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Author Topic: Harmonica's Tearing of Jill's Lace Bodice  (Read 22707 times)
Walter
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2003, 05:39:17 PM »

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.

Overanalysing is half the fun...

I don't agree, obviously. I don't think the killers looked very distracted in the split second before Harmonica blew them away, so I don't subscribe to that point of view....

And for for the hoodwink... Okay, Leone had a western that already ran past 150 minutes, so he thought: Let's include a scene that means absolutely nothing.

I don't think so.......  Lips Sealed


« Last Edit: November 01, 2003, 05:39:55 PM by Walter » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2003, 06:14:58 AM »

I don't think the killers looked very distracted in the split second before Harmonica blew them away, so I don't subscribe to that point of view....
Maybe not distract, but I doubt they'd have bothered to come down to the farm - rather than bushwacking Jill as she left - if Harmonica hadn't have put Jill 'on a plate' for them.
And for for the hoodwink... Okay, Leone had a western that already ran past 150 minutes, so he thought: Let's include a scene that means absolutely nothing.

I don't think so.......  Lips Sealed
I don't understand? Hoodwinking the audience doesn't equate to a scene meaning nothing.

Ermmm...

Once Upon A Time In America - Runtime 225minutes.

...and arguable a whole 3rd of it is one long hoodwink! Wink  

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Walter
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2003, 10:40:30 AM »

Maybe not distract, but I doubt they'd have bothered to come down to the farm - rather than bushwacking Jill as she left - if Harmonica hadn't have put Jill 'on a plate' for them.I don't understand? Hoodwinking the audience doesn't equate to a scene meaning nothing.

Ermmm...

Once Upon A Time In America - Runtime 225minutes.

...and arguable a whole 3rd of it is one long hoodwink! Wink  


You and your hoodwinks.... Tongue

I don't think we'll agree, even if we do clear up our differences in semantics. Just don't tell me that Harmonica fell asleep at the way station and dreamt the rest of the movie.  

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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2003, 04:00:22 PM »

I have just watched the movie all over again and have decided upon this as my take on Harmonica and Jill's underwear. I think the tearing of the bodice has more to do with Leone's character than the character of Harmonica. You have to take into account that Leone originally wanted to film Jill getting of the train with the camera at ground level pointing up at Jill.
As she began her climb down, the folds of her dress would plunge the scene into darkness, and Leone wanted to suggest, or even hope to show, that Jill was not wearing any underwear. This shows both his feelings towards Ms Cardinale and her character Jill, and also allows us an insight into why Jill was a hooker at all, why not a schoolteacher?
I believe that this scene, although not filmed, was an example of Leone's darker and more human traits, and maybe one in which we all share, after all cinema both allows us and encourages us all to be voyeuristic.
Of course in much the same way as no blood and guts were liberally being splashed around in Leone's movies, the suggestion is far stronger than the reality. This was true of course up until the making of Once Upon A Time in America, a very bloody movie when compared to its predecessors.
In closing though I would say that Once Upon A Time on The West is my favourite Leone movie, and easily my best DVD purchase. I enjoyed the documentary interviews with both the stars and production team; it helped set the mood for watching a hugely enjoyable piece of cinema.
The soundtrack is fantastically moving and the characters all seem to display various sides of all our natures, good and evil.
Watching it reminds me of looking in a mirror, its not always pretty, but it is always fair.

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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2003, 04:04:59 PM »

I have just watched the movie all over again and have decided upon this as my take on Harmonica and Jill's underwear. I think the tearing of the bodice has more to do with Leone's character than the character of Harmonica. You have to take into account that Leone originally wanted to film Jill getting of the train with the camera at ground level pointing up at Jill.
As she began her climb down, the folds of her dress would plunge the scene into darkness, and Leone wanted to suggest, or even hope to show, that Jill was not wearing any underwear. This shows both his feelings towards Ms Cardinale and her character Jill, and also allows us an insight into why Jill was a hooker at all, why not a schoolteacher?
I believe that this scene, although not filmed, was an example of Leone's darker and more human traits, and maybe one in which we all share, after all cinema both allows us and encourages us all to be voyeuristic.
Of course in much the same way as no blood and guts were liberally being splashed around in Leone's movies, the suggestion is far stronger than the reality. This was true of course up until the making of Once Upon A Time in America, a very bloody movie when compared to its predecessors.
In closing though I would say that Once Upon A Time on The West is my favourite Leone movie, and easily my best DVD purchase. I enjoyed the documentary interviews with both the stars and production team; it helped set the mood for watching a hugely enjoyable piece of cinema.
The soundtrack is fantastically moving and the characters all seem to display various sides of all our natures, good and evil.
Watching it reminds me of looking in a mirror, its not always pretty, but it is always fair.


