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« on: July 28, 2006, 03:16:57 PM »

Firstly, this is a wonderful site for anyone, like me, who is passionate about SL. I've been a fan since way back when FISTFUL first appeared on our cinema screens. I've seen all the movies hundreds of times at the cinema, on video, on TV and DVD and never get tired of watching. It is, however, GIU LA TESTA that I wish to make some comments on in the first instance.
I have read most of the comments re Mallory's name and, being Irish, I can say with absolute certainty that his real name is the Gaelic name Sean.

Now, there should be a little slanted line over the "a" which is called a fada. This signifies that the "a" is long and that the name is pronounced "Shawn" rather than "Shon". When first asked his name by Juan, Mallory says "Sean" but, when he realises that Juan won't understand that name he changes it to the more-better-known and anglicised version of Sean which is John. This also sets up for the movie's sake the "destiny" of John and Juan, or Johnny and Johnny.

In relation to the name John H. Mallory in the United Irishman I believe this to be a serious error in the movie. No Republican newspaper would have printed a "wanted" ad in respect of one of their members. That piece of journalism would have appeared in one of the "ordinary" pro-British papers and they would have used John instead of Sean.
I have seen the comments that the Sean, Sean, Sean in the music is possibly referring to three Seans and that Warbeck is the third one but I don't personally believe that. There are many points in the movie where only Sean Sean is sung and during the later "killing" flashback scenes only one Sean is sung almost in a "distressful" fashion. David Warbeck's name in the movie is irrelevant. We don't even know whether he is Sean's friend or his brother or even a cousin. In my opinion the Sean, Sean, Sean is Mallory's theme alone. I would go a step further and suggest that the Sean, Sean, Sean represents the voice of the Irish girl that Mallory was in love with calling to him and, during the flashbacks in which Warbeck was killed, even chiding him or remonstrating with him for what he did. In the Ireland of yesteryear but not so much today the multiple use of words was very common in bad times. Let me give you a simple example of a husband arriving home yet again in a drunken state. His long-suffering wife would be heard to say, "Oh, Sean, Sean, Sean, what am I to do with you at all, at all".
I also disagree with one particular item in Prof. Frayling's commentary when he says that, in the final long flashback, Sean is happy to see the girl kissing Warbeck. In my opinion it is the fact that he is NOT happy with this which is a major point in the movie and is one of the reasons why he has a double reason for shooting him and ultimately goes to Mexico totally disillusioned with both revolution and love and now only "believing in dynamite".
Life for him is over. That flashback appears to happen on the same day out as the very first one we see but Leone splits the sequence into two parts so he can fool us and then surprise us with the true solution at the very end - the point of dying.
In the first part we are left in no doubt that Sean and the girl are the lovers. Warbeck, friend/brother/cousin though he is, is the odd one out.
In the second part it begins the same way as they run across the fields and Sean gets to kiss her again at the tree while Warbeck looks on. But then things change suddenly. Warbeck moves ever closer and he is, in effect, signalling to the girl "What about me?". Sean sees the girl looking past and behind him and turns around with a puzzled look on his face to see Warbeck looking at her. He turns back to kiss her again but as he does she almost
brushes him aside as she flings her arms around Warbeck (To emphasise this the straw hat is brought into close up as her right arm embraces him). The next shot of Sean is of him smiling broadly but suddenly the smile begins to fade as he for the first time realises that the kiss between the other two is passionate and that his girl and his friend/brother/cousin have been cheating on him all the while. As the shot slowly goes out of focus you can
see his lips forming the words "Oh, fxxk". In the flashback in the pub Warbeck has the choice of nodding or shaking his head when asked "Is that him?" by the British soldier. He goes for a yes and Sean realises that he is about to be not only betrayed, captured and probably executed but that Warbeck will "save himself" AND get the girl forever for himself. He then "judges once in his life" and is left to bear the consequences.
BTW, I love Coburn's Irish accent.
Sorry to go on a bit for a first post :-)

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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2006, 03:41:42 PM »

a husband arriving home yet again in a drunken state. His long-suffering wife would be heard to say, "Oh, Sean, Sean, Sean, what am I to do with you at all, at all".


sound familiar Banjo? Grin


Thanks Sucker for your take on the matter of the significance  of the name "Sean" in the film.
Personally I have no real opinion on the matter. I'm never one to look further into films for fear of over analyzing everything. I have made some attmepts to make sense of the matter at hand but I really am not too "into it".
I take the film for what it is.

