Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => A Fistful of Dollars => Topic started by: Nobody on May 30, 2004, 04:11:34 AM

Title: Alternate opening
Post by: Nobody on May 30, 2004, 04:11:34 AM
I assume most of the people on this board are familiar with the alternate opening of this film, were Harry Dean Stanton plays a judge, sentencing Clint to travel to the little town and clean it up. My question is: Has this scene been lost since it premiered on tv, or is it rotting in a vault somewhere in america. It would be great if they dug it up for a special edition dvd. I love Harry Dean Stanton.
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: redyred on May 30, 2004, 02:37:25 PM
I don't think the film exists anymore, but the place I read about it said someone had an audio recording.
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: DJIMBO on May 31, 2004, 05:45:59 AM
sorry to disagree with you nobody but i think it would ruin the whole mood cos the greatness of the film is that clint has no motive except his personal wealth. according to frayling u dont even see clint and the american producers made it to make the film has a 'moral standpoint'. leone would have hated its inclusion.

i think its just perfect him just arriving on his horse.
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: Nobody on June 01, 2004, 04:38:53 AM
I didn't mean it should be included in the film, but that they could put it on a dvd separately, as a curiosity thing. It would, of course, ruin the entire film if the film started with this scene.
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: DJIMBO on June 01, 2004, 04:42:10 AM
sorry nobody misinterpreted u there
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: Jon on June 09, 2004, 10:35:46 AM
Yeah,I'd love to see this.Maybe,with the special edition of GBU now out,they might do one of FOD and have this scene as an extra.
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: Il Tramonto on June 09, 2004, 09:17:05 PM
That scene also wouldn't fit well because it would show the past of The Man With No Name, which would take away alot of the mystique and mysteriousness from his character. Frayling said that the part where Clint helps the woman and her family escapes and says that he knew someone who was in that situation is a minor flaw, because it reveals a bit about The Man With No Name's past and also shows a moral standpoint like DJIMBO said. But it might be kind of interesting just to check that scene out seperately.
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: Blondie on November 15, 2004, 06:53:21 AM
the greatness of the film is that clint has no motive except his personal wealth.

On the contrary, his personal wealth plays little part in his motives. He refuses to accept money early in the film and does not take the gold at the end. Also remember his line to the family he lets escape because he relates personally to them due to events in his own life.

sorry to disagree with you nobody but i think it would ruin the whole mood cos the greatness of the film

I think most people would agree it would be a terrible idea but I think he meant included as an extra on the special edition DVD. (Which I believe now looks likely)
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: DJIMBO on November 15, 2004, 08:10:36 AM
On the contrary, his personal wealth plays little part in his motives. He refuses to accept money early in the film and does not take the gold at the end. Also remember his line to the family he lets escape because he relates personally to them due to events in his own life.I think most people would agree it would be a terrible idea but I think he meant included as an extra on the special edition DVD. (Which I believe now looks likely)


if that is the case blondie, then clint doesnt have a reason apart to piss them off, lol  ;D
Personally i think the key quote is "I dont like to take money unless i feel ive earnt it." which suggests that his motive is personal wealth but only when its deserved, if that makes sense  ;)
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: Two Kinds of ... on November 15, 2004, 11:22:27 AM
Apparently the scene exists and will be an extra on the new version of FOD that's coming out in `05.
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: Blondie on November 15, 2004, 04:58:52 PM
if that is the case blondie, then clint doesnt have a reason apart to piss them off, lol

I don't think you've quite understood Eastwood's character in AFOD. Money has nothing to do with it. There is no sign of him leaving the town with anything other than what he entered it with.

In both this film and Yojimbo the central character is supposed to be the mythical hero who rids the town of its evil. Leone made this clear. Thats why he sites the mythical hero Shane as one of the biggest influences on AFOD. The film was originally called The Magnificent Stranger.

Further, Leone's original script had a prologue dealing with No-Name's past. It was then dropped and they left the sole line that is said when he lets the family leave town. Leone felt it would make his character more mysterious. And I am certain he would have resented the notion that any of his audience would diminish his anti-hero through the belief that his actions were purely for money.

