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| | |-+  Was Gunther Ruiz German ?
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Question: Do you feel sorry for Gunther after the bridge blowsup ?
Yes   -6 (31.6%)
No   -11 (57.9%)
Don't care   -2 (10.5%)
Total Voters: 14

Author Topic: Was Gunther Ruiz German ?  (Read 18619 times)
Juan Miranda
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2006, 07:33:18 PM »

Ruiz was one of the weakest movie characters I've ever seen.

Blimey, you can't have seen too many films then. HERCULES IN NEW YORK is on my TV at the moment, and words just fail me.

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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2006, 12:33:44 AM »

  I'll admit Ruiz isn't the most developed villain out there, but I think his character is good at what its supposed to do.  He puts a face on the mexican army chasing juan and john/sean, like those scenes with him riding in his armored car.  Otherwise, it'd just be a big army chasing them down.

  Besides, I don't think he's meant to be a villain in the vein of Frank or Indio.  The movie focuses on Juan and John so not a whole lot of background development was given to Ruiz, and I kinda prefer it that way.  It lets us make up our mind about him and who he is.

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Don_Wiley_Quixote
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2006, 06:15:28 AM »


  I don't think he's meant to be a villain in the vein of Frank or Indio.  The movie focuses on Juan and John so not a whole lot of background development was given to Ruiz, and I kinda prefer it that way.  It lets us make up our mind about him and who he is.

Absolutely….This movie encapsulates the world and while it is flawed (like the real world) characters are not black and white…this isn’t an all or nothing picture.

Critics have slammed the film on occasion for its comic book 2-D origins but Leone brought the images alive with his own inimitable spin and style and gave them more depth. He told a story and we’re still talking about over 30 years later.

Your view in the picture like that of a scene of the mountain is changed as you traverse it and your perspective is changed. It’s still the same mountain but viewed from a different angle.

This wasn’t a movie about Gunter Ruiz but with his limited part in the movie his impact was all the more greater. You see his evil machinations and his deep felt satisfaction at the executions. The implication of his ‘slaughter of the innocents’ makes him all the more culpable. The impact of his crimes are psychologically greater when we see the consequences of actions rather than a graphic display of cruelty.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2006, 09:49:40 AM »

Maybe it's the term "character" that has you hung up. Let's say that Ruiz is an impersonal force, like a hurricane or an iceberg (or a T-1000). He serves his function within the narrative without having to be fleshed out (Morricone's cue for him indicates he is inhuman). This is merely cinematic shorthand, a testament to Leone's economy. I for one am glad Ruiz isn't more developed than he is, I have enough to contend with in DYS already.

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« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2007, 07:29:18 AM »

Of course he is!

He's got so a Nazi look-out...  Evil 

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« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2007, 08:58:40 AM »

Right, in the same way that Betterville in GBU is informed by Nazi concentration camps (Jewish musicians playing in the midst of horrors) and the river battle resembles a scene from the Great War.

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« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2007, 09:30:19 AM »

I would go so far as to say that Ruiz was one of the weakest movie characters I've ever seen.
Agreed. His character was poorly developed from the start. As FC said, he was just
another obstacle for Juan and John to overcome. Nothing more and nothing less.
As for feeling compassion for him, I was empathetic towards the character throughout
the film.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 09:32:23 AM by geoman-1 » Logged
marmota-b
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« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2007, 09:36:00 AM »

I cannot speak about such things like his badges, but speaking about his surname... that doesn't sound German. Maybe he has German mother and Mexican father. Grin

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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2007, 09:46:35 AM »

By any accounts...I've never seen anyone clean their teeth so ominously as Ruiz. Sinister!

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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2007, 09:51:52 AM »

By any accounts...I've never seen anyone clean their teeth so ominously as Ruiz. Sinister!

Yes, that's a very... menacing... scene. I get a feeling from it that all his men must be VERY afraid of him.

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« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2007, 03:03:56 PM »

Yeah. It's a great moment. The way it's choreographed to the Morricone score makes it seem he's making some kind of stabbing motion. Must have hurt.

I ultimately think that Leone didnt have a specific agenda with his nationality. I think he was supposed to visually remind an audience of a Nazi tank commander. If anything he's a metaphorical hybrid of Mexican authoritariansm and German Nazism. Its down to audience interpreation at the end of the day. After all Gunther is German sounding and (as somebody has already pointed out) Ruiz is a Spanish sounding surname.

It's pretty provocative nonetheless considering it's an allegorical film (for the politically volatile state of Europe in the 1950's). As Frayling discusses in 'Something to do with Death' Italy was plagued by turmoil in the wake of the 1968 student riots. I spose Ruiz is complimented by the Mussolini look alike at the end. Both their deaths would have been a liberating things to see onscreen. Especially as Ruiz's in particular was so savage.

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« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2007, 07:36:44 AM »

After all Gunther is German sounding and (as somebody has already pointed out) Ruiz is a Spanish sounding surname.

I think it was me. Wink And Leone wanted to have it more symbolical, for sure.

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« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2007, 10:58:37 AM »

I ultimately think that Leone didnt have a specific agenda with his nationality. I think he was supposed to visually remind an audience of a Nazi tank commander. If anything he's a metaphorical hybrid of Mexican authoritariansm and German Nazism. Its down to audience interpreation at the end of the day. After all Gunther is German sounding and (as somebody has already pointed out) Ruiz is a Spanish sounding surname.


I think that the original name of the character is actually "Gutierrez", and he was a Mexican Army Colonel. However, I assume that his name was dubbed "Gunther Ruiz" in the English version so that the name would sound more German-like, since Leone obviously wanted him to act and look like a WWII nazi officer. In the version exhibited in Spain, the name of the character was "Gunther Reza", probably due to the same reason.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2007, 11:06:03 AM by Bandolero » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2007, 11:09:29 AM »

Agreed. His character was poorly developed from the start. As FC said, he was just
another obstacle for Juan and John to overcome. Nothing more and nothing less.
As for feeling compassion for him, I was empathetic towards the character throughout
the film.

Exactly.

DYS wasn't meant to be a hero vs. villain kind of movie. It was meant as a character study where we see the relationship between Juan and Sean develop over time.

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« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2007, 04:34:51 PM »

Agreed. His character was poorly developed from the start. As FC said, he was just
another obstacle for Juan and John to overcome. Nothing more and nothing less.
As for feeling compassion for him, I was empathetic towards the character throughout
the film.

Yeah, but he had a really cool swordfight with Sean Connery. Wink

Oh wait, that's another movie - sorry!

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