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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2006, 05:00:31 PM »

yes thanks for the insight,  Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2006, 06:19:54 PM »

Firstly, this is a wonderful site for anyone, like me, who is passionate about SL. I've been a fan since way back when FISTFUL first appeared on our cinema screens. I've seen all the movies hundreds of times at the cinema, on video, on TV and DVD and never get tired of watching. It is, however, GIU LA TESTA that I wish to make some comments on in the first instance.
I have read most of the comments re Mallory's name and, being Irish, I can say with absolute certainty that his real name is the Gaelic name Sean.

Now, there should be a little slanted line over the "a" which is called a fada. This signifies that the "a" is long and that the name is pronounced "Shawn" rather than "Shon". When first asked his name by Juan, Mallory says "Sean" but, when he realises that Juan won't understand that name he changes it to the more-better-known and anglicised version of Sean which is John. This also sets up for the movie's sake the "destiny" of John and Juan, or Johnny and Johnny.

In relation to the name John H. Mallory in the United Irishman I believe this to be a serious error in the movie. No Republican newspaper would have printed a "wanted" ad in respect of one of their members. That piece of journalism would have appeared in one of the "ordinary" pro-British papers and they would have used John instead of Sean.
I have seen the comments that the Sean, Sean, Sean in the music is possibly referring to three Seans and that Warbeck is the third one but I don't personally believe that. There are many points in the movie where only Sean Sean is sung and during the later "killing" flashback scenes only one Sean is sung almost in a "distressful" fashion. David Warbeck's name in the movie is irrelevant. We don't even know whether he is Sean's friend or his brother or even a cousin. In my opinion the Sean, Sean, Sean is Mallory's theme alone. I would go a step further and suggest that the Sean, Sean, Sean represents the voice of the Irish girl that Mallory was in love with calling to him and, during the flashbacks in which Warbeck was killed, even chiding him or remonstrating with him for what he did. In the Ireland of yesteryear but not so much today the multiple use of words was very common in bad times. Let me give you a simple example of a husband arriving home yet again in a drunken state. His long-suffering wife would be heard to say, "Oh, Sean, Sean, Sean, what am I to do with you at all, at all".
I also disagree with one particular item in Prof. Frayling's commentary when he says that, in the final long flashback, Sean is happy to see the girl kissing Warbeck. In my opinion it is the fact that he is NOT happy with this which is a major point in the movie and is one of the reasons why he has a double reason for shooting him and ultimately goes to Mexico totally disillusioned with both revolution and love and now only "believing in dynamite".
Life for him is over. That flashback appears to happen on the same day out as the very first one we see but Leone splits the sequence into two parts so he can fool us and then surprise us with the true solution at the very end - the point of dying.
In the first part we are left in no doubt that Sean and the girl are the lovers. Warbeck, friend/brother/cousin though he is, is the odd one out.
In the second part it begins the same way as they run across the fields and Sean gets to kiss her again at the tree while Warbeck looks on. But then things change suddenly. Warbeck moves ever closer and he is, in effect, signalling to the girl "What about me?". Sean sees the girl looking past and behind him and turns around with a puzzled look on his face to see Warbeck looking at her. He turns back to kiss her again but as he does she almost
brushes him aside as she flings her arms around Warbeck (To emphasise this the straw hat is brought into close up as her right arm embraces him). The next shot of Sean is of him smiling broadly but suddenly the smile begins to fade as he for the first time realises that the kiss between the other two is passionate and that his girl and his friend/brother/cousin have been cheating on him all the while. As the shot slowly goes out of focus you can
see his lips forming the words "Oh, fxxk". In the flashback in the pub Warbeck has the choice of nodding or shaking his head when asked "Is that him?" by the British soldier. He goes for a yes and Sean realises that he is about to be not only betrayed, captured and probably executed but that Warbeck will "save himself" AND get the girl forever for himself. He then "judges once in his life" and is left to bear the consequences.
BTW, I love Coburn's Irish accent.
Sorry to go on a bit for a first post :-)

Hey Sucker, Duck!   Grin

Welcome to the boards. I really like your analysis of DYS, the Sean chants could very possibly be the girl who has chosen Warbeck. It could also just be the distant memories of the good old days in Ireland.

