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Author Topic: "Something to do with death"  (Read 56474 times)
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« on: February 22, 2007, 03:42:10 AM »

I' ve read your previous threads about Harmonica's unearthly presence( Tuco and Cigar Joe, thanks for directions). Harmonica as the Angel of Death. Wow. I thought that it is impossible even to concider Harmonica as some kind of supernatural character. Then I 've decided to explore and find some evidences to support that thesis. So I saw movie once more, searching for something unusual in Harmonica's character, following only Harmonica's moves and actions.
       
A) Analisis of the space; Harmonica often stands outside, perifferaly, always steps aside as if checking the situation in front of him, and monitors other characters reactions.
 
1) scene; In the saloon: Harmonica sits in the dark corner and waits for Cheyenee to introduce himself. He is watching and has it under control, but does not participate in Cheyenee's game. He leaves it to Cheyenee to lead the game for now.

2) scene;the scene on the ranch: Harmonica waits in the barn for Cheyenee and his people to leave. He is also watching Frank's gunmen move. He acts only when he wants to ruin Frank's plans, to prevent his killing of Jill and taking over the estate.

3) scene; trough the opening in the roof of the train Harmonica, ( once again from the background) listens to the conversation between Frank and Morton, and again, he is in a passive position.
 
4) scene;  Harmonica (from the background, again) from upstairs in the saloon is watching the shameful auction of the ranch, and development of the events from a broader perspective-a bird perspective. He acts in the right moment to prevent Frank get hold of the ranch.

5) scene; Harmonica goes upstairs in the saloon, and watches from there (as from the background) the duel between Frank and his former gunmen, paid by Morton to kill him.

6) scene; Harmonica sits on the fence and has excellent view on who is approaching (also he is out of the house where main characters are).  
          
All of the above speaks in favor of the fact that Harmonica is somewhat unreal character. Something like he is present there but also not  really part of that world. He is always in a way separated from the main focus of the scene, but only physically. In fact, he is always ahead of his oponents and anticipates their moves. He always acts timely, but only when Frank's plans need to be thwarted. As Freilling observed, he just slides into the frame, as if present at all times, and only waits for his moment to act. From this facts we see that Harmonica is the character of his own, viewed from the spacial aspect, but also from his behavior.

 B) Emotional aspect; He is never angry, he never loses control, and he is never sad in the true meaning of the word. The only thing that can bee seen in his eyes is a sort of melancholy, silent sorrow. all other characters cry, weep, lose their temper, laugh, rage but Harmonica is constant. Even when he smiles, it is a sad smile, accompanied with the look to the past. As if forever returning into that moment when his brother was hanged. That's where his life stopped, his thoughts, his senses. Body continued to live accompanied only with the emotion of hate and desire to revenge.
Resume; Harmonica is literary physically out from the large number of scenes with a main characters, but he knows exactly what is happening out there. He chooses higher positions in order to have upper hand in every possible moment. Like he has some strange control over the events. He moves slowly, but that only makes him more omnipotent. Always at the right place at the right time. You can hurt him but you can't kill him. I wan't say he is a ghost, I prefer someone of flesh and blood, but immortal. More like Brandon Lee's Eric from "The Crow". He can't bee killed until he fulfill his revenge. Finally Cheyenne's words: Something to do with Death. Cheyenne is a bandit, experienced man from the border. He killed a lot of people in his life, that's for sure. Main reason was money I presume. But he instinctively feels that Harmonica is on the much higher level than him. Death travels with him. He is driven dy his personal reasons, and that is respectful.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 03:12:15 PM by cigar joe » Logged
cigar joe
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2007, 09:47:55 PM »

Bravo!

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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2007, 12:11:37 AM »

 Afro

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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2007, 04:51:40 PM »

another discovery that we made not long ago was the fact that Harmonica asks Frank something like "so you found out that you are not a business man after all" refering to Frank's conversation with Morton, when he was never present for that conversation,  I believe it happens before Harmonica was on top of the private train car.

Check it out to make sure, I believe Peacemaker did confirm it.

« Last Edit: February 24, 2007, 12:06:26 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2007, 10:19:12 AM »

Yeah, the conversation between Frank and Morton was private.

Harmonica DID spy on Frank and Morton but that was another scene and another conversation.

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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2007, 08:06:39 AM »

Good point. Also, in the scene with Frank in the saloon, Harmonica knows that Morton have sent Frank's men to kill him. Harmonica was with Jill at that point, and conversation between Frank's gunmen and Morton was private. Even Frank didn't realize that someone is after him (and we all know that he is always carefull, after all, he is the only one who caught Harmonica of guard when he saw his shadow on the train).  No way that Harmonica could ever knew that Morton has turned Frank's man against him. Still he knows everything that's going on around him. Harmonica just by looking trough the saloon door saw Frank's gunmen instantly. Like he recieved thiese informations from some higher instance. Plus, there is always light around Harmonica, so surreal. First light, and then Harmonica walks in. "It's gonna be beautifull town SweetWater",  I mean, when you here this, you have a feeling that Harmonica knows that this is gonna be beautifull town, like he saw SweetWater 50 or 60 years from now , like he has some inner eye, like some prophet who saw future and know that for a fact.

