Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => The Good, The Bad and The Ugly => Topic started by: Eswar on September 18, 2011, 07:22:01 AM

Title: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Eswar on September 18, 2011, 07:22:01 AM
Hello friends, am new to the forum. Don't know if the question has already been posed, but this is it: After Tuco and Blondie barter their half of the secret, why didn't Tuco kill Blondie afterwards? Going by his goofy nature, he would have believed Blondie must've told him the truth and killed him. There were two main opportunities - while crossing the river and while Blondie was tending to the dying Confederate soldier. This has always perplexed me. ???
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: dave jenkins on September 18, 2011, 03:04:19 PM
while Blondie was tending to the dying Confederate soldier.

Hence the (deleted) canon duel. So he did try to kill him.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: cigar joe on September 18, 2011, 03:25:54 PM

Hence the (deleted) canon duel. So he did try to kill him.

In one version  O0
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Eswar on September 19, 2011, 04:02:13 AM
But the canon duel was initiated by Blondie, evident as his canon shot dehorses Tuco. I guess Tuco then fires the shots in retaliation. If Tuco had to kill him, he could have used his gun (which he is adept at handling) rather than resort to heavy ammunition. Moreover, you can see Tuco's emotions when Blondie spotted the soldier - clandestinely skedaddling from the scene to find the fortune by himself - his intent seemingly innocuous.

Probably if he did use his gun, he would have known it's empty - which would mean we wouldn't have the famous truel.  ::)
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: cigar joe on September 19, 2011, 04:25:31 AM
But the canon duel was initiated by Blondie, evident as his canon shot dehorses Tuco. I guess Tuco then fires the shots in retaliation. If Tuco had to kill him, he could have used his gun (which he is adept at handling) rather than resort to heavy ammunition. Moreover, you can see Tuco's emotions when Blondie spotted the soldier - clandestinely skedaddling from the scene to find the fortune by himself - his intent seemingly innocuous.

Probably if he did use his gun, he would have known it's empty - which would mean we wouldn't have the famous truel.  ::)

True, I get the impression that Tuco has a very infinitesimally small character arc over the course of the film and at the end he would rather just screw Blondie over rather than kill him.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Eswar on September 19, 2011, 05:15:20 AM
Over the course of the film, Tuco's character comes across as someone who is as oafish as dangerous he can be. He had two instances previously to kill Blondie - hanging in the hotel and shooting in the desert - both interrupted miraculously. If he had no qualms of killing Blondie just for revenge, his avarice can as well lead him to go on to kill him (while tending to the soldier) which would make him have the entire booty.

Blondie wanted to teach him a lesson by deliberately firing the canon shot near him, but not at him. This might have led Tuco believe Blondie was going to kill him and therefore retaliate. But it seems equally incredulous that after the (deleted) canon fire exchange, he (forgets all this? and) simply throws away the map and goes on to search for Stanton's grave - despite having a belligerent Blondie after him.

I'm sorry if this is too trivial a discussion, but don't shoot me down for this!
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: cigar joe on September 19, 2011, 08:08:52 AM
Where I see the manifest of change most is after the meeting in the mission with he brother, and subsequently the ride on the ambulance with Blondie.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: dave jenkins on September 19, 2011, 09:30:28 AM
That might be the impetus for the change, but the change (if there is one) doesn't really seem to manifest itself fully until the Walk of Death in Ft. Smith (what you've identified as Ft. Smith). At that point, the pair are working as a team, covering each other from enemy fire. The old Tuco would have let Blondie take one for the team without a moment's hesitation.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: dave jenkins on September 19, 2011, 11:39:06 AM
This is a topic that can be debated for all time. Does Tuco change in the story? Certainly our perception of him changes as we find out new things about him (e.g. his encounter with Father Ramirez), but that's not the same thing as having his character change. It seems certain that Blondie changes viz a viz Tuco as the story goes along--at one point he's willing to leave him alone in the desert to die, at the end he does an even split with the guy and lets him live. Of course, Blondie has also heard the conversation with Fra Ramirez . . .

But Tuco's true feelings remain a mystery. He's just crafty enough to fake change if he thinks it's to his advantage. How can we trust the appearance of change in such a charlatan?
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: pippo on September 19, 2011, 01:07:57 PM
...or probably because Sentenza - Angel Eyes was still around and Tuco preferred to have Blondie on his side as previously in Aberdeen City
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Jordan Krug on September 20, 2011, 02:50:46 PM
This is a topic that can be debated for all time. Does Tuco change in the story? Certainly our perception of him changes as we find out new things about him (e.g. his encounter with Father Ramirez), but that's not the same thing as having his character change. It seems certain that Blondie changes viz a viz Tuco as the story goes along--at one point he's willing to leave him alone in the desert to die, at the end he does an even split with the guy and lets him live. Of course, Blondie has also heard the conversation with Fra Ramirez . . .