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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2006, 07:02:09 AM »

Welcome aboard Sucker!

I concur with your analysis of the final flashback scene, 100%. I also believe Coburn's accent was more than adequate.
If you carefully watch this scene, you will also notice
how well choreographed it was, analogous to a ballet.
The scene really pieces the movie together and I think it is a travesty for any version to exclude the full length scene Angry

BTW Sucker, have you had the opportunity to visit the Castle or Pub film location sites??

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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2006, 06:47:22 AM »

Thanks for the welcome, Guys.
Geoman, yes I have been to the locations recently. After seeing the original movie at the Cinema way back I searched for them but gave up assuming that it was unlikely that Leone would travel all the way to Ireland to film such short (but vital) scenes and that he probably built an Irish Pub set at Cinecitta and used maybe someplace in Italy for the outdoor.
Imagine my surprise when I learnt only this year that between 1985 and 1997 I would have walked past that pub (James Toner's in Baggott Street) at least twice every week not knowing that that was IT!!!!
Unbelievably, in a completely different today's Ireland, the pub is exactly the same as it was then.
Howth Castle where the outdoors were shot hasn't changed either. The driveway that you see in the movie leads up to a golf club and a Transport Museum but even on a busy day you can get periods when you can just walk up there, stop and quietly ponder that this is where it all happened - a strange feeling. I know it's only a movie but once you get caught up in one - well, I'm sure people here know what I mean.


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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2006, 01:43:48 PM »

Thanks for the welcome, Guys.
Geoman, yes I have been to the locations recently. After seeing the original movie at the Cinema way back I searched for them but gave up assuming that it was unlikely that Leone would travel all the way to Ireland to film such short (but vital) scenes and that he probably built an Irish Pub set at Cinecitta and used maybe someplace in Italy for the outdoor.
Imagine my surprise when I learnt only this year that between 1985 and 1997 I would have walked past that pub (James Toner's in Baggott Street) at least twice every week not knowing that that was IT!!!!
Unbelievably, in a completely different today's Ireland, the pub is exactly the same as it was then.
Howth Castle where the outdoors were shot hasn't changed either. The driveway that you see in the movie leads up to a golf club and a Transport Museum but even on a busy day you can get periods when you can just walk up there, stop and quietly ponder that this is where it all happened - a strange feeling. I know it's only a movie but once you get caught up in one - well, I'm sure people here know what I mean.



Do you have any photos from the trip? We'd all like to see them.   Smiley

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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2006, 04:23:50 PM »


In relation to the name John H. Mallory in the United Irishman I believe this to be a serious error in the movie. No Republican newspaper would have printed a "wanted" ad in respect of one of their members. That piece of journalism would have appeared in one of the "ordinary" pro-British papers and they would have used John instead of Sean.
Thanks, Sucker. I had a sense that something like this was operating, but I didn't know enough about the subject to be sure. I appreciate the confirmation.

I'm also glad that you feel Mallory was a "Sean." I don't understand why some feel he can't be both John and Sean; moving across cultures, people acquire any number of names.

I like your insight into the use of repetition in Irish-English speech. It's a great point and one I've never seen made anywhere else. I should point out, however, that even granting it, your idea does not necessarily exclude other understandings. That is, the "Sean, Sean, Sean" could represent the girl remonstrating with Mallory (great, great idea), whilst simultaneously invoking the three male characters. I like the My Three Seans concept, mostly, I guess, because I thought of it.

