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General Information => Clint Eastwood Westerns => Topic started by: Chessie on April 12, 2005, 10:16:25 PM

Title: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Chessie on April 12, 2005, 10:16:25 PM
Recently I got into a debate with my Spanish teacher about High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider.  He told me to re-watch both films and then see if I could see it from his point of view. 

His point of view is this: Preacher is a resurrected soul, kind of like Lazarus, I've never thought this.  His opinion of High Plains Drifter is that it's exactly the same as Pale Rider

So I was thinking about this so intent through the rest of class, ha.  I've never thought that Preacher had died in Pale Rider, I always thought he'd survived an attack, most likely with Stockburn.  But, my Spanish teacher is pretty good at this one, he said well then why would he hear the voice in the canyon saying Preacher?  To which I said something about that being an alias for him.  Not my best come back of the day, but I think it worked well enough. 

Then my teacher argued the point that High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider are practically the same.  What with the whole protecting a settlement and mysterious stranger coming into town.  I don't know if I agree.

So I thought I'd stir up some discussion on this.  Do you think the Preacher and Stranger are practically the same character?  Are the stories practically the same or are they different?  And any other comparisons any one feels like posting.

I'd like to have a good argument so when I do my oral report next week, I can sound intelligent.  Ha.

Thanks guys!   O0
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Americanbeauty on April 13, 2005, 12:40:10 AM
Recently I got into a debate with my Spanish teacher about High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider.
I wish I had had those kinds of debates with MY teachers when I was in high school   8) O0

Personally I never thought Preacher had died.
He might be an angel, sent by God to protect LaHood's community (the reference to the Bible at the beginning).
But I don't think he's dead.
He's got these scars on his back, meaning that he was hit, but survived

I see him more like a lone ranger

But on the contrary, I do believe that Stranger is dead.
He is the ghost/resurrection of Jim Duncan, and came back to take his revenge
Hearing the whip disturbs him, he has those dreams (that only Jim Duncan could have)
When he's in the bathtub and Callie shoots him, he isn't even hit and yet she shoots in the bathtub, plus the bathtub moves when she bumps into it a sign that he has no mass, no weigh ... like a ghost.
And in the end when he whips Stacey Bridges and you see all these flames surrounding him, kind of a reminder of where he really comes from ... he died.


What with the whole protecting a settlement and mysterious stranger coming into town.
I don't think that Stranger drifted into town to protect Lago.
He wanted to get even, that's why he obliged them to paint their town in red, or made Mordecai the new sheriff.


Quote
But, my Spanish teacher is pretty good at this one, he said well then why would he hear the voice in the canyon saying Preacher?
Why ? Well Preacher's got ears, just like you and me  ;)

Did he think it was God's voice or something like that ?

But remember that Sara hears the voice too , she asks Preacher "who was that ?"
And he answers "a voice from the past" = Stockburn (I was wondering about this voice too -in the Pale Rider thread- and Matt explained to me where it came from, and that makes sense)

I would say that the only thing they have in common is that they're both drifters, mysterious, you don't really know where they come from and who they are (Sara asks Preacher "who are you, really ?" and Stacey asks Stranger "who are you ?" too) ... and in the end they both get even, Preacher with Stockburn and Stranger with Lago's people.

I can't remember exactly what I had said about Preacher, but maybe you could re-read the "Preacher in Pale Rider" thread  :)
It could give you some ideas
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Doug on April 13, 2005, 01:33:20 AM
I don't think the stories are the same, but they do both have a supernatural element to them, if that's how you want to interpret them.  I think in Pale Rider the supernatural element is stronger, and the suggestion that Preacher was killed and has come back is very strong.  The difference in High Plains Drifter is that the Stranger is not necessarily the same man who was killed before the story opens.  The Stranger is out for vengence only and not to help this community; he is a ruthless avenging angel, issuing appropriate retribution on the citizens of Lago, though he treats well the very few innocents in the town.  Or maybe he's only Duncan's brother out for revenge....  I prefer the supernatural explanation.  Your Spanish teacher has not hit upon anything new, but it is always interesting to hear how other people interpret those films.  I assumed that most people saw the supernatural element of Pale Rider very clearly, but I guess not. 
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Lin Sunderland on April 13, 2005, 07:22:54 AM
The stories are not the SAME, however there are similarities between them.  I believe the Preacher is dead and has come to kill Stockburn.  His arrival and departure are, to my mind, supernatural. 

The Stranger, once again I think he is dead, arrives to help the innocent of the town and for revenge.  I feel the Stranger is the ghost of Jim Duncan and the final scene when Mordecai says " I never did know your name" and the Stranger tells him "Yes you do".  I see that as the reason to believe that he is Jim Duncan's ghost.

Both the movies leave you to make up your own mind and there can be no right or wrong as to who the Preacher and the Stranger are, alive or dead.    It is easy to see why people confuss both these movies, but they are completely  different stories albeit ones of revenge and good triumphing over a past wrong.

I have said elsewhere that Clint often leaves you to decided the ending. Million Dollar Baby is just another example, so he continues to be enigmatic right up to his latest movie.   Where will Flags of Our Fathers take us?

Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Christopher on April 13, 2005, 01:15:25 PM
I was thinking the same thing others here have already said.

Preacher is there for protection. The Stranger takes advantage of the cowardice town. As Duncan dies, he says, "Damn you to Hell," which is what the Stranger does.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Lin Sunderland on April 13, 2005, 10:50:44 PM
It is easy to see why people confuss both these movies,



(http://www.discodelic.netfirms.com/silly-bangonhead2.gif) ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;

Whoops and I got an A+ in English.A levels
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: 1936ireckonso on March 08, 2006, 11:27:33 AM
 :)Good about lunchtime from a part of The American Midwest-USA:

    I treasure both of these great films, but I only have one on DVD....I still need HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER...

