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General Information => Clint Eastwood Westerns => Topic started by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:35:59 PM

Title: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:35:59 PM
This thread started on the old board, it is a good thread and we just couldn't just let it drift away ;).

AKA23 started it and I re-posted every message as they originally appeared in the old CEWB.

 :)Feel free to add your opinion
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:37:50 PM
Originally posted by AKA23, 10-28-2001 04:56 PM

Hey guys I just popped in High Plains Drifter into the DVD player and watched it last night and I don't know but I must say that there was one scene in that really unnerved me. While watching it I kept thinking over and over again what purpose did that rape scene serve? It seemed to me to be something that didn't really need to be there unless you are painting this guy as some type of evil creature which was not the intention or impression that I got from the film at all. I'd have to say that High Plains Drifter is one of Eastwood's darkest films as an actor/director. The only films that I can think of that are comparable to it would be Sudden Impact and possibly Unforgiven. Yes, Unforgiven is a very dark film at times but I still found myself at least having some kind of an understanding as to why he did what he did and why the film played out as it did. With the rape scene, I just find this guy to be a total bastard. I can understand him killing those three guys in the barber shop at least to a degree and I can understand the majority of his other actions in the film but this action I just don't get. And then he justifies what he did having no remorse for it at all. I just don't get it. Am I missing something? A few frames after that he's being the good samaritan and giving blankets and candy to the poor. It doesn't make sense to me. If he is in fact supposed to be a sort of avenging angel (and thats a crude term for what he is I think) than why the rape scene? I can understand him punishing the town for their involvement in the Duncan murders. I can understand the majority of the Strangers actions but this one I just find to be completely immoral and totally beyond any justification whatsoever. Are we supposed to hate this character or sympathize with his actions? This rape scene just doesn't makes sense to me and I find myself hating the character the more than I think about it! But then in the rest of the movie he doesn't do anything too objectionable that would make me want to hate him. I don't quite understand why he would kick all of those people out of the hotel but since the hotel manager was involved in the murder than can be somewhat explained. But why the rape?
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:39:13 PM
Originally posted by AKA23, 10-28-2001 07:00 PM

Anybody have any answers to these questions...I've been thinking a lot about them and I just wanted to find out some other people's opinions from the board.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:40:28 PM
Originally posted by Doug, 10-28-2001 10:10 PM

Wasn't it someone on this board who quoted Clint as saying if he'd made the film "today" he would not have included the rape scene? But I think it's a lot of PC garbage. Rape is worse than murder? I don't think so. But it is a disturbing scene. And I think it was meant to be a disturbing scene. Clint more than any other actor has chosen movies with strong and interesting women roles in them, but this movie seems to be a blemish to that reputation. I think the movie could stand without that scene, but I'm not sure it would be as strong. I don't see this movie as one where you're supposed to like the character, but as one where you uneasily root for him anyway because he so utterly and ruthlessly exposes the hypocrocy of the town.
I saw the movie recently and paid special attention to that scene. What I saw was her deliberately bumping into him, and he was trying to pass, but she kept provoking him, knocking the cigar from his mouth. And how much did she resist? At first she did, but not a whole lot, and then not at all. The ugly cliche "she really wanted it" seems to apply in this case, given the context of the movie. The movie suggests his biggest crime was not going back to her a second time. But the main issue is that she was no innocent. In a flashback we see her cheering while he's whipped in the street. I think that is even more disturbing. We see the dwarf cowering during the whipping, perhaps even afraid for his own life with all the people in a blood frenzy, and notice he makes out the best in the movie. Appropriate revenge on the town. And the suppressed Indians, they're given blankets and supplies at the town's expense.

I don't think this is a simple movie, and the rape scene is complex, and I don't think it should be looked at as an advocation of rape anymore than the movie is of violence and murder. It's harsh but everything in the movie is harsh, and the town's people beget the violence, then hired "assassins, people of low character" to protect them,and they too came to a violent end. I think it's one of the all-time great westerns, and this is just my opinion: what I saw in the movie. Without a doubt, I think, Clint's character is the most sadist and most vile "hero" of any movie ever made. Yet the movie suggests only such a hero was capable of exposing the bigger evil that ruled that town.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:43:02 PM
Originally posted by AKA23, 10-28-2001 10:40 PM

Yes, I just saw the film yesterday and so my memory of that scene is pretty crystal clear if you pardon the cliche.
Here's the scene:


Quote
Callie: Why dont you watch where you're going? Look at this its ruined
Stranger: Theres no need for all that

Callie:All what?

Stranger: If you want to get acquainted why dont you just say so?

Callie: Aquainted? Well you'd be amusing if you weren't so pathetic. (Stranger tries to walk away.) Just a minute Im not finished with you yet. you know at a distant you'd almost pass for a man but you're certainly a disappointment up close, aren't you?

You're feet m'am are almost as big as your mouth.

She knocks the cigar out of his mouth.

Callie: You know what you are? You're just trash a bottle of whiskey for courage and the manners of a goat.

Stanger: You're the one who could use a lesson in manners

Callie: Not from you whiskey breath

Stranger grabs Callie and the scene ensues...

Callie: Let go of me....

So yeah there's the scene but again I don't know if it was really necessary. You've got some nice commentary there Doug and it's interesting but somehow I feel that at the very least it could have been done differently..

Maybe they didn't need to show the whole rape scene in the barn or at least not as much as they did because even in the 1970's where that scene would pale in comparison to what's shown today when I finished watching it it left me extremely disturbed. I don't know maybe it's just me just not being too comfortable with scenes of such a forced sexual nature or maybe not but at any rate I'm wondering why Eastwood chose to include that scene in there when he could just have easily done it differently or left it out entirely? It's not that it completely disgusts me as much as it is that I don't understand it.

I didn't say that I liked the character of the Stranger but I found it amusing how at every turn he tried to fight the hypocracy that he saw in the town. He made the only real morally redeemable character Mordecai who had previously just been a lowly guy working in the barber shop into the town sheriff and the mayor as he felt that the current Sheriff was really making a mockery of justice and not doing his job and the mayor as well.

Then he goes and gives the candy and the blankets the the poor Indian family. All of these actions seem to indicate a sort of avenging angel type of character.

Sure he kills the three guys in the barber shop but I don't think anybody felt too sorry for them. They were evil characters hired sort of guns with no admirable qualities whatsoever. They completely antagonize him at the bar and then he leaves trying to avoid the situation they find him and start provoking him again because they don't like him or possibly they perceive him as somewhat of a threat to themseleves or their industry I don't know. When they put their hands on him as if they are going to rough him up he gets tired of the bull**** and kills 'em. Now I don't think I would have done the same thing in the situation but I can least somewhat understand the action.

Then, after that all of his actions can be attributed to punishing the town for their role and their blind negligance in doing something about the murder of their Sheriff Duncan. It can be said to be a sort of penance for their actions. Some of those who helped out and stood watching one of their men get brutally beating get killed and others are just adversely affected but when the Stranger leaves the town is pretty much in severe disrepair; the killers themselves meet their end...some of them in the same manner as those that they killed and the town and Duncan seemed to have been avenged. So, all of these actions at least come to some sort of an aim...some sort of a purpose that I can somewhat identify with.

The rape on the other hand, I cannot identify with. Is rape worse than murder Doug well in many cases I'd say yes it is. If we're going to have the death penalty for cold blooded murder than rape should fall into that same category. It's a very violent and very controlling type of action. And that's why I don't understand it? If Stranger is indeed sent to avenget the murder of Duncan and really only uses violence when violence has been committed against him or when the threat of violence is present (as in the barber shop) than why the completely unjustified rape? Yeah, well I don't buy this she asked for it crap that people are saying these days there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for forcing yourself sexually on another person. Absolutely none. I know you're not defending the action and are ony using this expression to try to explain the scene in the movie with a type of modern context Doug but that still doesn't do it for me.

But what about my other question? The fact of the flashbacks coming through Mordecai and Stranger? I'd like to explain that more as well....
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:47:21 PM
Originally posted by Daisy, 10-29-2001 09:55 AM

I'd rather be raped than murdered. Just.
I believe that the significance of the rape in HPD is that it is part of the revenge. This woman is part of the general wickedness of the town - she gets raped for her sins.

This action makes Clint an avenging angel with a difference - he is almost completely amoral.

My problem with the rape comes from the fact that it is generally played for laughs. It is considered funny when the woman comes back later and tries to shoot him in his bath. The whole thing is handled very light-heartedly.

I fear that the idea is to have a darkly comic premonition of what the stranger is going to give the rest of the town. he's going to **** it up!

Using rape as a metaphor in this way is offensive - so is getting cheap laughs out of it. So is the implication that if a woman flirts with a guy she deserves to get raped Doug!

If shot today the rape would either be absent or played as far more seriously - an indication that this movie is going to take the anti-hero thing a lot further than ever before.


AKA - Isn't Mordecai really the only good guy in the town, the one who suffers at their hands - the only one who cares what happens to the Deputy but is powerless to prevent it? That's why it is through his eyes that we see the flashback - we witness it through the eyes of a helpless spectator and are not forced to share the perspective of the morally bankrupt villagers.

The second flashback is of course wierdsville. The Stranger is remembering something he could not have witnessed. This is the act that has summoned up the avenging angel - it tells us that he is connected explicitly with this act and has "knowledge" of it. Not even a brother or friend seeking revenge could have this kind of vivid imagination. He must be a spook!
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:50:16 PM
Originally posted by Hapnindude44, 10-29-2001 11:40 AM

I'm like all of you rape is an offensive thing and certainly not a joke. But aside from that fact I always interpreted the scene as that the woman was in some wierd way attracted to this character. This rugged looking man of mystery that suddenly comes riding into town. I mean look at the men she had to choose from in the town. But I kinda felt that the "accidental" bumping into him was a way to get his "attention" without actually bidding for it openly. She wanted to save face with the townspeople but at the same time indulge into what was in her mind. Now do I think she asked for rape? The answer is "no". I think she wanted his attention but she got more than she bargained for. And perhaps as someone already pointed out it was her "payback" for her own selfishness for being complicit in a man's death. I always interpreted Clint's character saying "Okay, you want my attention?... I'll show you what kind of attention you deserve!" As I say that's how "I" kind of saw it. I'm also not arguing it was justified I'm just giving my interpretation of what happened. Was the scene necessary? I don't think so. It would have been just as good without it. Most of the time things like that go into movies because some writer's, directors, and studios think you can't have good a movie with out it. I'm sure if it were made today the story would be minus that scene. Just my opinion.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:55:51 PM
Originally posted by AKA23, 10-29-2001 12:07 PM

You have some interesting points there Daisy but I'm still not buying that an "avenging angel" type would be that amoral and morally bankrupt himself. How is he to punish the town avenging the heinous murder of Duncan if he is himself to commit actions analagous to or at least comparable with the actions of those very townspeople that he is sent to condemn? The rape is played for laughs....uhh..I'm not too sure about that one Daisy. I wasn't laughing during that scene at all..I was genuinely disturbed by it. I do suppose it is treated lighter than it could/should have been so making it a bit more serious and a bit less "comical" I guess would be aproppriate but I don't find it all that comical to begin with. Sure the confrontation between Callie and Stranger is comical as you can see in my posted statement of the scene above but I don't find that actual act of the rape very comical at all.
Letting this tone of the rape aside I still don't understand why, although you have given a good explanation of your view, the rape was included at all? It just proves that the Stranger is in fact a completely amoral figure. Would an amoral figure make the only moral person in the town the leader and law maker of it? And would a completely amoral person as you put it be so kind as to give the candy and the blankets the poor Indian family? I don't think so. I don't think that the rape fits in with the rest of the film and the actions of the Stranger are far more understandable AFTER the rape scene than during it. As I said I can somewhat identify with the rationale of the Stranger in most scenes but this one I just don't get.