I must say I'm very disappointed that you cannot see your way to accepting SL's idea of paradise: a menage a trois in green Ireland. People see a three-way and immediately think there has to be a problem. But let's remember when DYS was made, right in the middle of the free love era. David Crosby even wrote a song on this subject. And Mallory may have been idealizing the memory anyway. Let's not forget, also, that there were plenty of friendship stories in the Middle Ages where men essentially shared a woman, or where a man would give up a woman for the sake of his male friend (something of this survives into Shakespeare's Two Noble Kinsman). Leone, the foremost filmmaker of male heterosexual friendship, would have certainly been partial to this theme.

How, then, to explain Mallory's look of unhappiness at the end of the long flashback? Well, I think it's hard to impute anything to the look he gives (I'm not even sure he's displaying unhappiness, just fatigue at having to hold a smile for so long in slo-mo), but even granting that unhappiness, an alternative interpretation occurs: we are at the point where Mallory is coming out of the flashback (as the distorting music signals). Mallory knows that the beautiful dream must give way to his death; might it not be possible for him to project this disappointment into the flashback?

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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2006, 06:20:21 PM »

I'm going with Dave Jenkins on this. I never liked the whole "they were having an affair" idea. I like much better the "menage a trois" idea, and with Sean dying he's just trying to think of happier times, and any frown that comes over his face is either Coburn's face getting tired for holding that big grin (never thought up that explanation before DJ suggested it), or that Sean's starting to come out of the flashback because he's about to die.

Fun to read your comments Sucker!

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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2006, 01:11:31 PM »

Peacemaker.
I'm working on the photos. The pub is just a few miles downtown from me so, hopefully, soon.

Dave and Beau.
Nothing would please me more than to agree a menage-a-trois and, indeed, for many years I more or less believed this to be most likely the case. Apart from the cinema presentations I saw when it was first released  ALL of which included a final flashback of some sort, over the years the countless videos and TV viewings either had no final flashback at all, at all or it was cut short. However, having seen the full version again in recent times (the most recent being the showing at the London NFT last week) I believe that the final key to understanding it for me is Morricone's  (the genius) music in that final flashback.
All is sweet and honey (violins, Edda's voice singing Sean, Sean, etc) while Sean kisses the girl. Then, as I mentioned in my first post, the mood suddenly changes and, apart from Sean's initial puzzled look around at Warbeck, the music mood change hits me straight between the eyes and ears. If there was nothing else there only sweet and honey the violins and Edda would just have continued until the end of the flashback. This, to me, is the "sucker" punch in the movie and is what makes the whole story so additionally poignant.
Just one other point. The "Revolution/Confusion" scene in the cafe. Watch Sean's expression when he says, "The man who knows what he wants stands a good chance o' gettin' it". At first I thought that was just a throwaway line but Leone never puts anything in that is unimportant.  I'm beginning to think that he is referring to Warbeck here - he is possibly stating here how Warbeck used the confusion of the revolution in Ireland to "get what he wants", the girl.
Now, of course, I am not claiming that my interpretations are correct and have read and taken in everything that has been posted on this great website. I can only give my conclusions based on what I see and hear and much as I would have liked the "menage" I can't go with it based on the above evidence.

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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2006, 01:19:46 PM »

Peacemaker.
I'm working on the photos. The pub is just a few miles downtown from me so, hopefully, soon.

Dave and Beau.
Nothing would please me more than to agree a menage-a-trois and, indeed, for many years I more or less believed this to be most likely the case. Apart from the cinema presentations I saw when it was first released  ALL of which included a final flashback of some sort, over the years the countless videos and TV viewings either had no final flashback at all, at all or it was cut short. However, having seen the full version again in recent times (the most recent being the showing at the London NFT last week) I believe that the final key to understanding it for me is Morricone's  (the genius) music in that final flashback.
All is sweet and honey (violins, Edda's voice singing Sean, Sean, etc) while Sean kisses the girl. Then, as I mentioned in my first post, the mood suddenly changes and, apart from Sean's initial puzzled look around at Warbeck, the music mood change hits me straight between the eyes and ears. If there was nothing else there only sweet and honey the violins and Edda would just have continued until the end of the flashback. This, to me, is the "sucker" punch in the movie and is what makes the whole story so additionally poignant.
Just one other point. The "Revolution/Confusion" scene in the cafe. Watch Sean's expression when he says, "The man who knows what he wants stands a good chance o' gettin' it". At first I thought that was just a throwaway line but Leone never puts anything in that is unimportant.  I'm beginning to think that he is referring to Warbeck here - he is possibly stating here how Warbeck used the confusion of the revolution in Ireland to "get what he wants", the girl.
Now, of course, I am not claiming that my interpretations are correct and have read and taken in everything that has been posted on this great website. I can only give my conclusions based on what I see and hear and much as I would have liked the "menage" I can't go with it based on the above evidence.

