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For a Few Dollars More / Re: Alternate Mortimer
« on: August 03, 2016, 01:16:46 PM »
...and why not have Lillian Gish play Red "Baby" Cavanagh instead of that Burt Lancaster lookalike?

Yep. The zither was half the film.

Plus Harry Lime's first appearance is an intro worthy of Leone.

For a Few Dollars More / Re: Alternate Mortimer
« on: August 01, 2016, 11:40:28 PM »
But Joan Crawford was still alive...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
« on: August 01, 2016, 02:42:40 PM »
I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that Morricone was asked to score Heaven's Gate, but fell asleep in the screening room. Shame. Wonder what the maestro would've come up with?

I'd say other composers have, on occasion, come close to that magical Morricone/Leone effect - Bernard Herrmann with Welles and Hitchcock, Vangelis with Blade Runner, Walter Schumann with Night of the Hunter and Anton Karas with The Third Man, to name just a few. But maybe the only comparable outpouring of astonishing musical invention is John Barry's succession of scores for the early 007 films. It's a delight to play a montage of 'gunbarrel' sequences and register each subtle variation on the Bond theme, from Dr No through to Diamonds Are Forever...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Erich Rohmer 1920-2010
« on: August 01, 2016, 01:55:15 PM »
Agreed - a great filmmaker - and surely a big influence on the later Woody Allen?

Particularly fond of The Bakery Girl of Monceau, My Night with Maud, Love in the Afternoon, A Good Marriage and An Autumn Tale.

General Discussion / Dr No and Leone
« on: August 01, 2016, 01:35:27 PM »
No doubt it's been brought up on here before, but Terence Young's first Bond film must surely have left quite an impression on Leone (and Eastwood)? Particularly the stylish rotoscoped credit sequence, the electric music and the then-shockingly ruthless way in which 007, a cigarette dangling nonchalantly from his lip, disposes of Professor Dent?

Just imagine a Leone-directed 007 film (preferably with Connery), featuring Morricone's take on the Bond theme...

For a Few Dollars More / Re: Alternate Mortimer
« on: August 01, 2016, 12:58:14 PM »
Hadn't thought of Richard Boone. Good call.

Could also imagine Glenn Ford in the role.

Stewart would certainly have been interesting, though he would've bust the budget. And Fonda, obviously - yet that might somehow 'clash' with his turn as Frank in OUATITW. (Just as, in a way, I'd rather remember Van Cleef as Mortimer and see someone else - Jack Palance, maybe - in GBU.)

Apparently Charles Bronson was also approached - but he would surely have seemed miscast as a Colonel from the Carolinas? As would Yul Brynner.)

Gregory Peck or William Holden - might have been interesting, but both too expensive. Dana Andrews, possibly?

Maybe a desperate Leone would even have considered Stewart Granger? Or his old pal from The Colossus of Rhodes, Rory Calhoun?

And if only Gary Cooper had still been around...

Well I guess it's a matter of musical taste. I think the Five Man Army score is terrific, up there with his work for Leone. Whereas Jarre's Professionals score adheres far more closely to the old 'American heroic' template, more musically 'narrow' than the rich stew of sounds served up by Morricone.

But each to his own...

The excellent Morricone score and the GBU-style title sequence are really what elevate this film out of mediocrity. Like The Professionals (which could use a better score than the disappointingly traditional one supplied by Maurice Jarre), the film would have more impact if it wasn't so soft-centred, a defect epitomised by the all too clean-cut Peter Graves.

Other Films / Re: The Professionals (1966)
« on: July 30, 2016, 04:59:31 PM »
Just re-watched this for the first time in years, and my immediate thought was how much it would have benefited from a Five Man Army-style Morricone score.  Maurice Jarre's music is OK, but nothing special. Also disappointed that Woody Strode and Robert Ryan were given so little to do. Even Palance. Leone, who in 1966 was beating Hollywood at its own game, would have known how to make the most of this material.