Daisy in regards to the flashback scenes I think you've given a good explanation that I would give credence to in regards to the Mordecai flashback scene it does make sense to see that through his eyes. However, with the Stranger scene as you state it's rather weird. I think there isn't any other way to interpret that scene than to believe that he had some kind of knowledge of the murder of Duncan. Not only this but he knew intimate details that he would only know if he was Duncan himself or possibly an avenging angel sent down to provide penitance to the people of the town for their actions.

What does everybody make of the scene I know that we have discussed this before but at the very end where Mordecai is at the grave of Marshall Jim Duncan and he looks up at Stranger and says something like you know I never did know your name. Stranger replies something like yeah, you do. As the camera pans out and we again see the grave of Marshall Jim Duncan. What's up with this? How can this be explained? Wouldn't that support him being Duncan himself and the flashbacks him remembering his own tragic end? Maybe not but at any rate with all of these clues and the flashback scenes and Clint dodging all of those bullets in the water and getting out of bed before he is ambushed and all of that I don't see how Clint CANNOT be some sort of supernatural type of figure. Some people still say he's not and I just don't see how with all of these events and characteristics how he could possibly NOT be a supernatural figure.At any rate, what does everybody make of that scene at the end that I described above? What does that mean??

So, now we've got three things to discuss. We've got the rape scene, the flashback scenes and the scene at the very end which calls into question the notion of Stranger not being some kind of supernatural figure. Instead of an avenging angel COULD this possibly be Duncan himself? You know I just don't know. Who is this Stranger anyway?
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:57:31 PM
Originally posted by Daisy, 10-29-2001 02:21 PM

You are right AKA the rape itself is not played for laughs. What I meant is that it is treated as a joke bfore and afterwards in a quite unforgiveable way (by today's standards)
The rape scene could go and the film would probably be better for it. But it's there so we have to account for it.

Frankly, rape scenes were VERY fashionable at this time in cinema history. Shameful, but true.

If the rape is taken less seriously than it should - I think it is also meant to mean less to the audience when it comes to interpretting the Stranger's character - it just doesn't matter all that much. This is wrong-headed but in keeping with the way it is presented.

As for being an "Avenging Angel": that has to be kept in heavy parenthesis! He might be an "Avenging Demon" as far as we know - that would fit better with the satisfaction he takes in some of his actions and the painting of the town like hell.

Ambiguity is all in this movie and it is there for the sake of it. Some of these questions don't have answers - so consider them significant.

I agree with you - if the Stranger isn't supernatural then the narrative makes no sense at all!

Daisy
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 07:59:33 PM
Originally posted by HighPlainsDrifter, 10-30-2001 12:14 AM

Does Clint have a fascination with rape? I can name numerous other Eastwood movies that include some form of rape-related scenes or dialog. Just to mention one: The Eiger Sanction--Hemlock tells Jemima Brown that he tried rape and decided he liked it.
I read an interview with Clint some time ago where he said that originally the stranger in High Plains Drifter was supposed to be an avenging brother. By the time the movie was finished, he had become more of an apparition. Straight from The Man.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:01:23 PM
Originally posted by Daisy, 10-30-2001 04:30 AM

HPD asks:

Quote
Does Clint have a fascination with rape?

I don't think so. What is certainly true was that 1970s cinema had a facination with rape scenes.

It is the ultimate combination of sex and violence - the big sellers!

The women's movement was big at the time - maybe it was also a way for male dominated Hollywood to try and put the uppity females back in their aprons!

More enlightened times now prevail.

Daisy
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:03:44 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 10-30-2001 12:22 PM

Since when did something have to be "necessary" to be included? If you don't identify with the rape scene, AKA (and only sadists would), that's the point. Eastwood wasn't playing a singing cowboy here. He was playing a vicious (if righteous) character who some observers have characterized as the Devil. Eastwood had the guts to not play the game by the rules and play the hero almost as if he were the villain. That mentality, after all, is much closer to the reality of "real life." I commend Clint for his revisionist and uncompromising stance - most of the time, there is no white hat/black hat dichotomy in the real world.
The rape can also be read as such: men receive the pistol, women receive the phallus. Not pleasant, but neither is Lago and its citizens.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:06:01 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 10-30-2001 12:33 PM

The dialogue from The Eiger Sanction is clearly a joke. I wouldn't make too much of it ... as Doug noted, Clint has a reputation for featuring strong and intelligent women characters in his films and for being a "feminist filmmaker," so I think that his overall body of work absolves him from any guilt.
And, AKA, of course the Stranger and Mordecai are connected ... they see the truth and are allied in a corrupt town - isn't that obvious?

I'm not sure that the rape scene is played for laughs as much as it's played for violence. High Plains Drifter is a violent, compulsive, acerbic, even sadistic movie. It is certainly the most nihilistic film that Clint ever directed, one that doesn't really hold out hope for redemption and the human spirit in the way that the similarly violent The Gauntlet does. Even Sudden Impact and, more ambiguously, Unforgiven, hold out hope for humanity in a way that Drifter does not. The rape scene and Eastwood's "villainous hero" square with the film's unabashed nihilism.

Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:07:56 PM
Originally posted by D'Ambrosia, 10-30-2001 12:47 PM

The Devil, an Avenging Angel, Duncans brother or just supernatural, it doesn’t matter which is the case. Callie is simply paying the consequences of her part in the killing.
I’ve always been under the impression that somehow she sold Duncan out that fateful night he was whipped to death all on the account of Stacy Bridges. She was at one time “his girl”, so maybe, and I emphases maybe, put Duncan in a compromising position setting up his unfortunate demise.

It’s not as if she didn’t try it with the Stranger.

And one one last note, a lot of people acted like that back then. It is a harsh dose of reality. Terrible things happen to innocent people, or in Callies case not so innocent. I’m not saying that rape is a proper punishment for murder, in fact it is horrible crime.

Is murder a proper punishment for rape, well, Harry Callahan seems to think so.

If my scenario above holds some validity, and if it were Duncans brother, or something else doing the raping, that’s not different than Jennifer Spencers getting revenge on the ones that raped her…

”You still here?”
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:09:41 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 10-30-2001 01:02 PM

AKA, High Plains Drifter is not a movie about conventional morality, so trying to read it too closely in those terms may prove unproductive. It's a nihilistic film all the way around - it's about revenge. Similarly, in Sudden Impact, Jennifer Spencer opts for revenge - she's not trying to fight immorality with morality. The violent acts that haunt the protagonists of these two films have pushed them beyond redemption and to a point of revenge. In The Outlaw Josey Wales, conversely, the protagonist opts for redemption over revenge. Eastwood is a versatile filmmaker who can explore different perspectives on similar themes - such as how the individual deals with scarring, haunting, victimizing violence.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:11:33 PM
Originally posted by Daisy, 10-30-2001 02:23 PM

I agree with most of what you say GMAT.
However - since it was me that said the rape scene is played for laughs and you refute this let me re-state my case.

1 The rape itself is not funny.

2 However, the aftermath is entirely trivialised by the "what took her so long to get mad?" bath shooting scene.

3 That, and the "feet are bigger than your mouth" bit before - contextualise the rape in an unpleasantly and inappropriately light-hearted vein.

That is what I meant.

I think this is also what Clint meant about shooting it differently if he were to do it over. Not that he would wimp out of doing the rape - but that the treatment would be less off-hand.

Regards Daisy
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:13:07 PM
Originally posted by HighPlainsDrifter, 10-30-2001 07:39 PM

Is it possible to for a writer to just write a story for the sake of the story? Maybe we should all stop trying to read into it so much and just enjoy (or hate) the movie for what it is--a story. I'm not saying anybody on this web board is wrong. All of the arguments here have been presented in an intelligent and courteous manner. Keep an open mind, and don't forget that maybe, just maybe, Clint wanted to act out a great screenplay--and he did.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:14:53 PM
Originally posted by Baggieb, 10-30-2001 07:39 PM

My contribution will probably be rather shallow, since it has been a while since I popped it in..
I'm not so sure that the callous remark about her taking so long to get mad was not so much light hearted, but rather a form of contempt. I think that each of the townspeople were dealt with according to their egos, or their self-conceptions. The Drifter demolishes those, stripping away their veneers to reveal their lives of hypocrasy.

Callie probably wasn't the town virgin, and I wondered, since the whole town would have known that, was her anger at being treated according to her soul, rather than her facade?

The hotel owner was stripped of the things that mattered most to him, his source of income when the Drifter emptied the hotel for his own use, his wife in adultry, and his hotel to total destruction.

The preacher had to have pointed out to him what he should have done for those evicted. He was more concerned in preaching to the Drifter than taking care of his flock.

The only one who came out better, as has been already mentioned, was Mordecai, who had no part in the terrible event that started the Drifter's wrath.

Rape produces extremely emotional responses. Perhaps the emotional response hoped for was to not make us too favorable toward the Drifter. He sought vengenance, but was no shining light.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:16:56 PM
Originally posted by Daisy, 10-31-2001 12:43 AM

Quote
I'm not so sure that the callous remark about her taking so long to get mad was not so much light hearted, but rather a form of contempt.


Er... Baggy, ever heard of humour being used to show contempt? You should have...   ;)

HPD Oh grow up. Texts - whether visual, literary or whatever - are there to be discussed! If you think directors of Clint's calibre just make movies blindly from a script they happen to pick up, then you are rather naive.

