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Author Topic: "Something to do with death"  (Read 57200 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #45 on: May 13, 2011, 03:59:14 PM »

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?

1. i am no expert on what effect a particular gunshot would have on a particular area of the body (I have lived in New York City all my life and never touched a gun...) Indeed, I have no idea how far the Western conventions go as far as gunshots. I will say I have never seen anyone in a  movie die from a shot to the shoulder.

2. Now, let's assume that the opening scene indeed takes place at the exact same time as the massacre at the McBain ranch. (The only reason we have for saying this is that Harmonica tells Wobbles something like "Frank wasn't at the station cuz he was at the McBains'... but we don't know if that necessarily means it was literally at the same time?) But if you indeed assume that the opening scene indeed takes place at the same time as the McBain massacre, then that means that when we see Harmonica at the trading post when Jill comes there with Sam, that is merely a few hours after he was shot; and his arm is not in the sling he made for himself at the end of that opening scene, right? It does seem strange that he wouldn't need the sling anymore after a matter of hours. But again, I have zero authority to speak about gunshots/wounds, so I really can't say anything definitively there.

3. cigar joe: if you do believe in the supernatural theory, how do you answer the question i discussed in the post above, ie. why Harmonica needs to follow Wobbles to find Frank. Shouldn't Harmonica know on his own, through his supernatural powers where Frank is? I discussed that question and different possibilities at length in an earlier post in this thread; I don't wanna re-write the whole thing here, but I'd appreciate if you can check that post and lemme know if you have an answer. (cuz to me it seems that if Harmonica needed to follow Wobbles to find Frank, that  should instantly blow up the supernatural theory). Thanks  Afro

« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 08:42:15 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #46 on: May 13, 2011, 04:04:26 PM »

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.

1. I have never seen the original cut American version (one advantage of having begun watching Leone films a couple of years ago is that I never had to endure any cut versions). But my understanding is that the original cut American version did not show Harmonica rising after being shot, and also cut the entire trading post scene where we see Harmonica's jacket has a gunshot on the shoulder. So yeah, I can imagine that not seeing him rising nor the hole in his jacket at the trading post, would be mighty confusing for a viewer.

2. The only version of OUATITW I have seen is the current Paramount one; if anyone has versions of the different ending music I am hearing about, can you please post it to youtube and post a link here? I would love to see it. (I am mighty obliged to whomever posted those DYS soundtrack comparisons to youtube that were the reason for me beginning this thread!)

« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 09:15:18 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: May 14, 2011, 01:56:21 AM »

1. I have never seen the original cut American version (one advantage of having begun watching Leoen films a couple of years ago is that I never had to endure any cut versions). But my understanding is that the original cut American version did not show Harmonica rising after being shot, and also cut the entire trading post scene where we see Harmonica's jacket has a gunshot on the shoulder. So yeah, I can imagine that not seeing him rising nor the hole in his jacket at the trading post, would be mighty confusing for a viewer.



I haven't seen it either, but books say that the scene is in this cut version for the obvious reason that the later scene was omitted.

And my guess is that, now that this scene existed, it was left in the restored version.
And now all DVDs have it.

An aaargh from me for that.

(but at least in contrast to a missing scene I can at least skip it)

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« Reply #48 on: May 14, 2011, 05:44:27 AM »

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3. cigar joe: if you do believe in the supernatural theory, how do you answer the question i discussed in the post above, ie. why Harmonica needs to follow Wobbles to find Frank. Shouldn't Harmonica know on his own, through his supernatural powers where Frank is? I discussed that question and different possibilities at length in an earlier post in this thread; I don't wanna re-write the whole thing here, but I'd appreciate if you can check that post and lemme know if you have an answer. (cuz to me it seems that if Harmonica needed to follow Wobbles to find Frank, that  should instantly blow up the supernatural theory). Thanks

I believe he has "Something" to do with DEATH, not necessarily has "super" powers lol. What does something mean who knows it may mean perhaps he is simply a reanimated human on a revenge mission who will not be allowed to "requisat in pace" until he finishes his destiny with Frank, he certainly has very ethereal entrances compared to everyone else.

