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Author Topic: Debra and Max love affair beginning ?  (Read 11426 times)
guybrush
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2003, 11:02:19 AM »

Ok, there is no sign of affection between Max and Debra but a LOT of strange sign: When noodles is out of prison Max order him stoppong talking with debra and to join them, Max knows how Noodles lovez Debra, if he isn't jealous, why does he do it?
Well, imho Max is jealous of Deborah, he would never want any woman take his place as the most important person in Noodles' affection. Deborah is definitely the woman Noodles loves, which makes her a sort of rival at Max's eyes.

This does not necessarily mean that Max is gay or something, it just means that Noodles and Noodles' opinions are more important than any woman to him. For instance at a certain point Max kicks Carol out of a room just because he thinks this could please Noodles, whereas Noodles would have never done the same had Deborah been around.

On the other hand Deborah says twice to Noodles something like 'Go Noodles, your mum is calling' when Max calls him. Does this mean that Max is more important than Deborah at Noodles' eyes? Don't think so, imho Noodles is aware that -irrespective of what he might do or say- he would never be the most important thing for Deborah, either because of his background or because of Deborah's will to be a Hollywood star.

To cut it short: Max realised that his affection for Noodles is not fully reciprocated (we could say that their friendship was not perfectly balanced) and therefore he plans to steal Noodles' woman and to let him know about that, just out of revenge.... unless all this revenge stuff is just part of Noodles' dream, created by his sense of guilt for betraying Max, Cockeye and Patsy.


 

« Last Edit: July 15, 2003, 02:56:32 AM by guybrush » Logged

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cedet
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2003, 03:38:02 PM »

another things is quite strange: when Noodle rapped girls (carol and Debra) they are both brunette, but eve is blonde and she seems to be very in love with him.
Once carol comes back into the gang's life she turn into blond...and then noodles starts to hate her...what is the means of the hair color??


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shorty larsen
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2003, 12:41:44 PM »

Human relationships are extremely complicated.

I agree with all that have been said.

I think also that Max and Deborah are both very ambitious and I see their relationship as a very ambicious one. Deborah uses Max and vice versa, in order to be in high society.

The last scene is a symbol of that. The big party with the senator and his wife the great actress....

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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2007, 04:13:42 PM »

No connection. Deborah went to California to get the power and money she always wanted as an actress/singer etc... Logical for her to go to the west coast. Max faked his own death in New York. To start over wouldn't it be obviously clear he couldn't do so in the same city. So crossing the entire country to start over makes perfect sense.

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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2007, 05:13:44 PM »

another things is quite strange: when Noodle rapped girls (carol and Debra) they are both brunette, but eve is blonde and she seems to be very in love with him.
Once carol comes back into the gang's life she turn into blond...and then noodles starts to hate her...what is the means of the hair color??



I remember reading somewhere (it might have been Frayling) that in Italian literary/film models (and possibly elsewhere) brunettes represent women who are taken by force, whereas blondes are innocent ones who are easily obtained.  Something like that, maybe someone could help me out.

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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2007, 08:50:32 AM »

It is clear from the preceding discussion that there is insufficient preparation in the script for the surprise Act III Deborah-Max relationship. (Whatever that relationship is -- are they married, or not?)

After the 35-year hiatus, the screenwriters had a huge problem -- how to wrap up Noodles' story, within some time limit, with respect to each surviving character: Moe, Carol, Donnelly, Deborah and (surprise!) Max. It does this most successfully with Moe and Carol, though really both of them might have been expected to know more than they do (more than they tell, anyway) about Max's survival. There is never even any real attempt to resolve the Donnelly story -- we are shown he's still alive and a powerful union leader, but that's it.

We get a long, static, dialog-heavy backstage scene with Deborah, who has rather too conveniently become a stage actress. Somehow the "Max-survives" secret itself survives that over-written, generality-laden conversation, but for the untimely arrival of Max Jr.