HPD is one of Clint's most personal films and it is highly complex, that doesn't mean it is not invested with meaning - all texts have meaning intended or not. And just because it's difficult to understand doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Quite the opposite.

Daisy
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:20:32 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 10-31-2001 11:17 AM

The off-handed humor with which the rape is received may just serve to reflect the immorality of this supposedly "God-fearing" town. The citizens treat the rape light-heartedly - is that not social commentary? As I said, High Plains Drifter is an acerbic film.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:22:00 PM
Originally posted by Daisy, 10-31-2001 12:46 PM

That sounds more like an excuse than anything, GMAT.
These joke lines are big laughs. They are delivered by Clint not the townsfolk.

Laughter at the expence of rape.

Less PC times - that's the root of it. We have to read it in the context of its day. Doesn't make it any the more pleasant though.

Daisy
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:23:40 PM
Originally posted by BDC28, 10-31-2001 03:05 PM

A question....
As we are all in agreement of the writing being a reflection of the times, can I offer another view?

During these times, it was not really fashionable to take out vengence on a woman, not to kill her, or to beat her, not graphically anyway (hypocritical as hell if you think about it), so what if the only way the writers could think for the stranger to exact revenge on the only woman participant in the town was to rape her? Beating her with whips or shooting her would have made (during these times anyways) his character unforgivable.

I do agree though, the rape was unforgivable.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:25:31 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 10-31-2001 04:41 PM

Right, men receive the pistol, women receive the phallus (in the scheme of the film, that is).
The main point is that Clint is playing a villainous hero. Seen in that light, the rape becomes perfectly understandable.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:27:15 PM
Originally posted by AKA23, 10-31-2001 09:02 PM

These are all very good interpretations.
GMAT, I believe, though I could be wrong and if I am please excuse me, that in your unedited post you said something like Eastwood is playing the villain. You have now amended it to say a "villainous hero" which I guess is ok. My question to you and to everybody is do we and should we view Eastwood's character as a villain? I've never viewed any of Eastwood's characters as out and out villains..that's why a lot of us didn't want to see Clint play the role that Al Pacino snatched up in Insomnia. Is he truly a villain and should we look at him in that light?

First of all the idea of a villainous hero is somewhat of a paradox. It seems to me to be a bit of an oxymoron but that's probably just me. A "villainous hero" I'm not harping on your word choice GMAT but I find the concept which a lot of us are advocating that is his character being a villain really who inflicts justice upon the townspeople to be a bit hard to swallow. So should I be viewing his character as a villain instead of somebody who gave the townspeople what I believe to be something that they deserved? Is he not an "avenging angel" but really a devil? And how can he be dispensing true justice if he is to be a villain? These are all very heavy handed questions but I feel that they need to be explored, at least for my sake if nothing else. I've always viewed the stranger as someone who's methods may be a bit unconventional but I've always been able to identify with or understand in some capacity his actions. This is why the rape scene presented such a problem for me personally because I could not identify with or justify or understand this action in relation to the concept of justice as being doled out by an avenging type of angel. The concept just doesn't fit and that's my problem. I find viewing him as a devil evil type figure who just happens to dispense his own brand of vengeful justice to be a very dismal view and one I wouldn't be quick to embrace but as GMAT said it is a very acerbic and nihilistic film. Is this where I am missing the boat? Believing Eastwood to be more of an unconventional hero as opposed to a villain who just happens to dispense justice in his own way? And how can that truly be justice if he is to be the villain in the film?
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:29:26 PM
Originally posted by HighPlainsDrifter, 10-31-2001 11:56 PM

I like the movie. I'll continue to watch it for pure entertainment value. If psychoanalyzation of a film makes it more enjoyable to watch, I'll never know.
Daisy, thankyou for the advice. Growing up sounds like the right thing to do. Cheers!
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:34:41 PM
Originally posted by Doug, 11-01-2001 02:45 AM

Daisy, I implied that if a woman flirts with a guy she deserves to be raped? I implied this? Where, when? And you consider her actions on the street as flirting? But yes, she certainly made a (violent) point of getting herself noticed. If you walked into a biker bar and threw a drink in someone's face, you could reasonably expect to walk away with no harm done? That is essentially what she did, provoke an obvious gun fighter. Was he justified in raping her for her behavior? No.
But the question is was it rape? I contend that it wasn't rape. Violent sex does not mean rape. That she wanted rough sex from a "real" man, in a town filled with cowards and hypocrits. It's obvious she "gets off" from violence when she's cheering his whipping. She is not naive to violence, she's seen it firsthand, the murder of a man, and seemed to enjoy it. Why is not reasonable to think she would enjoy the combining of sex and violence -- and as I said violent sex is not the definition of rape. His revenge on her is not "raping" her but in not wanting to go back for more. I said it was a ugly cliche, but in this movie, I think it's obvious she wanted what she got. Rape is a very, very sensitive issue, and I completely understand a victim's, and those closest to the viction, desire to extract dire revenge for the act of rape -- heck, were I raped, you'd better believe revenge would be in order. But I say this was not Rape. It is not the same as the rape in Sudden Impact, not the same at all.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:37:58 PM
Originally posted by Daisy, 11-01-2001 04:24 AM

Doug old bean - this is where I think you imply it:

Quote
What I saw was her deliberately bumping into him, and he was trying to pass, but she kept provoking him, knocking the cigar from his mouth. And how much did she resist? At first she did, but not a whole lot, and then not at all. The ugly cliche "she really wanted it" seems to apply in this case, given the context of the movie.

If I misread you - sorry and all that.

I found your latest post even more offensive. It is rape if she doesn't give consent - period.

Whether she deserves it? Morally? I don't know - you could say nobody deserves it, but it was a fashionable metaphor in action movies in the seventies - to rape a woman in revenge for her or others symbolic rape of an innocent. I'm thinking about Rod Stieger's comical rape of the bourgoise woman in Duck You Sucker - they've raped our children and our country, so I rape her!

Perhaps that was acceptable then but now rape is seen as a personal and particular crime against a woman. Clint (or any other male star) would never sodomise a male opponent, no matter what provocation - he is using his maleness to put do the woman. That is unforgiveable.

As for flirting - yes Doug, that's exactly what she's doing! A bit heavy handed I agree.

Daisy


AKA _ "villainous hero" is exactly an oxymoron! This goes to the heart of the character's ambiguity.

Another way of saying it would be "anti-hero" but here the example is more extreme than Clint has played previously.

The idea of a villainous character exacting just revenge worries you? I don't know. What if he is like a revenging demon unleashed from hell to punish the people of Lagos?

Wouldn't expect a demon to be a Mr Nice Guy would we?   ;)

GMAT - I agree with your last, brief, analysis 100%  8)
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 16, 2002, 08:44:30 PM
:) Doug...I think you made a very good point with the following:

Quote
But the question is was it rape? I contend that it wasn't rape. Violent sex does not mean rape. That she wanted rough sex from a "real" man, in a town filled with cowards and hypocrits.

That's how Callie got whatever it was she needed. She threw herself at whatever man could do the most for her at any given time. And, it was obvious that the Stranger was going to be that man...the one who could do the most for her. She needed him. Sexual favors is how she survived.

mgk
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 17, 2002, 09:12:42 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 11-01-2001 10:58 AM

What the hell are you talking about, AKA? I never edited my post - I used the term "villainous hero" all along. That's what he is - a hero who often goes about his business in a not-so-virtuous, rather villainous manner.
AKA, as you know, you tend to pride yourself as a moralist and don't seem to like anything that goes against an easy, uncomplicated view of what's right and wrong - hence your problems with The Bridges of Madison County. Similarly, you've been saying, "Oh, Clint isn't really criticizing religion in High Plains Drifter, is he?" And, "Oh, I can't identify with the rape scene - why is Clint doing that?" Well, yes, Clint was criticizing religion (or at least its manifestations in society), and, yes, Clint was playing a nihilistic anti-hero whom you weren't supposed to necessarily identify with. Clint tends to not play the game by the rules - that's why so many of us find him so fascinating. More importantly, real life (and most of Clint's movies) doesn't square with the neat morality of traditional dramatic conventions. It's not a simplistic white hat/black hat world. Get over it.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 17, 2002, 09:14:25 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 11-01-2001 11:21 AM

I still think that it was rape ... she may have wanted sex (or even rough sex) from the Stranger, but there is definitely a line there and the Stranger crossed it - which is probably why Clint says that he wouldn't do it that way if he were making the movie again. But I think that it was an appropriate choice - Clint was turning the Western hero on its head with this film, and the rape is simply the most glaring example of that. Most movie stars these days don't take those kinds of risks. Moreover, it was part of the changing image of America and American heroism in those days. The world's leading movie star and top Hollywood draw murders three men and rapes a woman in the first 20 minutes of his latest Western - not the kind of thing that one would have seen in 1963 or 1953 or 1943. As Pauline Kael wrote in her review of Magnum Force, Eastwood satisfied the needs of an audience that had grown derisive about the triumph of good over evil. People weren't buying the old myths anymore - and Clint wasn't delivering 'em.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 17, 2002, 09:16:42 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 11-01-2001 11:32 AM

Quote
With the rape scene, I just find this guy to be a total bastard. I can understand him killing those three guys in the barber shop at least to a degree and I can understand the majority of his other actions in the film but this action I just don't get. And then he justifies what he did having no remorse for it at all. ... I find viewing him as a devil evil type figure who just happens to dispense his own brand of vengeful justice to be a very dismal view ...
- AKA

You got it, AKA - now you just have to accept it. I think that a sense of irony would help, though - you don't have to be an uptight moralist all the time (at least not while watching Eastwood films). Also, keep in mind what Holden once said ... in Biblical terms, angels weren't necessarily Disney figures. They could be hellish, damning, and unforgiving - indeed, avenging.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 17, 2002, 09:19:04 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 11-01-2001 03:13 PM

Here is another twist.
All Clint characters have MAJOR flaws in their personalities. There is (as far as I know), no connotation with a hero having to be good.

I mean, lets be honest, if a total d***head pulled me out of a fire, he would be a hero. He would just be a jerk.

I think the big question was "Hey, are all these good guys really good?" The more history digs and finds facts about Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Wild Bill Hickock, we found out alot of our "heroes" were some EVIL rotten people.