    I was hooked when he did a number on those four bullies with the axe handle....I don't know I just love that kind of thing.....I never got concerned whether he was some imaginary miracle of some kind....I just enjoyed seeing the bad guys getting wasted, which is what I like....

     I realized it is almost a year later, but I just found this subject....

Respectfully,
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: -satu- on March 08, 2006, 02:59:57 PM
I've seen both films and I've never made up my mind, who the Stranger in High Plains Drifter really is.

But with Preacher, I think he has met Stockburn in the past and almost got killed. And now he is there for a revenge. I've never actually thought that he could be a ghost or anything supernatural.

Every time I see High Plains Drifter, it leaves me with so many questions. I love the ending and I've thought about it many times. Who was the Stranger?!  :D The questions make me confused. Yet, I love the movie. I like the way the things are left, for me to decide which is true.

Also with Pale Rider, the ending and the story itself are not usual. I really love movies like that. Also with Million Dollar Baby, the ending leaves us a question. I get to use my imagination, not everything needs to be told.  ;)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Americanbeauty on March 16, 2006, 09:15:45 AM
Every time I see High Plains Drifter, it leaves me with so many questions. I love the ending and I've thought about it many times. Who was the Stranger?!  :D The questions make me confused.
Hey, -satu-  :)
Are you watching the movie in English or in Finnish? The reason I'm asking this is because there might be a slight difference as to who this Stranger really is.

The English version is better, if you ask me, because it leaves some things unanswered.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: -satu- on March 16, 2006, 09:37:44 AM
Hey, -satu-  :)
Are you watching the movie in English or in Finnish? The reason I'm asking this is because there might be a slight difference as to who this Stranger really is.

The English version is better, if you ask me, because it leaves some things unanswered.

Hi AB,
I know about the differences too. I'm always watching movies in english (spoken language, finns don't dub movies), with finnish subtitles. But when I listen to them speaking, I notice there are some words and sentences that have been translated wrong. But they always keep the main idea there. I've never seen a movie where the subtitles would have been totally wrong.  :)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: mary mary on March 17, 2006, 07:02:57 AM
I was watching Pale Rider just the other night actually, I have always seen the preacher as a ghost like figure, and I'm sure the movie is shaped in such a manner to edge the audience in that direction. Looking at the bullet marks on the preachers back all placed precariously around the heart, it's hard to image how anybody would have survived such a deadly onslaught. There are also many biblical references which also adds to argument and teases the audience into believing there is in deed a mythical aspect to the preacher character, the girl's prayer virtually summoning Clint's avenging angel, is to me the most obvious example, but that's just my own thoughts.
High Plains Drifter I believe is a lot harder to establish, I think Clint has quoted in the past that the character was originally written as the Brother of Jim Duncan, but I believe he wanted to adjust that original idea, playing with the character and leaving a great deal of unanswered questions, is he the ghost of Jim Duncan or his brother, for me I have also come to the conclusion that it is the spirit of Jim Duncan, the painting of the town Red to symbolise Hell, and of course this is confirmed in the painting of the sign in the films closing. I like the idea of Clint's opening shot of the Stranger's ghost like appearance from the heat of the desert plains, virtually materialising as a ghostly apparition, enhanced by Dee Barton's eerie music score, all tends to make me think he is a ghostly angel of death. I think, without doubt, Clint certainly made it with the intension of leaving the audience to reach their own conclusions, but that's just my own take on the 2 films.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Lin Sunderland on March 19, 2006, 02:26:56 PM
mary mary it is good to read other peoples takes on these two movies.   Everyone makes up their own minds about the character and the endings.  I think that is what Clint had in mind.   It makes for cool discussions and reading other peoples opinions makes you think over yours again.  :)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Perry on March 24, 2006, 01:21:58 PM


 Interesting. I never would think anyone would have a debate with a Spanish Teacher about Eastwood movies...Last debate  i had with my Spanish Teacher was because he gave me a 55 on a test score.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Blondie's Gal on March 24, 2006, 03:25:17 PM
I think the Stranger made more of a mockery of the town rather than protected it. He was really just out for revenge. The Preacher on the other hand helped those people out of the goodness in his heart.

I never thought about the fact that the latter could be a ghost before. Or an angel brought to the town by the girl's prayer. (That girl annoyed me to no end, BTW.)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Americanbeauty on March 25, 2006, 10:32:52 AM
The Preacher on the other hand helped those people out of the goodness in his heart.
Yes, but in the last scene we understand that revenge was also on his mind. Something happened between him and Stockburn. They obviously know each other.

Stockburn killed Preacher (?), who then came back from the dead to get even.

Maybe Preacher's soul couldn't rest in peace because of what Stockburn had done to him ... he had to come back. They say the eyes are the mirror of the soul. That's the first thing Stockburn recognized when he saw Preacher ("You!!"). That's the man he once knew and killed. Different body, but he recognized the eyes, filled with revenge and hatred.

Being a "ghost", an "angel of death", I bet Preacher knew exactly where to find Stockburn, and that's why he came to LaHood in the first place.
He was not just passing by...
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Blondie's Gal on March 25, 2006, 11:20:47 AM
Hm, maybe you're right. It just seems weird for Clint to do two pictures with practically the exact same premise. I mean, how often do you get ghost stories in Westerns?

