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Author Topic: "Something to do with death"  (Read 55594 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2009, 09:44:21 AM »

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« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2009, 12:46:34 PM »

If he was "death personified," then he wouldn't be human. If he wasn't human, he wouldn't have had a human brother or the human emotions to avenge him.
But I could be wrong.

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« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2009, 06:37:13 PM »

He had "something" to do with Death, not death personified.

Here is an Olympian scenario,  Death was "sleeping"  or say on holiday and while Death was so engaged  Frank took it upon himself to upsurp Death's role or powers taking people before their time he even rides steals Death's  pale horse. Death awakens and uses, reanimates  Harmonica or perhaps inhabits the form of Harmonica like the Olympian Gods used to play with humans to regain his mojo and deal with Frank in the mortal world,  in the end Harmonica who now has "Something to do with Death" rides off on the pale horse carrying away Cheyenne's body.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 03:38:55 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2010, 12:17:50 PM »

If he was "death personified," then he wouldn't be human. If he wasn't human, he wouldn't have had a human brother or the human emotions to avenge him.
But I could be wrong.

You see Frank kill Harmonicas brother, yes - but how do you know he just rode away afterwards?  Frank killed little Timmy without a blink (though he loses his smile when 'called by name') so why not the young Harmonica?

Personally I go for the supernatural version, but I can quite happily read it either way.

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« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2011, 11:18:22 AM »

Definitely believe there's some kind of supernatural thing going on.
I also think that Clint Eastwood took this que from Leone. Look at the westerns that Clint stared in and directed. His character in a few of the westerns he did was Death coming back for revenge.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 11:28:35 AM by roger_d » Logged
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« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2011, 02:38:42 AM »

Personally I go for the supernatural version, but I can quite happily read it either way.

And you people convinced me to the same.

Partly because of this:

I also think that Clint Eastwood took this que from Leone. Look at the westerns that Clint stared in and directed. His character in a few of the westerns he did was Death coming back for revenge.

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« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2011, 01:07:58 PM »

1. It does not make sense for me. With his death his theme also disappears. Funnily Frayling says this also on the audio track of the DVD, that the theme disappears and then it comes back. It seems Frayling hadn't noticed that.

Concerning the runtime the ending is not different in all 3 versions, I think not even in the long version it is longer.

2. I don't remember that there was any further dialogue in the theatrical and in the long version. The theatrical version is about 1 min longer, the long version has another half min.
The cuts are mostly short shots of the waiting men, and some longer camera movements in the long version.
The You Tube scene is most likelx from the long version.

I have no explanation why the restored English version is shorter in this scene. and I have also no explanation why the music changes.
I hope the new BD will solve the problems.


But what really is bad in the English version, is that it contains the so called Harmonica Rising scene at the railway station which was never part of the European theatrical versions, and which really hurts the film a bit by stealing some of its narrative brilliance.
Well, we had this before in this forum, but I mention it again cause you are new here, and maybe you didn't know that this short scene shouldn't be in.
But it is in the long version, so it is at least again debatable what Leone really had wanted back then ...

On the other hand I still don't know where this long version does derivate from and how "official" it is.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 01:10:46 PM by stanton » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2011, 07:51:23 PM »

1. It does not make sense for me. With his death his theme also disappears. Funnily Frayling says this also on the audio track of the DVD, that the theme disappears and then it comes back. It seems Frayling hadn't noticed that.

Concerning the runtime the ending is not different in all 3 versions, I think not even in the long version it is longer.

2. I don't remember that there was any further dialogue in the theatrical and in the long version. The theatrical version is about 1 min longer, the long version has another half min.
The cuts are mostly short shots of the waiting men, and some longer camera movements in the long version.
The You Tube scene is most likelx from the long version.

I have no explanation why the restored English version is shorter in this scene. and I have also no explanation why the music changes.
I hope the new BD will solve the problems.