But Tuco's true feelings remain a mystery. He's just crafty enough to fake change if he thinks it's to his advantage. How can we trust the appearance of change in such a charlatan?

Very interesting thread to read and think about here...once Tuco has his revenge with Blondie in the desert I think it becomes more of a question of how he can CHEAT Blondie, as opposed to how he can KILL Blondie. Certainly when it came down to a gun battle for the gold it was winner take all....but I don't think even if his gun was loaded he would try to kill Blondie, maybe just wing him enough (Tuco is pretty skilled with a gun) to take Blondie's gun away and steal the gold from him.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Eswar on September 21, 2011, 06:00:13 AM
Just a passing thought, why did Blondie initiate the canon duel in the first place? Is it because he knows that the cemetery was on the other side, but difficult to find out without a horse (which Tuco rode away)? Or just to teach him a lesson? In either case, Blondie would leave the greedy Tuco the asinine task of finding the treasure for him.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: dave jenkins on September 21, 2011, 09:10:12 AM
It seems like Tuco is trying to run off and leave Blondie behind. Blondie thinks this is uncivil and so decides to slow him down a bit. I don't think he knows how close to the cemetary they are. Tuco's fall into the next scene is both a happy accident and an event pre-ordained by the film's demiurge, Sergio.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: cigar joe on September 21, 2011, 02:09:39 PM
demiurge, nice word dj  O0 O0 O0, we can always count on you  8)
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Lil Brutto on September 22, 2011, 09:24:01 PM
I just watched the 3-way shootout at Sadhill again. Tuco was emptying his gun at AE/Sentenza. Perhaps Blondie noticed this and therefore split the loot with him?
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Eswar on September 22, 2011, 11:34:19 PM
I just watched the 3-way shootout at Sadhill again. Tuco was emptying his gun at AE/Sentenza. Perhaps Blondie noticed this and therefore split the loot with him?

Thanks for bringing this in. To bring in a touch of math, this is the perfect state of Nash Equilibrium. In this case Tuco is making the best decision that he can, mindful of the decisions of Blondie and Angel Eyes. Here, Tuco having spent enough time with Blondie clearly knows he is a rational thinker and would not renege on the booty-split pact. The only logical way out is to eliminate the latter. Blondie would have similar thoughts, perchance. Blondie evesdropping on the Ramirez brothers' conversation must have revealed the gentle side of Tuco. In any case, when the duo regrouped - it's quite clear the two men have some respect towards each other that even they failed to realize.

The only concern Blondie would have is to take care of Tuco's greed, not Tuco per se.

His noticing Tuco not aiming at him would not have perhaps been a reason for Blondie to split the treasure - he would have anyhow wanted to give him his share, the only assumption would be if he were alive at the end of the truel. And Blondie pretty well knows he won't be the one who would kill him.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Eswar on September 22, 2011, 11:46:36 PM
On a lighter note as to why Blondie wants to split the money: After Blondie shoots Tuco's rope for the second time and they flee 70 miles into the desert, he says ".... 'cause I don't think you'll ever be worth more than $3000" - which seems to suggest Blondie has some heuristic measure of financial planning. Perhaps he thinks his share of $ 100,000 would be more than enough for him to lead a good life, unless he is obscenely prodigal. And carrying all $ 200,000 during the Civil War is too much of a risk.   ;)
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Stern on September 29, 2011, 10:54:01 AM

Hello,
Maybe I can coin in an idea from a bit different point of view. In my opinion, the dramaturgy of the film is that Tuco and Blondie are both not bad boys, still quit different characters. Leone plays with these differences, which are to a good part the content of the film. Tuco belongs in some way to an old world, Blondie to a new. According to the story both have lot of possibilities to die or to kill each other, but the idea of Leone is, to let them survive, although this is often completely unbelievable. To me one mayor content of the film is, that both, the representatives of the old and the new world have they specific role in the world and therefore survive. Look for this idea also to the barkeeper in “Once upon the time in the West” at the beginning, a completely time-outed man, but still lovable, and one of the few not be killed.

