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Author Topic: "Now that you called me by name"  (Read 4502 times)
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« on: December 17, 2005, 01:34:37 PM »

Timmy would have survived if the fatal question "What are we going to do with this one Frank?" hadn't been asked.

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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2005, 08:56:53 PM »

Yes, he would have survived, but for Frank's boneheaded henchman.† Frank intention at McBain's ranch was to leave evidence implicating Cheyenne.†
A kid identifying big men in dusters would have been just what the law needed.
As it was, all they needed was a piece of duster, that Frank was forced to leave behind, to chase Cheyenne and gang into the desert.
The look Frank gives his so called partner in crime, after he calls his name,† is priceless.

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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2005, 04:29:05 AM »

But if he'd have survived, he would have been heir to the property.  This would serve no purpose towards the intended goal; ie to clear the McBains out. 

I'm with you, I think he wouldn't have been shot.  The smile Frank gives Timothy is almost fatherly before he's snapped out of it by the question - unlike the sneer of a smile when he tells the young Harmonica 'Keep your loving brother happy'.  At heart, Frank is not a child killer but the combination of the needs of 'business' and his name being uttered made it necessary (IMO).

I don't believe Frank had a plan other than to kill the family - he was supposed to scare them off the land - and to kill three and leave the child in the hope that the kid nails Cheyanne and then sells the land to Morton is too risky (but then, as he discovered, he wasn't a businessman after all).  It was when they went up to Timmy that he had a change of heart and recognising this, his henchman asked 'What are we going to do do with this one ...' (surely he would have known if the plan was to leave a witness) '...Frank?' (Boom.  Decision made).

I have seen the film too many times and thought about this passage even more and I have yet to reach a firm conclusion and doubt I ever will.  Any conclusion I might reach would only be a matter of opinion.

I like the way Quentin Tarantino revisited the relative-murder-witnessed-by-a-child scenario in Kill Bill and hope he concludes the episode in the future like he said he might.

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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2005, 02:09:31 PM »

I think Timmy was dead either way. Even if the henchman didn't mention Frank's name, Frank out of the coldness of his heart would have killed him. You can tell that Timmy will die the second Fonda puts that smile on.

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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2005, 03:49:39 PM »

I think Frank was going to blasr Timmy's freckles off no matter what.  When the henchman mentions the name "Frank", Frank smiles that little smile at now having "justification" for the defreckling.

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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2005, 05:25:43 PM »

No. The smile is wiped off his face when he's asked the question.

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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2005, 08:00:06 PM »

But he gets it back...right before he pulls the trigger.

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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2005, 02:12:58 PM »

That's the same smile as the 'keep your loving brother happy' ... look at the smile before the question and his reaction to the question.

Besides if he was going to kill poor, cute little Timmy anyway, why would him being called by name have anything to do with it.

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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2005, 02:20:55 PM »

The first time I saw it I thought it was a flashback of little Charles Bronson poorly presented as himself but as a little red headed Irish boy. That's where I thoguht the revenge came from. So I think the boy would have taken up the idea Harmonica had of revenge (though he would be disappointed by the fact that Harmonica beat him to it.) 

You can't really argue that Frank was going to kill him anyway BECAUSE he had learned his lesson of not killing the victim (Bronson). He didn't know he was after him. Now you can argue this with other reasons like the coldness of his heart.

Interesting topic Half Soldier.

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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2005, 02:53:40 PM »

Just reading that Beebs reminded me of another theory I once had (I said I've thought about it a lot).  Maybe  letting the child live (either young Harmonica or Timmy) is part of the power-trip.  He's saying 'You saw what I've just done and for as long as you live you'll think about what I've just done and you'll always know that it was me - the face you are looking at'.  The question turned him back into what he was there for - to clear Sweetwater of the McBains.

In Timmys' case, Franks facial expressions before and after the question do not match this theory but it fits the character and the story.


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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2005, 12:33:38 PM »

Well, I think we CAN use the argument that Frank has learned his lesson in letting Harmonica, and who knows how many countless others, live.  When we see the flashbacks Frank looks relatively young so itís safe to say that he wasnít the accomplished killer and murderer that he is in the rest of the film.  He may be tormented by his past and feels paronoid about the witnesses he had left alive in his youth coming back to avenge their loved ones death.  Iím sure that is why he sends the three henchmen to the train depot at the beginning of the movie to dispatch Harmonica regardless of knowing who he was or not.  Frank figures that heís killed too many people and left to many people pissed off at him that as he grows older and wiser he knows that there are going to be people after him.  The older Frank figures better not to leave any witnesses and has already made up his mind that he is going to kill little Timmy.  Itís just a convenient out for him and can lay the guilt and blame of killing a child on the stupid guy who blurts out his name.

Iím under the impression that when Frank was younger he wasnít a killer of women and children but as he got older and more numb to the killings he does become a child killer. 

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