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Author Topic: The lost opening. Sir Chris exclusive  (Read 14171 times)
Juan Miranda
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« on: October 31, 2007, 07:33:57 PM »

I wasn't sure where to put this, as it refers to a few Leone pictures, but this section seemed the most apt. I was at a screening of newly restored print of Hammer's 1957 DRACULA tonight, which was attended by some of the surviving cast and crew, including it's script writer Jimmy Sangster. Our old chum Sir Chris Frayling has been interviewing Jimmy and writing about the movie in the UK all this week, so I kinda hoped/expected to see him there, and indeed he was.

There was a party for Jimmy and the cast before the screening, with rivers of booze, I'm glad to say, and when I spotted Sir Chris on his own I wandered over for a chat. I've been bugged for ages by those stills of Indio and his gang cavorting with women in their church hideout, and I wanted to hear what Sir Chris thought what the hell was going on.

(see here: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=4969.0)

He looked totally blank and asked where I'd seen these stills. I said on the gallery section of the special edition DVD. He suddenly looked a bit sheepish and said “You mean the special edition DVD I did the commentary on?” and admitted that he's never actually looked at that bit of the DVD, but was glad I'd pointed it out to him. His guess is that they may have been photographs shot for some other purpose than promoting the film, as a personal in joke, for example. He has a complete shooting script for the production, and said what was in the script is pretty much what you see on the screen. The only major difference was that the character of Mortimer was originally supposed to be a rather decadent dandy type, who when first seen is reading a copy of Lord Byron's poems. This was changed with Van Cleef's casting.

This led Sir Chris to his most interesting revelation. He has Carlo Simi's personal shooting script for A FISTFULL OF DOLLARS, all in Italian of course, and it has a completely different opening broken down into shots and details. (I'm pretty sure he said it was Simi, I'd had a few beers by then...) Therefor he is convinced that this was actually filmed, but discarded during editing, and is now determined to try and track down some or all of the footage. Also, as this is new research, it's something he hasn't written about yet. Obviously this is NOT “the prologue” mentioned elsewhere on the board, but a scene shot by Leone starring Clint Eastwood.

The script opens with a close up of a map of the Mexican border. Cut to Clint riding a horse, dressed in a dusty Confederate uniform. His crosses a river with the elaborate splish splashing these things usually entail, and comes across a Mexican peasant fishing, who is wearing a poncho, with a mule tethered near by. Eastwood dismounts, the camera pans off the pair and we hear the usual sound effects of a Spaghetti western scuffle. Cut to Clint now on the mule, wearing the poncho and the peasant clothes. Cut to the beaten up peasant in his underwear, coming round next to a discarded Confederate uniform, who angrily shakes his fists at the retreating Eastwood.

It was a great description, and Frayling could have been Leone himself the way he delivered it. He then told me of another script he has for GIU LA TESTA which had a very odd opening. Originally the picture was supposed to start with a highly stylized cartoon sequence, in which we see Juan Miranda plowing a field, then suddenly on the edge of the frame a dynamite plunger appears and a booted foot stamps down on it causing an explosion from which appears the title DUCK YOU SUCKER. We both agreed it was a good thing this was never done! If nothing else it would look hideously dated now.

When I left Sir Chris he promised he was going to check out the FAFDM stills when he got home tonight. It was fab talking to him, he was such a friendly and approachable guy. I'm going to get in touch with him again in a couple of days to see if he has any new opinion on 'em. Amazing too just how much new Leone material there obviously still is out there to be discovered.

« Last Edit: October 31, 2007, 07:38:08 PM by Juan Miranda » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2007, 09:55:04 PM »

Great stuff Juan, I suppose you have Fraylings email now  Azn, any way I suggest you hold on to it and keep it to yourself if you do  Wink .  By the way did you mention the board we have here to the Professor, he might get a kick out of it.


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The script opens with a close up of a map of the Mexican border. Cut to Clint riding a horse, dressed in a dusty Confederate uniform. His crosses a river with the elaborate splish splashing these things usually entail, and comes across a Mexican peasant fishing, who is wearing a poncho, with a mule tethered near by. Eastwood dismounts, the camera pans off the pair and we hear the usual sound effects of a Spaghetti western scuffle. Cut to Clint now on the mule, wearing the poncho and the peasant clothes. Cut to the beaten up peasant in his underwear, coming round next to a discarded Confederate uniform, who angrily shakes his fists at the retreating Eastwood.

This would blow the whole late mid to late 1890's time frame for the film as it is now. The automatic machinegun and the khaki Mexican uniforms would be way out of whack if Eastwood was wearing a Confederate uniform or it would be a very old uniform, lol.

On the opening of DYS I seem to remember hearing about that prehaps fronm a commentary on the latest disc.

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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2007, 01:15:47 AM »

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Also, as this is new research, it's something he hasn't written about yet.

