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Topics - redyred

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Off-Topic Discussion / Happy Birthday Leone Admirer!
« on: August 17, 2005, 02:55:35 PM »
Hope you had a good 'un matey  ;)

Once Upon A Time In America / Minaldi
« on: August 06, 2005, 08:01:58 AM »
Theory posted by Poggle on another thread:

Now I have this crazy-assed theory about Minaldi - After finding out that the gang is going to be getting involved in the trucking business(If I remember correctly), he wants Max killed(For the same reason Bugsy beat the **** out of them) and uses Carol to manipulate Noodles into turning him in, though I wonder if Minaldi's men entering the Chinese theater is part of the dream or during his "sense of clarity".

This has got me thinking. There is definately more to the Mindaldi subplot than meets the eye I think. One bit I remember, is the scene - after the gang visit Jimmy Cleanhands in hospital - in the hospital foyer, when Max and Noodles decide to take a holiday. The scene ends showing Minaldi is lurking around, watching them.

I suspect the stuff that was cut from Leone's original eight hours contains a lot of Joe Pesci...

Once Upon A Time In America / Another thread about de niro's smile
« on: July 20, 2005, 11:31:44 AM »
Nah, only joking...

But the smile must be the most overdone thread topic on the OUTIA forum - there are currently three on the first page!

Other Films / The Return of Ringo aka Il ritorno di Ringo (1965)
« on: June 01, 2005, 01:44:52 PM »
I just saw this early (1965) Spag by Duccio Tessari and have to say I was really impressed. Here's a review for yous lot. (Feel free to put this on your site, Marco Leone)

Loosely based on Homer's oddysey Return of Ringo follows the story of Ringo (played by Guiliano Gemma) after he has returned to his home town from the Civil War. Everyone assumes he died in the war and he has been gone so long no-one seems to recognise him. He finds the town is now run by the greedy Fuentes family. What's more the eldest Fuentes son is planning to marry Ringo's wife, whom he does not allow to venture out of the house. Taking a job with the town florist (who is basically a more friendly version of the crazy bellringer from Fo$), Ringo plans to take on the Fuentes gang and win his wife back.

Unusually for a spaghetti, Return of Ringo is very much a mood piece, with plot taking a back seat to atmosphere and stylisation. Even by spaghetti standards, the town in which the action takes place is eery and stark, and the whole thing has an air of surrealism similar to that in Django Kill. Tessari's direction is also quite unique, he is not simply trying to rip off Leone like virtually every other SW director. That's not to say there aren't Leone similarities, but they aren't the typical ones that everyone else was doing a copy-cat of at the time. Like Leone he has long periods with no dialogue - huge portions of the plot are conveyed in action alone, and scenes really take their time to unfold. Tessari also seems to have Leone's skill for dynamic use of music. One moment in particular - where we hear the main theme play as Ringo stands alone in a cemetary, and as the music swells up the camera pulls back to reveal he is looking at his parent's gravestones - reminds me of the flashback from Once Upon a Time in the West, despite predating the latter by several years. The score itself is by Morricone, and is very un-spaglike and yet totally suited to the film.

One shortcoming of RoR is the action scenes, which are not done too well. Tessari just doesn't seem to have quite got to grips with filming shootouts or punchups. Fortunately the non-action bits are atmospheric enough to keep you watching whereas the final gun battle (a massive shootout which takes up the final twenty minutes of the film) is strong enough on ideas if not on style.

To sum up, while Tessari's direction is nowhere near as masterful as Leone's, he's certainly a cut above the majority of the pack. A good deal of thought has gone into the film, and there are some interesting touches here and there, although its cheapness also shows through in many places. True, it's not quite a classic but Return of Ringo really deserves to be considered among the top Spaghetti Westerns.

Once Upon A Time In America / The "It was all a dream" theory
« on: May 16, 2005, 08:52:26 AM »
OK I know it's controversial, and I wasn't too keen on the idea myself at first, but the more I've watched OUTIA the more convinced I've become of theory that the whole thing is an opium fuelled dream. So here's my argument for the dream theory.

- Framing. The film begins and ends with Noodles at the opium den. Surely if it was just a straight flashback it would make more sense to frame it with Noodles as an old man? Instead, we can see the scenes in the opium den as being the beginning and end of a dream.

- In the opium den at the beginning, Noodles is looking at the newspaper article where it lists his friends as being dead. We are then shown what is undeniably a  dreamed flashback - we see him at the scene of his friends' deaths, and then cut to him making the tip off call - this is what is on his mind at the time. He is absolutely racked with guilt, which sets the scene for a daydream in which everything is put to rights.

