Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 18, 2017, 10:18:33 AM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Films of Sergio Leone
| |-+  Once Upon A Time In The West (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Morton and the water picture
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Morton and the water picture  (Read 19112 times)
McWatt
Road Apple
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 11


Who are yeh?


View Profile
« on: August 01, 2003, 03:21:33 PM »

Just watching West again, one thing reference not so clear to me is the extreme close-up of Morton after the opening of the auction.  He is looking at a portrait of the sea (I think with the sound effects of waves crashing).

What is the significance, other than his respect for water and its relevance to the steam engine.  Huh

Logged
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2003, 05:34:43 PM »

Just watching West again, one thing reference not so clear to me is the extreme close-up of Morton after the opening of the auction.  He is looking at a portrait of the sea (I think with the sound effects of waves crashing).

What is the significance, other than his respect for water and its relevance to the steam engine.  Huh

It is the fact that he wishes to reach the Pacific Ocean before he dies of consumption.

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
mono
Guest
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2003, 09:26:44 AM »

Just watching West again, one thing reference not so clear to me is the extreme close-up of Morton after the opening of the auction.  He is looking at a portrait of the sea (I think with the sound effects of waves crashing).

What is the significance, other than his respect for water and its relevance to the steam engine.  Huh
it's the film maker's explanation of Morton's motivation to arrange with Frank's bad attitudes in order to get the train going... closer to the ocean, Morton's great dream.

Logged
Frank
Chicken Thief
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


Now that you've told him my name....


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2003, 11:40:02 AM »

A good friend of mine says that Water is somesort of them in this picture.

The railroad man's seascape painting represents reaching the pacific -- almost all of the ambitious railroad companies of the west included that ocean in their name:  Union --, Southern --, Northern --, Chicago Rock Island &  --, Missouri ---, Chicago Milwaulkee, St. Paul & ---, etc.

However, water is part of many other key scenes:  Claudia's bath in town, the water tower in the beginning, and harmonica asks for some well water because he likes his water fresh.  In the final scene Claudia is bringin water to the railroad workers at Jason Robard's urging.

Logged
Cusser
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1555


Remember, I always see the job through !


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2004, 07:44:02 AM »

Keep in mind that Morton would've been more mobile in water, that is, the buoyant effect of the water on his useless legs.  Not only does he want to accomplish completion of his goal to reach the ocean, he sees water as a partial equalizer.

Logged
shorty larsen
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 542


Agachate tonto


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2004, 12:37:46 PM »

Yeah, excellent interpretation of the matter!

I think the ocean is like the music, according to the moment both can be equalisers or dangerously desequalisers vis-a-vis our mind.

If I have to commit suicide, I would choose the Ocean, definitely.

Logged

Each one for himself, and God against all.
grandpa_chum
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 833



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2004, 12:51:09 PM »

I mean you can go as far into detail as you want and read into it much more than needed, but simply it's his dream for his railroad to reach the pacific... why i don't know... on the dvd's commentary they comment on the "water motif" throughout the movie... the fact that the only reason sweetwater was of any value was because it had all the things a railroad station/town would need... the most important being water, which apparantly there is a large source of under sweetwater... so basically, in an extremely basic way, most of the intentions in the movie deal with or revolve around water. Water is the fuel that keeps the whole movie going... without it, a lot of the plot would'nt make a whole lot of sense.

Logged

Harmonica: So, you're not a businessman after all.
Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race...
Frank
Chicken Thief
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


Now that you've told him my name....


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2004, 04:05:50 PM »

I think Leone knew enough American History (possibly thru watching Westerns) that he knew of the obsession with the Easterners to reach the Pacific.

I would think that this knowledge was fairly widely shared through the 1950s to 60s, but with American History as taught in the schools, most of these themes have been jetisoned so we can teach the kids trivia about women and minority contributions to the building of the nation.

Logged
General Sibley
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 423


AngelEyes, NOOOO!


