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Author Topic: Realism: Is it Important?  (Read 16002 times)
Sid the Pig
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« on: November 06, 2003, 11:06:11 AM »

I enjoy greatly the intelligent conversation concerning the mind of Leone and the hidden meanings in his movies.
The amount of criticism based on the realism in his films though causes me concern. If we are talking unrealistic then we could go on all night, and encompass most of Leone's movies. If you remember the scene in FAFDM of Eastwood shooting the Colonel’s hat into the air and the amazing ricochet of the bullets hitting…..material?
That was also highly questionable but visually effective.
Then in FOD the scene of the soldiers "sleeping" in the cemetery and who strangely remained asleep throughout the ensuing gun battle. The fact that Ramone went to the trouble of sneaking up, and shooting them in the back, whilst supposedly believing that they were alive, was very unrealistic.

When you take into account that in the West at its peak, a revolver cost the then princely sum of $100 second-hand, and only the very rich, or the very bad, could afford one. The revolver was accurate to a range of 15 yards, not guaranteed to hit a barn door any further than that. The rifle in its early stages was not much better and even more expensive and rare. So this makes nonsense of most of the shooting accomplishments of the western stars in the most famous movies.

The real Annie Oakley was as ugly as a horse, or worse some say, but most western women are portrayed as beauties in the movies, again unreal but who cares.
In fact Annie was so unattractive and desperate she had to rape men at gunpoint to get laid, and did so frequently. When you imagine the probable lack of hygiene at the time, along with the heat and the lack of sanitary wares modern women take for granted, the stench must have been overpowering.

I think to dissect these movies causes us to lose what we liked about them in the first place, the escape from reality and the roles we all wished we could play, but in the safety of our minds. Sergio Leone takes us on a journey of escapism in his movies, they are mythical and about as real as King Arthur, albeit historically and factual correct in some cases.

The clothes, surroundings and the weaponry are in most cases accurate, but the deeds that were done by the individuals wearing those clothes, then take on a surrealist quality. I am all for enjoying them as a spectacle, and to watch in awe as Leone goes about his craft, but aside from that I try not to read too much into things.

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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2003, 01:15:50 PM »

Are you sure you are talking about Annie Oakley ?.I have
read the biography and read nothing on the rape thing.
Also as a young woman she was quite pretty.I think what you say applies more to Calamity Jane or Belle Starr.

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Walter
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2003, 12:49:29 PM »

Are you sure you are talking about Annie Oakley ?.I have
read the biography and read nothing on the rape thing.
Also as a young woman she was quite pretty.I think what you say applies more to Calamity Jane or Belle Starr.


Anne Oakley didn't look bad, according to pics on the web. And she was a performer, surely Mr. Cody would have made look even better on stage? And famous people get sex, whenever they want to....

Calamity Jane was homely (there are pictures of her several places on the web), but not downright ugly or repulsive. But she could have raped men, just for the sheer hell of it, if half the rumours about her is half-true.

To get to the topic, I agree a long way. Too much nagging about realism can destroy the pleasure of a movie. But there are realism and then there is realism. In Leone's world, a 1863 Colt could be loaded with cartrigdes - pretty rare at the time, and I'm not sure if Colt offered them at all before 1868. And a good shot like Tuco could shoot the wings of a fly. I accept this. Watching a percussion gun get loaded is pretty boring, anyway.

I would not, however, accept that a spaceship intervened in the final duel.
What I mean is, movies are not realistic, but the films must be true to their own logic.

We really don't want movies to be too realistic, most of the time. Life itself is full of realism. I want the mythic duel at the end of the western, no matter how extremely rarely this happened (if at all).      

In my opion, Leone's movies all are logical, in their own sense. And I belive that - with perhaps a little extra goodwill - we mostly only need to discuss the contextual meaning of the scenes. And that I find very entertaining, and only heightning the enjoyment.
Well, sometimes a little good-hearted nit-picking on the lack of objective realism is fun, too, as long as it doesn't get out of hand....  Cool


And come on, those were seasoned soldiers in FOD- surely they could sleep through gunfire if they had to? If they weren't dead, I mean?  Wink

« Last Edit: November 07, 2003, 12:55:01 PM by Walter » Logged

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cigar joe
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2003, 04:05:26 PM »

Went through this on a GBU thread. Colt Conversions were available. S&W began making cartridge revolvers in
1856, they couldn't keep up with the demand.

 http://www.smith-wesson.com/custsupport/story.htm

Colt couldn't make cartridge revolvers because S&W held the patent, but many gunsmiths made Colt conversions for their customers.


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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2003, 07:51:39 PM »

  Having just watched FOD literally a few minutes ago, the only really glaring flaw is in the final duel, where Joe fires seven shots from his gun without reloading (one for each of Ramon's men, one to knock Ramon's rifle out of his hand, and one to cut Silvanito's rope).  Besides, in the cemetery scene, the Baxters could tell something fishy was going on (if you watch the scene closely, but due to the arrival of the Rojos probably didn't have time to think about it).