Also I heard that Pale Rider was based off of the John Wayne movie Shane. Was he supposed to be a ghost in that as well?
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Christopher on March 30, 2006, 04:19:18 PM
Shane stars Alan Ladd as a gunfighter who is trying to escape his past, but ultimately can't (the movie is okay, but I'd really recommend the book).
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Blondie's Gal on March 30, 2006, 04:26:56 PM
Really? That wasn't a John Wayne movie? Man, I'm out of it.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: KC on March 30, 2006, 08:06:08 PM
Shane (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0046303/) is a classic!  :D

It's not my favorite Western, but it is one that should be seen to appreciate the history of the Western. And yes ... it shares a good deal, thematically, with Pale Rider, though the latter is far from being a re-make. (And the Ladd character in Shane isn't a ghost, but his past is veiled in mystery.)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Perry on April 01, 2006, 11:40:18 AM


  Shane is better than okay...hah...Though I can do without the dancing.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: harley on April 11, 2006, 05:54:57 AM
   Look up the Morman Danite's on the web. Read about the Morman hitmen, and then re-watch Pale rider
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: cougar5498 on June 17, 2006, 03:08:32 PM

But on the contrary, I do believe that Stranger is dead.
He is the ghost/resurrection of Jim Duncan, and came back to take his revenge
Hearing the whip disturbs him, he has those dreams (that only Jim Duncan could have)
When he's in the bathtub and Callie shoots him, he isn't even hit and yet she shoots in the bathtub, plus the bathtub moves when she bumps into it a sign that he has no mass, no weigh ... like a ghost.
And in the end when he whips Stacey Bridges and you see all these flames surrounding him, kind of a reminder of where he really comes from ... he died.


had the bullets hit the stranger, i think he would've been dead.  it wouldn't make any sense for the stranger to touch things, interact with people.......yet a bullet goes through him. 

whether or not a person is in a bathtub, i don't think would make it much harder to move......so long as it's full of water. 

the stranger could very well be the spirit of jim duncan......but i think he's in a mortal body.

Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: KC on June 17, 2006, 07:46:26 PM
Ghosts don't operate according to the normal laws of physics. ;)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Americanbeauty on June 21, 2006, 05:55:39 PM
had the bullets hit the stranger, i think he would've been dead.  it wouldn't make any sense for the stranger to touch things, interact with people.......yet a bullet goes through him. 

whether or not a person is in a bathtub, i don't think would make it much harder to move......so long as it's full of water. 

the stranger could very well be the spirit of jim duncan......but i think he's in a mortal body.


I don't know.

I don't think Callie missed her shot, actually. I think she hit him (bathtub scene). Who could possibly miss from this distance?  :o Even an inexperienced shooter like her wouldn't. IMO she didn't. The Stranger was hit, but since he was a ghost, he didn't die -can't die twice  :D He didn't feel a thing  :D

Ghosts don't operate according to the normal laws of physics.
Never met one personally, but uh that's what I heard  :D ;)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Doug on June 22, 2006, 04:52:36 AM
I don't think Callie missed her shot, actually. I think she hit him (bathtub scene). Who could possibly miss from this distance?  :o Even an inexperienced shooter like her wouldn't. IMO she didn't. The Stranger was hit, but since he was a ghost, he didn't die -can't die twice  :D He didn't feel a thing  :D

That's as valid an interpretation as anyone's considering the question is left open, but so you know it is very possible for an inexperienced shooter to miss at that range.  It's also an equally valid interpretation to suggest that maybe she wasn't really trying to hit him.   ;)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: Americanbeauty on June 22, 2006, 08:30:06 AM
Sure. Anything's possible  ;)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: cougar5498 on June 23, 2006, 01:29:42 PM
hmm, maybe i'd have to see it again.........but i'm almost positive you can see the ricochet of the bullets off the tub, you can see like a spark since the bullet is hitting the metal tub.  and you can see that the shots do indeed miss clint.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: KC on June 23, 2006, 05:15:16 PM
Or pass through him. ;)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: D'Ambrosia on June 24, 2006, 07:01:53 PM
Did anyone check with ballistics?  (Ok, that was my cheesy Harry Callahan impersonation…) 


Ghosts don't operate according to the normal laws of physics. ;)

But bullets, on the other hand, do… 

Water Is pretty much bullet proof.  Even today’s high power rifles can only penetrate roughly 3 feet of water before they run out of juice.  So the old adage of “as easy as shooting fish in a barrel” is really not that easy unless your right up on them…
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: 1936ireckonso on June 25, 2006, 06:47:20 AM
 :) Good sunny clear morning from a part of The American Midwest-USA:

   Interesting discussions...I finally found a DVD of High Plains Drifter...now I have both of them.....

    It is important to me that he simply disposed of the bad guys....as I have said before, that'sa what I like....

    Sunday Morning
    0945 Hrs (EDST)
    June 25, 2006
    PIQUA, OHIO-USA
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Dritfter
Post by: AnnBKlorox on June 25, 2006, 06:06:58 PM
Don't mean to get overly philosphical here, but one thing I have often considered is that this is no "return" at all by  a separate entity, but instead a collective rehashing of guilt by an entire community---their acttions come back to haunt them, even if its on their individual death beds on the day they die, and it manifests as a dream in the shape and story of "the stranger'

cause in the end we never really escape the consequences of our actions, ya know?
even if it takes a couple of lifetimes...

Ann B.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: palooka on July 10, 2006, 06:28:22 AM
Interesting debate, I always thought they were both dead - guess I'm just morbid!