And again, I'll ask you to explain the disappearance of the gunshot wound on Harmonica just a few days after the confrontation at Cattle Corner (cuz to me it seems that if it disappears that instantly blows up the normal human being theory).  lol.

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« Reply #49 on: May 14, 2011, 05:48:56 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.

The fact that he filmed it sort means that that was his intent, Harmonica arises, whether to show it or not can be debated. But again (addressing drinksanddestroys) he has a bullet hole that disappears just a few days later.

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« Reply #50 on: May 14, 2011, 10:12:42 PM »

I believe he has "Something" to do with DEATH, not necessarily has "super" powers lol. What does something mean who knows it may mean perhaps he is simply a reanimated human on a revenge mission who will not be allowed to "requisat in pace" until he finishes his destiny with Frank, he certainly has very ethereal entrances compared to everyone else.

And again, I'll ask you to explain the disappearance of the gunshot wound on Harmonica just a few days after the confrontation at Cattle Corner (cuz to me it seems that if it disappears that instantly blows up the normal human being theory).  lol.


Having a particular supernatural power doesn't necessarily mean that you have unlimited supernatural powers. But I would think it does mean that you have that particular power all the time, not just some of the time. If Harmonica needs to follow Wobbles to Frank, then I don't think he has the supernatural power over time/space/people's whereabouts etc.

I agree that opposing the supernatural theory creates the question of why the gunshot hole is gone from Harmonica's jacket after the trading post scene... However, I have another question, on that: If the moment he supposedly becomes this supernatural avenger is the moment after he is shot and then gets up, why would he have the gunshot hole in the trading post scene, which takes place after he would have acquired his supernatural powers?


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« Reply #51 on: May 15, 2011, 06:36:06 AM »


Having a particular supernatural power doesn't necessarily mean that you have unlimited supernatural powers. But I would think it does mean that you have that particular power all the time, not just some of the time. If Harmonica needs to follow Wobbles to Frank, then I don't think he has the supernatural power over time/space/people's whereabouts etc.

I agree that opposing the supernatural theory creates the question of why the gunshot hole is gone from Harmonica's jacket after the trading post scene... However, I have another question, on that: If the moment he supposedly becomes this supernatural avenger is the moment after he is shot and then gets up, why would he have the gunshot hole in the trading post scene, which takes place after he would have acquired his supernatural powers?



Christ, did you ever go through the ORIGINAL post about this subject?HuhHuhHuhHuh?

First, no way in hell am I ever going to refer to, or acquiesce, to what you're calling "supernatural powers". There is SOMETHING supernatural about him, what, I don't know, but he's not altogether human as we define that term. To try and define/quantify that in terms of super/supernatural powers diminishes the whole film into a comic book subject, it makes him into a some sort of Superman/Terminator and you can get into a discussion/conversation about how much percent of super powers does he have as compared to whoever is the superhero flavor of the moment, or if he has them 100% of the time or not, which is what I think is the whole point of what you dislike about supernatural powers in the first place. It trivializes it.

To keep it vague and undefined makes it unknowable. And human beings biggest fear as a cognizant entities is the fear of the unknown and the unknowable, and DEATH is that ultimate unknown.
 
I really don't want to rehash it all over again here,  Wink we are not even in the right thread.

But, OK, briefly, I think Harmonica was killed as a kid right after he stumbled or was kicked away by his brother hanging from the bell just like he did with Timmy McBain. Why would Frank change his MO.

So now you can ask well why did it take so long to settle accounts, I'll answer, maybe something about Frank killing the McBains, particularly the McBain children got "Destiny", "Karma", "the Grim Reaper", "God", "The Great Spirit", whatever to switch gears and deal with him in the way depicted.


« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 06:39:36 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: May 15, 2011, 07:27:09 AM »

Christ, did you ever go through the ORIGINAL post about this subject?HuhHuhHuhHuh?



yes I did, a while ago  Smiley

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« Reply #53 on: May 15, 2011, 07:50:40 AM »

... and now I just went back and read the entire original thread. Only one post (Reply #26) attempts to address the issue of why Harmonica needs to follow Wobbles, and doesn't do so all that satisfactorily IMO...