(NOTE: Sorry for any bad spelling/grammar; I'm tired and can barely stay up at my keyboard. Wink)

« Last Edit: November 08, 2003, 07:52:26 PM by Groggy » Logged


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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2003, 04:21:38 PM »

 Having just watched FOD literally a few minutes ago, the only really glaring flaw is in the final duel, where Joe fires seven shots from his gun without reloading (one for each of Ramon's men, one to knock Ramon's rifle out of his hand, and one to cut Silvanito's rope).  Besides, in the cemetery scene, the Baxters could tell something fishy was going on (if you watch the scene closely, but due to the arrival of the Rojos probably didn't have time to think about it).

(NOTE: Sorry for any bad spelling/grammar; I'm tired and can barely stay up at my keyboard. Wink)

Most Pistols of the Western era couldnt even hit a cactus side-on from ten paces. hows that for realism.  Grin

Civil War 'Colt 6 shooter Action-Army' was particular banana barrel.  so ive read. Wink

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Sackett
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2003, 10:23:11 AM »

Yeah, Sid I think realism is very important, but these movies made us believe there were extreme experts in those days.  You've got to admit, it sure looks good.
Now about accuracy. 15 yards with a pistol?  Wild Bill Hicock made the first standup pistol fight in history and did his man in at 75 Yards.  An outstanding shot even by today's standards.  It was through the heart.
The fight at Adobe Walls made history with an almost MILE LONG shot, killing a Commanche Indian. Of course this was done with a Sharps. The same style Blondie uses to cut Tuco's rope at the end of the movie.
Just a couple of historical examples to ponder.  Yes, the shooting is over the top, but Leone sure made it look like it could happen.

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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2003, 04:27:59 PM »

the lack of realism is something i love about these westerns... that fact that there is never a bullet hole in anyone being shot until the scene cuts, if even then, is one thing i love about leones westerns... people just fly backwards... like in the flashback where indio shoots the guy who gave the watch to mortimers sister, he shoots him like 3 times yet no blood or bullet hole... as for the shooting accuracy, what would a western be if all the main characters weren't the best shooters ever... it's not like this is the matrix or anything... their not bending the laws of science... they're just making 1 in a million shots daily

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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2004, 05:32:45 AM »

Watched GBU last night at final shootout notice powder smoke from blondies gun, a nice accurate touch.

Most actors in Leone's westerns were not cast for good looks they also look dirty and like they probably stunk, another realistic touch compared to Hollywood fair.

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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2004, 09:41:33 AM »

 Having just watched FOD literally a few minutes ago, the only really glaring flaw is in the final duel, where Joe fires seven shots from his gun without reloading (one for each of Ramon's men, one to knock Ramon's rifle out of his hand, and one to cut Silvanito's rope).  Besides, in the cemetery scene, the Baxters could tell something fishy was going on (if you watch the scene closely, but due to the arrival of the Rojos probably didn't have time to think about it).

(NOTE: Sorry for any bad spelling/grammar; I'm tired and can barely stay up at my keyboard. Wink)
i wonder if the baxters could see esteban's flamboyant sombrero peaking above the rock he and his brothers were hiding behind ?   looks like it would have made a good target.  and what of chico, ramone's most trusted man ?  FOD=killed off by big barrel.  FFDM = stabed in  back.  GB&U = " i can't while your watching" !"  when brega, "one eye" was killed off in "death rides a horse", he wouldn't die. he just kept rolling around in the dust untill one of the guys on the set finally yelled "DO YOU WANT TO DIE" !!?? petroni muses, "brega, so into his character he was unaware  that such such a dramatic demonstration could be edited out in a second. as for me? i am hanging my gun up on the wall.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2004, 12:57:20 AM by KERMIT » Logged
Sackett
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2004, 11:08:23 AM »

Kermit, are you SURE about the count of shots at the end of FOD?  Its been some months since I saw it, but have always thought I counted out the shots correctly.
Five.  I'll check it again myself.
As I sit here, I'm thinking that Joe guns down 3 of Ramon's men, then shoots the rifle and the rope, making 5.  He unloads the 6th to show Ramon.
Don't tell me theres another Leone gaff?  I couldn't take it.  Now I've got to go home and watch the ending again.

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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2007, 05:51:51 AM »

At the time of Annie Oakley's existence, feminine beauty was vastly different than it is today. A fuller figure was the ideal back than, and people considered the ultra-slim to be either sickly or extremely poor. This dates back to the Royals of European nations, who usually were very plump. During the 1920s and 30's slim and boyish was IN, mainly because bathing suits had become more revealing. Women in their 30s- 60s today hold up better than women just 40 years ago, because of better diet and fitness regimens that were not available back then. There's a lot more sexy grandmas than there used to be.

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Mw/NNrules
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2007, 06:44:51 PM »

Realism has, in terms of film, never struck me as important, unless you're trying to make a social commentary, documantary or biopic. However, some people overdo it: CGI.

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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2007, 06:50:53 PM »



The real Annie Oakley was as ugly as a horse, or worse some say,





No beauty, by today's standards, but certainly not ugly.

This is an example of a woman being as ugly as a horse...


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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2007, 06:52:54 PM »

This is an example of a woman being as ugly as a horse...

Tori Spelling? Grin

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