My main unanswered question for HPD was "why don't the towns folk of Lago recognize him?"
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: No,namedfan on July 10, 2006, 02:57:05 PM
I like High Plains a lot more than Pale rider, I loved the whole mysterious aspect of High Plains a lot more than Pale Rider but that is just me.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: dane with no name on July 16, 2006, 06:50:38 AM
Quote
My main unanswered question for HPD was "why don't the towns folk of Lago recognize him?"
That all depends on what you think the stranger is.
If he´s a ghost or avenging angel, a slightly changed appearence, enough to remind the people of Lago of what they did, but not enough for them to believe that he is the Sheriff .
If the stranger is the sheriff´s brother, he would look a little different. It´s not like they´re identical twins or anything.
Quote
Don't mean to get overly philosphical here, but one thing I have often considered is that this is no "return" at all by  a separate entity, but instead a collective rehashing of guilt by an entire community---their acttions come back to haunt them
An interesting idea, kinda reminds me of John Carpenters movie The fog (though i take it that you consider it a psychological creation of the entity, not a supernatural one.) I havent seen HPD in a while, so i´ll see it again soon, and see how your point of view fits in with all the details.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Perry on July 20, 2006, 02:39:02 PM

Pale Rider was a nice welcome when it came out because Clint had not done a western in many years and I always liked Carrie Snodgress and Michael Moriarty. It was a Shane retread. I think Shane is the better movie, but Pale Rider was pretty good nonetheless,  especially seeing the great John Russell again in a larger role.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Josey444 on October 03, 2006, 08:39:02 PM
Both films are great. I like that Clint has said that whatever the viewer wants to make of it, that's fine. In HPD, I think that Clint's character is indeed the avenging spirit of the sheriff. His fade-in and fade-out from the sweltering desert plains; painting the town red and renaming it "Hell"; Sarah's remark that the dead don't rest if they don't have a marker of some sort; the close-up of Clint being whipped, despite the credits listing Buddy Van Horn as Sheriff Jim Duncan---I think he was given this credit because he was also a stuntman on many Clint films (is still stunt coordinator on Clint's films) including HPD---nevertheless, it is Clint's face and his voice you hear during the whipping scene; Mordecai finally giving Duncan his gravemarker, saying "I never did know your name" followed by Clint saying "Yes you do." Then Mordecai's look of realization, followed by the obvious camera pan right up to the gravemarker with Duncan's name on it.

On the flip side, I think his character of Preacher in PR is human. In the film, he is in more of a protector role than the character in HPD. He doesn't kill until the situation absolutely calls for it (i.e. the arrival of Stockburn and his deputies). It is highly suggested that he knew Stockburn in the past---Stockburn even recognized him at the final showdown. He gives Stockburn the same 6-bullet treatment that Preacher himself survived, except for the final head shot. Mind you, this is just my opinion, but Preacher seems all too human. I don't think a ghost or an angel would have his guns put in a safe deposit box, then go retrieve them.

The only supernatural part for me was the voice calling "Preacher!" Some have theorized that it was Stockburn, but Stockburn didn't know at the time that Preacher was the man from his past. And Stockburn didn't appear to be the type of person to call out like that anyway. I know that Megan calls out for Preacher at the end as he moves on, suggesting that perhaps that is what we were hearing when Preacher said it was "a voice from the past."  In other words, Preacher hears people who have grown attached to him calling for him to come back as he goes from town-to-town. Still, I can't get away from the feeling that this part was a bit supernatural in an otherwise (to me) straightforward Western.

Any theories on what the heck was going on with the "voice from the past?"
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: KC on October 03, 2006, 09:48:36 PM
Thanks for a thoughtful post, Josey444!  8)

I have to demur on one point, though ...

...  the close-up of Clint being whipped, despite the credits listing Buddy Van Horn as Sheriff Jim Duncan---I think he was given this credit because he was also a stuntman on many Clint films (is still stunt coordinator on Clint's films) including HPD---nevertheless, it is Clint's face and his voice you hear during the whipping scene ...

It IS Van Horn in the flashback scenes. However, in the first flashback, there's a dissolve from a close up of Eastwood's face to Van Horn's in a similar position, so the spectator naturally makes an identification between the two characters.

I think that this detail doesn't prevent one from interpreting Clint's character as "the avenging spirit of the sheriff," as you say. It's easy to imagine that you get a bit of a makeover when you're transformed from a mere man to an avenging spirit.  ;)

As for Pale Rider, I don't really have an idea about the "Voice from the past," either. Your suggestion that  "Preacher hears people who have grown attached to him calling for him to come back as he goes from town-to-town" is as good as any.

There are a couple of other hints of the supernatural ... the way the Preacher seems to appear and disappear at will, for instance. It's really done by clever camerawork, but it COULD be that he's really materializing and dematerializing!  ;)


Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Josey444 on October 04, 2006, 10:04:16 AM
Thanks for the comments, KC.  :) I guess being Clint's stunt double would call for Buddy to look like him, but I'm amazed at how much he resembles him in HPD. Thanks for the info!

I though about the materializing and dematerializing in PR, except for the scene where he's hiding behind the crates as Stockburn's two deputies go by and he shoots them. Like you said, clever camerawork and Preacher being stealthy.  :)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: No,namedfan on January 04, 2007, 11:08:57 AM
IMO I think High Plains ranks up there right at the top with the The man with no name trilogy. I do like Pale Rider but I think it is the second weakest western Clint has made behind Hang Em High,which I think is average at best.

Pale Rider is a three star film ,I do like the mystery surrounding  the preacher, but  it was also done a lot better in High Plains.

Pale rider ***
High Plains drifter *****. Also Hight palins is the fourth greatest western ever made.


Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Hemlock on January 07, 2007, 02:53:00 PM
I do like Pale Rider but I think it is the second weakest western Clint has made behind Hang Em High,which I think is average at best.


Really  ??? So you prefer Joe Kidd over the Pale Rider and Hang `Em High  :o

Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Americanbeauty on January 08, 2007, 12:21:14 AM
(http://www.discodelic.netfirms.com/scared-hairraising2.gif)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: No,namedfan on January 08, 2007, 03:59:05 AM
 :-[ Yea
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: archangel on January 09, 2007, 06:05:28 AM
re: PR.

Clint's eyes have a strange unearthly look to them, if you look closley.
Contact lenses?
He's "back from the dead". Revenge on Stockburn for killing him.
(nobody could survive 5-6 bullets around the heart.)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Americanbeauty on January 31, 2007, 06:24:32 PM
Clint's eyes have a strange unearthly look to them, if you look closley.
Contact lenses?
Hi, archangel  :)

I totally agree with you. It's an interesting point. His eyes have always intrigued me.