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« Reply #54 on: May 15, 2011, 08:40:11 AM »

... and now I just went back and read the entire original thread. Only one post (Reply #26) attempts to address the issue of why Harmonica needs to follow Wobbles, and doesn't do so all that satisfactorily IMO...



IYO, yes because you are trying to qualify or give parameters to an unknown quality.

To use a quote that Christians are fond of, "the Lord works in mysterious ways".

OK, now address the issue of the miraculous disappearing gunshot wound.

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« Reply #55 on: May 15, 2011, 09:55:38 AM »

The miraculous disappearing gunshot wound is for me as already mentioned not more than a simple continuity error.

The bruises in Harmonica's face are due to a cut scene another one.


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« Reply #56 on: May 15, 2011, 10:44:47 AM »

The miraculous disappearing gunshot wound is for me as already mentioned not more than a simple continuity error.

The bruises in Harmonica's face are due to a cut scene another one.



Simple huh?Huh Sergio Leone, make a continuity error? I just can't buy that, not after his previous work. If you are going to talk up this film as the Greatest Western ever made, to any serious Western aficionados, they would immediately point that out as a major flaw, if you had no explanation, you can't just say ignore it, or counter with other films flaws.

For me that would seriously make it difficult to argue. The "Something to do with Death" angle negates that problem nicely.

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« Reply #57 on: May 15, 2011, 10:50:59 AM »

IYO, yes because you are trying to qualify or give parameters to an unknown quality.

To use a quote that Christians are fond of, "the Lord works in mysterious ways".

OK, now address the issue of the miraculous disappearing gunshot wound.

true it is an unknown quality; however, we see he doesn't have use of that quality in that scene with Frank and Wobbles. (unless you say that he actually did not need to follow Wobbles to find Frank; rather he only followed him to Frank and spied on their conversation to find out if Wobbles had indeed set up Harmonica. and once he found out that he had, Harmonica was going to kill Wobbles himself before Frank beat him to it).

I agree that it is weird that the hole in Harmonica's jacket from the gunshot isn't seen after the trading post. And I really, really do not wanna believe there was such a bad continuity error. but if the answer is this "something to do with death" quality in Harmonica, how do you explain the  hole being there at the trading post (presumably AFTER he acquired his "qualities," but not later?) Shouldn't it have gone away right after he had risen?

I think there will definitely be loose ends no matter what side you take here

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« Reply #58 on: May 15, 2011, 12:20:52 PM »

Quote
I think there will definitely be loose ends no matter what side you take here

True.  Afro

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« Reply #59 on: May 15, 2011, 12:24:46 PM »

Simple huh?Huh Sergio Leone, make a continuity error? I just can't buy that, not after his previous work. If you are going to talk up this film as the Greatest Western ever made, to any serious Western aficionados, they would immediately point that out as a major flaw, if you had no explanation, you can't just say ignore it, or counter with other films flaws.



Well, it's only the 2nd greatest western. Wink

But, yeah, I assume it this that simple. And it is for me only an absolutely minor flaw without any importance for the quality of the film. I have never noticed this missing wound in 30 years. Not even on the big theatre screen, where I have seen the film about 15 times.
But I also never wondered about the bruises.
And none of all my friends who viewed the film with me had ever uttered the idea that Harmonica could be a ghost.

And that Frank doesn't shoot the young Harmonica can have many reasons. About every reason everyone can think about with a little fantasy.
When Frank shoots Timmy McBain the scene is done in a way that you can say that Frank is sorry about killing him, and that he only shoots him because his name was accidentally dropped by one of his men. In fact the scene does imply this, but it wouldn't make much sense because he has killed the other McBain children for the reason that there shouldn't be an heir. I view this also as a illogical discrepancy, but it doesn't hurt the film for me.

Apart from the usual supernatural abilities (like the shooting abilities) nearly every SW hero has, I don't see any real reason to view him as a ghost. I personally don't like the idea, and I think it's not a good idea to interpret the film this way, but it seems there is at least enough evidence to build such a theory.

Harmonica has maybe a phantom like quality, but he ain't a phantom for me.

I have read, if you look closely, you might be able to view in the background a car driving through in the last scenes of GBU. Now, what does that mean? Wink


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