- Symbolism. The "journey" to 1968 begins with Noodles taking the keys to Fat Moe's clock. In other words, the keys to time - in Leone's highly symbolistic cinematic langauge this is telling us that Noodles is (in his head) going to change time.

- The dream theory fits in well with the general theme of regret and nostalgia.

- The overly perfect nature of the 1968 scenes. In one fell swoop Noodles finds out he did not kill his best friend, that he was not as responisble as he thought he was and that Deborah has had a succesful life and does not totally resent him. Add to that the slightly implausable fact that Deborah has not aged at all. It all sounds like the nice dream of a man plagued by guilt and regret.

- That smile at the end... I haven't heard any better explanation for it yet.

Off-Topic Discussion / The Great Escape/Lou Castel
« on: April 24, 2005, 11:17:44 AM »
I was watching The Great Escape the other day and noticed something. In the scene where Richard Attenbrough and David McCallum have just got off the train, there is an assassin who shoots someone and is in turn shot himself. It looks to me like the assassin is played by Lou Castel, who most of us probably know best as Tate/El Gringo in "Bullet for the General". It's a bit hard to tell for most of it because he is wearing glasses, but in the shot where he dies on the railway track his glasses have fallen off and you get a good look at his face - I'm almost certain it's him. He's not in the credits though and this is really starting to bug me now - does anyone who has it on DVD or video want to back me up?

Once Upon A Time In America / It's the baby changing tune
« on: March 18, 2005, 04:23:22 AM »
I recently saw an advert for Pampers nappys (diapers) on a UK TV channel that used the piece of classical music for the baby swapping scene in OUTA. Pretty subtle reference eh?

General Discussion / The Leone Web Board Register!
« on: March 10, 2005, 11:48:15 AM »
I was just thinking how many of us have taken our usernames from Leone characters, some just variants on the protagonists' names, others a bit more obscure. Just out of interest I had a look through the full memberlist, and here's the result - the Leone Web Board Register... Enjoy!


There weren't many to take their name from Leone's first western - Ramon, ramone, Silvanito and
silvenito. There were also a few Joes (including a Professor Joe), but it was impossible to tell if any were actually referring to our hero - except of course our dearly beloved cigar joe.


A lot of our members fancy themselves as bounty killers. Il Monco, Manco, Manco88, Monco aka TMWNN
and Monco Bounty Killer all registered alongside Colonel Mortimer, douglas mortimer, mortimer and mortimerforever.

Their bandit adversary is not only particular popular for a villain - indio, El Indio and in-d-o - but also provides us with some of the most bizarre usernames - Ghost_of_Indio, Shot_by_Indio and, best of all, Indio_Love_Child.

Indio's heroes were also the most popular gang, or perhaps just the one with the most known names, as
Chico, Groggy, The Hunchback and Sancho Perez prove.


The "good" of the title was by far the most popular franchise of all character names. We have LE BON, El
bon, Il Buono, il buono23, ilBuono, Biondo, Blonde, Blondie, Blondie_74, RBlondie, Mr._Blondie,
and Hey Blondie. I should probably also mention at this point ManWithNoName, FanWithNoName "The Fan With No Name!", Man with Three Names, themanwithnonames, Mann ohne Name, NO NAME and mwnn.

As for the "bad" there is Angel Eyes, Angel-Eyes, Angel Eyes UK, Sgt. Angeleyes, Cattivo, il cattivo and Sentenza.

And our "ugly" brigade consists of Tuco, Tuco, The Ugly, TuccoAndBlondy, tucotours and Il Bruto. Special mention here also goes to LINCOLNS GRANDFATHER.

The Leone web-board has also immortalised a few minor characters from GBU. We have of course General Sibley, Bill Carson and shorty larsen (whatever happened to him?). Also strangely popular was Half Soldier, Half-Soldier and halfsoldier. Other than that there is Arch Stanton, Arch Stampton, Wallace, Father Ramirez and another Shorty.

Perhaps a special mention should also go to uncknown and Unkernown.


The OUTW hero was quite a common choice for names - among our users we have Harmonica 2, Harmonica45,
harmonica76, harmonica850
and even Harmonicasbrother.

We have a Cheyenne and cheyennesgun, but only the one Frank and one Jill McBain.

As for the more minor characters, we have a morton and a wobbles.

And, of course...

Dave Jenkins dead long time ago... Jim Cooper, (Chuck) Youngblood - more dead men. No Calder Benson yet though.


Duck you sucker was not a popular source for usernames, although Sean Sean, sean sean sean, Seansan, SeanSeanSean and juansean pretty much give you the lyrics to the main theme between them.


The star of OUTA has been one of the most popular sources for usernames. David Aaronson, david aranson and aaronson went through the more obscure route of taking his real name, while Noodles, N00dles, noodles_leone and Super Noodles went for the nickname. And of course there is our brief visit from Real Noodles aka Scott Tiler.