We've discussed this HERE (http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=3492.0) in an earlier thread -feel free to add your comments  O0

Some of us argued that it was probably only because the film is so dark. I honestly don't know. I'm still not convinced by this explanation. I'm sure it's part of the character. Isn't he the Angel of Death?
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: bdc28 on September 10, 2007, 10:24:41 PM
Actually, believe it or not, its pretty clear to me that Clint Eastwood is only dead in High Plains Drifter, not in PALE RIDER. But in each movie you have to pick up the character motives, because they arent the same. The teacher actually inferred some of their own opinion into it.

HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER: Its made pretty clear that the people that killed Marshall Duncan are the least on his mind. His concerns are actually extracting revenge on the people of Lago. For a brother, or a relative, to be able to know that his brother was killed..he would be more concerned about his killers, not the people that caused the demise. You would have to be a citizen of Lago to know that. Most of the movie concentrated on the exacting of revenge on each character. Even in his leaving right as his killers arrived, leaving the townspeople of Lago to know his feeling of helplessness.

There was also his stealth, in killing his killers...he made some very slick and unworldly physical moves, which if you think about it..is impossible. To go from whispering "help me" in an alley to being twenty or thirty feet behind someone...thats impressive.

PALE RIDER: In actuality, the Preacher didnt come to town to do any fighting. He actually tried to barter a peace between the two...even in warning the miners what would happen when Stockburn arrived. When he left it was to GET his guns, because his hand was forced and he didnt want to see innocent people get hurt.

But the crowning hint, was the final shot to Stockburns head. That was how I knew he was alive. He knew Stockburn could survive those wounds...he did!!! He didnt want Stockburn sneaking up into his future, so he gave him a final shot to the head to make sure it didnt happen.

Stealthy? Yes. But when the Stockburn folk were searching for him in town...nothing he did was supernatural...he hid alot and shot people unaware. BUT, not out of this world stuff.

There is definitely a difference.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: MakeItVin on September 19, 2007, 01:48:21 PM
I'm not so sure that they're the same character.  In "High Plains Drifter", I always thought that Clint's character was getting PERSONAL revenge.  I thought that one lady who served him dinner gave a look at one point in the movie showing that she wasn't sure if she remembered him or not.  But in "Pale Rider", I definately got the impression that Preacher was protecting the town first and foremost, even though he had a history with Stockburn....
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: HarryShockley on May 31, 2010, 12:29:18 PM
Little note regarding the Strangers supernatural powers.

In an earlier scene he apparently has eyes in the back of his head as Quade or Chola as we all know him pulls a knife. Yet at the end he isnt aware he is about to be shot and Mordecai saves him. Whats all that about!!!
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Sundayjack on June 02, 2010, 08:59:34 AM
I'm not so sure that they're the same character.  In "High Plains Drifter", I always thought that Clint's character was getting PERSONAL revenge.  I thought that one lady who served him dinner gave a look at one point in the movie showing that she wasn't sure if she remembered him or not.  But in "Pale Rider", I definately got the impression that Preacher was protecting the town first and foremost, even though he had a history with Stockburn....
I need to visit this Forum more often, because I always trip over gems like this thread.   Chessie's teacher is just dead wrong.  Same character?!!  AYKM?!!

I think he gets too caught up in the mystical element of both films, but the theme of the two are about as far apart as you can get.   The Stranger's purpose is vengeance.   The Stranger invented "Shock and Awe" long before the US military.  The Preacher, on the other hand, is very much the reluctant defender (although, I suppose we can't ignore that the Stranger plays coy when asked to defend the god-fearing people in the god-fearing town).   The Stranger takes; the Preacher gives.   The Preacher give us spiritual overtones; the Stranger turns Lago into hell.  The Preacher loves; the Stranger hates.  We also just don't know why Stockburn's eyes show terror when he sees the Preacher; when Stacey sees the Stranger, we know exactly why.

Mystical gunfighters.  Mysterious backgrounds.   The comparisons don't go much farther.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: rojblake on January 17, 2012, 05:59:03 PM
This is an older thread, but I'm gonna toss in my "Morgan" so to speak.

In HPD the "stranger" is a revanant, a spirit that has come back from the dead to right a wrong, a terrible wrong. The spirit has, most likely, entered another body (probably one near death) to finally allow it's spirit to rest. (This was used in the movie "The Wraith" starring Charlie Sheen..although in that movie the spirit goes on to live the life that was taken).

In HPD there is a direct mention to a "soul not resting if there is no gravestone" & at the end of the movie we see one being made.

In Pale Rider the "Preacher" is more of a servant of God, answering a child's prayer. My take was that "Preacher" was a bad man (not unlike William Munny) who should have died, but was saved & now does pennance by helping those in need. (It is up to the viewer to decide if this is directed by a Church or by God more directly).
The "Preacher" has been a good servant & so is given the oppurtunity to exact a form of "divine retribution" by being able to have Stockburn & his men become involved.

The reason I don't think "Preacher" is a ghost or spirit is given within the film; ghosts wouldn't need, or keep, a safety deposit box is the most obvious clue.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: The Man With No Aim on May 25, 2012, 04:22:57 AM
quoting Josey444 "Any theories on what the heck was going on with the "voice from the past?"".

My conclusion is this...Preacher first did exactly that; preached and persuaded peacefully (pretty much) to try to settle the conflict without deaths. But the unjustified murder of the miner removed the peaceful settlement option. Then the Mysterious Stranger had to drop the peaceful approach and adopt a violent strategy to protect the miners.The Voice signified the change from the possibility of peace for the assailant to the inevitability of violence for the assailant. The Voice calling him a peaceful preacher was from the past because he was no longer able to offer peace but only violence in the future. The Biblical connotation of the Pale Rider is apropo because in the book of Revelation the rider is dispatched to inflict violence upon the earth only after the population of sinners has refused to repent as a result of peaceful preaching. The judgement falling upon the sinners is violence and death by their own choice.