So, does the hero have to be good just because he does the right thing?
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 17, 2002, 09:22:12 PM
Originally posted by Hombre, 12-17-2001 12:58 AM

I have just read right through this entire thread and found it fascinating. On the strength of it I sat down and watched that very scene again and this is my two cents worth. In my opinion Eastwood was pandering to that nasty little part inside of most men that would enjoy watching such a scene. Most men, I would venture to presume, have fantasised about rape, but the majority of us are conquered by our better angels well before we would ever consider doing it for real. Eastwood put it right up there on the screen: a man bumps into a rather attractive woman and a couple of minutes later… Maybe that’s why it’s so uncomfortable for us to watch – Eastwood has opened up the psyche of man and revealed it for all to see on a 40 foot screen. He knew this would be a major talking point of the movie and he must have known that it would pull in the punters.
Someone asked, “is it rape?” I believe it begins as rape but that Eastwood the director backed out of making it “total” rape. The woman clearly begins to enjoy herself part way through the ordeal and arguably even reaches climax by the time he has finished. The look on her face is one of suppressed guilt. This is a cop-out. How much more hard hitting and nihilistic a scene would it have been, I wonder, if she had screamed her resistance all the way through it?

On another point, I couldn’t help noticing the symbolism employed by the lighting crew as the demon buttons up his trousers. The shadow of a huge beam can be seen right across the prostrate figure of the woman: my wife says this turns her into an "X", as though she has just been, literally and figuratively, crossed out; I argued that it’s supposed to be phallic symbolism, the scarlet woman subdued by a huge... well, you get the picture.

Finally, a long time ago I saw a very dull movie about earthquakes in San Francisco and the first major quake began in a cinema. Guess what they were watching: High Plains Drifter! And when did the earthquake begin? At the moment Clint shoots the first bad guy right between the eyes. (God damndest shooting I ever even HEARD of!) It was the only part of the movie that jolted me out of my bored stupor, but I just thought I’d share the memory!
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 17, 2002, 09:24:00 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 12-17-2001 03:53 AM

you guys are pretty f**ked up, whadda ya mean rape isn't as bad as murder. jesus this **** shouldn't happen at all. what the hell is wrong with you people.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 17, 2002, 09:25:51 PM
Originally posted by KC, 12-17-2001 06:28 AM

From the FAQ:
Quote
What posts are considered inappropriate?

Flames, vulgarity, advertisements and/or multiple posts of the same message are unwelcome. If you have something unfriendly to say, please keep it to yourself. Basically just use your common sense when posting. Continued abuse of any of these things will result in immediate termination of your account.

Please observe the rules, Little Bill, or your posts will be subjected to editing or deleting. If you have an opinion on this subject, express it in a reasonable way, without insulting other posters.

KC
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 08:43:00 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 12-17-2001 08:43 AM

Ahh, so little bill decided to expand the topic. Okay, lets go with it?
Is there something wrong with us? Well I dont think so. I honestly think that we were addressing the issues seperately. Personally I think if I had a gun to your head, and told you you had only two choices to get out alive, to be raped and live, or to just be shot and not have a chance to even recover, you would opt for the first. Which is why it was seperated. Ego tells you otherwise, survival speaks for itself, despite what ego tells you to say.

Now, here is how it is broadened in my mind. Is it wrong to rape or kill? Hmmm, see here is where I get messed up. To say it is wrong would mean I would have to be egotistical enough to say that my limited time on this earth is good enough to speak out and redefine natural law. Do these acts cause pain? Most definitely. For the people involved it causes a world of pain. But wrong?

My thought is that most things that are considered wrong (against the laws of nature, which rule the laws of man)get squeezed out of the gene pool after about a few million years. So why do they still exist?

Before everybody starts yelling at my post freaking out at how cold it is, step back and read what I am saying. All these things, as painful as they are, cross all lines of nature. These actions arent solely mans actions. Animals rape and kill as well as us, therefore making it a natural NORM, not abnormality. Im not being cruel.

So, at what point did man decide that we could raise ourselves above nature and dictate "This is right, and this is wrong, solely on the purpose that it causes pain for people"?

On the anti hero thing, I think I made a good point. Actions are RARELY, if ever black and white, unless you just dont want to see things for what they are. Right is right and wrong is a simple way for simple people, which I dont mind. But honestly, ANYONE can kill if you put them in the right situation. So how wrong is the anti-hero? How right is he? Was he ever supposed to be? The story was just that, a story. Did he bring any lessons to the morons of that town? Probably not. He did what he set out to, cause pain to the people that caused it to him. Was it right or wrong? Thats right up there with "Which team is better, Eagles or Bears"? There is no straight answer, there is no straight right or wrong.

The stranger had no purpose.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 08:44:17 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 12-17-2001 12:41 PM

No purpose? How about justice, revenge, nihilism (as a means of justice or at least revenge), and, indeed, I think that he did teach the people a little something about their cowardice, complicity, hypocrisy, and immorality.
As for your other issue, we agreed not to rape and kill one another when we entered the "social contract" (i.e. I give up my right to kill in exchange for society protecting my right to not be killed) ...
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 08:48:25 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 12-18-2001 02:20 AM

Quote
Originally posted by KC:
From the FAQ:

Please observe the rules, Little Bill, or your posts will be subjected to editing or deleting. If you have an opinion on this subject, express it in a reasonable way, without insulting other posters.

KC

my god what is wrong with you people this is not the kind of things people with common decency talk about. no-one with half a brain would even come up with these scenarios they are SICK!!! and before you get annoyed by my language try thinking of anyone who has had any of these terrible acts commited to them stumbling across this discussion, how do you think they would feel, well hopefully you'll never know but they would be a lot more upset than some-one who saw a bad word.why clint himself would be shocked if he saw the stuff you people are writing. this is not a film plot or a story THIS REALLY HAPPENS so show a bit of decency and stop talking about it.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 08:49:48 PM
Originally posted by bigdai, 12-18-2001 03:35 AM

Little Bill nobody is condoning rape or murder on this board. If they did I am sure that the moderators would have something to say about it. I can't see how it is wrong for people to discuss the subject. If subjects that were sensitive were never discussed then the world would be a sorry place and nothing would be achieved or changed. Half of the point of film is to cause people to think about certain issues within society. You just have to look at something as obvious as 'American History X'. Surely the director of the film wanted people to discuss the racism that exists in aspects of American society. While I can't speak for Clint Eastwood my impression is that if he thought it was wrong for people to talk about such matters then he would not have included the rape scene at all. Intelligent people (again presuming that most people on this web board are) do talk about sensitive matters and the reason that they don't like swearing is that it prohibits sensible conversation by insulting people. If you don't like the subject of the debate whether it be for a personal reason or not then you don't have to read the link. Simple as that.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 08:50:58 PM
Originally posted by KC, 12-18-2001 06:21 AM

As Hitchcock (who included a rape scene, performed by none other than Sean Connery, in one of his movies) was fond of saying, "It's only a movie."

KC

Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 08:53:27 PM
Originally posted by Matt, 12-18-2001 06:23 AM

Agreed, bigdai.
Check out Tightrope for a scene where Eastwood's character isn't the rapist, but the father of a potential rape victim. Amanda Block (played by Eastwood's own daughter, Alison) wasn't raped, but Wes knows it could have happened. His rage, and the feelings of guilt he has for possibly endangering his own teenage daughter's welfare is very evident. The scene where Wes finds Amanda handcuffed and gagged is one of the most heart-stopping moments in all of Eastwood. It definitely explores the other side of the rape issue... from a victim's point of view.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 08:55:03 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 12-18-2001 08:40 AM

Hey GMAT,
I will respect your first paragraph of your post, as the movie is up for interpretation. Many saw that, I personally didnt. Great thing about movies, there is no definable "thing" that movies prove. Personally I think if you (not you specifically) have to learn values from a movie, go smack your parents around for awhile.

The second portion..."As for your other issue, we agreed not to rape and kill one another when we entered the "social contract" (i.e. I give up my right to kill in exchange for society protecting my right to not be killed)"...

What are you talking about? The social contract? There is no social contract that is universal and uniform. No such kind. There arent even uniform EATING utensils on all continents, and we are supposed to agree on something that large? There is no such thing, except idealistically, its something we hope to achieve, which basically means, we havent, and probably wont.

Man has the ability to be both the kindest and cruelest beast, sometimes within the same 20 second span. Lil_Bill's posts are significant of what the problem is. If there is something wrong, DONT TALK ABOUT IT..IGNORE IT..it will go away.

Well, guess what guys, it doesnt. You are just as inherently evil as you are good. If there is a person on this board that is going to lie and say they havent wished ill will on another person on this planet..well live your lie. The problem has always been shunning a part of you that gives you just as much life as your "good" side. I bet your feelings about murder wouldnt be so pure if it was an invader in your house and you had to defend your family...you wouldnt think twice about it. But, its still murder.

IMO, terms like the "social contract" hide what we really dont want to deal with. We are part animal, by nature, and cannot seem to find a way to get that pesky "agressive/regressive" gene out of the pool. The truth is we need it, to survive, to achieve. The fact that a few malcontents are born with that gene, or mental defect, that brings that gene to be more dominant than the passive gene (which we would consider to be the normal one) does not make their actions wrong. The actions are older than you, and will exist longer than you will. Truth of the matter is, LIFE causes pain. If you live, you have to experience pain to know it, and ultimately, you will die. That is the "LIFE CONTRACT" that is not something that is a concept...unless you can introduce me to someone that has lived to be a thousand with no pain.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 08:56:17 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 12-18-2001 08:47 AM

And lil bill, FYI. I wasnt condoning it, I was discussing it. I dont condone anything. If you are going to discuss my posts, at least do me a favor and try to read them for what they are meant before you start ripping them apart.
If it were up to me, a rapist wouldnt make it to the judge.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 08:59:16 PM
Originally posted by Conan, 12-18-2001 10:46 AM

I agree with your basic point BDC, but murder is the unlawful killing of a person - assuming your using the legal definition. Whereas if I have to use lethal force to defend myself/family (per your example), it is self defense and within the law.

Oh, and in response to your complaints "Little" Bill:
(http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/nopityA.gif)
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 09:01:08 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 12-18-2001 11:04 AM

LOVE that smiley Conan!!!
Well, that is partially my point. One is the law of man, and one is the law of nature. The law of nature ALWAYS beats the law of man, no matter how hard we resist it. In the two scenarios that you painted, both are the taking of a life. Its just in one case, we condone it, in another we do not.

In my book, if you believe the law, you conduct yourself as such, even if it works against you. Ghandi, MLK, and Jesus Christ wouldnt even dream of raising their hands to another, even if it meant their own life (which in two of the three cases it did). But even as spiritual a message as these people brought, they could not stop the genetic coding in us that says.."kill, hurt".