Few of the other characters were as popular however - the only other OUTA names are Dominic, Dominick, Cockeye, Cockeye444 and JimmyCleanHands.

Once Upon A Time In America / Child actors poll
« on: March 06, 2005, 04:55:06 AM »
I'm thinking more in terms of performance than physical resemblence. For me it's Scott Tiler, he could be a young Bobby de Niro. His performance is spot on and by coincidence I think he looks the most like his adult equivelent too. I think while you can see Jennifer Connelly's talent she isn't quite a match up for the older Deborah.

(Hope no-one minds I've left out Peggy and Fat Moe cos they're smaller parts).

Off-Topic Discussion / HELL IN THE PACIFIC
« on: December 23, 2004, 04:44:53 PM »
If you can get BBC2 and happen to be online, Hell in the pacific, a US film with Toshiro Mifune in started at half eleven.

General Discussion / Dollars Day and beyond
« on: December 10, 2004, 01:21:01 PM »
OK so what is a Dollars Day? Basically it is a social gathering of Leone fans who gather together to watch all three dollars films back to back. I've done one. Yous should all have a go at putting one on too.

The ingredients are:

- Videos or DVDs of Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, preferably the least cut versions available.

- A video projector (although if you can't get hold of one a large widescreen telly is the next best thing).

- Coffee, ridiculous amounts.

- Alcohol, preferably whiskey (or tequila), even more ridiculous amounts.

- Snacks. Mexican food fits the theme well.

- Comfy chairs, bean bags etc.

A good time will be had by all. The whole thing will last you about 8 hours, allowing for short breaks.

Of course, once you've done Dollars Day where do you go from there? The obvious next step is Once Upon a Time day, where you watch OUTW, DYS and OUTA. For the seriously hardcore, perhaps a Leone day (all 6 films in a 16 hour extravaganza). A few other ideas would be...

Mexican Bandit Day - Professional Gun, Bullet for the General, Companeros.

Tarantino Day - Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill vols 1 and 2.

Dead Day - Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.

Babycart Day - All six Lone Wolf and Cub films (although that might fall a bit flat since the final one is utter crap)

Kurosawa Samurai day - Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Seven Samurai

And so on. Anyone else got any ideas?

Off-Topic Discussion / Favourite opening credits sequences
« on: December 04, 2004, 04:50:42 AM »
Slightly different to favourite opening scenes, what are your favourite opening credits sequences? You can include Leone in this one, since his are obviously among the best ever.

Mine are

Fistful of Dollars - I think this is actually my favourite of the Leone intro sequences, with the silhouettes of men being gunned down. It just says "This here is a new kind of western".

Ran (Akira Kurosawa) - Beautiful, almost still landscape shots while the credits flash up. Very tranquil but kind of eerie too.

The Serpent's Egg (Ingmar Bergman) - Quickly scrolling credits while an upbeat Jazz tune plays. Occasionally the music stops dead and we cut for a few seconds to this slow motion, black and white shot of a crowd of people trudging forward, then cut back to the credits and the jazz. Hard to describe but it looks great.

Trivia Games / Whistling Directors
« on: August 19, 2004, 03:09:36 PM »
Now, any Leone buff worth their salt knows that the whistling at the start of FFDM was overdubbed by Sergio himself. My question is: In which other highly regarded film does the director personally provide overdubbed whistling?

General Discussion / Today is Dollars Day
« on: July 21, 2004, 02:37:27 AM »
Today is going to be such a good day. I'm just off to watch the entire dollars trilogy back to back on an 8 foot projector screen with my two best film watching buddies.  :D :D :D :D :D

Once Upon A Time In The West / Thoughts on Cheyenne
« on: July 20, 2004, 03:53:16 AM »
So I just rewatched this film, and one of the things I really noticed this time round was the character devlopment of Cheyenne, and how he is portrayed at different stages of the film.

When we first see him he's grubby, scruffy and bearded. It's like he's the stranger your mum told you never to accept sweets off. Seeing that scene for the first time you'd assume he was a villain - not just his appearance, but things like his intimidation of the waistcoated man who shoots his manacles off, his attempts to scare Harmonica, not to mention Morricone's haunting, dischordant banjo theme.

Then when we see his acrobatics and cunning when he fights the men on Mortimer's train, he is shown to be resourceful and almost heroic. We are certainly put on his side here.

And when he talks to Jill, we see a much more forlorn, emotional side to him. Beneath his callous exterior he just wants a bit of warmth and companionship in his life. I think although he doesn't really drive the plot along like Harmonica, Jill and Frank do, he's the only one we see so many different sides too, and that makes him the most interesting character in the movie.

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