Andeas Stern
Andreas5Stern@aol.com
http://sternstunde.npage.de

Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: dave jenkins on September 29, 2011, 01:10:26 PM
Thanks for bringing this in. To bring in a touch of math, this is the perfect state of Nash Equilibrium. In this case Tuco is making the best decision that he can, mindful of the decisions of Blondie and Angel Eyes. Here, Tuco having spent enough time with Blondie clearly knows he is a rational thinker and would not renege on the booty-split pact. The only logical way out is to eliminate the latter. Blondie would have similar thoughts, perchance. Blondie evesdropping on the Ramirez brothers' conversation must have revealed the gentle side of Tuco. In any case, when the duo regrouped - it's quite clear the two men have some respect towards each other that even they failed to realize.

The only concern Blondie would have is to take care of Tuco's greed, not Tuco per se.
If this were true, Blondie would not have bothered to surreptitiously unload Tuco's gun.

I like that other point, though: having witnessed Tuco dry firing at AE, Blondie may have decided to reward Tuco for his loyalty. I'm not sure that that was an entirely rational decision, however. But Blondie is as susceptible to sentimentality as anyone. He did take the precaution, though, of leaving Tuco with the money but without a horse when making his getaway. Tuco cannot follow immediately, or for that matter, anytime soon. He will have to rehide the money, go for pack animals, and return, thus giving Blondie plenty of time to disappear into the landscape.

After all, Blondie may be content with half the loot, but there is no reason to believe that Tuco would settle for that amount. Tuco is not motivated merely by the utility of gold, but by the ecstacy it--and the quest for it--confers.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: johnk on October 01, 2011, 11:53:57 AM
After crossing crossing the river you would have thought Tuco would have tested his pistol to make sure it worked even though he protected it .........Guns and water dont mix ......and being a seasoned gunman would have checked working of gun after crossing.........If he had he would have found it unloaded.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: johnk on October 01, 2011, 12:03:08 PM
Hello friends, am new to the forum. Don't know if the question has already been posed, but this is it: After Tuco and Blondie barter their half of the secret, why didn't Tuco kill Blondie afterwards? Going by his goofy nature, he would have believed Blondie must've told him the truth and killed him. There were two main opportunities - while crossing the river and while Blondie was tending to the dying Confederate soldier. This has always perplexed me. ???
Tuco mellows and warms to Blondie as the film progresses.........Thats why towards the end we see Tuco change from cold blooded killer at beginning of film to Likeable clown,unlike Angel Eyes who is pure evil throughout the film........Thats what makes it so entertaining.Tuco is the only one who gives a motive for his actions to his brother........Moral story......not actions of a Psyco killer.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Dirty Rat on October 13, 2011, 01:06:42 AM
I agree with DJ.
And was Blondie going to start chasing him on foot? Of course not, lighting a canon ball is far more his style. It clearly only occurred to the Blondie character to do this at the last minute and shows how cool he is. It also helped move the film into the final chapter.

Interesting take on the final shootout too Honest Farmer.
I had never thought about that before. Reading the expressions on the faces there was certainly a lot going on there. Blondie nodding to Tuco and almost smiling is very noticeable and certainly picked up on by Angeleyes. In fact that is when Angeleyes starts bricking it. If you remember back to the very beginning when they are stepping around eachother and Tuco hangs out his gun Angeleyes looks very confident and sure of himself.

I think Blondie knew that Tuco was a rogue but he wasn't evil like Angeleyes and I think Blondie maybe even liked Tuco - maybe I'm confusing the likeable nature of Tuco that we the viewer has, with the character of Blondie, I'm not sure.
I think either way, Blondie wasn't going to let Angeleyes have a cent of that money. It simply wasn't fair the way that he tortured the information out of Tuco - and there was no question that Blondie was going to kill him.

A bit waffly but I hope I have made some sense!
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: sergios specs on November 06, 2011, 06:20:46 PM
Blondie did got to Tuco for help in order to dispose of Sentenza's gang. Later at the cemetary he says "Two hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money. We're gonna have to earn it" Maybe he was of the opinion Tuco had earned his share?
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: Cusser on November 07, 2011, 06:46:25 AM
Tuco and Blondie would've made sure that their guns did NOT get wet crossing the stream.  They weren't exactly carrying any other stuff with them. 

And for those not out west: streams and rivers in the west are way smaller and way shallower than such back east.  So realistic to be able to simply walk across.  Now, I know, the end is supposed to take place near Arkansas.....according to the nice timeline posted on this site.
Title: Re: Why didn't Tuco kill Blondie?
Post by: mike siegel on November 20, 2011, 10:45:07 AM
I can only think of what Ford would have said:
''If he would have done that, it would have been the end of the picture!''