We, as people can set laws against it, to govern ourselves. But, we cant get to the root of it. We cant make people stop inherently. THAT is the law of nature. Its the reason that all other animals kill each other as well (lions fighting over territory). Conflict is what brought the universe together. Harmony, is actually the temporary state if you think about it relatively.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 09:02:54 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 12-18-2001 11:04 AM

Man has the ability to be both the kindest and cruelest beast, sometimes within the same 20 second span. Lil_Bill's posts are significant of what the problem is. If there is something wrong, DONT TALK ABOUT IT..IGNORE IT..it will go away.
i don't think it will go away but speaking about it so matter of factly and coldly leads me to believe you people are somhow detached from the real world. if we are only animals as your previous posts seem to imply then we can't help beimg emotionally involved with anything, sorry for being human, i'll leave you removed people to your little web-board, you're well suited for each other.
ps you never responded to the point about someone who had fallen victim to one of these atttrocities reading your posts
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 09:06:50 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 12-18-2001 11:15 AM

No problem little bill, I will.
I have NEVER believed that removing dialog about an issue is something that benefits anyone. I personally have openly spoken about the atrocities I have both seen and been the "victim" of by living in a lower class area.

The reason people go to therapy is to open up a dialog about the feelings they have, so as not to do the first reaction, out of shame, and bottle it up and allow it to manifest itself into something else, like rage, or a suicidal tendency.

I dont openly speak about things because of my lack of regard of other people, quite the opposite. I hope someone may read my posts and say "Hey, he aint all that smart, but he knows what I am feeling", and maybe take something from it. To a degree, a LARGE degree, a part of healing from that process is being able to seperate yourself from the incident, or else emotionally you are doomed to repeat it over and over again.

If you consider this sick, so be it. Cruel, your opinion. But I have never "stopped talking" if what I had to say, I felt needed to be tabled. No disrespect, but I dont really care if you do or dont like what I am saying. I would rather you did, but I wont lose sleep if you dont. If it is inciting you too much to read it, honestly, dont. Its not meant to hurt, its a rhetorical conversation. Im not talking about anyone specific, nor passing judgement. If you deem it to be, maybe you should ask yourself why you are so touchy about it. I dont see anyone other than you passing judgement on the other people on this board.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 09:08:43 PM
Originally posted by Conan, 12-18-2001 11:58 AM

The History Channel is "exhibit A" to your point BDC. Seems like every other show on there is about war or implements of war. Sadly, this is our history.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 09:19:08 PM
Originally posted by bigdai, 12-18-2001 01:11 PM

Exactly that. If nobody said anything incase others were offended then society would be worse for it. MLK and Jesus were mentioned earlier, didn't they say things that upset people or at the very least disagreed with. I am not saying we should seek to offend people but if you are stating your argument while discussing something and you do, so be it. Isn't that politics. The issues in the film that have been discussed are not taken lightly which is the whole point. The original argument was: Is there any need for the rape seen? People have responded and if you read those postings they hardly making light of the subject or seek to offend.
Aristotle said 'man is a political animal' and we are. That is why we don't climb trees any more, we have a mind to think about 'touchy' subjects. Not just ignore them because as was said they don't go away.

Can we get back to the subject of the link now? It was interesting.

By the way nice violin!
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 09:20:31 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 12-19-2001 12:40 AM

y'all seem to be misssing the point. talking about whether it should have been included is one thing but i was geniunley shocked at the conversation about rape being part of the natural world and the whole be shot or be raped debate.c'mon people if u think it should have been included or not say so, but some areas of the debate about justifying it wasn't completely necessary. anyway enough of this . It's 6 days to christams lets try and focus on the positive aspects of life OK.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 09:51:22 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 12-19-2001 12:42 AM

If you consider this sick, so be it. Cruel, your opinion
hey you remember what callaghan said about opinions? :)
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 18, 2002, 09:53:57 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 12-19-2001 12:55 AM

"Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Wile E. Coyote, super genius".

ok so bdc lets put all this (insert rude word of your choice here) -happy KC-  ;) BEHIND us and like you said get back to discussing the point. i didn't like the scene personally but then the film wasn't made JUST for me- in fact i wasn't even born when it was made- but they put it in for a reason alright and who am i to argue with the guys who made the film? it's still a great western though. interstingly there was a poll of all time films over here recently and DRIFTER topped HIGH NOON by 1 place.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 19, 2002, 08:11:19 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 12-19-2001 12:55 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Conan:
The History Channel is "exhibit A" to your point BDC. Seems like every other show on there is about war or implements of war. Sadly, this is our history.

hey come on now thats not true. sure some of the biggets events in our history have been war, but what about the other 1900 years of history (i'm taking it that the most significant wars add up to roughly 100 years of our history), what about the discovery of penicillin(?) the moon landings, the founding of the new world(by colombus-kinda-)for all the evil and hatred in the world there is twice as much happiness and joy(NO i'm not a hippy) but if thats your outlook on life it's hard to keep going. an awful lot of good has happened and can be done by one person. try thinking of that any time you get depressed it really helps you pick up.
finally do me a favour if u ever feel down go to the video store and rent frank capra's ' It's a Wonderful Life' cause it's the ULTIMATE feel good movie, and remember there's a lot of good in our history and our present sadly it's not deemed newsworthy by the media and is kept from us, there IS a lot of carnage and war in our history, but hey they were mistakes and SOMEDAY we'll learn from them and be a better civilistaion. so if you only do one thing (and i understand that this can be hard sometimes)always have HOPE!
remember what louis said "what a wonderful world"
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 19, 2002, 08:38:02 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 12-19-2001 05:52 AM

Hey Lil Bill,
Okay, lets remove the "adversarial" portion of the conversation, as I am beginning to sound like the ultimate depressionist, and I will try to put things in a different perspective, and then shock the hell out of everybody at the end of the statement. :)

I honestly believe that the best of man COMES from his darkest side. There cannot be a good without an evil, period. The word good would not have come up without the need to seperate it from the other. I get in this debate about religion all the time...let me give an example (promise not to ruffle feathers here).

I once said that God is as inherently good as he is evil. A friend of mine that is highly religious got very upset at me and questioned why I said that. I asked them if it didnt say in the book "God is the creator"? They agreed. I then asked "Well, who created evil?" They paused, then said "Satan". I said "Wait, I will agree that Satan HARNESSED evil, but if he cant create, who really made it"?

See, the hard part of life, in my opinion, has always been the forgiveness part. Forgiving, and EMBRACING, our dark side, our enemies, our God, for being what we both wanted to be, and for going against us. Sometimes, those pills are very hard to swallow. But in fact, if you no longer deny that you have a dark side, and embrace it, you can use what used to be "blind rage" as "focused business sense". But you have to unbind yourself. When your sister is dying of cancer, you dont look to God and say "Why are you abandoning my sister?", you trust he left pain and suffering in the equation for a reason, and despite the pain it makes you feel, you forgive yourself for feeling it, and to a degree, forgive HIM for causing it. You can accept anything life can throw you at that point.

And to answer the question, I thought the rape scene was TOTALLY inappropriate (told you I would surprise you). Yes it did go to prove that the stranger was amoral, but I truly believe alot of that was already said, and that there were other ways to say it without such a graphic violation.

IMO.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 19, 2002, 08:39:19 PM
Originally posted by Conan, 12-19-2001 06:33 AM

I never said there weren't other great human accomplishments Bill, nor did I say anything about my "outlook on life". Yes, it would be hard to keep going if you focused on the fact that there is always some kind of war or conflict going on in the world.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 19, 2002, 08:42:07 PM
Quote
Originally posted by bdc28:
Hey Lil Bill,
I once said that God is as inherently good as he is evil. A friend of mine that is highly religious got very upset at me and questioned why I said that. I asked them if it didnt say in the book "God is the creator"? They agreed. I then asked "Well, who created evil?" They paused, then said "Satan". I said "Wait, I will agree that Satan HARNESSED evil, but if he cant create, who really made it"?
See, the hard part of life, in my opinion, has always been the forgiveness part. Forgiving, and EMBRACING, our dark side, our enemies, our God, for being what we both wanted to be, and for going against us. Sometimes, those pills are very hard to swallow. But in fact, if you no longer deny that you have a dark side, and embrace it, you can use what used to be "blind rage" as "focused business sense". But you have to unbind yourself. When your sister is dying of cancer, you dont look to God and say "Why are you abandoning my sister?", you trust he left pain and suffering in the equation for a reason, and despite the pain it makes you feel, you forgive yourself for feeling it, and to a degree, forgive HIM for causing it. You can accept anything life can throw you at that point.

ehhh? yeah i'm with you guys?
 ;) (straight out of oh brother where are thou)
ok, it was a bit too theological for me, as in straining my neck, as in over my head, i amn't very good with religion but i kinda get what you're saying
and hey conan, go on, rent the movie anyway IT'S CHRISTMAS
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 19, 2002, 08:44:05 PM
Originally posted by bigdai, 12-19-2001 08:49 AM

Bdc28, Nice argument but... what if there is no God?
Also, did you know that being a Jedi has now been recognised as an offical religion in the U.K. following the 2001 census. That is what i've heard on the news anyway but I don't have any confirmation.  :o

Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 19, 2002, 08:46:59 PM
Originally posted by Hombre, 12-19-2001 09:38 PM

That seems to be something of an urban myth, Bigdai. The first results of the Census won't be published until mid 2002, with the main results (incl. religions and all the rest of it) not appearing before this time next year.
I must admit I also heard that the Star Wars fraternity in the UK were going to try for it but there's no way of knowing how successful they were just yet.

Now what were we talking about? Oh, yeah, I once saw "It's A Wonderful Life" but found it way too corny and sentimental for my tastes. And don't bother jumping down my throat anybody, I already know I'm going straight to Hell for saying that.