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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2007, 06:20:46 PM »

I think some of you guys are trying to make something out of nothing.  Harmonica is not some kind of supernatural avenging angel.  He is not an immortal either.
"You sound like a real businessman Frank.  Being with Mr. Morton has done you a lot of good." (saloon scene)
This is coincidental to his later comment about finding out "he's not a businessman after all." (final ranch scene)
Harmonica is observant about Frank's men because he knows them from the train.  He doesn't have otherworldly ability.
The best you might could say is that Harmonica is observant and sensitive to movement around him so that he knows what is out of place.  This is typical of desert dwellers and maybe Leone knew it too.
"They must have found someone who pays better."  A good hunch based on observance.  Men are moving from choice postions to go talk out in the open.  He knows Frank wants him dead and a set up is likely, yet they are riding off.
This is a great movie.  I just cannot help but feel that some of you are trying to spook it up a bit or turn it into a Highlander piece.

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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2007, 06:48:15 PM »

The film is not improved if we adopt any definitive explanation of Harmonica, who should remain mysterious. I think there are as many clues to indicate H's immortal status as there are to show he's mortal. SL built intentional ambiguity into the character, and we do his creation a disservice if we try to completely dissect him.

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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2007, 09:17:19 AM »

I think some of you guys are trying to make something out of nothing.  Harmonica is not some kind of supernatural avenging angel.  He is not an immortal either.
...

This is a great movie.  I just cannot help but feel that some of you are trying to spook it up a bit or turn it into a Highlander piece.

Ditto.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2007, 04:03:46 PM »

Quote
I think some of you guys are trying to make something out of nothing.  Harmonica is not some kind of supernatural avenging angel.  He is not an immortal either.
...

This is a great movie.  I just cannot help but feel that some of you are trying to spook it up a bit or turn it into a Highlander piece.


Ditto.

Pullleeeeze, If he's mortal he would never be able to get up and carry on after taking a high powered rifel slug to the upper chest, you are asking me to believe that he is Superman, then the film becomes a bit to far fetched.  Now if he "has something to do with Death from the git go then I can accept the premise of him recovering without any affects whatsoever is so short a time.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 05:12:38 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2007, 04:09:45 PM »

Pullleeeeze, If he's mortal he would never be able to get up and carry on after taking a high powered rifel slug to the upper chest, you are asking me to believe that he is Superman, then the film becomes a bit to far fetched.  Now if he "has something to do with Feat from the git go then I can accept the premise of him recovering without any affects whatsoever is so short a time.

It was more like the shoulder, and I've seen a lotta movies where people get it a lot worse than that are fine.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2007, 08:24:44 PM »

Yea BS movies, I don't give a sh*t if its shoulder or upper chest, you are not gonna walk around normal after taking a hit like that or recover in a few hours.

I'd rather believe he had "Something to do with Death" from the git go.

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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2007, 02:33:32 AM »

There is enough evidence to support either "Angel of Death", or "realistic" aproach to Harmonica's subject. That only makes things more interesting. Harmonica's fast recuperation after winchester shot sound even more impossible. The fact is, it can go either way. You can't ignore the fact that this movie has something that previous Sergio's films don't have. That mithycal aureol is present around Harmonica; light on his face, he just slides into the frame, that is something that  no other characters have. You have to ask yourselves: why did Sergio created that huge archetype out of Harmonica?

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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2007, 10:39:52 AM »

Quote
That mithycal aureol is present around Harmonica; light on his face, he just slides into the frame, that is something that  no other characters have. You have to ask yourselves: why did Sergio created that huge archetype out of Harmonica?

Agreed it was different.

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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2007, 02:10:52 AM »

another discovery that we made not long ago was the fact that Harmonica asks Frank something like "so you found out that you are not a business man after all" refering to Frank's conversation with Morton, when he was never present for that conversation,  I believe it happens before Harmonica was on top of the private train car.

Check it out to make sure, I believe Peacemaker did confirm it.

I forget at exactly which point,but Frank tells Harmonica "Morton once told me I could never be like him. Now I know why,I just couldn't rest knowing you were out there alive." I'm fuzzy on the chronology,but I believe it happens before Harmonica's comment.

Given that the film can be viewed as an anthology of western movies,I think of Harmonica's role as the Avenging Angel character,but not immortal. Frank destroyed his life,and took everything from him,and Harmonica knows that he's far from the only victim. His life's only purpose is to end Frank's. After that's done,who knows what will become of him, but Cheyenne knew that Jill would never be able to make a life with a man like that.

Interesting though,there's the deleted scene with Harmonica getting beaten up. Since Leone was worried about the slow pace of the film,I doubt he deleted a fight scene just to shave off time. Maybe he did delete it to make Harmonica appear unearthly and invulnerable.

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