Interviews with CE have settled definitively whether the Mysterious Strangers are ghosts or not. However, I don't know if this thread is meant to be Spoiler Proof so I cannot in good conscience tell you.   

The ending episode of Rider contains a definitive clue about ghost or not. I mean a definitive clue. Watch it again. You might get it. When you notice it, you will know for sure whether Rider is a mere human or a ghost. It is not easy to notice. I have never read of anyone mentioning it before.

So you have to be pushed into watching  a CE film another time? I know  8).
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: bdc28 on June 20, 2012, 07:28:02 AM
Another thought on this...

In watching PULP FICTION, Jules has a near death experience that brings him closer to God.

Perhaps, this is also Preacher's story. That he in fact, SHOULD have died from Stockburn's attack on him. It was him surviving that lead him to God. And oddly enough, God that lead him to Stockburn.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: KC on June 20, 2012, 06:50:29 PM
Great day in the morning! (Or evening!) A bdc sighting! :D

Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: herofan on July 05, 2012, 10:25:13 AM
quoting Josey444 "Any theories on what the heck was going on with the "voice from the past?"".

My conclusion is this...Preacher first did exactly that; preached and persuaded peacefully (pretty much) to try to settle the conflict without deaths. But the unjustified murder of the miner removed the peaceful settlement option. Then the Mysterious Stranger had to drop the peaceful approach and adopt a violent strategy to protect the miners.The Voice signified the change from the possibility of peace for the assailant to the inevitability of violence for the assailant. The Voice calling him a peaceful preacher was from the past because he was no longer able to offer peace but only violence in the future. The Biblical connotation of the Pale Rider is apropo because in the book of Revelation the rider is dispatched to inflict violence upon the earth only after the population of sinners has refused to repent as a result of peaceful preaching. The judgement falling upon the sinners is violence and death by their own choice.

Interviews with CE have settled definitively whether the Mysterious Strangers are ghosts or not. However, I don't know if this thread is meant to be Spoiler Proof so I cannot in good conscience tell you.  

The ending episode of Rider contains a definitive clue about ghost or not. I mean a definitive clue. Watch it again. You might get it. When you notice it, you will know for sure whether Rider is a mere human or a ghost. It is not easy to notice. I have never read of anyone mentioning it before.

So you have to be pushed into watching  a CE film another time? I know  8).

If nobody else minds, I would like to know  the clues at the end of Pale Rider.  

I wonder what the altercation was between Stockburn and the preacher in the past?  Was Stockburn and his deputies just hired to kill him, or was it one-on-one in their younger days?  Perhaps they were once partners?  What do you think?  
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: KC on July 05, 2012, 11:08:18 AM
I would like to know the clue also, Man With No Aim! Or at least, exactly where we should look for it. :)

herofan, I edited your post so we could see more clearly where the quote from The Man With No Aim stopped and your question began.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: herofan on July 06, 2012, 04:57:42 PM
I found this lengthy interview on You-Tube called "Inside the Actor's Studio with Clint Eastwood."  It may be nothing new to anyone here, but he discussed his career and talked about "High Plains Drifter" and "Pale Rider."  At one point, Clint is asked a question about Pale Rider and he says,    "....I think because I left the ending of High Plains Drifter in such an ambiguous way,  that maybe in Pale Rider I decided that maybe I should just make him an out and out apparition."  The discussion starts at 41:41. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtmZSUbCma8
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: KC on July 06, 2012, 05:23:57 PM
Thanks for the link, herofan! We've discussed the show a few times here, but I don't think anyone ever pointed out the comment about these two characters before.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: The Man With No Aim on August 05, 2012, 11:35:35 PM
I would like to know the clue also, Man With No Aim! Or at least, exactly where we should look for it. :)

herofan, I edited your post so we could see more clearly where the quote from The Man With No Aim stopped and your question began.

Others before me have written of valuable clues in Rider which are fully capable of pointing a viewer in the right direction. My clue is one which left me with no doubt about whether Preacher was a mere human bound by the Laws Of Physics or on the other hand was a Ghost, or, more precisely, an avenging Wraith, able to move instantly and undetectably from one location to another.

In the last episode of Rider the Resident Villain has assigned a thug to be the watch man of the main street (I guess also the ONLY street ) of the town. When you watch the film again, be certain to very carefully determine where the watch man is situated and also determine where Preacher is shown to be located taking a coffee.

Next, as the episode plays out, be careful to determine the last location of Preacher. Compare the earlier location with the last location. Ask yourself, if the thug watch man was not blind, could Preacher have moved from his earlier location to his last location successfully.

Becoming a forgetful Old Man, I do not remember exact detail about the CE interview(s) that I read. However the interview quoted immediately previously sure sounds about right.   
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: herofan on August 11, 2012, 06:48:59 PM

Others before me have written of valuable clues in Rider which are fully capable of pointing a viewer in the right direction. My clue is one which left me with no doubt about whether Preacher was a mere human bound by the Laws Of Physics or on the other hand was a Ghost, or, more precisely, an avenging Wraith, able to move instantly and undetectably from one location to another.

In the last episode of Rider the Resident Villain has assigned a thug to be the watch man of the main street (I guess also the ONLY street ) of the town. When you watch the film again, be certain to very carefully determine where the watch man is situated and also determine where Preacher is shown to be located taking a coffee.

Next, as the episode plays out, be careful to determine the last location of Preacher. Compare the earlier location with the last location. Ask yourself, if the thug watch man was not blind, could Preacher have moved from his earlier location to his last location successfully.

