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September 25, 2023, 03:36:47 AM

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Topics - Alias

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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 / 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).

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?  :)

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Editing Of Final Scene
« on: January 27, 2005, 08:19:05 AM »
You all know the final scene of GBU - where Wallach is left balancing precariously, his neck in the noose, apparently abandoned by Eastwood...

In my opinion (for what it's worth) it would have been better, at this point, not to have cut to a shot of Eastwood aiming his rifle. I think it would have been more suspenseful if we saw Eastwood riding away, then Wallach dangling, struggling, about to fall ...

... And THEN a bullet comes out of nowhere and slices through the rope, saving Wallach at the last possible moment ...

... And only THEN do we cut to Eastwood, lowering his rifle.

Isn't it really necessary to show Eastwood taking aim?  On one occasion earlier on in the film, it took him two bullets to cut through the rope, but  it's pretty clear by the end that he's not going to leave Tuco to choke (even if, humiliatingly, he winds up missing again and again, uses up all his ammo and has to ride quickly back and cut Tuco down...)  :)

Just wondered whether anyone else has any thoughts on this?

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