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Organized Film Discussions => Previous Film Discussions => Topic started by: Matt on September 28, 2004, 12:22:25 AM

Title: THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES: The Story 5: Ten Bears
Post by: Matt on September 28, 2004, 12:22:25 AM
JOSEY: You be Ten Bears?

TEN BEARS: I am Ten Bears.

JOSEY: (Spits tobacco) I'm Josey Wales.

TEN BEARS: I have heard. You're the Gray Rider. You would not make peace with the Blue Coats. You may go in peace.

JOSEY: I reckon not. Got nowhere to go.

TEN BEARS: Then you will die.

JOSEY: I came here to die with you. Or live with you. Dying ain't so hard for men like you and me, it's living that's hard; when all you ever cared about has been butchered or raped. Governments don't live together, people live together. With governments you don't always get a fair word or a fair fight. Well I've come here to give you either one, or get either one from you. I came here like this so you'll know my word of death is true. And that my word of life is then true. The bear lives here, the wolf, the antelope, the Comanche. And so will we. Now, we'll only hunt what we need to live on, same as the Comanche does. And every spring when the grass turns green and the Comanche moves north, he can rest here in peace, butcher some of our cattle and jerk beef for the journey. The sign of the Comanche, that will be on our lodge. That's my word of life.

TEN BEARS: And your word of death?

JOSEY: It's here in my pistols, there in your rifles. I'm here for either one.

TEN BEARS: These things you say we will have, we already have.

JOSEY: That's true. I ain't promising you nothing extra. I'm just giving you life and you're giving me life. And I'm saying that men can live together without butchering one another.

TEN BEARS: It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double-tongues. There is iron in your word of death for all Comanche to see. And so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron, it must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carries the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life... or death. It shall be life. (He takes his knife and cuts his hand. Josey does the same and they grasp each other's hands.) So shall it be.

Discuss your thoughts on this scene. Do you think Josey thought he was riding to his deathbed, or do you think he had so much faith in the integrity of the great Chief that he thought he would be able to negotiate a peace agreement with him? Or, do you think Josey felt this was the last remaining hope for him and his surrogate family to survive?

(The character of Ten Bears is a true historical character; however the real Ten Bears was never an active warrior, but rather a respected negotiator who represented the Comanche in their dealings with the government. If you'd like to read more about Ten Bears, HERE ( is a short bio on him.)
Title: Re:THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES: The Story 5: Ten Bears
Post by: Wombat on October 02, 2004, 11:41:58 PM
At this point in his life Josey had come to the realisation that FATE was what happened to him every day.  He accepted the threat of the Commanches as "just the way it is".

He didn't know Ten Bears from a bar of soap but no doubt he had heard of him, as had Ten Bears heard about the Gray Rider.

Josey is: 'the master of his fate and the captain of his soul'.  And that is how he approached every situation in his life post the murder of his Famliy.

He states to Ten Bears - words to the affect of:  'Dieing for us ain't hard it is living that is hard'.  Because they are both men of principle and to see these principles smashed into the ground by the ignorant is soul destroying.  But life goes on and just, principled men can agree.

Ten Bears and Josey saw that in each other and accepted each other.


Title: Re:THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES: The Story 5: Ten Bears
Post by: vik on October 08, 2004, 03:47:43 AM
i think josey thought he was going to die anyway

and that some sort of treaty was worth at least a try if not for himself for the other folks

it was a nice touch that it was josey (the army of one) and not lone waite who went  - often it takes just one outstanding person to make peace - ten bears was the chief although he had an army of many
native americans seemed to have alot of respect for a person who could come as a singular voice of reason rather than an army of people who meant nothing but trouble

i think also this is the link to the end of the film - because it signifies a sort of peace
Title: Re:THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES: The Story 5: Ten Bears
Post by: Wombat on October 08, 2004, 06:21:15 AM

An understanding that times change BUT honesty, integrity and honour are still possible in a changing world.  Still applies today and for every day in history or the future.


Title: Re:THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES: The Story 5: Ten Bears
Post by: vik on October 08, 2004, 06:30:52 AM
possibly but what would have happened if ten bears had shot josey - we would have all gone home early from the film  ;D

no - i think it was more a truce - a truce that ten bears had hoped for and thought if their were more josey wales blokes in the world all would be alright - but of course the story for the native americans wasn't that

so was ten bears honour based on a guy looking for revenge on a guy who killed his family?

if he had known he was a war hero he probably would have run the other way

Title: Re:THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES: The Story 5: Ten Bears
Post by: Wombat on October 08, 2004, 06:40:01 AM

The honour of Ten Bears in allowing Josey to live was the fact that he saw in Josey a man of honour, a man of his word, a fellow totally commited warrior.

"You are the Gray Rider who did not surrender to the Blue Coats", Ten Bears.

Now the Native Americans came in on the Civil War not to necessarily support the Confedrates but to beat the Blue Scum Bellies when they had their hands full elsewhere.  The 'war' against the Indians continued throughout the Civil War and was perpetrated by the Blue Scum Bellies and no one else.  It is no wonder that Ten Bears regarded Josey as an Honourable Ally not someone out to rip him off like the Blue Coats had been doing ever since the appeared on the horizon - well before the American Civil War.

I doubt if in reality Ten Bears would've even heard about Josey's Family being murdered.  Ten Bears saw in Josey a commited anti-Blue Coat.


Title: Re: THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES: The Story 5: Ten Bears
Post by: mgk on April 24, 2005, 06:57:25 PM
Thanks to everyone for participating in this discussion. This topic is now closed, please post any additional thoughts in the Clint Eastwood Westerns forum.