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: Did Stevens have any idea that...  ( 13029 )
Calamity Jane
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« : September 13, 2008, 10:03:57 PM »

he was going to get shot and killed by AE, even after giving AE the thousand bucks worth of gold to kill Baker?  If so, then it seems to me that, even having an idea that AE was going to shoot him anyway, he was still willing to give AE the money to kill Baker.   The thing is, if Stevens had an idea that AE was going to kill him anyway, what benefit is there to Stevens if he's dead?   That kinda confused me a bit there - thanks for the insight!   ;)

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« #1 : September 14, 2008, 03:41:59 AM »

he was going to get shot and killed by AE, even after giving AE the thousand bucks worth of gold to kill Baker?  If so, then it seems to me that, even having an idea that AE was going to shoot him anyway, he was still willing to give AE the money to kill Baker.   The thing is, if Stevens had an idea that AE was going to kill him anyway, what benefit is there to Stevens if he's dead?   That kinda confused me a bit there - thanks for the insight!   ;)

My view.

1) When both Stevens and Sentenza are eating, it was already clear to Stevens that the guy in front of him was not a Salvation Army fellow, but rather someone sent by Baker and with not very good intentions.

2) Stevens is obviously very nervous and afraid for his life. But then he has some hope when Sentenza tells him: "....but that is not what I am being paid for... I am only interested in what name Jackson's hiding under now". He assumes Baker just wants to know Jackson's new name. In fact, Sentenza further misleads Stevens stating that if Jackson had kept his original name, he would have already found him. He says"..that's why they pay me".

3) Stevens is further mislead when he asks Sentenza how much is Baker paying for murdering him, and he replies "...$500....to get the name". Stevens is hopeful that he can save his neck and offers Sentenza $1000. Then, Sentenza tells him that when he is being paid, he always sees the job through. It is only at that time when Stevens knows that, unless he can draw faster and kill Sentenza, he is a dead man. Unfortunately for him, Sentenza lives up to his reputation.

4) A possible twist is that Sentenza did not want (originally) to kill Stevens. But after hearing about the case of coins and being paid from Stevens in gold coins, he probably decided that he did not want alive anyone who knew about the case of coins....not even Baker.

Does this make any sense?

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« #2 : September 14, 2008, 07:47:53 AM »

Good post. Number 4 hadn't occurred to me, but it is plausible.



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« #3 : September 14, 2008, 09:48:01 AM »

Four is an intriguing explanation but for some reason I'm doubting that Baker would hire someone like Angel Eyes if all he wanted was information.



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« #4 : September 14, 2008, 10:48:27 AM »

Four is an intriguing explanation but for some reason I'm doubting that Baker would hire someone like Angel Eyes if all he wanted was information.

True. But on the other hand, it seems to me that if Baker wanted both information and having Stevens killed, he must have figured out that Stevens would likely tell Sentenza about the stolen gold coins (which he did). In that case, Baker should have figured out that Sentenza would likely want the $200,000 in gold for himself (not just the $500 he gave him) and that his own life would be in danger. A different story would have been if Baker just wanted Stevens killed.

It would appear that Baker was not too bright and that he grossly underestimated what Sentenza could do if he heard about the gold.

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« #5 : September 14, 2008, 10:56:25 AM »

Well, I might agree that Baker didn't think everything through as completely as he should have. But how would he know Stevens would spill the beans about the coins? All he wanted was the name, it would appear. Maybe he should have supposed, but it's not something absolutely vital to the situation.



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« #6 : September 14, 2008, 12:18:17 PM »

My view.

4) A possible twist is that Sentenza did not want (originally) to kill Stevens. But after hearing about the case of coins and being paid from Stevens in gold coins, he probably decided that he did not want alive anyone who knew about the case of coins....not even Baker.

Does this make any sense?

Yes, it makes perfect sense.  If you look at AE's face when Stevens tells him about the coins, AE looks up at Stevens with a very surprised look on his face, as if to say, "Wow:  a case of coins??   That's new to me!"  You can tell that AE never knew about the case of coins by the look on his face.   It seems that's the turning point of AE's mission, as corrupt as it may be, considering it's out of greed that he goes after them - same as Tuco.  At this point, AE knows that he's not going to take 'peanuts' from Baker or anyone else that gives him a job to do.  He (AE) sees the $500.00 and Stevens' $1,000 as very minute and petty in comparison to $200,000 in gold coins!  Now, he's got his mind set on much higher stakes - not the 'blood money' he's been offered for getting information.

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« #7 : September 14, 2008, 12:36:31 PM »

My view.


2) Stevens is obviously very nervous and afraid for his life. But then he has some hope when Sentenza tells him: "....but that is not what I am being paid for... I am only interested in what name Jackson's hiding under now". He assumes Baker just wants to know Jackson's new name. In fact, Sentenza further misleads Stevens stating that if Jackson had kept his original name, he would have already found him. He says"..that's why they pay me".

