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noodles_leone
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« #45 : October 13, 2010, 03:19:48 PM »

Can't a genre picture also be a masterpiece? As in, you know, Leone's films?

CoR !


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« #46 : October 14, 2010, 07:46:32 AM »

I didn't say ALL of Leone's films.



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« #47 : October 14, 2010, 08:34:58 AM »

You don't HAVE to answer my stupid posts. That's Dust Devil's job.


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« #48 : October 14, 2010, 09:25:17 AM »

And since we're talking about him, i'll answer for him to the question raised on the previous page: he says The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a western (although he aknowledges the fact that SOME think it is not). Maybe not a full-blown Western, but a fantastic moral adventure sharing with it many elements certainly. Hence the location of this topic on the Other Films board.


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« #49 : October 14, 2010, 11:52:43 AM »

The question of whether the film is or is not a Western does not exercise me. These taxonomic matters do little to shed light on the work.



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« #50 : October 14, 2010, 02:52:53 PM »

The question of whether the film is or is not a Western does not exercise me. These taxonomic matters do little to shed light on the work.

But what about the burros?


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« #51 : October 14, 2010, 03:23:39 PM »

They're apt to give you gas.



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« #52 : October 15, 2010, 02:59:02 AM »

Can't a genre picture also be a masterpiece? As in, you know, Leone's films?

Well, it can, theoretically I mean.

But for me, there's a distinction to be made here: labeling a movie as a ''genre flick'' is not the same thing as saying a movie belongs to a certain genre, though as said - not many understand that part. Labeling a movie that way successfully anchors it to a target audience but at the same time secludes it from the rest. It's like an excuse, to sell it easily. In that direction: I don't think I have to explain to you what does it mean when someone says to you that a certain movie is a ''good action flick'' or a ''solid Kung fu flick'', right? The first thing you think before watching it, is that this movie rides on the waves of its genre, that's the main thing of the movie - and if you're not a huge aficionado - you just skip it without remorse. But, on the other hand, if you ask someone's opinion on a movie that you already know belongs to the horror genre, and he/she says it's a ''great movie'', and not, say, a ''cool horror flick'', or something among those lines, where the genre of the movie pops out every time in the short description, then you probably go and watch it with more ease, knowing it (probably) has to offer more than the regular genre hammering.

Leone's movies ''genre flicks'' ? - They are mostly Ws (or SWs, if you wish), but I rarely hear people referring to them as such. ''Leone Westerns'' sometimes, but very rarely. I was under the impression even people who despise Ws watch them when they get the chance. Hence, a great/good movie is beyond these 'definitions', it's just a great movie, and you watch it cause you know there's something in there that works despite anyone's taste.


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« #53 : October 15, 2010, 03:04:14 AM »

I forgot to say: it wouldn't surprise me at all to hear people labeling them whatever they want, especially after I've at some point heard/read some folks referring to them as ''Eastwood movies/Ws''. ;D


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« #54 : October 15, 2010, 11:18:52 AM »

You don't HAVE to answer my stupid posts. That's Dust Devil's job.

Yeah, instead of watching TTOSM again today here I am, reading your posts, and answering them.  :(


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« #55 : October 15, 2010, 03:38:16 PM »

Savant does the film and the new Blu-ray proud: http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3329madr.html



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« #56 : October 18, 2010, 09:34:56 AM »

Came across this in the bookstore yesterday: http://www.amazon.com/Americas-Film-Legacy-Authoritative-Landmark/dp/0826429777/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1287419198&sr=1-1

Flipping open to a page at random, I arrived at the entry for Sierra Madre. There wasn't much there I didn't already know, but I did glean one bit of info: Gold Hat only appears once in Traven's book.

Here's another example of Huston improving on his crappy source material. And consider: without this intervention, the world might have continued forever in ignorance of Alfonso Bedoya!