Like Eastwood's Pale Rider, his intentions are never clear but what is clear he is not out for money or to annoy the villains.  ;)

Personally i think the key quote is "I dont like to take money unless i feel ive earnt it." which suggests that his motive is personal wealth but only when its deserved, if that makes sense  ;)

Isn't it all part of his master plan to rid the town?

I mean at the finale did you see Clint loot the Rojo residence or steel any of the stolen army gold?

The Stranger leaves the town with his job accomplished. His intentions are not made entirely clear but what is clear is that he didn't leave with the town's money so we can rule out personal wealth.  ;) :D :o :-X
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: dave jenkins on November 15, 2004, 06:33:02 PM
Why would Clint have any *need* for money? He'd just gotten 100,000 dollars in gold at Sad Hill.
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: Two Kinds of ... on November 15, 2004, 07:55:28 PM
Why would Clint have any *need* for money? He'd just gotten 100,000 dollars in gold at Sad Hill.
Yup, if it's the same character, he's loaded by the opening of FOD.
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: Leonardo on November 16, 2004, 06:24:34 AM
Why would Clint have any *need* for money? He'd just gotten 100,000 dollars in gold at Sad Hill.
Well, he doesn't give me the impression of being rich since he is riding a mule and not a horse... ;D
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: Two Kinds of ... on November 16, 2004, 12:23:53 PM
Well, he doesn't give me the impression of being rich since he is riding a mule and not a horse... ;D
Know anything about Howard Hughes?
Title: Re:Alternate opening
Post by: grandpa_chum on November 16, 2004, 10:20:10 PM
the fact the opening is still in existence is... stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 23, 2011, 01:24:25 AM
so I've been having some fun lately reviving old FOD threads  :)

I am sure by now,  everyone knows the opening was indeed included on the SE dvd. Personally, I am very happy it was included (separately, of course!) cuz it is an interesting piece of history and shows what censorship was like back then. That opening was only used for the very first time the movie was shown on tv in America, cuz the powers that be thought that it was a bit too rough for the times to have a guy come into town and slaughter the place for no apparent motive.

But that stuff about the dvd and the opening is all old. The reason I am responding here is cuz this brought up the topic of Joe's motivation, which is always a relevant and important topic, and I'd like to respond to that:

Frayling always points to TMWNN as being a new kind of anti-hero who "works strictly for cash." I agree with Frayling, and I disagree with you guys who believe Joe is like Shane * coming here to rid the town of evil. Sure, he ultimately accomplishesthat, but I don't think he in any way sets out to do that or cares about achieving that result.


I believe Joe indeed works strictly for cash, and has no other motivation, and doesn't give a damn about helping the good citizens of the town. To the extent that their interests (getting rid of the crime families) coincide with his (getting as much money as he can), great. But he doesn't care about helping anyone but his wallet, and doesn't have many morals.


Sure, he is somewhat of a better person than are the most evil people, such as Ramon, Esteban, and Chico. Other than the extremely cruel acts of those who mistreat women and children -- and perhaps what John and Consuela Baxters did, in returning Marisol to her captivity -- I don't think there is any act of violence/evil that anyone of the others do does that Joe would not do. Sure, he does stick out his neck to save The Holy Family based on some incident in his past, but overall he really is not much of a better person than most of the others in the town.

As Frayling says, this new "hero" Leone created is the hero not because of his morals, but because of his style: how cool he is, how stylish he is, how fast on the draw he is, etc. An interesting line Frayling says  (which he may have been citing someone else, and which I am probably completely butchering) is that in previous Westerns, the hero is also the quickest draw; in Leone's Westerns, he's the hero because he is the quickest draw. (Totally butchered, but you get the gist  ;)).

So yeah, he works strictly for cash. Some objections raised in this thread are that he returns the money before leaving the Rojos, that he leaves town with nothing but what he came with, and that he doesn't take the gold that was stolen from the Mexican army.