[ 12-19-2001: Message edited by: gen_max ]
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 19, 2002, 08:51:24 PM
Originally posted by KC, 12-19-2001 10:24 PM

Quote
Originally posted by gen_max:

Now what were we talking about? Oh, yeah, I once saw "It's A Wonderful Life" but found it way too corny and sentimental for my tastes. And don't bother jumping down my throat anybody, I already know I'm going straight to Hell for saying that.
[ 12-19-2001: Message edited by: gen_max ]

Nah, gen_max ... only to Lago ...   ;)

KC
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 19, 2002, 08:53:47 PM
Originally posted by bigdai, 12-20-2001 01:33 AM

Gen_max i'm going to Lago with you, what a load of rubbish. It's on the same heap as The Sound of Music and Shane.
Controversy, i like it!  :o  :o
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 19, 2002, 08:57:31 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 12-20-2001 04:33 AM

Quote
Originally posted by bigdai:
Gen_max i'm going to Lago with you, what a load of rubbish. It's on the same heap as The Sound of Music and Shane.
Controversy, i like it!!

the BEST thing about SHANE is that he DIES in the end!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 07:58:33 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 12-26-2001 08:20 AM

BIGDAI: "Bdc28, Nice argument but... what if there is no God?"
Sorry Bigdai, I didnt mean to bypass your question, its a goodie.  :)

Okay, removal of theological ideologies, lets try the scientific standpoint.

ALL things in life that are of no use to man, for its survival, eventually phase itself out (ie, the shrinking of tonsils after man learned how to cook food). So it would stand to reason that actions like rape, murder, and such would phase themselves out, and the agressive gene as well, because of its "lack of use" to the whole of man, right? Wrong.

There are a bunch of cruel and not so cruel terms to deem these uses. Whether you call it "thinning the herd", or "killing the weak so the strong survive", or something PC like "population control", this gene, the aggressive gene, manifests itself in humanity to serve ALOT of purposes that maybe conscious man cannot do by his/her own hand.

Another logic, which I will premise with a biblical statement, was the symbolism of Adam and Eve eating from the "tree of knowledge" as the beginning of the downfall of mankind. Being self aware is both our enlightenment, and undoing. Yes we can create, but with our self awareness and ability to stand up and walk...we also have the same burden of being able to lay down in emotion.

Where an animal can deal with pain instinctually by dealing with it and moving on, mankind instictivly tries, to its own undoing, to find some deeper meaning in it. "What did it mean, that my mother/father/sister was killed/robbed/raped?" When in fact it actually meant NOTHING, those things happen by natural law.

It is our need to philosophize even the most minute happenstance that can sometimes cripple us from using our ablity to rise above it. God really has nothing to do with it, it has to do with our ability to be able to define what we can and cannot control, so that we can deal with what is sometimes dealt us...whether you call it Murphys law, TARFU, FUBAR, its the same thing...life FREQUENTLY doesnt go your way, to a painful ending.

The point to all that though, is that you are only here for a cup of coffee, and then you are gone. You can live in one millisecond of a bad situation and let it define the rest of the minute that you have of a lifetime, or you can try to make the best of what little time you actually have. My favorite quote from a movie is "life is pain, deal with it".

Thats not to say I am a depressing person, I love life and ALL aspects of it. But that is also because I try NOT to shield myself from pain. I dont worry about the neighborhoods I shouldnt be in, or people I shouldnt talk to, or situations that can hurt me. They all can, granted. In many cases they already have, but that doesnt mean I have to live in them. You can take a piece of me, but you cant take ME, that I own. I dont have time to worry, ta hell with that!! Life is too fun and too short!!
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:00:04 PM
Originally posted by bigdai, 12-28-2001 04:12 AM

Bloody hell, that is deep!!!
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:02:19 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 01-02-2002 02:47 AM

Quote
Originally posted by bigdai:
Bloody hell, that is deep!!!

he's definitely no slouch in the thinkin' department is he?
hey bdc i'm gettin a creek in my neck from lookin up this conversation is WAY over my head d'ye think you could dumb it down to say anyone with an IQ of less than 150 (one hundred fifty thousand that is)
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:04:15 PM
Originally posted by Hombre, 01-02-2002 01:49 PM

Quote
the BEST thing about SHANE is that he DIES in the end!!!!!!!!!!

Are you sure, little_bill?, in the last shot of the movie he is injured but still very much alive, from what I can see. Probably just doused that bullet wound with some soda-pop, grimaced a little and rode on (reluctantly of course} to his next gunfighting adventure.

OK, it's not great but Shane must have something going for it, after all Pale Rider is a remake of that film.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:05:57 PM
Originally posted by little_bill, 01-03-2002 04:32 AM

yeah i'm pretty sure thats why he doesn't turn around when the kid runs after him.
by the way did you see The Negotiator starring kevin spacey and samuel l jackson, cause tthey have the same discussion in the film it leads to quite a clever moment near the end, i liked it a lot.
but hey it's just my opinion after all there is no concrete evidence either way.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:07:54 PM
Originally posted by Timothy, 06-17-2002 10:20 PM

An old thread but a good thread,

I have a different point of view. I have to have you guys consider a few thing first though. Remember to have an open mind.

1) The first time that the people of the town tried to "plan" to kill him is in the hotel. He sleeps with the woman, she slips out, they try to shoot him up. When he was getting a shave I don't think that was an organized plan.

2) People are creatures of habit. What worked one time will work a second time.

3) Is it possible that (in the past) the raped woman drew Clint into a situation inwhich his pants were down. The people of the town came in and killed him in a slow, helpless, painful manner for profit and they enjoyed it.

4) If your son or brother were killed in this manner then what would you want to do to the woman that started the plan rolling?

I say hook her legs up to two different tractors and do a wish bone pulling. You can't hit or shoot an unarmed girl. But if the girl used sex appeal to lead to a killing of a man for profit then I say it is justified.

They make light of the situation beacuse these town's people seem to join with who ever is the strongest. They are like animals and they only kiss up to someone who is strong. I think if they didn't make light of it and took it seriously (as it should be in real life) then Clint would not have been as powerful as he was.

Only adults should watch this.

There is a book out called "I know why the caged bird sings". In this book there is a rape. However, this is considered to be (I don't know why) one of the best books of all time. If it were made into a movie then I think they should keep the rape scene as a reminder to how terrible life can be in the projects. It made the caged person seem that much more caged.

Tim
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:11:33 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 07-23-2002 11:50 AM

Hey Timothy,

As many disagreements as Daisy and I have had over the years (god its been that long?), in this particular case, I take her side.

Cinematically, the voice that was reflected was the voice of the seventies, when the movie was made. Although rape was a crime on the books, it was a VERY touchy subject. Most women during the seventies never reported rape, due to embarrasment and shame. Also alot of public image at large was that if a woman got raped, she in some way shape or form had something to do with it. IE: "She wouldnt have been raped if she wasnt wearing that dress..etc..etc".

Thats not to say that Clint's directing was condoning it, far from it. Everybody knew it was wrong. But at the time, no one truly understood the LASTING affect rape had on a woman. So even as a crime, it wasnt taken seriously. It was a tag-along crime. "This man is up for murder, robbery, and oh yeah, rape".

Clint has even stated that he would do it over differently. But again, its just cinematically, a sign of the times.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:13:08 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 07-23-2002 12:20 PM

I'm glad that Eastwood didn't omit it, though, because the act speaks to the severe anti-heroism and sense of moral ambiguity and nihilism that he was trying to project with this film.

The act and its aftermath also speak to the town's corruption: the Lago brass gives the Stranger a complete pass on the rape.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:14:41 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 08-20-2002 06:13 AM

I had another thought on this.

I also believe that the "rape" scene was kept to seperate the character from the previous "men with no names". This was not the cool gun, but with a real well hidden heart of gold. This was a cold blooded, remorseless, jaded man with revenge (or as Val Kilmer said in TOMBSTONE, a "reckoning") on his mind.

The only character he didnt abuse was the only one that had reason not to get involved. Other than that, everyone else got what they deserved, whether they acted directly or not.

This wasnt Manco, or Blondie. This was hell on a horse.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:16:18 PM
Originally posted by KC, 08-20-2002 10:13 AM

Good observation, bdc. I'd add that the Stranger does protect the only two townspeople who are seen in the flashbacks to have been sympathetic to the martyred marshal, namely Mordecai and Sarah Belding ...

KC
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:19:29 PM
Originally posted by Hombre, 08-20-2002 07:14 PM

And his attitude to the minorities in the town can't be ignored either. I had to wince when my wife said "How sweet!" the first time she saw what he did for the Indians in the general store. And then later he forbids those Mexicans to attend the party. Isn’t there at least a suspicion of compassion hiding behind that heart of iron?
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:21:27 PM
Originally Mark, 09-06-2002 01:30 PM

Whilst I most definetely detest the very idea of rape, this was not your average rape:

A few things to put it in perspective:

1) Eastwood's character had come to the town to exact 'revenge' and punish the townsfolk for their sins. In the same way that he turned the others' sins upon them (primarily the violence factor), he does the same to Callie: She was obviously a promiscuous woman to the point of it being a sin, and the rape scene was a very ironic way to punish her for this lustful character.

2) As Mordecai says something like 'Maybe it's because you didn't come back for more' after Clint questions her revenge attempt, and later Clint says 'I happen to know she enjoyed that quite a lot' we can assume, with the added knowledge of watching her struggling subside and eventually become enjoyment, that Callie possibly WANTED a sexual experience with Clint. Indeed, maybe she had an affair with the Marshal Jim Duncan whilst he was alive, and this was part of the revenge process.

3) As we find out at the end, Callie had been in a relationship with one of the 'bad guys' of the story Stacey Bridges, so maybe in its strange, probably symbolic way, the scene was rerlated to that.

To conclude, Callie's real sins were all centred around sex, and promiscuity, and, the experience to most punish her abuse of her good looks is surely to have someone else abuse them: hence, the rape scene.

Eastwood approaches Callie, as certain other members of the town, with a mood which suggests that he somehow knows them. This is why we assume some king of 'ghostly' quality to his character.
Eastwood, it seems, had a relationship with Callie at some other time, and was here punishing her, but also, it seems, she did get enjoyment out of it.

Just an idea, anyway!  ;D
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:25:15 PM
Originally posted by GMAT, 09-06-2002 03:23 PM

Men receive the pistol, women the phallus.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Xichado on December 21, 2002, 08:27:09 PM
Originally posted by bdc28, 09-25-2002 11:35 AM

Hey Mark,

WOW that was good. Alot of that I thought, but didnt really think how to put into words.

But alot of it isnt established in the story solidly, its kind of left to the imagination. That is what is the genius of this story. In some sick way you knew it was gonna happen, you just never get the satisfaction of knowing WHY!!
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Matt on December 21, 2002, 11:41:30 PM
Thanks, Xichado, for bringing this entire discussion over to this board.  

Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Christopher on December 22, 2002, 12:52:19 PM
In the early '70s, there were movies like A Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs which depict graphic rape scenes, in fact, much more graphic than High Plains Drifter (I've only seen Straw Dogs on TV, but I'm guessing they have to heavily edit it).