Suddenly we find that long chat was pointless -- it resolved nothing. (At least Deborah -- unlike, say, Carol, or the TV news -- has a plausible reason for wanting to maintain the secret.) Does Noodles turn around, and go back to ask Deborah for some sort of clarification? No. In a 4-hour movie, no time for that, apparently.

We get one more short scene with Deborah at the party, wherein Deborah does little more than greet Noodles anxiously, and still nothing about her relationship with Max is resolved. (Couldn't Noodles have arrived at the party early?) Then Noodles is whisked off to the Study (not the Conservatory, or the Billiard Room) for his final briefing with the outgoing Secretary of Commerce.

So in the end, the answer to the question "Why would Deborah ever take up with a lizard like Max?" is pretty unsatisfying. The only real answer is, "It was convenient for the screenwriters."

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aldog
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2007, 05:21:04 AM »

I'll be frank with you DR.

Much as I'm a blinkered supporter of the film I have to say your points are absolutely spot on. Everything you cite does have to be regarded as a flaw in the Director's conveyance of the plot. I love the way you present it as a 'what does Leone do with the resolution of the characters after 35 years' type of scenerio. And to be honest, in the cut we all refer to, he doesn't do a job - especially the 'apparent' blind spot everyone connected with him seems to be blighted with as to Max's survival, nay, progression as a statesman-like figure and most of all his union with Deborah.

And yet, for this particular enthusiast of the film, somehow all these plot/story weaknesses/frailties do pale into insignificance when set against that visceral impact the movie's emotional core has on the likes of me. It almost makes those shortcomings irrelevant. No other film I can think of has ever made me such an apologist for it. 

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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2007, 05:40:52 AM »

I agree with Don too.  I've always had a problem with the 1968 segments; I think that Max still being alive - not only that, but being with Deborah to boot! - was always far-fetched.  Now I think the scenes themselves are well-written and acted, but still, they're logically ridiculous and seriously stretch credibility.

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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2007, 11:45:35 AM »

The questions here are kind of similar to the questions on the beginning of the film on the "My Problem With Eve's Death" thread.  I'm not so sure there are shortcomings here either.   Sergio Leone very meticulously shaped and structured the film due to the time flashbacks and forwards and the "open" nature of the film.  I say " open" nature....I mean that the film can be read in different ways by the viewer.  This was intentional.  I think it's one of the strengths of the film.  Some of the threads which question implausibility......i think show a nonacceptance of the nature of the film.  If OUATIA were a paint by numbers, lead the viewer by the hand kind of film.....something unfortunately we're all too familiar with nowadays.....I don't think there would be much need for a discussion board, nor would the film linger in the thoughts of the viewer very long.  Leone wants and expects more than a passive viewer in the dark.

What needs to be resolved about the Jimmy O' Donnell story line?  We initially see the gang save a young idealistic Jimmy.  At this point Jimmy wants no part with the gang or the mob.  I think Leone does a very nice job showing Jimmy's idealism slowly dissolve.  He says that the gang in one night accomplishes more than he could do in several speeches.  In the news television report, we know that an older Jimmy has become a very powerful union figure.  We know he has done this through support from organized crime.  With the passing of time, Jimmy has had to make decisions on how to achieve what was important to him.  The film shows Jimmy's choice.  Apparently there was a scene that was edited showing Jimmy talking to Max at the party before Noodles arrives.  It would of been interesting to see this scene.  We may just yet with the restoration that Leone's daughter has talked about.  But is it necessary?  I think the O'Donnell storyline is fairly complete.  

How is Max's survival implausible?  Max became involved with the mob.  He decided it wasn't enough for him to stick with the gang, particularly after the end of Prohibition.  After reading  that Prohibition had been repealed....Noodles says to Max...." we're unemployed ...what next?"  Max already had it figured out.  He was going to become a solo act, involve himself to a greater degree with the mob, and pursue as much wealth and power as possible.  He knew exactly what he was going to do......he was going to sacrifice the gang and go to the next stage.