IMO these are not difficult to answer: a) Joe is "also intelligent," as Ramon says. It's not very intelligent to take money from the most powerful crime family in the neighborhood and then skip out on them. Joe figured 9correctly) that there would be plenty of opportunities to make more money later on, that were much better than basically telling Ramon here, "I took your money and now I'm leaving." If he'd have done that, at worst, Ramon would have tried to kill him or take the money back; at best, he'd have never trusted/hired him again. Maybe indeed, as someone said, he really did want to "earn it." But I prefer my answer. Joe certainly left town with far more than what he came with: we clearly see him getting money from the Baxters' twice (once it's $500, the second time it's unclear how much; Consuela simply says, "Very soon, you're going to be rich"), and $500 from the Rojos once; and perhaps it's assumed that he received more off-screen. So he made over $1000 in town. And considering that the only thing to spend money on in the town is food and drink by Silvanito and coffins by Piripiro (admittedly, Joe is responsible for a lot of them!), IMO it is pretty clear that Joe indeed leaves town with a fistful of dollars.

Taking the gold would have been absolutely asinine. The gov't was certainly conducting investigations, and for one man trying to flee from the Mexican gov't/army with a chest of gold -- especially since Silvanito and perhaps others in the town would know that Joe had taken it, and perhaps their allegiance would be to their own gov't -- would have been absolute suicide. Or, as Joe says, "too dangerous." Joe is the "last man standing" cuz, as Ramon said earlier, "he's also intelligent." It wouldn't have been intelligent to take a chest of gold the Mexican gov't is after.

(Interestingly, there is a similar issue at the end of FAFDM, where Manco takes the loot that was stolen from the bank. There, it's probably meant to be somewhat ambiguous as to whether he was gonna keep it or return it...)


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


* Once I mention Shane, I'll address those who compared FOD with Shane:  The plot of FOD is of course a direct ripoff of Yojimbo, which was probably heavily influenced by Shane. IMO Shane's only real influence on the plot was that Shane influenced Yojimbo; I don't think much was copied directly from Shane that Yojimbo hadn't already. The reason I believe that I don't see much you can point to in the plot of FOD that has a source in Shane but not in Yojimbo. So IMO Shane wasn't much of a direct influence on the plot, except insofar as it was the inspiration for Yojimbo.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: stanton on December 23, 2011, 02:32:08 AM
Yes, Joe works strictly for cash, and for that the ending is in the light of the next 2 films slightly disappointing. Here Leone has probably chickened out, at least I view the ending as a concession towards old movie conventions, and I assume Leone would have made it different if FOD would have been made after FaFDM.
We don't know how much money he gave the holy family, but I always assumed  he gave them all he had, at least there is nothing which indicates clearly that he has no money left when he leaves. The directing implies that he leaves hoe he came. With his mule and his clothing.

FOD created a new type of hero, which was so extremely different that many called him an anti-hero (which he not really is), but it needed one more film to give this then cynic attitude full reign.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Smokey on December 23, 2011, 07:02:34 AM
Is this the scene?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppZuqec9lq0
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 23, 2011, 07:15:22 AM
Is this the scene?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppZuqec9lq0

Indeed it is O0

and by the time Joe had gotten from the prison to San Miguel, his horse had turned into a mule, his poncho had been cut in half, and the screen had gone from 2:35:1 to 4:3  ;D (actually, I guess the whole movie was cut to 4:3 to be shown in fullscreen on tv, eh?)
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: stanton on December 23, 2011, 09:47:43 AM
And it was indeed directed by Monte Hellman. Maybe he did it by purpose so bad that he hoped they wouldn't use it.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Cusser on December 23, 2011, 07:02:23 PM
Of course he was going to return the bank's money.  With that reward, plus bounties, he'd be rich anyway.  If he turned n the gang for bounty, and din't have their loot, that would raise lots of questions.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Stern on December 26, 2011, 01:46:24 PM
Maybe two remarks from a different point of view: Not only Joe is working for a fistful of dollars, but also Leone with his budget of 100 T USD. To a small extent is Joe the early autobiographical portrait of himself. Also the Dollar trilogy is to some extent the story of his raising budget (to 1.3 M USD), bur Leone uses it only to build more and more destructed scenes and to end in GBU in a dead town: in a cemetery. To the second: there may be another opening, but this opening is the opening of Leones carrier. The well, Joe is drinking of in the beginning is the presumption of Sweetwater (no one else uses it; no one uses the well in the middle of the town). Chico in the beginning returns even in the end of his carrier, in America as Chicken Joe. The desert of San Miguel returns periodically and you can continue for dozens.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: UNKNOWN Next to Arch Stanton on February 04, 2012, 04:54:48 PM
The new scene was used before the credits so it could be used selectively. BTW, was it used during the initial airing n 1975 or 1977?
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: cigar joe on February 05, 2012, 04:22:48 AM
1975 and I was appalled 
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 05, 2012, 08:52:09 AM
I find it funny how passionately the old timers hate that opening  ;D ;D