Hey Sucker, your interpretation might be different when I tell you this. There are two versions of the final flashback song. There's version 1 that I really like:

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews23/a%20sergio%20leone%20a%20fistful%20of%20dynamite/A%20Fistful%20of%20Dynamite%20Old%20Comparison%202.mp3

And there's the new version ( version 2 ) which is still good but inferior to the original:

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews23/a%20sergio%20leone%20a%20fistful%20of%20dynamite/A%20Fistful%20of%20Dynamite%20SE%20Comparison%202.mp3

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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2006, 02:38:32 PM »

Peacemaker.
I'm working on the photos. The pub is just a few miles downtown from me so, hopefully, soon.

Dave and Beau.
Nothing would please me more than to agree a menage-a-trois and, indeed, for many years I more or less believed this to be most likely the case. Apart from the cinema presentations I saw when it was first released  ALL of which included a final flashback of some sort, over the years the countless videos and TV viewings either had no final flashback at all, at all or it was cut short. However, having seen the full version again in recent times (the most recent being the showing at the London NFT last week) I believe that the final key to understanding it for me is Morricone's  (the genius) music in that final flashback.
All is sweet and honey (violins, Edda's voice singing Sean, Sean, etc) while Sean kisses the girl. Then, as I mentioned in my first post, the mood suddenly changes and, apart from Sean's initial puzzled look around at Warbeck, the music mood change hits me straight between the eyes and ears. If there was nothing else there only sweet and honey the violins and Edda would just have continued until the end of the flashback. This, to me, is the "sucker" punch in the movie and is what makes the whole story so additionally poignant.
Just one other point. The "Revolution/Confusion" scene in the cafe. Watch Sean's expression when he says, "The man who knows what he wants stands a good chance o' gettin' it". At first I thought that was just a throwaway line but Leone never puts anything in that is unimportant.  I'm beginning to think that he is referring to Warbeck here - he is possibly stating here how Warbeck used the confusion of the revolution in Ireland to "get what he wants", the girl.
Now, of course, I am not claiming that my interpretations are correct and have read and taken in everything that has been posted on this great website. I can only give my conclusions based on what I see and hear and much as I would have liked the "menage" I can't go with it based on the above evidence.
All interesting stuff there, Sucker. I'll keep all this in mind the next time I watch the movie. Also, I never felt that there's a right or wrong when it comes to these things in films, it's all just how you interpret it. Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2006, 02:51:08 PM »

Peacemaker.

That flashback is not the final one - that's the one with Villega on the steam engine. I'm talking about the one when Sean is dying and Juan has "gone to get dee help".

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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2006, 03:03:23 PM »

Peacemaker.

That flashback is not the final one - that's the one with Villega on the steam engine. I'm talking about the one when Sean is dying and Juan has "gone to get dee help".

Sorry, haven't seen the movie in 2 years.

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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2006, 05:56:02 PM »

Let me give you a simple example of a husband arriving home yet again in a drunken state. His long-suffering wife would be heard to say, "Oh, Sean, Sean, Sean, what am I to do with you at all, at all".

While very persuasive when debating with an English speaking audience, this is surely irrelevant when dealing with Leone. Don't forget he was a man who was convinced the phrase "Duck you sucker" was on every English speakers lips, never mind Morricone, who couldn't speak a word of that language.

Unfortunatly, the definitive chance for the board to finally clear this "Who is Sean" niggle up once and for all was lost when Morricone cancelled his NFT appearence in London a couple of weeks ago.  Sad

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