The issue of Deborah and Max is one that asks more thought from the viewer.  I think I'm going to take the same stand on that one as well.  First off, why is it far fetched for Deborah to be a film and stage actress.  We know that Deborah leaves New York for Hollywood.  It would seem she's going to become a film actress.  In the thirties it was not uncommon for an actress to do both film and stage.  At that time film was in a particular stage of development that encouraged this. Theater was much more prevalent and perhaps artistically rewarding for actors.  Why is it not impossible in 1968 for an older Deborah to return to her stage roots?  We know today older actresses are not given much opportunity in film.  It was fairly similar then.  If Deborah had no interest playing an older mother, grandmother or supporting part...why wouldn't she be a stage actress in 1968?

The "long" dialog between an older Noodles and Deborah is quite poignant.  We're unsure how Deborah will react to Noodles because we still remember what happened the last time they were together.  I think we find that with the passage of time Deborah has found a way to come to terms with what happened.  What's more, because she doesn't tell Noodles about her relationship with Max, and doesn't want him to walk through the door, she still has care for him in her heart.  In some ways she seems to know Noodles on a level that others didn't.  I think she recognized certain qualities about Noodles, even when they were children, that others perhaps didn't.  She cares enough on some level that she wants to spare him the trauma of having to face drastic revision of his memories.  The passage of time and memories is a very important theme in OUATIA.  When Noodles decides to face the truth on the other side of the door.....I don't think it's necessary for Noodles to go back to Deborah and bombard her with questions.  This is not a flaw in the script.  Displays of Noodles' intelligence are everywhere throughout the film.  His facial expression is quite sufficient.  Why would Leone want to rob the scene of the dramatic effect with Noodles turning to Deborah with "what, why, when, where".  It must of been very difficult for Noodles to just go and see Deborah after all those years.  Believe me he felt every minute he was with her.  I think it would be the same thing with the party.  No need for him to go early and see Deborah again.  Why is it necessary for him to go early and  maybe sip on punch and ask about her train ride to Hollywood....or tell me about Max.......Noodles has a pretty good idea about Max now.  When he goes to the study it's going to just confirm what he's suspected.

Why would Deborah take up with or settle with Max?  I think you have to take a look at Deborah at various parts in the film on this one.  Deborah is an interesting character.  She always sets herself apart from everyone in the city.  We always see her apart from her brother and father.  I think this alone tells the viewer about Deborah.  She's driven...and what 's important to her is to get out of the tenement of the city.  She tells Noodles that he's the only one she's ever really cared about.  Again, I think this is a recognition of certain qualities in Noodles.  But she then tells him that he would probably put her in a box and that she would probably like it.  Deborah has her decisions in life to make, like all of the characters.  She has to evaluate what is important for her and to what degree she is going to mix them.  She decides to follow her ambition and leave the city.  Now....I think what must be considered is this......An older Deborah has achieved celebrity and success in film and stage.....was it enough?  Would an older Deborah like any other older person look back on their life and evaluate the choices they made and consider what choices perhaps would of brought greater fulfillment.  When older Noodles "sees" Deborah as not having aged in his mind's eye.....Deborah quite specifically answers..."But Noodles....Age has withered me".    Is it not possible after Deborah has established her life and career in acting that she would of taken up with Max as an older actress?  She decided not to pursue love with Noodles.  Max certainly wouldn't  put her in a box....he's incapable of love.   Deborah has decided to bypass love.  As an older person in another part of the country, perhaps already beginning to think about her life and recalling her memories....would she of fallen in with Max....because he not only would of provided a lifestyle that was quite similar to the one she has created for herself.....successful, privileged, wealthy....but also he would of been a very small link back to her youth.....her life at the beginning.  For an older woman that perhaps is reevaluating her choices, happiness and fulfillment.....maybe she finds herself thinking a lot about the beginning and what could of been.  In a way, a relationship with Max would serve this need.   Another thought to throw out.....in this contemplative stage of her life....when memories are so vital.....would being with Max.....in a strange way.....be a connection or way to be with Noodles......a man who has disappeared off the face of the earth?

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