of course, that opening is bullshit. But considering that it aired ONE TIME, was so pathetic it was never taken seriously, and actually serves as a reminder of just how revolutionary FOD was (even a decade after its release!) I find it amusing in a certain way. Of course, I wouldn't want it as part of the movie and never even think about it (until someone posts about it here), but I'm glad we have it as an extra on the dvd. For all those reasons, i find it hilarious that some of y'all would wish we didn't even have a copy of it.

On the other hand, many of those same folks have no problem with the fact that the studio cut out 17 minutes that Leone had intended be in GBU (or was it 14?) The Master had intended that be part of the movie, and studio execs had shamefully removed it. I am very happy I never saw those versions (as the only versions of Leone movies I have ever seen are the one son the latest edition dvd's).

I know that those parts that were cut were generally not all that important to the plot (with the one exception of the scene of Angel Eyes in the destroyed Confederate fort, which I absolutely believe should have been left in). But still, I want to see the version the Master intended, period.

Of course, the matter of that "alternate opening scene" of FOD and the matter of the cut scenes of GBU ar 2 completely unrelated issues; I'm just mentioning it cuz I find it amusing that many people here get an ulcer whenever that "alternate opening of FOD" is mentioned, but are totally cool with the version of GBU that was available in the US until '03. I understand that that is the version you grew up with, but it would bother me much more knowing that there are 17 minutes of a movie that Leone intended to be in there that I couldn't see for years; than the fact that the first time a movie was shown on tv, it had an "alternate opening" that I knew was fake and never aired again. If you could roll back time, would you choose to

A) have always had the version of GBU Leone intended you see;

or

B) have not had to endure the trauma of seeing a fake opening one time?

From some of the reactions here, I think of many of y'all will take B, which I find preposterous  ;D ;D ;D


(All I know is that I would accept a thousand fake openings to FOD [as long as I knew they were fakes, of course] if I'd have the ability to see the additional 45 minutes or so of OUATIA that Leone had intended be in the definitive version of the movie. I am really hoping that Leone's children and the others involved in the upcoming restoration do a good job. If all goes well and we'll indeed have the version of OUATIA [about 4:35] that Leone intended, I will be the happiest man alive. I know this all has nothing to do with the topic here, but for me, everything in life gets back to OUATIA, specifically getting ahold of that definitive 4:35 version. [Once that is done, then we'll turn our attention to the 6-10 hours of footage that Frayling says Leone shot]  ;) )

Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: stanton on February 05, 2012, 09:13:00 AM
And who exactly is on the other hand, many of those same folks who have no problem with the fact that the studio cut out 17 minutes that Leone had intended be in GBU (or was it 14?).

Or who of us iyo will really take B, which you then will find preposterous?
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: cigar joe on February 05, 2012, 03:59:26 PM
I find it funny how passionately the old timers hate that opening  ;D ;D

of course, that opening is bullshit. But considering that it aired ONE TIME, was so pathetic it was never taken seriously, and actually serves as a reminder of just how revolutionary FOD was (even a decade after its release!) I find it amusing in a certain way. Of course, I wouldn't want it as part of the movie and never even think about it (until someone posts about it here), but I'm glad we have it as an extra on the dvd. For all those reasons, i find it hilarious that some of y'all would wish we didn't even have a copy of it.

On the other hand, many of those same folks have no problem with the fact that the studio cut out 17 minutes that Leone had intended be in GBU (or was it 14?) The Master had intended that be part of the movie, and studio execs had shamefully removed it. I am very happy I never saw those versions (as the only versions of Leone movies I have ever seen are the one son the latest edition dvd's).

