Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 24, 2017, 05:36:58 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)
| | |-+  Harmonica's Tearing of Jill's Lace Bodice
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Harmonica's Tearing of Jill's Lace Bodice  (Read 22778 times)
Nothing but a rotten son of a...
Chicken Thief
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 31


But you don't look like the one who'll collect it


View Profile
« on: October 19, 2003, 07:58:58 AM »

It seems to me that Harmonica would be an altogether likable character and/or etheral avenging angel if it wasn't for one scene - when he tears off Jill's lace bodice and begins to force himself on her.

Why is this scene here? I personally have some thoughts, but it would be interesting to hear from someone else first.

Thus, the floor is yours, good people!

Logged
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12611


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2003, 05:17:15 AM »

Maybe the lace represents her whore past and ripping it off Harmonica transforms her into the earh mother image.

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
The Smoker
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 611


Well.. well. if it isn't.


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2003, 09:55:37 AM »

I totally agree Cigar Joe. I always got the same feeling from the scene.
But thats what great about it, 'what the hell?'  your there with Jill about whats going on at first..

Logged

Nothing but a rotten son of a...
Chicken Thief
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 31


But you don't look like the one who'll collect it


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2003, 11:07:04 AM »

Hmmm interesting interpretation...

Of course, that interpretation is based on the assumption that Harmonica is in fact "all good". I'm not so sure that things are as uncomplicated as that.

Another interpretation would be that Harmonica's first impulse was indeed to rape Jill. It would be natural for him to feel threatened by her - she represents civilization, matriarchy and the "new America", he represents the "old Wild West" and boy's/men's world that's dying. Thus, his first impulse is to "show her who's boss" (rather like Clint Eastwood does to the town belle in High Plains Drifter).

He stops himself because he sees that she doesn't enjoy his approach, thus proving that he possesses the one thing that Frank is lacking - empathy. Although both Frank and Harmonica belong to the same "ancient race" this is the one thing that divides them. This is what makes Harmonica good and Frank bad. The very same thing which separates Blondie from Angel Eyes.

The problem with this interpretation is of course that you will have to accept that Hamonica is pretty darn messed up when it comes to women. I do think this is the case however, as is clearly displayed in the "farewell scene". The guy can't even look Jill in the eyes! Leone seems to have been interested in this behaviour in men who have "damages souls" ("something to do with death") - whenever I see the scene in question, I am always reminded of Noodles' behaviour towards women. Not very flattering for our friend Harmonica, but I really think that Leone's intention was to make the character more complex than the mere stereotype of an "avenging angel".

Logged
Walter
Bandido
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 94



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2003, 11:40:43 AM »

Hmmm interesting interpretation...

Of course, that interpretation is based on the assumption that Harmonica is in fact "all good". I'm not so sure that things are as uncomplicated as that.

Another interpretation would be that Harmonica's first impulse was indeed to rape Jill. It would be natural for him to feel threatened by her - she represents civilization, matriarchy and the "new America", he represents the "old Wild West" and boy's/men's world that's dying. Thus, his first impulse is to "show her who's boss" (rather like Clint Eastwood does to the town belle in High Plains Drifter).

He stops himself because he sees that she doesn't enjoy his approach, thus proving that he possesses the one thing that Frank is lacking - empathy. Although both Frank and Harmonica belong to the same "ancient race" this is the one thing that divides them. This is what makes Harmonica good and Frank bad. The very same thing which separates Blondie from Angel Eyes.

The problem with this interpretation is of course that you will have to accept that Hamonica is pretty darn messed up when it comes to women. I do think this is the case however, as is clearly displayed in the "farewell scene". The guy can't even look Jill in the eyes! Leone seems to have been interested in this behaviour in men who have "damages souls" ("something to do with death") - whenever I see the scene in question, I am always reminded of Noodles' behaviour towards women. Not very flattering for our friend Harmonica, but I really think that Leone's intention was to make the character more complex than the mere stereotype of an "avenging angel".


Interesting, very interesting take on the scene.
 It could also be that Harmonica wants to demonstrate that he indeed CAN rape her, but won't. Thus showing Jill that he is not the threat.  

But I like the idea that the scene's function is to show the main differnece between Harmonica and Frank. It is, after all, important to know whom to cheer for. That's how we get involved in the story; if all the characters are a-holes, who cares who gets killed?

Joe in FOD doea a kind thing in the movie, saving the woman, Blondie in GBU shows humanistic traits several times and Manco in FFDM shows respect to and helps out Mortimer. But the acts of humanity and kindness gets more and more diluted, confused and ambigiuous as Leone's films grow more ambitious.

I would not compare the scene with Harmonica with Eastwood's character in High Plains Drifter, though. The Drifter hates the town and everybody in it, and the rape must be seen as a part of the relentless plan that leads to the total humiliation of the entire society - and later the destruction of it.    

But we sure do agree in that Harmonica is one complicated piece of work! Wink



Logged

Dying ain't much of a living, boy
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2003, 03:49:57 PM »

Interesting, very interesting take on the scene.
 It could also be that Harmonica wants to demonstrate that he indeed CAN rape her, but won't. Thus showing Jill that he is not the threat.  

But I like the idea that the scene's function is to show the main differnece between Harmonica and Frank. It is, after all, important to know whom to cheer for. That's how we get involved in the story; if all the characters are a-holes, who cares who gets killed?