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« #57 : October 20, 2010, 01:16:32 PM »

I finally watched it again today: and I stick with my (9/10) rating. I actually enjoyed it more this time, having left all huge expectations aside - unlike the first (well not the first altogether but the first I can remember) time - I was able to dive more freely into the characters and the whole campaign. It is not the greatest movie ever made, let alone the most complex plot ever thought of - and that is the main problem because most people stick with presenting it that way - but it glides between the characters and the turns in the script very well, never telling you anything before the right moment has come. The rating's (almost) there - the 9/10 and higher domain - altogether it of course doesn't compare to a movie of the caliber of GBU, but, although certainly not being the biggest Huston fan out there, I say it is the one that comes the closest.

I saw it again and yes, it fares beeter in the original language, a decent master and a big screen. Still there are problems, the main being the Bogart character. Bogart doesn't manage to make him credible and all the plot turning points hang on him. He's credible only in the first scenes, expecially that of buying the lottery ticket. Then one wonders what kind of a character is one who can dedicate 1 year of toil to earn some money  and then becoming crazy for no reason. He cannot of course simply reveal his inner self because that wouldn't square with his previous behaviour. And Bogart ios at his worst enhancing all the character's inconsistencies, opning wide his eyes, grimaces all over his face (the same mistake he made in High Sierra and Petrified Forest: I should rewatch it, but he finally understood the way to play a psychotic character only in Mutiny of Caine). And then some other inconsistencies like why Holt does give him back his gun or doen't tie him to a tree at night, like anybody else would do. And again, why Bogart, so taken up with money fever, just doesn't shoot  the three mexicans.
Again, more than an homosexual subtext, there's an evident zoophilism attributable to all three characters (all those night visits to the burros with the excuse of checking their gold troves...).

Some might object that Bogart actually tries to shoot down the mexicans but finds that his gun is empty. But that doesn't square with Bogart's previous psichotic dedication in planning Holt's murder and, even more, getting rid of the corpse: that should make us presume that Bogart checks continuously if his gun is loaded and if somebody is in ambush. And then all his pointed arguing with Holt about stealing and murdering it rhymes with Huston sr. predictions about the effect of gold on men but not with Bogart's character as we know it before the prospecting starts. Sure, some hint is given that the character is slightly paranoic, but that may develop in such a violent psychosis is hard for me to swallow. And even more hard to swallow is the fact that his two companions do little to prevent the possible effects. What I mean is that the character is inconsistent for plot's sake and that Bogart is unable to understand that he shuld have played those inconstinncencies down instead of enhancing them..

Humphrey Bogart, never been a great fan of his either, but in my opinion he's good here. Good, not great, and that's enough.

Yeah, the gun was empty.

Why did he go mad? - I don't think there was the need to go into this more deeply, in real life people go mad for apparently no reason, and when there's some money involved nobody questions the change, even if sudden. Over inheritances and such matter, whole families change in one night, so to speak. However, the movie offers hints as to why this happened with Dobbs. I think he's the one (unlike the other two, or later three) that starts the journey with much moral integrity. I bet in the start most of the audience would point at Curtin as the weakest link. There are three small episodes that serve as a prelude to his sudden change of character (in which he stands up to the test): 1) when they beat up their former employer to retrieve the money he owns them - he takes only the 400 $ he owns them, and throws the rest at him, lying on the cantina floor, 2) he puts his own money to make the whole adventure happen, and 3) he throws away the gold Curtin gave him to settle the score after the argument at the camp. All this doesn't seem to be justly perceived by his two companions, as they feel and behave as they all started from the same line, and don't need to thank anyone more than the other. Or at least that is the way Dobbs sees it. This is when Dobbs' resentment starts building up, as he is seen talking to himself more frequently (though you feel his grumpiness from the start of the movie). The point break happens later, when he menages to persuade the other two to just kill Cody, for the sake of not sharing anything with him. The bandits stop them from doing it, but after that it feels as he shifts completely into another gear and kinda makes himself believe that's the corrects way to make it through life. With full pockets, at all costs. All the other factors already mentioned don't help either.