But what really is bad in the English version, is that it contains the so called Harmonica Rising scene at the railway station which was never part of the European theatrical versions, and which really hurts the film a bit by stealing some of its narrative brilliance.
Well, we had this before in this forum, but I mention it again cause you are new here, and maybe you didn't know that this short scene shouldn't be in.
But it is in the long version, so it is at least again debatable what Leone really had wanted back then ...

On the other hand I still don't know where this long version does derivate from and how "official" it is.

Thanks for the info. As will many things Leone, I don't know if we will ever have an answer for sure. I was never really convinced of the whole Harmonica as supernatural theory (perhaps at least partly cuz I simply don't want to believe it cuz I hate supernatural stuff in movies). I mean, yeah, he often happens to be at the right place at the right time, but that could be more of his qualities/skill as gunfighter. Eg. In the 3 Dollars films, I don't know if the Man with No Name ever misses a shot. Does that make him supernatural? It is a certain quality he has as an awesome shooter; similarly, Harmonica is very wise and stealthy.

One of my arguments against the supernatural theory is that we see Harmonica on top of Morton's train after Wobbles visited Frank there; the clear indication is that Harmonica followed Wobbles to the train (he knew Wobbles was aware of Frank's whereabouts; especially cuz he knew Jill was bringing Frank a message through Wobbles, he knew Wobbles was about to lead him to Frank. (maybe Harmonica even purposely advised Jill to speak to Wobbles specifically cuz he then knew he could follow Wobbles to Frank?) The point is that Harmonica followed Wobbles to Frank. Now if Harmonica really had supernatural powers and knows where everyone is at all times, is it really necessary for Wobbles to "lead" him to Frank; wouldn't he know where Frank is just because of his supernatural powers?

A possible rebuttal to this argument is that you can say that while Harmonica indeed knew on his own where Frank was, the reason he followed Wobbles was simply to spy on Wobbles conversation with Frank, to find out whether Wobbles was telling the truth when he said he had no idea of Frank's plans to have gunmen kill Harmonica.... Of course, then you can ask: where do you draw the line on Harmonica's supernatural powers? he knows where everyone is at all times, but he doesn't know the truth that Wobbles had set him up? etc. etc. etc. So his supernatural powers only extend as far as the writers want it to. This is one of many things that irks me about supernatural characters in movies, and why it really bothers me every time I think of this supernatural theory.

However, I do try to be intellectually honest (if a bit rambling, at times?  Wink) Frayling at least alludes to, if not asserts outright, the supernatural aspects of Harmonica's character in the first paragraph of p. 200 in Spaghetti Westerns

« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 03:45:37 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2011, 07:55:14 PM »

1. It does not make sense for me. With his death his theme also disappears. Funnily Frayling says this also on the audio track of the DVD, that the theme disappears and then it comes back. It seems Frayling hadn't noticed that.

Concerning the runtime the ending is not different in all 3 versions, I think not even in the long version it is longer.

2. I don't remember that there was any further dialogue in the theatrical and in the long version. The theatrical version is about 1 min longer, the long version has another half min.
The cuts are mostly short shots of the waiting men, and some longer camera movements in the long version.
The You Tube scene is most likelx from the long version.

I have no explanation why the restored English version is shorter in this scene. and I have also no explanation why the music changes.
I hope the new BD will solve the problems.


But what really is bad in the English version, is that it contains the so called Harmonica Rising scene at the railway station which was never part of the European theatrical versions, and which really hurts the film a bit by stealing some of its narrative brilliance.
Well, we had this before in this forum, but I mention it again cause you are new here, and maybe you didn't know that this short scene shouldn't be in.
But it is in the long version, so it is at least again debatable what Leone really had wanted back then ...

On the other hand I still don't know where this long version does derivate from and how "official" it is.

Is there any video available (eg. on YouTube) of the sort of side-by-side comparison of the various versions of the endings to OUATITW, similar to the DYS comparison vids that I linked to in the first post of this thread?