I know that those parts that were cut were generally not all that important to the plot (with the one exception of the scene of Angel Eyes in the destroyed Confederate fort, which I absolutely believe should have been left in). But still, I want to see the version the Master intended, period.

Of course, the matter of that "alternate opening scene" of FOD and the matter of the cut scenes of GBU ar 2 completely unrelated issues; I'm just mentioning it cuz I find it amusing that many people here get an ulcer whenever that "alternate opening of FOD" is mentioned, but are totally cool with the version of GBU that was available in the US until '03. I understand that that is the version you grew up with, but it would bother me much more knowing that there are 17 minutes of a movie that Leone intended to be in there that I couldn't see for years; than the fact that the first time a movie was shown on tv, it had an "alternate opening" that I knew was fake and never aired again. If you could roll back time, would you choose to

A) have always had the version of GBU Leone intended you see;

or

B) have not had to endure the trauma of seeing a fake opening one time?

From some of the reactions here, I think of many of y'all will take B, which I find preposterous  ;D ;D ;D




(All I know is that I would accept a thousand fake openings to FOD [as long as I knew they were fakes, of course] if I'd have the ability to see the additional 45 minutes or so of OUATIA that Leone had intended be in the definitive version of the movie. I am really hoping that Leone's children and the others involved in the upcoming restoration do a good job. If all goes well and we'll indeed have the version of OUATIA [about 4:35] that Leone intended, I will be the happiest man alive. I know this all has nothing to do with the topic here, but for me, everything in life gets back to OUATIA, specifically getting ahold of that definitive 4:35 version. [Once that is done, then we'll turn our attention to the 6-10 hours of footage that Frayling says Leone shot]  ;) )



The difference is, I never knew about the cut 17 minutes until I first read Fraylings Spaghetti Western Book, and finally saw them when the DVD with them added as extra features came out.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 05, 2012, 04:30:30 PM
And who exactly is on the other hand, many of those same folks who have no problem with the fact that the studio cut out 17 minutes that Leone had intended be in GBU (or was it 14?).

Or who of us iyo will really take B, which you then will find preposterous?

people like you and cigar joe seem to have little problem with (most of) the scenes that were cut from GBU -- there were some that you are even unhappy were restored. Nothing like the way cigar joe (and some others) whines about that alternate opening  ;)
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Dirty Rat on February 06, 2012, 02:50:06 AM
I agree that the "alternate opening" is hilarious because it is so bad.
Perhaps the funniest thing is that the plonker that produced it (or directed it, I cannot remember) reckoned that he once bumped into Clint who claimed that he had once seen it on tv in a hotel room and hadn't realised that it wasn't him it was so good!!!!!!!!!
He is a funny or not very well man   :-\
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: stanton on February 06, 2012, 02:58:24 AM
people like you and cigar joe seem to have little problem with (most of) the scenes that were cut from GBU -- there were some that you are even unhappy were restored. Nothing like the way cigar joe (and some others) whines about that alternate opening  ;)

Not really

That fake opening scene is simply badly made, but it is great that I was able to see it. At least it was fun.

The cave scene was never part of the Italian version, and it is better so. I'm also glad that I can watch it, but it should be in the bonus section of the DVD. I also would like to see the Socorro scene, but not as part of the film.

I prefer GBU in the longer version, but still there ain't a weak moment in the 161 min version, while there are 2 more short scenes in the 175 min version which I call superfluous. The film's narrative don't needs them.
So I prefer the longer version to the shorter version, but without the cave scene (Leone didn't put it in when other scenes were restored for the Italian version in the 80s) and these 2 other scenes it would be for me the perfect version.

But every criticism of a film is an asking for a better version. Like if someone says they should have chosen a better actor for a certain role, or the score is not that good, or a film is too long, or there shouldn't be a happy end etc.

Btw, the problem with the longer GBU version is indeed that the film simply gets in danger to become overlong.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 06, 2012, 11:13:14 AM
Not really

That fake opening scene is simply badly made, but it is great that I was able to see it. At least it was fun.

The cave scene was never part of the Italian version, and it is better so. I'm also glad that I can watch it, but it should be in the bonus section of the DVD. I also would like to see the Socorro scene, but not as part of the film.