3) Stevens is further mislead when he asks Sentenza how much is Baker paying for murdering him, and he replies "...$500....to get the name". Stevens is hopeful that he can save his neck and offers Sentenza $1000. Then, Sentenza tells him that when he is being paid, he always sees the job through. It is only at that time when Stevens knows that, unless he can draw faster and kill Sentenza, he is a dead man. Unfortunately for him, Sentenza lives up to his reputation.



In point #2, when you say that AE is misleading Stevens by saying that he would have already found Jackson if he kept using his original name, I disagree in the sense that AE isn't necessarily being misleading when he said that to Stevens because it's easier to find someone who's using their real name than finding someone who's using an alias.  If someone is using a fake name, it's harder to find them, considering the person can change their name as often as they want to throw the Law off the beaten track.   So, I don't believe it's a misleading statement by AE.  It's true that he would have found Jackson if he was using his real name, so therefore, there would be no need for AE to go to Stevens to inquire about Jackon's new name - know what I mean?  Did I make sense there?  lol.  I tried to explain it the best I can -  ;)

In point number 3, I can see where, at first, AE doesn't intend to kill Stevens 'cause Baker's original intention was to pay AE just to get find out where Jackson is and/or his alias.    AE's mission shifts gears when Stevens gives AE 'too much information' or gives a slip of his lip, telling him about the case of gold coins.   It's now the case of coins AE is interested in - not finding out Jackson's alias name, even though Stevens tells him.  If you remember, when AE goes to Baker and tells him the information he got from Stevens regarding Jackson's new name, AE says, "That's your bit".

« : September 14, 2008, 12:37:41 PM Calamity Jane »
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« #8 : September 14, 2008, 01:56:44 PM »

Regarding point 2, perhaps I did not explain myself correctly. When I feel Sentenza is misleading Stevens (provided his intention was all along to kill him) is when he says "...that's why they pay me" (for finding Jackson) and "...$500...to get the name". The only reasons I can imagine for that is that Sentenza is either a sadistic person who enjoys making Stevens believe that his life will be spared, or it is just that he expects that Stevens will talk if he feels he won't be killed.

If we listen to what Stevens says, then what Half-Soldier tells to Sentenza, and then what Jackson (Bill Carson) tells Tuco, it seems that and armed unit escorting a cash box of gold coins meets a Yankee ambush and only three are saved: Stevens, Baker and Jackson. However, the coins do disappear. There is a hearing and Jackson is acquitted. Not sure of what happens with Baker and Stevens, but Stevens also testified in army court. Afterwards, Jackson changes his name to Bill Carson. Then, when Carson is about to die, he tells Tuco that he hid the $200,000 in a grave.

My guess is that Baker feels that Jackson hid the gold, and that Steves either also knows or at least knows Jackson's whereabouts. It would appear that Baker is more interested in getting hold of the gold (or a good chunk of it) rather than killing his former comrades in arms.

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« #9 : September 14, 2008, 02:46:17 PM »

Well, although AE has some moments of sadism in the film, I think his line was more of a trick to get Stevens to talk, rather than out of any real enjoyment. He didn't react with any pleasure to killing Stevens, like he did with Baker, it's just something he had to do.



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« #10 : September 14, 2008, 04:59:04 PM »

Well, although AE has some moments of sadism in the film, I think his line was more of a trick to get Stevens to talk, rather than out of any real enjoyment. He didn't react with any pleasure to killing Stevens, like he did with Baker, it's just something he had to do.

I think both Stevens and Baker killings were intended to depict Sentenza as the cold blooded murderer (The Bad) who would kill without remorse as long as there is money to be made.

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« #11 : September 14, 2008, 05:04:19 PM »

But Stevens drew first, didn't he?



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« #12 : September 14, 2008, 05:17:17 PM »

Four is an intriguing explanation but for some reason I'm doubting that Baker would hire someone like Angel Eyes if all he wanted was information.

Indeed.

If you recall the scene when Angel Eyes reports back to Baker asks him what name Jackson's hiding under.  However, he then expectantly asks, "And Stevens...?" to which Angel Eyes says 'Don't worry, he won't talk to anyone again."

I'm guessing that Baker first and foremost wanted the name, but would also want Stevens out of the picture if it wasn't too much of a hassle for Angel Eyes. 

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« #13 : September 14, 2008, 05:33:32 PM »

But Stevens drew first, didn't he?
What would have you done if you knew they guy in front of you is going to kill you? Besides, I don't think that Sentenza gave Stevens much of a chance to defend himself. Sentenza was right-handed, and he could not draw while he was sitting and eating: he's got a spoon on his right hand and the way he carries the gun in his belt it cannot be accessed with the left hand unless he has a rubber arm. However, he shoots Stevens with his left hand, which points that he got hold of his gun while Stevens turned around to get the $1000 he was going to pay Sentenza. Even if out of curiosity, you may want to watch Sentenza's left arm and hand in slow motion.
 

« : September 14, 2008, 05:37:15 PM Bandolero »
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« #14 : September 14, 2008, 06:40:08 PM »

But Stevens drew first, didn't he?


If I recall correctly AE already had the gun pointed at Stevens from under the table when Stevens took it out of his holster.




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