its main character's big flaws, had it not been directed by Leone and played by the best De Niro of all times as Noodles? Hmmm... don't think so (not to mention Morricone's scores, of course).

Please let me know what you think about it.



I love Leone'movies specially OUTIA and be sure I have a great respect for him.
I think he is courageous: in the US movies there is always a politically correct balance: if the bad belongs to a community (Italian, Chinese, Black..) people must immediately show a good guy from the same community (Andy Garcia in Untouchables, Chinese cop in Year of dragoon..thousands of examples) .But Sergio shows us women and kids who received bad treatments (rapes but also violences and murders).But he never makes the balance with kind scenes of love or happyness. He shows  the dust, the sun, the sweat, the death and the rape. He is honest.
But is it only a personal choice or something intimate for him?
Is it a revenge against women ? I don't know.
When Jill mac Bain said to Cheyenne: 'you could use me and even call your friend .. You know no women was dead by that .Alll that I should  need after , it is a hot water bath to forget your dirty. Is it Leone opinion ?


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shorty larsen
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2003, 02:49:21 PM »

One more time, Roberto Bartuals article on this very site can help us.

We can agree or not with Bartual but he has good ideas. Here it goes:

"At the respect of the already commented scene of our film in which the child Noodles spies Deborah through the gap on the wall (voyeurism as a medium to avoid facing with the loved person by the insecurity the physic produces) Carlos Aguilar comments in his book about Sergio Leone (1) the possibility of an autobiographical element: at what extent is it not the same Leone the one who spies the customary starlette in her dressing-room back in his young times.

The fact that this particular scene had a correspondence with another similar in the real life of Sergio Leone does not matter so much as that in the relations Noodles-Deborah and Cheyenne-Jill he is giving us a sincere confession of his own insecurity in his relations with the females, maybe with a somewhat pathologic bitterness, maybe with a touch of misogyny, but sincere in any case; a confession that until he filmed Once Upon A Time In The West he had tried to evade leaning in rather sly and cynical vein which had popularized with his spaguetti-western. It's needed to note that this confession works much better in Once Upon A Time In The West than in Once Upon A Time In America because of the complexity of his attitude towards women in that film; it is not only the platonic and bitter love, although sincere, of Cheyenne to Jill (Noodles and Deborah) but also the desire of sexual possession of Frank (Fonda) to Jill (that also we can observe in the raping of Deborah) and the desire of Harmonica (Bronson) to manipulate her.

Leone reveals then, his attitude towards women in many levels: honesty, love and adoration (mixed up with an aedipical association in the case of Cheyenne), in a first level; contempt and anxiety of possession to calm the repressed sexual desire, in a second level; and at least, a will of manipulation for the consecution of some objectives, in a third level, much more visible in Once Upon A Time In The West. Nevertheless this first level of honesty and tenderness towards women is the one which dominates in the work of Leone as opposed to Hitchcock who without giving up to open his soul sincerely to the spectator (Vertigo, Notorious, there is less honesty in Marnie) the sexual desire and the misogyny are the things which are more powerful, not enough of course to hid the tremendous romanticism there is all around. The same way Leone opposes to Buñuel, keeping distances with the cruel cinema of which the Spanish filmmaker and the English are masters, to choose a path of a different romanticism".


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aaronson
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2003, 02:32:02 AM »

 Shorty , thanks a lot.It's an important contribution.  Smiley Wink Cheesy

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