I prefer GBU in the longer version, but still there ain't a weak moment in the 161 min version, while there are 2 more short scenes in the 175 min version which I call superfluous. The film's narrative don't needs them.
So I prefer the longer version to the shorter version, but without the cave scene (Leone didn't put it in when other scenes were restored for the Italian version in the 80s) and these 2 other scenes it would be for me the perfect version.

But every criticism of a film is an asking for a better version. Like if someone says they should have chosen a better actor for a certain role, or the score is not that good, or a film is too long, or there shouldn't be a happy end etc.

Btw, the problem with the longer GBU version is indeed that the film simply gets in danger to become overlong.

I do agree that the cave scene in GBU is useless. But without it, you never know that those men are Tuco's. I'm not sure if the next scene would seem confusing without that cave scene. (The first time I watched the movie, I felt that the first half was way too slow, and almost shut it off. I'm glad I didn't  ;) )
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: stanton on February 06, 2012, 12:17:27 PM
No, its not confusing.

You see Tuco sending them up the staircase to Blondie's room. I never needed anything else to know about these miserable 3.

At this moment of his career Leone was in danger to become to circumstantial.

All these additional scenes of OUTW, which were in teh screenplay, would have damaged the film considerably
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 06, 2012, 01:15:51 PM
No, its not confusing.

You see Tuco sending them up the staircase to Blondie's room. I never needed anything else to know about these miserable 3.

At this moment of his career Leone was in danger to become to circumstantial.

All these additional scenes of OUTW, which were in teh screenplay, would have damaged the film considerably


additional scenes of OUATITW?  What are you talking about? the scene where the sheriff's deputies beat up Harmonica?
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: stanton on February 06, 2012, 05:07:20 PM
That one and other stuff.
Some of these scenes filmed, some weren't
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: iceman on April 17, 2012, 12:11:57 PM
Indeed it is O0

and by the time Joe had gotten from the prison to San Miguel, his horse had turned into a mule, his poncho had been cut in half, and the screen had gone from 2:35:1 to 4:3  ;D (actually, I guess the whole movie was cut to 4:3 to be shown in fullscreen on tv, eh?)

The full length poncho down to his ankles looks utterly ridiculous....wonder if it still exists somewhere.......must be worth an absolute fortu....worthless...LOL ;D ;D ;D

Also, anyone able to work out where the prison would be, if San Miguel was three days ride south, just over the border?
and another thing..

Did Joe or Blondie or Manco ever tie the holster to his leg or is it ever seen tied to his leg?...dont remember mortimer tying it when he used Manco's gun in FFOD?

ICE
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Cusser on April 18, 2012, 06:52:43 AM
the cave scene ....without it, you never know that those men are Tuco's. I'm not sure if the next scene would seem confusing without that cave scene.

I saw this at 15 (in 1968), felt even then it was obvious that they worked for Tuco, no issue with that.

We all know that TV/film bad guys can recruit thugs at the drop of a hat !!!
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 18, 2012, 09:56:17 AM
the one scene that  I'll never understand how it was deleted is the one with Angel Eyes visiting the Confederate fort and finding out that Bill Carson will probably wind up at Betterville.

When you watched the film without that scene, what did you think when you suddenly saw Angel Eyes as the lieutenant at Betterville? That it was the greatest coincidence in the history of cinema?
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 18, 2012, 10:20:02 AM
No, its not confusing.

At this moment of his career Leone was in danger to become to circumstantial.

All these additional scenes of OUTW, which were in teh screenplay, would have damaged the film considerably


I am not sure what other scenes there were in OUATITW.

As for Leone, I think he used many scenes for their own sake, not because they moved the story along in any way.

For example, in the blu-ray commentary on GBU, Frayling says that when people wanted to remove some of the scenes in the desert where Tuco is torturing Blondie, Leone objected cuz he thought the cinematography of those scenes was so beautiful, it was shot like the great surrealist painters.... So if your main interest with scenes is moving along the narrative, much of the first half of GBU is useless. But it seems as if Leone wanted each scene to be enjoyed on its own (like a TV episode? [NOT in a bad way]), without a great concern for the narrative; enjoy each scene on its own, and eventually a story will come together...