Welcome aboard Sid!  Yeah, if I came across a thirty-year old Claudia Cardinale, I think I'd feel much the same way. Wink Grin

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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2003, 04:08:43 PM »

nyuknyuknyuk - my guess is Harmonica was doing some wicked peyote.

I don't buy that whole dream sequence nonsense either.  Leone spent what - 14 years making OUATIA?  He got so stumped on the plot that he had to resort to a lazy "Dallas" screenwriting trick to pull his magnum opus storyline together?

And Schickel bases this grand theory upon an offhand comment a drunken Leone tossed out to a journalist at 3am during the 4th day of the Cannes festival?  "Was it all a dream Sergio? - 'Yeah, sure'!"  I don't think so, half of these film critics are morons.

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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2003, 10:40:52 AM »

Nope, you've got it all wrong.  Harmonica rips the bodice because he wants Frank's waiting men to believe that she is staying.  He knows they are out there. Jill is leaving all dressed up. He convinces her to stay and makes her dress look like she is out working.  Of course, Frank's men screw up big time.

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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2003, 03:15:49 PM »

Yeah, I'll go along with that mate.

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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2003, 08:36:00 AM »

Nope, you've got it all wrong.  Harmonica rips the bodice because he wants Frank's waiting men to believe that she is staying.  He knows they are out there. Jill is leaving all dressed up. He convinces her to stay and makes her dress look like she is out working.  Of course, Frank's men screw up big time.

You theory is very boring, not over-analysing things at all...

Unfortunately, it is also a very likely reason for the whole tearing business..... Good call.  Wink

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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2003, 10:43:07 AM »

Yeah, it does show a tougher side of Bronson, letting us know he'll get what he wants, which in this case is to try to fool the waiting assassins.  We already knew he was tough, wiping out 3 at the train, but this shows toughness without resorting to the gun.  Then Frank's idiots make another stupid play.

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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2004, 12:52:52 PM »

The most simple explanation is usually the correct one.  I think Harmonica knows Frank's men are waiting outside and he rips the dress to make it look like he and Jill have been working or maybe fooling around a bit and are not on guard.  Note Harmonica takes off his gun at the well.  All of this makes Frank's men relax a bit and not start shooting as soon as Jill and Harmonica walk out of the house.  It is a set up.

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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2004, 02:01:42 PM »

Harmonica rips the bodice because he wants Frank's waiting men to believe that she is staying.  He knows they are out there. Jill is leaving all dressed up. He convinces her to stay and makes her dress look like she is out working.

Of course he knows they are out there. He keeps looking at them. While tearing up her dress, he gives Frank's men two long looks.

Besides, if Harmonica intended to rape Jill, why would he bother with her sleeves?

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« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2004, 07:07:28 PM »

I think Harmonica did this to throw Frank's men off guard.  Remember, the two didn't even have their rifles cocked "strange noise".  Notice how Harmonica hides his gun under his hat, you can make out that he's doing this on the DVD, even though the gun is never shown going under the hat.

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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2004, 08:09:07 PM »

Notice how Harmonica hides his gun under his hat, you can make out that he's doing this on the DVD, even though the gun is never shown going under the hat.

Actually you can see him hiding the gun behind his back, briefly. You can also hear him cock his gun as he hides it under the hat bfore he places it on the well-side.

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« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2004, 07:39:54 AM »

The most simple explanation is usually the correct one.  I think Harmonica knows Frank's men are waiting outside and he rips the dress to make it look like he and Jill have been working or maybe fooling around a bit and are not on guard.  Note Harmonica takes off his gun at the well.  All of this makes Frank's men relax a bit and not start shooting as soon as Jill and Harmonica walk out of the house.  It is a set up.

Perfect .It is the right explaination.
Harmonica said Jill something like: " It is not good to go outside currently"

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