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2004, 04:34:46 AM »

The PC remake of OUTIW would be kind of interesting.  Point of view of Wobbles and the Chinese laundrymen  instead of Harmonica and Frank.  "Well, looks like we're one laundry basket short"  Lips Sealed

Logged

And what if your hand should shake a little?  And that Gringo so fast on the draw.
shorty larsen
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 542


Agachate tonto


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2004, 06:38:42 AM »

I agree with Franck, the water is present everywhere in the movie as a symbol.

Why McBain is in Sweetwater?

Because Sweetwater has water to the trains....

The water is the meaning of lots of things in the movie. It explains Morton obsession to reach the Ocean Pacific and it is the reason why McBain and his family are killed.

Logged

Each one for himself, and God against all.
Poggle
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 626


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2005, 06:53:21 PM »

Water tower - Harmonica kills the three gunmen/gets shot
SweetWATER ranch - Family massacre
Bath tub mention in wagonstop - Cheyenne kills his "escort"
Fresh water from well - Frank's men killed.
Wobbles knocked up against water bucket - Wobbles shot by Frank shortly afterward
Cheyenne flushing toilet on train - Frank's men killed
Jill's bath in town - Killing of Frank's gunmen.
Morton in water - Dying
Cheyenne telling Jill to take water outside - Frank's death
Jill taking water outside - Cheyenne's death. The death of the old west Sad

Hmm... There's something very surrealist about that kind of symbolism.

Logged
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13682

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2005, 06:24:25 PM »

And don't forget: Them coffee pots don't percolate without water!

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
Tony Montana
Road Apple
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


Rubio, eres un hijo de mil padreeeeeeees...


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2005, 12:09:26 PM »

I think that Morton just wants one thing: Join the Atlantic ocean with the Pacific ocean with his train... and his dream is watch the sea at the end of the way... because of this, when he is getting death, Frank watches him getting near of a little water... his dream is watch the ocean before die, and that little group of water represents his dream

Logged


กกก HASTA LA MUERTE, SEVILLA HASTA LA MUERTE !!!
Half Soldier
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 214



View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2005, 06:28:13 AM »

There is a feminist theory of water being female but I can't remember the basics of it (I wasn't listening to who was telling me it) but I always think about this when I see the scene in question.  Any fems out there that can expand?? He hadn't had an accident at sea as mentioned earlier but says which disease he had (again doesn't spring to mind) was rotting hisbody, not his mind.  Frank also remembers him when he was 'barely limping'

Logged

I'll sleep better knowing my good friend is by my side
redyred
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 499


Ever the facetious one


View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2005, 09:20:09 AM »

Water tower - Harmonica kills the three gunmen/gets shot
SweetWATER ranch - Family massacre
Bath tub mention in wagonstop - Cheyenne kills his "escort"
Fresh water from well - Frank's men killed.
Wobbles knocked up against water bucket - Wobbles shot by Frank shortly afterward
Cheyenne flushing toilet on train - Frank's men killed
Jill's bath in town - Killing of Frank's gunmen.
Morton in water - Dying
Cheyenne telling Jill to take water outside - Frank's death
Jill taking water outside - Cheyenne's death. The death of the old west Sad

Hmm... There's something very surrealist about that kind of symbolism.

Something to do with death, eh?

The water is also seen as facilitating or being necessary to the progress - Morton must reach the ocean (or the puddle) before he dies, the train must pass through sweetwater, Jill gives water to the workmen... so couple that with all the water references preceeding deaths and what you get is water as the driving force behind the whole film.

Half Soldier - well Leone did say about OUTW something along the lines of the old west being the last era when men had balls, and the death of it being the beginning of "the great matriarchy of America" (or words to that effect). Of course this is the significance of a woman from the urban east coming to the west. But you've also made me think how it's always Jill who is providing water (er... no not in that sense  Wink) - her arrival means the building of the sweetwater ranch can go ahead, she gives water to the workers, she makes coffee for cheyenne and of course there are her baths.

So in other words...

- The arrival of Jill symbolises the beginning of the matriarchy of America
- Water is the driving force behind the progress of the modern world
- Jill provides water

Christ, Leone's symbolism really runs deep doesn't it?

Logged

It's class.
Pages: [1] 2 3 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.038 seconds with 19 queries.