Becoming a forgetful Old Man, I do not remember exact detail about the CE interview(s) that I read. However the interview quoted immediately previously sure sounds about right.   

Thanks for sharing.  I just rewatched that scene several times to look for that situation.  For me, I don't think that is enough to convince me he was an apparition.  It wasn't any more amazing than what other heroes have done in movies where they were definitely not apparitions.  An argument could be made either way.  Here's what i saw:

The thug with the bandage looks in the window and sees the preacher drinking coffee with his back to the door.  The thugs footsteps are easily heard on the wooden floor.  He steps away and tells the boss thug what he saw.  Several seconds pass as he leaves the window before they go back on the porch and approach the door, which gives preacher plenty of time to change locations.  The windows are very foggy.  As they stand ready to go in, the first looker doesn't look in again.  One of the guys is looking in the window from a few inches back, but he doesn't appear  to focus on anything; his head is looking around as though he is searching.  The boss thug also looks in, but he doesn't say if he sees him.  Perhaps he is only taking the word of the other guy.  If there had been a verbal affirmation that he saw him, I would say there is no way the preacher could have moved that quickly, but he didn't say he saw him. 

I would like to know some other clues.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: mystang52 on August 20, 2012, 07:41:47 AM
To this last point - while not a very strong clue the bad guys sure shot a lot of bullets into nothing.  One MIGHT infer they saw him...even though he was not there.  This could be an argument that he was an apparition.
Based on this thread, and Clint's own description, I'm still amazed that there is any doubt about HPD.  I think it's emphatically clear he's a ghost - what else explains what he said to Mordecai at the very end ("Yes, you do," at the Marshall's just-engraved headstone)?
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: KC on August 20, 2012, 05:49:45 PM
Based on this thread, and Clint's own description, I'm still amazed that there is any doubt about HPD.  I think it's emphatically clear he's a ghost - what else explains what he said to Mordecai at the very end ("Yes, you do," at Marshall's just-engraved headstone)?


It could mean, "You know my name ... It's Duncan, same as my brother's."
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Gant on August 21, 2012, 01:03:45 PM
its the ambiguity of HPD that makes it one of my favourite Clint films..
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: exit00 on August 21, 2012, 03:24:37 PM
its the ambiguity of HPD that makes it one of my favourite Clint films..

This has always been one of my alltime favorite movies (not just Clint movies)... and think that it's one not appreciated as much as it should have been by the critics.  I always considered it a western art film.  I actually still have the paperback that I got soon after seeing this movie back in the early 70s.

I always took the stranger to be a ghost for a whole lot of reasons (most of which have already been said here). Right off the bat at the very beginning, hearing that "ghost" music while the stranger appears of out nowhere in that mystic haze gave me the creeps.  Then when the woman fires at point blank range into the tub without hitting him made this case stronger.  Another key moment that I remember while watching it for the first time was that the marshall and the stranger both uttered "help me" in the same voice.  I can go on and on.....

Having said that, while watching it the first time, I also remember doubting that this ghost story theory when at times you can clearly see that the person being whipped in the flashbacks is not Clint but Buddy Van Horn.  Not sure if that was meant to hint at the marshall being the stranger's brother or they accidently didn't hide the marshall's face quite good enough in these scenes.

Anyway, this film being ambiguous is just one of the great things about it.  As many times as I've watched it in it's entirety, it never gets old.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Perry on August 27, 2012, 03:37:30 PM


I like the ambiguity of HPD too, but then Marianna Hill is slamming looking. Nothing abiguous there....
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: crguy43 on October 14, 2012, 08:57:00 AM
PALE RIDER essentially copies the plot of SHANE with some relatively minor alterations...not putting down PALE RIDER, both are among my favorite films...

Anyone who has ever played Dungeon and Dragons knows what the Preacher is--he's a revenant...

A revenant is a dead person who returns for the purpose of righting an injustice...the main character in the movie THE CROW is also a prime example...

This explains some of the Preacher's supernatural abilities--does no one wonder how he's able to kill a badie on one side of the street, then without being seen, get to the other side to kill another without being seen? No normal person can do that...also, why when LaHood's thugs break into the Blankenship's little restaurant, do they start shooting at nothing? And are surprised when he appears? That makes no sense unless they think he is actually there...

Can't find the reference, but there's a significance--in voodoo?--of the hat in the ground--says that The Preacher is actually dead...he's revenant... 

Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter - Preacher
Post by: Starfire D. on January 03, 2013, 05:17:35 PM
I am a bit older than you all, I'm guessing, by the observations I have read here.  My 'take' on things is different re: Pale Rider.

The Preacher is Sarah's husband returned, whether he is a ghost or not - that is why she is startled to see not only his minister's collar but his face - watch the scene again.  She is at first startled then a sort of recognition happens, she veils her gaze with pleasantries.  It happens whenever she looks at Preacher throughout the movie.  This is reflected in the awkward way they behave around each other - he has found his wife and daughter but they are not alone, they have a protector who tells him that the  husband/father deserted them.  The husband/father is not expected back, nor would he probably be welcome back again.  After he has washed up for dinner, Preacher plays a little mind game with Sarah through polite conversation at the table, and she has to respond to his verbal cues.

He is a stranger to them, but Sarah recognizes something about him through the years that have aged them and changed them.  He is protective of Megan as a virtuous minister should be, and he rejects her romantic overtures because she is underage AND he is a 'minister'.  BUT - watch his face whenever he is with her.  Do you see the pain that he expresses since he cannot have more detailed or revealing conversations with Megan?   He is her father, but cannot tell her.  He is doubly unable to tell them whether they think he is dead or if he is indeed dead, a spirit called back to protect and avenge.  Have you ever seen the awkwardness of a father who sees his children for the first time in years, and they have grown up without him?