Joe in FOD doea a kind thing in the movie, saving the woman, Blondie in GBU shows humanistic traits several times and Manco in FFDM shows respect to and helps out Mortimer. But the acts of humanity and kindness gets more and more diluted, confused and ambigiuous as Leone's films grow more ambitious.

I would not compare the scene with Harmonica with Eastwood's character in High Plains Drifter, though. The Drifter hates the town and everybody in it, and the rape must be seen as a part of the relentless plan that leads to the total humiliation of the entire society - and later the destruction of it.    

But we sure do agree in that Harmonica is one complicated piece of work! Wink




I'm more in tune with your interpertation, Walter. Grin

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
Austin
Bandido
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 52


You brought two too many.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2003, 05:41:23 AM »

Yep -  certainly some interesting points here. I've always assumed he's symbolically stripping her of her civilised trappings too, to prepare her for her role as 'earth mother'.

Thinking about it - he sends her out to the well immediately after he's done this, to make Frank's two men charge to kill her. On a purely plot level, is he just distracting them (cos Claudia Cardinale's chest would distract me!!)?

Logged

The Americans have only rented (America) temporarily. If they don't behave well, if the mythical level is lowered... then we can always evict them.
The Smoker
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 611


Well.. well. if it isn't.


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2003, 08:51:16 AM »

Hmmm interesting interpretation...

Of course, that interpretation is based on the assumption that Harmonica is in fact "all good". I'm not so sure that things are as uncomplicated as that.

Well....... not one or the other. just human.

This isn't Hollywood. Leone films were Realist at heart, from his early background in film. It wears the western myth like a wolf in sheeps clothing.

As a genre, it has more in common with Japanese Samurai cinema a non-christian defined 'Goodies vs Baddies' idea.

But we are all on the same track i think.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2003, 12:37:51 PM by The Smoker » Logged

KERMIT
Guest
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2003, 09:41:35 AM »

cj nailed it for me.  walter eloquently described the situation. harmonica could, but would not go through with it.  jill, everyone, going through serious changes
 due to progress  Undecided.....a most important product here.
al mulock, unfortunely not included.  Tongue  

« Last Edit: October 21, 2003, 02:30:35 PM by KERMIT » Logged
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2003, 12:12:52 PM »

Yep -  certainly some interesting points here. I've always assumed he's symbolically stripping her of her civilised trappings too, to prepare her for her role as 'earth mother'.

Thinking about it - he sends her out to the well immediately after he's done this, to make Frank's two men charge to kill her. On a purely plot level, is he just distracting them (cos Claudia Cardinale's chest would distract me!!)?

ROFTLMAO!!!  That would be my reaction.  Wink

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
KERMIT
Guest
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2003, 02:39:52 PM »

cardinale's chest.  Smiley  a whole new subject to delve into.....but i don't look like the man who'll be doing the delving.....  Cry    

« Last Edit: October 21, 2003, 03:37:42 PM by KERMIT » Logged
Il Buono
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 348


You're the son of a thousand fathers!


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2003, 08:48:40 AM »

lol

I always get the feeling that he is ripping her 'fašade' down as the civilized and respectable woman that she appears to be, because he knows somehow that she is a hooker.  
That's what I think about it, but I'm not sure because it is very confusing to me too.  All of the above seem very good interpretations, but somehow I don't get the feeling that he's surprised or repelled by himself and therefore doesn't rape Jill.

Logged

Your ass is grass... And I am the lawnmower
General Sibley
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 423


AngelEyes, NOOOO!


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2003, 11:03:07 AM »

Maybe Sergio just liked it rough?  There was quite a bit of enthusiastic b-slapping going on in OUATIA too.

Logged

And what if your hand should shake a little?  And that Gringo so fast on the draw.
Walter
Bandido
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 94



View Profile
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2003, 03:47:18 AM »

Maybe Sergio just liked it rough?  There was quite a bit of enthusiastic b-slapping going on in OUATIA too.

I'd rather think that Sergio was just describing societies where the men liked it rough, as a rule. It is also a kind of critisism in it.  

And note that the manhandling of women and the consequences change a bit. In FFOD, the woman's only salvation is to run away.
FDM is much about the revenge against a molester/killer, thus, violence against women is not accepted.
In OUATITW, the woman actually wins; Cheyenne and Frank die, and Harmonica knows that his time (the time of gunfighters) is over. The "victories" over Jill (Frank's bizarre love-making, Cheyenne's intimidation of her,  Harmonica's threat) is all temporary, but she goes on into the future, popular and rich and in power. Even the patting of her behind that Cheyenne talks about, is controlled by herself. She doesn't have to put up with that kind of attention, so Cheyenne kindly askes her to, to reward the men.
And in OUATIA, Noodles indirectly destroys himself after the rape of his true love. She becomes an eternal, ageless beauty, he becomes a broken old man, sentenced to a lifetime of regret and remorse.  


Logged

Dying ain't much of a living, boy
Garry Cowell
Bandido
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 130


Did you bring a horse for me?


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2003, 05:14:12 AM »

Interesting thoughts but personally I think people are over analysing things...

Every time I've watched the film I've always felt that Harmonica was simply making more of Claudia's flesh visible - the rolling up of her sleeves, the ripping of her neckline - in order to entice/distract Frank's two killers from the hills.

Nothing more...

The fact Leone shoots it so at first it appears to be an attempted rape is merely to hoodwink the audience.

Logged
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 0.031 seconds with 19 queries.