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« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2011, 02:05:42 AM »

Thanks for the info. As will many things Leone, I don't know if we will ever have an answer for sure. I was never really convinced of the whole Harmonica as supernatural theory (perhaps at least partly cuz I simply don't want to believe it cuz I hate supernatural stuff in movies). I mean, yeah, he often happens to be at the right place at the right time, but that could be more of a his qualities/skill as gunfighter. Eg. In the 3 Dollars films, I don't know if the Man with No Name ever misses a shot. Does that make his supernatural? It is a certain quality he ahs as an awesome shooter; similarly, Harmonica is very wise and stealthy.

One of my arguments against the supernatural theory is that we see Harmonica on top of Morton's train after Wobbles visited Frank there; the clear indication is that Harmonica followed Wobbles to the train (he knew Wobbles was aware of Frank's whereabouts; especially cuz he knew Jill was bringing Frank a message through Wobbles, he knew Wobbles was about to lead him to Frank. (maybe Harmonica even purposely advised Jill to speak to Wobbles specifically cuz he then knew he could follow Wobbles to Frank?) The point is that Harmonica followed Wobbles to Frank. Now if Harmonica really had supernatural powers and knows where everyone is at all times, is it really necessary for Wobbles to "lead" him to Frank; wouldn't he know where Frank is just because of his supernatural powers?

A possible rebuttal to this argument is that you can say that while Harmonica indeed knew on his own where Frank was, the reason he followed Wobbles was simply to spy on Wobbles conversation to Frank, to find out whether Wobbles was telling the truth when he said he had no idea of Frank's plans to have gunmen kill Harmonica.... Of course, then you can ask: where do you draw the line on Harmonica's supernatural powers? he knows where everyone is at all times, but he doesn't know the truth that Wobbles had set him up? etc. etc. etc. So his supernatural powers only extend as far as the writers want it to. This is one of many things that irks me about supernatural characters in movies, and why it really bothers me every time I think of this supernatural theory.

However, I do try to be intellectually honest (if a bit rambling, at times?  Wink) Frayling at least alludes to, if not asserts outright, the supernatural aspects of Harmonica's character in the first paragraph of p. 200 in Spaghetti Westerns

My complaints about the including of the Harmonica Rising scene have nothing to do with this obscure "supernatural" theory. and I wasn't talking in my above post about this theory.

I never cared for it cause it is a lauhgable and absurd idea imo. The fact that Harmonica was wounded in the first scene is simply enough reason not to waste further time with it.
And the showing of this wound in the railway station scene is enough explanation for the ending of the first scene, and makes the Harmonica rising scene redundant anyway.
I don't like this scene because it damages the narrative structure of the beginning's 3 long scenes which introduce by and by the main characters.

Well, I have watched OUTW for 20 years without this unnecessary scene, and it was a negative surprise to see it then in the film.

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« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2011, 05:08:44 AM »


I have no explanation why the restored English version is shorter in this scene. and I have also no explanation why the music changes.
I hope the new BD will solve the problems.

I personally hate the music change at the end and one thing is for sure: when I first saw OUTITW here in Italy in 1968, the music did not change and the ending was with the Finale and not with Cheyenne's theme. Some idiot must have changed this some years ago for reasons unknown to me. Sad

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« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2011, 05:29:43 AM »

Thanks for the info. As will many things Leone, I don't know if we will ever have an answer for sure. I was never really convinced of the whole Harmonica as supernatural theory (perhaps at least partly cuz I simply don't want to believe it cuz I hate supernatural stuff in movies). I mean, yeah, he often happens to be at the right place at the right time, but that could be more of a his qualities/skill as gunfighter. Eg. In the 3 Dollars films, I don't know if the Man with No Name ever misses a shot. Does that make his supernatural? It is a certain quality he ahs as an awesome shooter; similarly, Harmonica is very wise and stealthy.