Watch the facial expressions, body language, and gestures when he is in scenes with the women.  Acting is more than dialogue.  The visual assessment of the situation, the glances and the gazes between Sarah & Preacher... they know each other and cannot speak of it.  This is why it is not immoral for Sarah and the Preacher to be behind closed doors together; they are/were married.  This is why Sarah tells him he reminds her of someone who left her once before - she needs a man who will NOT leave her again, "... and you would leave, wouldn't you?"  They look at each other - She kisses him because she doesn't want to be haunted by memories and longing for him after he leaves her lovelorn- again.  He tells her to close the door because it is the only time they will ever have alone together in the foreseeable future.  He could be killed going to town to fight Stockburn, and if he survives he will leave the area again, as he told her.  She will marry Hull and have stability in her life.  This is the resolution to their relationship.  When she asks him, "Who are you?" she is seeking confirmation that he IS a different man than the one who left her and Megan years before.  She is also seeking to have him deny who he WAS - "It doesn't really matter...", he answered.  it cannot matter because he will soon be gone, like a wisp of memory.

My observation does not negate anything that Clint said about the character being a spirit or ghostlike.  it merely deepens the character.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: KC on January 03, 2013, 07:25:35 PM
That's fascinating, Starfire D. ... I've never heard that interpretation before. Excellent post.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Lin Sunderland on January 05, 2013, 04:01:54 AM
That's fascinating, Starfire D. ... I've never heard that interpretation before. Excellent post.

I agree with KC. I will watch the movie again and look for your interpretations. I think it plausible that I will agree with some of them.

Thank you for such a thoughtful post Starfire D.

Welcome to the board.  :)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Rawhide7 on January 07, 2013, 10:28:36 PM
Starfire, I also have never thought about it like that either.  That was very interesting.  I will also watch it again and think about what you said.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter - Preacher
Post by: The Man With No Aim on January 17, 2013, 02:56:22 AM
I am a bit older than you all, I'm guessing, by the observations I have read here.  My 'take' on things is different re: Pale Rider.

The Preacher is Sarah's husband returned, whether he is a ghost or not - that is why she is startled to see not only his minister's collar but his face - watch the scene again.  She is at first startled then a sort of recognition happens, she veils her gaze with pleasantries.  It happens whenever she looks at Preacher throughout the movie.  This is reflected in the awkward way they behave around each other - he has found his wife and daughter but they are not alone, they have a protector who tells him that the  husband/father deserted them.  The husband/father is not expected back, nor would he probably be welcome back again.  After he has washed up for dinner, Preacher plays a little mind game with Sarah through polite conversation at the table, and she has to respond to his verbal cues.

He is a stranger to them, but Sarah recognizes something about him through the years that have aged them and changed them.  He is protective of Megan as a virtuous minister should be, and he rejects her romantic overtures because she is underage AND he is a 'minister'.  BUT - watch his face whenever he is with her.  Do you see the pain that he expresses since he cannot have more detailed or revealing conversations with Megan?   He is her father, but cannot tell her.  He is doubly unable to tell them whether they think he is dead or if he is indeed dead, a spirit called back to protect and avenge.  Have you ever seen the awkwardness of a father who sees his children for the first time in years, and they have grown up without him?

Watch the facial expressions, body language, and gestures when he is in scenes with the women.  Acting is more than dialogue.  The visual assessment of the situation, the glances and the gazes between Sarah & Preacher... they know each other and cannot speak of it.  This is why it is not immoral for Sarah and the Preacher to be behind closed doors together; they are/were married.  This is why Sarah tells him he reminds her of someone who left her once before - she needs a man who will NOT leave her again, "... and you would leave, wouldn't you?"  They look at each other - She kisses him because she doesn't want to be haunted by memories and longing for him after he leaves her lovelorn- again.  He tells her to close the door because it is the only time they will ever have alone together in the foreseeable future.  He could be killed going to town to fight Stockburn, and if he survives he will leave the area again, as he told her.  She will marry Hull and have stability in her life.  This is the resolution to their relationship.  When she asks him, "Who are you?" she is seeking confirmation that he IS a different man than the one who left her and Megan years before.  She is also seeking to have him deny who he WAS - "It doesn't really matter...", he answered.  it cannot matter because he will soon be gone, like a wisp of memory.

My observation does not negate anything that Clint said about the character being a spirit or ghostlike.  it merely deepens the character.


Yes. That really hits the target for me.

When I first ever saw the film, I concluded that Preacher was a ghost, not a regular man, before I ever read anything about C E interviews and all. But I noticed the non-sequitur interactions as you have mentioned and was puzzled by them. I even considered the possibility of bad acting.

Your explanation instantly resonated with me. Everything falls perfectly into place. You surely have got it right.
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: Americanbeauty on February 22, 2013, 05:44:23 PM
Interesting interpretation. It makes a lot of sense now that I think of it. Thanks, Starfire! 8)
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: MakeItVin on June 22, 2013, 04:19:29 PM
I never saw enough in either movie to assume he's a resurrected character.  Revenge seemed sure enough good enough for me.  Nowhere in either movie is there any reference or foreshadowing or ANYTHING to make you think he's a ressurected soul.  Both are great movies, and to my mind, revenge works just fine...
Title: Re: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter
Post by: KC on June 22, 2013, 06:11:46 PM
Hmm, I'm not so sure ... the Stranger certainly seems to be "recalling," in his first restless night in Lago, events that happened to someone who looked a lot like him, but is dead. If that man was "only" his brother, how does he have such vivid memories of how he met his end?

And the Preacher gives a number of hints of his "supernatural" character: He arrives in answer to a young girl's prayer, he can cover space without being seen to move, he has bullet scars on his back that look to have come from fatal wounds, and Stockburn recognizes him as someone he thought he had killed long ago.

But as Clint would say ... Whatever gives you pleasure. He always has stated he wants his audience to make up its own mind about what happens to his characters.