Since the first time I saw GBU, I don't think I have ever sat through it again straight, beginning to end, except when I did it to watch the commentaries. Maybe I feel too much of the first half drags on unnecessarily. Watching it now, there is really no reason for me to sit through, for example, the scene of Tuco in the gun shop, the first scene where Angel Eyes kills the former soldier, much of the desert scenes, etc. But I have watched the second half of the movie straight -- say, from the time Blondie and Tuco arrive in Betterville -- many, many times.

Perhaps I'd feel differently about the shorter version, which I have never seen. I recently bought the dvd of the shorter version (which has the deleted scenes in the special features, in Italian with English subtitles. I got the used dvd dirt cheap on eBay.) The next time I watch the movie, I'll watch that version, and see how I feel about it. One big problem with that version is the picture quality -- the tape looks screwed up, and they didn't do any good re-mastering for that dvd, like they did for the Special Edition.

Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: stanton on April 18, 2012, 11:23:05 AM
the one scene that  I'll never understand how it was deleted is the one with Angel Eyes visiting the Confederate fort and finding out that Bill Carson will probably wind up at Betterville.

When you watched the film without that scene, what did you think when you suddenly saw Angel Eyes as the lieutenant at Betterville? That it was the greatest coincidence in the history of cinema?

No, I always was sure he was there on purpose because he was looking for Bill Carson.
The logical next question is then how he managed to become a Sergeant, and how he managed it to be sent to Betterville instead to the front still isn't answered. But that is also an irrelevant question. I may find easily an explanation (like he has bribed someone), but as it is not important for the film, it is not worth spending the time a thought needs.

The first question (why is he in Betterville) is a typical one which does not need necessarily an explanation in the film itself, as everybody can answer it by himself, and if you have to find an answer by yourself, then, in the film's inner logic, the "on purpose" answer is the only one which makes sense.




Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 18, 2012, 02:29:03 PM
I believe I saw that point discussed somewhere else here: Angel Eyes was probably a retired officer in the army before the war, so that when it became useful for him to be stationed in Betterville to try to find Bill Carson, he simply re-enlisted, and requested to serve in Betterville.

Once Angel Eyes finds out that it is beneficial to be in Betterville, it doesn't seem to difficult to imagine how he got there (if you assume the possibility that he was an officer before the war). But if you don't have the scene with Angel Eyes finding out that Bill Carson will probably wind up in Betterville if he is still alive, then there seems to be little to justify why Angel Eyes would now be a Union officer in Betterville, other than the most insane coincidence in the history of cinema
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: stanton on April 19, 2012, 04:04:54 AM
Is there any hint in the film that he was a retired officer? And he's only a Sergeant anyway.



Once Angel Eyes finds out that it is beneficial to be in Betterville, it doesn't seem to difficult to imagine how he got there (if you assume the possibility that he was an officer before the war). But if you don't have the scene with Angel Eyes finding out that Bill Carson will probably wind up in Betterville if he is still alive, then there seems to be little to justify why Angel Eyes would now be a Union officer in Betterville, other than the most insane coincidence in the history of cinema

Still, I don't need the scene for this information. When I first saw GBU I had no doubt that he was only in the prison camp cause he somehow had assumed that it was his best chance to find Carson. If the information, which Sentenza gets in this scene, would be the only justification for this scene, than it would be indeed a weak scene for being too long and telling me things I don't need. The story of GBU always ran smoothly for me without this scene, in 10 or 15 viewings before I saw the other scenes. Or read about them.

This scene is more important for the rhythm of the film, than for its content. And it is for me also important that it is only one of two scenes in which Sentenza is presented more human.

The story of GBU is anyway less important for the film than the way Leone tells this story. Like in all Leone film.
And exactly for its storytelling ability is GBU a nearly flawless masterpiece. And is slightly better in the longer version (minus the cave scene), even if there are a few snippets now the film does not really need.
 
Well, D&D you think the film has its flaws in the first half. I think it is perfect in the first half, as it is in the second.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Cusser on April 19, 2012, 07:07:22 AM
When you watched the film without that scene, what did you think when you suddenly saw Angel Eyes as the lieutenant at Betterville? That it was the greatest coincidence in the history of cinema?