One of my arguments against the supernatural theory is that we see Harmonica on top of Morton's train after Wobbles visited Frank there; the clear indication is that Harmonica followed Wobbles to the train (he knew Wobbles was aware of Frank's whereabouts; especially cuz he knew Jill was bringing Frank a message through Wobbles, he knew Wobbles was about to lead him to Frank. (maybe Harmonica even purposely advised Jill to speak to Wobbles specifically cuz he then knew he could follow Wobbles to Frank?) The point is that Harmonica followed Wobbles to Frank. Now if Harmonica really had supernatural powers and knows where everyone is at all times, is it really necessary for Wobbles to "lead" him to Frank; wouldn't he know where Frank is just because of his supernatural powers?

A possible rebuttal to this argument is that you can say that while Harmonica indeed knew on his own where Frank was, the reason he followed Wobbles was simply to spy on Wobbles conversation to Frank, to find out whether Wobbles was telling the truth when he said he had no idea of Frank's plans to have gunmen kill Harmonica.... Of course, then you can ask: where do you draw the line on Harmonica's supernatural powers? he knows where everyone is at all times, but he doesn't know the truth that Wobbles had set him up? etc. etc. etc. So his supernatural powers only extend as far as the writers want it to. This is one of many things that irks me about supernatural characters in movies, and why it really bothers me every time I think of this supernatural theory.

However, I do try to be intellectually honest (if a bit rambling, at times?  Wink) Frayling at least alludes to, if not asserts outright, the supernatural aspects of Harmonica's character in the first paragraph of p. 200 in Spaghetti Westerns

There is a conundrum then, how do you wrap your mind around the fact that he miraculously recovers from a high powered gunshot wound to the upper chest area (that knocks him on his ass), with absolutely no evidence of it just a day or two later when he reveals that very area at the well at McBains ranch. I suppose you can just shrug and say its a Western convention, but that was usually reserved for a flesh wound to the skin a grove in the arm or along the top of a shoulder or the neck (which BTY Leone used in "For a Few Dollars More" when Mortimer shoots Manco). "Something to to with DEATH" doesn't necessarily mean "superpowers" but it means something, no? 

Leone who was meticulous in most details would not make a continuity error on that, I wouldn't think, would you?

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« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2011, 05:37:32 AM »

Quote
My complaints about the including of the Harmonica Rising scene have nothing to do with this obscure "supernatural" theory. and I wasn't talking in my above post about this theory.

I never cared for it cause it is a lauhgable and absurd idea imo. The fact that Harmonica was wounded in the first scene is simply enough reason not to waste further time with it.
And the showing of this wound in the railway station scene is enough explanation for the ending of the first scene, and makes the Harmonica rising scene redundant anyway.
I don't like this scene because it damages the narrative structure of the beginning's 3 long scenes which introduce by and by the main characters.

Well, I have watched OUTW for 20 years without this unnecessary scene, and it was a negative surprise to see it then in the film.

Its a matter of releases,

Anyway you have to ask yourself why was it ever filmed by Leone then if it wasn't the intent to show him arising? If it was never filmed then you could say that it doesn't belong. But the fact that it WAS filmed means that its implied in the storyline (for certain releases) that didn't include other sequences.

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« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2011, 08:48:42 AM »

He filmed it maybe cause he wasn't sure at the moment of shooting how he would do it in the end.

It is also possible that the only reason it was cut out was that the film was already too long. (Godard "invented" the jump cut montage for Breathless only because the producer forced him to make the film shorter)

Or that Leone decided the film to be better without the scene. (My guess, my hope)

Who knows ...

But as far as I know this scene was only used for the cut English version, which misses the complete trading post scene, and therefore needs an explanation for Harmonica's comeback.

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« Reply #44 on: May 13, 2011, 08:50:13 AM »

I personally hate the music change at the end and one thing is for sure: when I first saw OUTITW here in Italy in 1968, the music did not change and the ending was with the Finale and not with Cheyenne's theme. Some idiot must have changed this some years ago for reasons unknown to me. Sad

And this Italian version did include the Rising scene or not?

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