For a Few Dollars More / Alternate Mortimer
« on: July 30, 2016, 01:43:13 PM »
I suspect this topic has come up for discussion before, and I've always thought of Colonel Mortimer as Lee Van Cleef's signature role, not to mention his best performance. But what if Van Cleef hadn't been available in 1965? Who would have beenan adequate substitute? Apparently Lee Marvin and Robert Ryan were both approached by Leone. Ryan in particular, I think, would have been good casting as an honourable man of an older generation. (Not that Marvin wouldn't have been great too, in his own way.) Also quite like the idea of either Joel McCrea or Randolph Scott - although it's hard to imagine the latter, who had by then retired, comfortably wealthy, taking a trip to Spain to make a few bucks. But just imagine Randolph Scott facing off against the likes of Kinski and Volonte...  (Given the maturity of these actors, it would probably make more sense for Mortimer to be avenging his daughter rather than his sister).

Any other suggestions?

Duck, You Sucker / Altering the Map
« on: July 28, 2016, 03:47:26 PM »
Where does the time go? First post in maybe a decade. Great to see that this stuff is still being discussed. Long may it continue...

Drawn back here after unearthing an old DVD recorded from the BBC years ago and introducing the film to my teenage son. He'd seen and enjoyed all the previous Leones, plus Five Man Army and Guns For San Sebastian - not a bad grounding in great film music. Took so long in getting round to screening this for him as I'd long considered it a 'lesser Leone', slightly disappointing, with Morricone's eccentric score occasionally venturing a little too deep into Bacharach territory. Yet certain scenes - John/Juan's first meeting, the Mesa Verde arrival, the poignant Ireland flashbacks - had made a vivid impression, even watching with my father on a 20-inch screen in black-and-white pan-and-scan in the late '70s.

This recent viewing, though, was a revelation (even if the final flashback was conspicuous by its absence on my old DVD.) Yes, there are flaws and anachronisms aplenty - and I wish they'd kept the title Once Upon a Time ... The Revolution - surely the most appropriate and evocative? But there's so much great stuff here - visual, thematic, musical - and emotionally moving, if you disregard the false comparison suggested by the Fistful title. I've been listening to the startlingly eloquent soundtrack on my way to and from work this week – can’t get enough of it (the music, not the work) and finally recognise what Morricone achieved here. As others have said, the music does the work of reams of dialogue.

As for the much-discussed Mallory/Nolan business – I'd always understood it that just before Mallory shoots him, Nolan nods assent, as though passing judgment on himself (just as David Warner’s Jack The Ripper nods assent to Malcolm McDowell’s HG Wells in Time After Time before being consigned to oblivion).  And the following fragment of an interview with David Warbeck does seem to suggest that this was how he was directed to act in the scene - and presumably, then, that the nod of assent was Leone’s intention:

Anyhow, better turn in. Work again tomorrow. But at least, thanks to the magic of Morricone, the commute will pass quickly (to paraphrase Colonel Mortimer).

General Discussion / Re: John Wayne
« on: May 05, 2005, 10:24:20 AM »
It would have been fascinating to see John Wayne in a Leone film - the logical extension of Leone's use of Ford's Monument Valley.

If it was a shock to audiences to witness Henry Fonda gunning down a young boy in OUATITW, then just think how they would have reacted to seeing Duke Wayne (or even Jimmy Stewart) as Frank?

Of course, it's almost impossible to believe that Wayne would have taken the role if he'd been offered it, or agreed to play it as written, but it's still fun to imagine...

A Fistful of Dollars / What if they'd apologized to his mule?
« on: May 05, 2005, 09:45:47 AM »
Has anyone ever wondered how No Name would have reacted if the gunmen, fearing that he might be too quick on the draw, had given in to his demand and sheepishly offered up their humble apologies for any offence they might have caused  the unfortunate animal?  :)

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