It may have already been said in this thread that perhaps the scene in Drifter was just for it's time. Several weeks ago, when HPD was on TCM, I was surprised by how un-graphic the scene actually was. The first time I'd seen that scene, I was left with the immpression that it was more graphic, I guess that just shows the power of the scene. I think the important aspect of the scene shows that the Eastwood character was not your basic good guy, but then again, neither is anybody in the town. To me, High Plains Drifter is the most violent and cold blooded of Eastwood's movies. The violence and that rape scene are a little disturbing, but violence and rape should be disturbing in movies. It means that violence is being portrayed in a truthful way.

If anybody caught Martin Scorsese on "Inside the Actor's Studio" last weekend, he was asked about how he felt about violence in his films, and he said that he tried to depict violence in a truthful way.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: bdc28 on December 26, 2002, 08:06:53 AM
Dear God, I gave myself a headache re-reading all this.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: BDR529 on July 10, 2003, 02:46:28 AM
I feel it's ironic that viewers will have no problem with any number of scenes of murder and torture, but one rape scene will have them throwing up their arms and squirming and screaming and asking whether it was really necessary.  Rape is reprehensible and unforgivable, but so is murder--we're just used to murder in films and are "desensitized" to it.  Same reason why we wince if somebody kicks a dog in the same film where they shoot somebody in the head.

I apologize if I just repeated something further up the thread... didn't read all of them...
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Manco on July 10, 2003, 01:31:23 PM
The impression I got of the film and the charchter was that he was meant to be from hell. The way he burns the town down at the end links with his rape of the women, meaning he really has no value for anybody, and his ghostly apearence etc. I don't really see how people think he has some honour in the film. I think he is just a bad guy who tries to help but stays evil, hellbent on revenge. The quote from the movie poster is

"they'd never forget the day he drifted into town"
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: misty71 on July 10, 2003, 03:45:54 PM
ok, I took the time to read this thread, but that was a long time ago ;DWhat I think is; of course it wasnt necessary, of course it didnt NEED to happen, but you know what?it made the film more shocking, more intense, the charater more depraved.You think "if this guy just did THAT, what could he possibly do next?" I think its good that people get shocked once in a while.Like bdr mentioned, were so desenticized now, it cant be bad to be shocked once in a while, to remember what it feels like to actually care for once.
Ok, that was just my opinion ;D
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: dane with no name on August 21, 2003, 08:17:45 AM
I can only agree with misty.
Besides the whole movie drips with "poetic justice"
the town painted red, the inhabitants left to fend for themselves in the end, and of course the gunning down of the scumbags.

the rapescene is a fist in the face, and it shows (which makes it all the more menacing) that worse is to come...

NOW THATS BUILIDING A MOOD!!!  :o
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: D'Ambrosia on August 21, 2003, 09:10:51 AM
I just think overall, the directing, the acting, the camera work, the characters, the feel, the mystic uncertainty...  All in all it's one of Clint's best.  Granted the first 15 minutes are a real shocker :o and your thinking this guys something... But as the movie progresses you find out why he's doing all of these things.  That's great movie makeing...

The colors in the flick are vibrant and stunning to look at and I've all ways loved Clint's direction in this movie...
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: The Man With No Name on September 14, 2003, 02:50:51 PM
Whew, at first glance of this topic I thought the question was if the MOVIE was necessary... I almost had a Terry McCaleb there... Uh... Rape scene right...
 I think it's really about Clint's character and exacting revenge, [which is a theme in almost all his movies].
He was whipped and beaten to death... So now it's hard to tell if this man is a reincarnation... a messenger, but like what side is he on?
 I would classify him as an anti-hero... A sort of renegade angel... Maybe given one chance to set things straight... and he still has that lust cause he's human so he just takes the girl and does with her what he wants.
  All in all the movie is just outstanding.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: 1861navycolt on September 23, 2003, 11:14:09 PM
In my opinion the scene should not have been included.  It sickens me much and I can't let my 12 year old watch it either.  I believe that they could have easily done other things to form the character that they wanted to put forth.  
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: dane with no name on September 25, 2003, 06:33:48 AM
Quote
It sickens me much and I can't let my 12 year old watch it either
The whole movie is dark, violent, and very gritty and not for children or the weak of heart (no pun intended). Even if the rape scene wasnt included, a scene such as the whipping of the marshal is to much for any young child to watch.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: The Schofield Kid on January 19, 2008, 11:31:55 PM
I stumbled across this great discussion by accident when I was searching for something else last night. It  originated on the old board and was brought back to life by Xichado back in 2002. I'd like to revive it as I'm sure a lot of us weren't around way back then.

I did change the title from Was "it" necessary to Was "The Rape Scene" necessary as I thought "it" meant the whole film when I first saw the title. I hope you don't mind Xichado. :)

Anyway if you haven't read the first six pages of this topic and I think you should as it's probably one of the best discussions I've ever read here and some great points brought up throughout.

I decided to watch this film again today after reading this thread, and I have to say was it really rape?

To me Callie came across as the town whore, we find out later in the film she was sleeping with Stacy Bridges and as soon as he went to prison, it wasn't long before she was in bed with Morgan Allen. 

The way Callie purposely walks into The Stranger, then verbally abuses him, and as he tries to walk away she stops him to abuse him even more then slaps the cigar out of his mouth, she definitely is asking for trouble. I know Callie was unwilling at first but she seemed to succumb very quickly and in the end seemed very contented. She didn't get up and run out after it was all over, she just layed still in the hay with a pleasent look on her face.

Also later in the film she sleeps with The Stranger again, this time without even complaining. Would a woman who has just been raped by this man do that? Maybe this time it was to get him in bed so the others could pounce on him when he least expected it but we know he was too good for them in that department having already climbed out the window when they burst in the room.

What about when The Stranger slept with Sarah Belding, she was unwilling at first, but also quickly succumbed to him and finished up staying the whole night. I don't think anyone else has mentioned that. Should we call that rape as well?
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: KC on January 20, 2008, 12:15:40 AM
See, part of the myth about rape is that they're "really" willing. Though in this case ... that's sort of how it's written.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: Richard Earl on January 20, 2008, 12:55:16 AM
Does anyone know if there are any interviews with Clint about the opening scene of High Plains Drifter?
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: SpiderMonkey on January 21, 2008, 02:49:46 AM
In the early '70s, there were movies like A Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs which depict graphic rape scenes, in fact, much more graphic than High Plains Drifter (I've only seen Straw Dogs on TV, but I'm guessing they have to heavily edit it).

It may have already been said in this thread that perhaps the scene in Drifter was just for it's time. Several weeks ago, when HPD was on TCM, I was surprised by how un-graphic the scene actually was. The first time I'd seen that scene, I was left with the immpression that it was more graphic, I guess that just shows the power of the scene. I think the important aspect of the scene shows that the Eastwood character was not your basic good guy, but then again, neither is anybody in the town. To me, High Plains Drifter is the most violent and cold blooded of Eastwood's movies. The violence and that rape scene are a little disturbing, but violence and rape should be disturbing in movies. It means that violence is being portrayed in a truthful way.

If anybody caught Martin Scorsese on "Inside the Actor's Studio" last weekend, he was asked about how he felt about violence in his films, and he said that he tried to depict violence in a truthful way.
The rape scene in A Clockwork Orange is extremely disturbing, as is Scorsese's violence.  I squirm in my seat in scenes such as these and I find them to be borderline distasteful.

I agree - depending on the film - that violence and rape should be disturbing.......but I think good filmmakers can convey this realism without having to resort to excessively brutal, gorey scenes.  Look at Unforgiven.  Eastwood himself has expressed concern over the amount of violence in films. 

The rape scene in High Plains Drifter is Mickey Mouse stuff compared to something like the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange.  I think the issue people have with the rape scene in High Plains Drifter is that it advocates The Stranger's actions.  First and foremost, I would argue with those people by saying that The Stranger is an amoral hero and his actions are NOT advocated.  Callie is apart of the immoral Lago community that maliciously played a hand in the murdering of Marshall Jim Duncan - the fact that The Stranger rapes her as a form of retribution sets up his dark, merciless character.  By having Callie "enjoy" the encounter, it further degrades her character.


Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: The Highlander on January 24, 2008, 12:26:04 AM
In a flashback we see her cheering while he's whipped in the street. I think that is even more disturbing.
[/quote]

Actually, if I recall, Callie was screaming for them to STOP whipping the marshal, not cheering them on.  I could be wrong because I haven't watched the movie recently, but I'm pretty sure I remember her saying, "You've got to stop them!" and then being restrained before she could run out there.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: SpiderMonkey on January 24, 2008, 07:11:14 PM
In a flashback we see her cheering while he's whipped in the street. I think that is even more disturbing.


Actually, if I recall, Callie was screaming for them to STOP whipping the marshal, not cheering them on.  I could be wrong because I haven't watched the movie recently, but I'm pretty sure I remember her saying, "You've got to stop them!" and then being restrained before she could run out there.
I believe that was Mrs. Belding.  She was the only one who attempted to stop it.

I watched a bit of the film on television the other day, and if I'm remembering correctly, Callie looks on silently next to her romantic interest, Morgan Allen, who played a hand in framing the Marshall.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: KC on January 24, 2008, 09:28:50 PM
I'm sure you're right, SpiderMonkey.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: WeAllHaveItCominKid on January 25, 2008, 02:47:18 PM
I absolutely hate rape scenes but I think it was necessary in this film to show just how unpredictable and crazy this character is.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: Conan on January 27, 2008, 07:15:41 AM
The rape scene in High Plains Drifter is Mickey Mouse stuff compared to something like the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange. 

  I agree.  The rape scene in "A Clockwork Orange" is hardcore stuff compared to HPD, though it works in the context of the plot so I think it was necessary in that one as well.  As for "High Plains Drifter", I think many moviegoers are used to seeing a main character as a straight-up "good guy" with no grey areas - so this brutal scene came as a shock to them.  If a "bad guy" had done it, I don't think the HPD rape scene would have been as much of a big deal.

  I'm with Roger Ebert...I don't judge a movie based on its content; its the execution of the content that matters.  So basically...I think scenes involving rape, the torturing of old women/children, extremely racist hate crimes, and other horrible stuff are not cool if done in a gratuitous manner - but if done in the context of the plot then I think its necessary.

  Haha.  Skimming through I was just reminded that this is the thread where Little Bill blasted a few of us for talking so cavalierly about rape.  And I can't believe that the original discussion was something like 7 or maybe even 8 years ago...Time flies.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: bdc28 on November 01, 2012, 05:37:09 AM
Ok, wow now that Ive reread this, I see why Lil Bill (sigh) kept asking me to stay on point with the topic.