But he has spoken about it--on the audio commentary of the FOD DVD (evidently, while Frayling missed seeing those stills, Juan Miranda was neglecting another supplement). Frayling's more recent comments are valuable (thank you, Juan) as they include details not on the DVD account. However, the DVD commentary also has things left out of the above: the name of the hero (Ray), his rank (sergeant), and the date of the action (1872: yes, CJ, the guy has been wearing the uniform a long time).

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Juan Miranda
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2007, 06:29:17 AM »

evidently, while Frayling missed seeing those stills, Juan Miranda was neglecting another supplement

Ooops. It's true. I haven't seen the special edition of this one (hence I've never heard the Frayling commentry).

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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2007, 08:22:33 AM »

This is great Juan Miranda Afro

A little bit off-topic, but would anyone happen to know where I could get the R2 special edition of AFOD? To tell the truth, I've seen the film only twice in it's full length and the only version I own is recorded from TV and starts with Clint arriving to the town. Yes, I am ashamed Embarrassed

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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2007, 08:45:29 AM »

PM me with your mailing info and I'll send you a copy (discs only, no case).

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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2007, 03:10:07 PM »

Thank you Juan.  Interesting read.  Sounds like the look on Frayling's face was priceless when you asked him your question.  There is a lot of information on those discs. 


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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2007, 06:08:16 PM »

Well done Juan. Very interesting. Could you ask him about the other photos from FAFDM, the colour ones of Manco by the river and the one from GBU of Clint and Van Cleef from the US Lobby card. They are on this board somewhere. I'll try and find them tomorrow. I recently found another photo from the scene with Indio and the girls in a german pressbook. I'll put it on here ASAP.

Where did you see the Dracula screening by the way.

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Juan Miranda
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2007, 06:22:07 PM »

Sounds like the look on Frayling's face was priceless when you asked him your question

While it's always nice to chat about info with an expert who hasn't seen or heard of your source before, Frayling has forgotten more about Leone films than anybody here will ever remember, I suspect. He has total recall on a vast range of subjects, indeed he seemed really pleased when we started chatting that I was as much a Hammer horror enthusiast as I was a Leone one.

As he hadn't seen the Indio stills I was interested in, I didn't think it was worth asking him about any other ones Le Bon. I saw DRACULA at the IMAX theater in Waterloo, by the way, a full house, with an introduction by it's screenwriter, Jimmy Sangster.

I will be getting in touch with him again soon though, and wil be seeking his opinions of any of these odd stills we can find.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2007, 06:25:54 PM by Juan Miranda » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2007, 02:05:56 AM »

While it's always nice to chat about info with an expert who hasn't seen or heard of your source before, Frayling has forgotten more about Leone films than anybody here will ever remember, I suspect. He has total recall on a vast range of subjects, indeed he seemed really pleased when we started chatting that I was as much a Hammer horror enthusiast as I was a Leone one.

As he hadn't seen the Indio stills I was interested in, I didn't think it was worth asking him about any other ones Le Bon. I saw DRACULA at the IMAX theater in Waterloo, by the way, a full house, with an introduction by it's screenwriter, Jimmy Sangster.

I will be getting in touch with him again soon though, and wil be seeking his opinions of any of these odd stills we can find.

This is all very, very exciting. That's awesome that you go to talk to him though, I'm sure plenty of us would love to get a chance to pick Frayling's brain on Leone.

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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2007, 07:34:43 PM »

awesome juan Afro Also i wondering if he ever meet or contacted  Vivienne Chandler Huh

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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2007, 09:07:41 AM »

Interesting stuff Juan Miranda, great job.  Afro

I suspected there must be a lot unknown Leone material, it would be great to see these thing.

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Le Bon
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2007, 03:28:07 AM »

Her is that other photo from the indio & girls scene. It was in a german pressbook. It looks like a cut out with the background missing but that's how it is printed.


Shot at 2007-11-05

« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 03:35:42 AM by Le Bon » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2007, 11:51:39 AM »

I liked to see this scene with the gang and the girls, but it would be a little OOC from Indio. He's totally obsessed with his memories, doesn't seem to care another women. The bandidos, yeahh. I'd like to see Mario Brega with a nice woman.  Evil

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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2007, 12:36:07 PM »

While it's always nice to chat about info with an expert who hasn't seen or heard of your source before, Frayling has forgotten more about Leone films than anybody here will ever remember, I suspect. He has total recall on a vast range of subjects, indeed he seemed really pleased when we started chatting that I was as much a Hammer horror enthusiast as I was a Leone one.

I'm sure you're right about that.  I think the highlights of the discs are his commentaries and featurettes.  I wish there was a Frayling commentary for GBU and OUATIA

The Collector's Gallery with pics isn't on the R1 release included in the anthology.   Sad 

Would be interesting to know what he has in his extensive Leone memorabilia collection..... 

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