Nah, just figured Angel Eyes bumped off a Union sergeant, took his uniform (like they did in Wizard of Oz).  Good thing the seargeant's outfit included a Mortimer-like cape !!
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Martin K on January 05, 2013, 12:44:20 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppZuqec9lq0
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Tex on February 23, 2013, 12:28:55 PM
Did Joe or Blondie or Manco ever tie the holster to his leg or is it ever seen tied to his leg?...dont remember mortimer tying it when he used Manco's gun in FFOD?

We don't see the good Colonel tie it down, and I can't recall ever seeing Clint ever tie it down. I also noticed that the gun was wrong. In the "alternate opening" the barrel is much too long and it doesn't have the iconic silver rattlesnake grips from Rawhide.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Tex on February 23, 2013, 12:45:45 PM
A few thoughts on this thread.

While I think it is unfair to view FOD through the lens of Yojimbo, I think Yojimbo may shed some light on the Joe character. In Yojimbo we have a knight of the old world, who now must wander the new world. That's all the reason he needs for wandering. There is no place for him now that the world has changed. Is Joe the same type of character? We may assume his past has been troubled (his remark to Marisol). So it seems we don't need to explain his reason for wandering into this town in the first place (chalk up one more reason not to include the prologue), but the question is more interesting when we consider his reasons for sticking around!

There's been some talk about Joe's lack of morals. I'm not sure we can say he has morals, but rather principles. Now, perhaps one could argue that his principles are merely guided by a pragmatic view of the world. This is why I prefer the term principle to moral. One might say Machiavelli had no morals, but let us never say he had no principles! Am I on the right track here? Thoughts?
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 23, 2013, 09:27:20 PM
A few thoughts on this thread.

While I think it is unfair to view FOD through the lens of Yojimbo, I think Yojimbo may shed some light on the Joe character

I wouldn't use Yojimbo as a means of showing anything about Joe. Sure, the Yojimbo story was used for FOD, but as for motivations/characteristics of the character, I don't think you can use anything from Yojimbo. The character of Joe was deliberately made very mysterious [largely due to Eastwood's insistence on trimming dialogue; initially, there was also an opening scene which explained how he got the poncho, and one that explained the story of how he once knew a girl like Marisol but there was no one there to help]; any characteristic of Yojimbo does not necessarily have any bearing whatsoever on Joe
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Senza on February 23, 2013, 10:38:49 PM
I watched the alternate opening on the blu ray trilogy I bought not too long ago, and I have to say that this opening almost cheapens the entire mystery of the Joe character as well as the impact of the overall story. I hated the idea that Eastwood's character was someone else's puppet or working for someone else, rather than being the lone stranger we all know him to be. Ever since then I've discarded this opening.
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 23, 2013, 10:55:32 PM
I watched the alternate opening on the blu ray trilogy I bought not too long ago, and I have to say that this opening almost cheapens the entire mystery of the Joe character as well as the impact of the overall story. I hated the idea that Eastwood's character was someone else's puppet or working for someone else, rather than being the lone stranger we all know him to be. Ever since then I've discarded this opening.

you are taking this 'alternate opening" much more seriously than you should. it shouldn't even be called an "alternate opening." It's a fake opening that a tv network made, which aired only one time -- the very first time this movie aired on network tv -- precisely because the tv execs wanted to counteract precisely what the Joe character is supposed to be (working strictly for cash, with no morals whatsoever).

It's not an 'alternate opening," it had nothing to do with anyone who was associated with the movie. It's something to watch and laugh at and remind you about the history of, shall we say, censorship/sensitivities of primetime network television, and that's all. If it really bothers you that much to watch it cuz it ruins the movie for you, then you don't understand that it has nothing to do with the movie at all. it's no more an "alternate opening" than the introductions Robert Osbourne gives to TCM movies
Title: Re: Alternate opening
Post by: Senza on February 24, 2013, 01:07:33 AM
I actually should've added, that if I were to picture that "alternate opening" to be part of the movie [and I know it isn't], then that's how I would feel about it. At first that's how I viewed it until I read your post.