« : October 20, 2010, 01:20:51 PM Dust Devil »

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« #58 : October 20, 2010, 01:33:39 PM »

Say, I don't have (m)any technical complaints, but one thing that did get lost because the movie was b/w was the look of the gold, and that's the only thing I can think of... Especially in the final scenes: it looks like... dust... In the wind.


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« #59 : October 20, 2010, 04:05:07 PM »

Why did he go mad? - I don't think there was the need to go into this more deeply, in real life people go mad for apparently no reason, and when there's some money involved nobody questions the change, even if sudden. Over inheritances and such matter, whole families change in one night, so to speak. However, the movie offers hints as to why this happened with Dobbs. I think he's the one (unlike the other two, or later three) that starts the journey with much moral integrity. I bet in the start most of the audience would point at Curtin as the weakest link. There are three small episodes that serve as a prelude to his sudden change of character (in which he stands up to the test): 1) when they beat up their former employer to retrieve the money he owns them - he takes only the 400 $ he owns them, and throws the rest at him, lying on the cantina floor, 2) he puts his own money to make the whole adventure happen, and 3) he throws away the gold Curtin gave him to settle the score after the argument at the camp. All this doesn't seem to be justly perceived by his two companions, as they feel and behave as they all started from the same line, and don't need to thank anyone more than the other. Or at least that is the way Dobbs sees it. This is when Dobbs' resentment starts building up, as he is seen talking to himself more frequently (though you feel his grumpiness from the start of the movie). The point break happens later, when he menages to persuade the other two to just kill Cody, for the sake of not sharing anything with him. The bandits stop them from doing it, but after that it feels as he shifts completely into another gear and kinda makes himself believe that's the corrects way to make it through life. With full pockets, at all costs. All the other factors already mentioned don't help either.

You (and titoli, it seems) are of the opinion that Dobbs is basically good to begin with, but gradually is corrupted by his experience, and goes mad. I'm persuaded differently: I think there are character flaws in the man from the very beginning, and that, although there are some good qualities within him (well itemized by you above), those positives do not represent the whole of Dobbs. He is a man deeply conflicted, and it is his internal contradictions, and the tension those contradictions produce, that drive him insane.

Dobbs reveals his true character early on in subtle (and not so subtle) ways.  At that first encounter with Howard (Walter Huston), he listens incredulously as the voice of experience tells him about the effects of greed on men. “It wouldn't be that way with me,” he protests. “I swear it wouldn't! I'd take only what I set out to get, even if there's still half a million dollars lying around waiting to be picked up.” One can't help asking, Why so adamant, Dobbsy? (Notice that Curtain seems more thoughtful). Of course, this could just be Huston providing some necessary foreshadowing, except for one thing: something similar occurs in the second part of the film.

Later, at the dig, when the issue of divvying shares arises, Howard explains the best way to proceed and Curtain, seeing that reason and experience have produced wisdom in the old man, endorses his ideas. But Dobbs' response is very different.“What a dirty, filthy mind you've got!” he snarls. It's an odd thing to say—unless one is in an extreme state of self-denial. The fact that Dobbs responds in this way a second time suggests that Huston is trying to tell us something important about the character.

Other signs of instability are also apparent: Dobbs delights inordinately in the gunfight on the train, and later, is quick to threaten death to those (Howard, Curtain, Cody) who vex him (was he really going to club Howard to death with that rock just because he was tired and frustrated?). In the matter of Cody the other two men go along, but Dobbs is the one who instigates it.

For me, the changes we see in Dobbs are less about an actual transformation of fundamental character traits and more about his gradual letting down of a facade, one that civilization and its mores has forced him, over many years, to construct. We don't get a new Dobbs at the end, just the real Dobbs, fully revealed. There are still many good points about the man—he seems just as tough as ever—but the negatives, now pushed to the fore, outweigh them.

Dobbs tries to deny this to himself, but his self-delusions, stretched to the breaking point, finally snap. Suddenly his certainty about who he is is gone. And this is what finally sends him into madness.



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