I am going to contribute a thought to the thread, and it may not be popular, also its not going to be condoning the rape...just a side thought.

Its not until towards the very end of the movie that its revealed that she had a relationship with Stacy and the bad guys....in fact she would be considered "his woman" considering that the very first thing to be brought up upon his return, was whether or not she was faithful to him.

Has anyone given any thought to the idea that she was part of the conspiracy to Duncans death? Perhaps she was involved with Duncan and set him up...you know..."caught with your pants down"...maybe Duncans death had absolutely nothing to do with the money, it had to do with her. Perhaps the Drifter sought to minimize her role WITH the rape....letting her know she wont be pulling the wool over anyone's eyes with her feminine ways.

Just a thought?
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: KC on November 01, 2012, 04:29:03 PM
Hmm, I never thought of it like that ... you may have a point!
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: Lin Sunderland on November 03, 2012, 04:28:19 AM
bdc, that certainly is a different slant on the reasons for the rape scene. Like KC I had never thought of like that either.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: KC on November 03, 2012, 05:48:23 AM
Actually, though, I think it's made pretty clear in the film: Most of the townspeople were "part of the conspiracy to Duncan's death," and they also say that it WAS about the money, so even if Callie helped lure Duncan to his death ... I'm not sure how it makes a difference?

The Stranger treats Sarah Belding almost as badly as Callie, at least at first, and we see in flashbacks that she had tried to stop Duncan's murder.

I think this is one of Clint's more intriguing films in terms of simple plot. There are a lot of mysteries that are left up to the audience to solve.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: bdc28 on November 06, 2012, 05:40:30 AM
True, but I think we have to differentiate.

Most of the town were being punished for just standing and watching him get whipped to death, except of course for Mordicai, who was powerless to do anything because of his size.

But its kind of established towards the end of the film that she was somewhat part of a bigger conspiracy...at least in my opinion. She was a player in all this, and although maybe her motivation was Stacy and the money, she only had one real weapon.

Also, if you think about it, a whipping is an excessive way to kill someone. As three killers you really dont have to make an example of the town by excessively beating someone over five or ten minutes. The fact that you have the heart to KILL the Marshall will put them on notice.

The whipping was personal.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: rr-electricangel on November 29, 2012, 05:04:05 PM
I've watched this scene and would have to define it as either as a convoluted rape scene or as a scene of depravity. It's symbolic. Remember, Clint's character has the entire town painted red, and paints the word "HELL" on the "LAGO" sign just outside of town. Was it necessary? No. It cheapens the satisfaction of retribution sought by Clint's character in the rest of the movie. Retribution- is defined as punishment that is considered a moral right and fully deserved.  :D

Clint reflected on the film's meaning, indicating "it's just an allegory...a speculation on what happens when they go ahead and kill the sheriff and somebody comes back and calls the town's conscience to bear. There's always retribution for your deeds."

(http://i4.ytimg.com/vi/gfnFF8VVbrw/mqdefault.jpg)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfnFF8VVbrw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfnFF8VVbrw)
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: Perry on January 23, 2013, 03:20:39 PM

 Ironically Sergio Leone's 'Once Upon a Time In America's' rape scene's (Especially the one of Elizabeth's McGovern in the back of the car with DeNiro ) are far more brutal than HPD's. Talk about a totally unecessary scene.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: MakeItVin on June 22, 2013, 04:23:50 PM
The movie came out WAY before political correctness started getting pushed upon us.  So in my humble opinion, yes, it was part of the movei so it was necessary.  Another excellent way to show the studliness of the main character.  She got what she wanted.  What else can you say?

Political correctness isn't even possible, anyway.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: Matt on March 17, 2016, 11:52:18 AM

Also, if you think about it, a whipping is an excessive way to kill someone. As three killers you really dont have to make an example of the town by excessively beating someone over five or ten minutes. The fact that you have the heart to KILL the Marshall will put them on notice.

The whipping was personal.

I'm very tempted to add this to the more recent discussion we're having on High Plains Drifter for our Movie Night discussions, but I'm going to add it here because I think BDCs post needs the response.

I just watched it a few days ago, and I was wondering why they whipped Duncan to death, rather than just shoot him. They're gunfighters. They're hired killers... hired by the town, let's not forget. It's in the text of the movie... Duncan found out the mines were on government land and was going to turn them all in. It was going to end their livelihoods.  (Strangely we never see the mines or know anything about them other than that scene where they discuss why they killed Duncan.) 

Duncan couldn't be bought off. He was an honest sheriff. He was a good man in a corrupt town, and he planned to bring justice to the town. There wasn't an implication of a relationship with Callie, but moreso, there isn't any indication that Duncan would be the type to sleep with someone so dark-hearted and evil. He was one of the only good people in the town.

And it hit me as I was reading through this great great thread (thanks AGAIN to Xichado for bringing it over) what the reason for the whipping was. It wasn't personal, it was a statement. A shooting would have been too normal in a town like Lago. It wouldn't have gotten the attention that was needed. The town leaders who hired Stacey Bridges & the Carlin brothers wanted everyone to know THIS is what happens if you turn us in. They wanted to etch that killing in everyone's memory. They wanted everyone to be afraid:  don't go against us. Don't try to stop us. Just keep your nose down, and pretend you don't know a thing.

And that's all it was. A killing out of greed to silence a man who would have put an end to their profitable industry.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: AKA23 on March 19, 2016, 08:37:44 AM
I agree with Matt. The whipping in front of the town, and its brutality, was meant to terrify anyone who might have thought of stepping out of line and exposing the town's crimes.

It won't surprise viewers of this thread, since I, you know, started this topic, that I still find the rape to be unnecessary. To me, it doesn't really add much to the movie, since the theme of The Stranger coming to punish the town is already so well developed. In many ways, I think the rape scene makes it harder to like and root for The Stranger character because I personally found the rape to be so disturbing. It was a very difficult scene for me to watch, even now, all these years later, and after many repeat viewings. But what I also found disturbing, and wasn't sure if I'd noticed it before, was how dismissive people were in the town about the rape. It just didn't seem like that big of a deal to most of the people. Like Matt, I was also disturbed by the fact that the women in the town seemed to still be so attracted to the Stranger. I know he was rugged and manly and all that, but he had raped a woman in the town. To me, that felt false, or was this reflective of the time? Was that dismissive attitude toward rape characteristic of the time?
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: Matt on March 19, 2016, 09:04:28 AM
Was that dismissive attitude toward rape characteristic of the time?

In some ways, it still is. Rape is still viewed as a crime based very much on the moral respectability of the victim. Think about it... if you rape a nun, you'd go to jail. If you rape a stripper, no one would do a thing. If you rape a single woman in her 20's who wore immodest clothing and dated a lot of men, good luck prosecuting. If you rape a 10 year old girl, you might get the death penalty. If you rape a 80 year old woman, the same.
Title: Re:High Plains Drifter: Was it really Necessary
Post by: FANaMillerUSNRet on September 23, 2017, 06:44:31 AM
Originally posted by AKA23, 10-28-2001 04:56 PM

Hey guys I just popped in High Plains Drifter into the DVD player and watched it last night and I don't know but I must say that there was one scene in that really unnerved me. While watching it I kept thinking over and over again what purpose did that rape scene serve? It seemed to me to be something that didn't really need to be there unless you are painting this guy as some type of evil creature which was not the intention or impression that I got from the film at all. I'd have to say that High Plains Drifter is one of Eastwood's darkest films as an actor/director. The only films that I can think of that are comparable to it would be Sudden Impact and possibly Unforgiven. Yes, Unforgiven is a very dark film at times but I still found myself at least having some kind of an understanding as to why he did what he did and why the film played out as it did. With the rape scene, I just find this guy to be a total bastard. I can understand him killing those three guys in the barber shop at least to a degree and I can understand the majority of his other actions in the film but this action I just don't get. And then he justifies what he did having no remorse for it at all. I just don't get it. Am I missing something? A few frames after that he's being the good samaritan and giving blankets and candy to the poor. It doesn't make sense to me. If he is in fact supposed to be a sort of avenging angel (and thats a crude term for what he is I think) than why the rape scene? I can understand him punishing the town for their involvement in the Duncan murders. I can understand the majority of the Strangers actions but this one I just find to be completely immoral and totally beyond any justification whatsoever. Are we supposed to hate this character or sympathize with his actions? This rape scene just doesn't makes sense to me and I find myself hating the character the more than I think about it! But then in the rest of the movie he doesn't do anything too objectionable that would make me want to hate him. I don't quite understand why he would kick all of those people out of the hotel but since the hotel manager was involved in the murder than can be somewhat explained. But why the rape?

What scene is this? I remember the film and never remember this scene... It's just so... un Clint-like...  ???
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: KC on September 23, 2017, 08:38:56 AM
It's right at the beginning. You may have missed it if you saw the film on network television, since it would have been cut.

Years later, Clint said in an interview that he might not have included the scene if he had the film to do over again.
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: Kayley on October 24, 2017, 01:18:19 PM
I say the rape scene was necessary.
Just like the killing and the humiliating and the drinking and everything else he does to this town.

It's symbolic. Every little thing in this movie is symbolic.
So here comes this guy who hasn't been compromised like these town's people have. He doesn't take sh*t from anyone. He is his own boss, does what he wants... he comes into town and the first things he does is rape, kill and drink... and still everybody sees a savior in him. That's how far from decent these people have gotten. And they want him around. They want him to stay because he is a symbol of victory and they hope that through him, they can conquer their source of indecency, too. Only... it's not the outlaws. They just use the people. The real evil sits inside them, so in order to conquer it, they have him destroy themselves. And because they want it destroyed, they keep him around, even though they see him rape the girl and kill the men! Because these people are lost and they want to be found, no matter the cost, even if it is their lives.
I just love that movie!
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: KC on October 24, 2017, 09:54:48 PM
Very good point. I never saw the rape scene from quite that angle before. It's not that it's not an evil and despicable act ... it's about what it reveals about the townspeople, for whom the Stranger's very evil is the draw.

Quote
He's got you all snake-fascinated, every damn one of you.

He's a bit like Shakespeare's Richard III. Fun as it is to wallow in the spectacle of Richard's villainy, the most interesting part of the play is what it shows us about the characters who surround him, for better or worse.

Welcome to the Board, Kayley!
Title: Re: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary
Post by: Kayley on October 25, 2017, 03:31:40 AM

Welcome to the Board, Kayley!

Thanks. I'm glad I found it ;).