News: THE MULE, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood: now on disc and streaming!

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Messages - TomTurner

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Thanks KC and AKA23!  I have wanted to discuss this for years but no one I know is as crazy about this film, except my brother in law (see my first post on him in another thread) , who just thinks I'm nuts for even thinking about it.

I think that when Josey heard Grandma's speech in the saloon is when he first realizes that there is more than a distinct possibility that he killed her son. He couldn't be sure about it but he certainly shot enough of them to make it plausible.  I think that quick cut to him is Clint's very subtle way of telling us this.  Josey is clearly not happy about it.

Or he is merely reacting to her insult?  I think Josey's skin is much thicker than that by this point, especially after listening to her previous ranting against Missourians.  There is a long existing feud between Kansans and Missourians (I looked into this and just learned that there was a border dispute that started six years prior to the civil war, sometimes referred to as "bleeding Kansas") so her attitude is far from unique, and Josey would have been used to be insulted by people from Kansas.

I wonder if the book goes into any more detail about whether Josey killed Tom or not?  I would even love to ask Clint if ever given the chance

I could be reading far too much into this: Grandma's reference to "killers of innocent men" that made me think if - and this is a big if - her son was there at the scene of the surrender and shot by Josey, she was probably told that her son was innocently processing the prisoners of war and a "Missouri ruffian" rebelled and gunned down these "innocent" men.  Yes, we don't know where Tom Turner was killed, or by who, but this possibility is not out of the question, and this could have been another very subtle way off reinforcing the idea that Josey was responsible.   Clint is after all, a master storyteller, and maybe he wanted to inform us of this incredibly ironic situation yet keep it vague enough so it didn't come off as a contrived Hollywood plot. (killer of son lives happily after after with mother and daughter of the victim)

I agree, we have no way of knowing if Grandma Sarah ever learns that Josey is responsible for shooting her son.  I am only raising the possibility because it makes the circumstances all the more powerful.  Its also an interesting metaphor for the post-civil war America in general.  Many soldiers and war survivors had to go home or relocate because their homes were destroyed and possibly live among people who may have killed their relatives or were guilty of other crimes.

Fetcher's last line is so incredibly powerful. I have to confess that I have paraphrased it a few times.  I am a victim of Hurricane Sandy and more than once I have said to friends "we all died a Little in that hurricane." (I have always been a little too melodramatic

I didn't notice that Clint rides off into the sunset. This is a little weird continuity-wise because the fight with redlegs goes on for quite a while and the sun look pretty bright all the while.)  Be that as it may, its a great touch that Clint has Josey doing the opposite than the standard cliche'.

But where does he go?  A very interesting question, which of course remains unanswered.  I guess I agree with MGK too.  My first instinct is that he doesn't want to cause more trouble for Grandma and Laura and leaves just in case anyone ever comes looking for him someday - despite Fletcher's apparent truce - he shot 55 people after all! But then I started to think how he must miss his own family, and may want one again. As a bonus there is a cute, if a little "odd", filly back at the ranch willing to make him feel right at home as well. 

Clint Eastwood is the king of the ambiguous ending.  This is why I love his films so much.

This movie hardly lacks irony, but an intriguing possibility has occurred to me, which can you will see below.  But first, the evidence:

When Grandma Sarah Turner meets Josey Wales in the film, she is not very fond of him, or the entire state of Missouri for that matter.  She tells a shopkeeper:

"Anything from Missouri has a taint about it...Never heard of nice things from Missouri coming West"

And later, after being rescued from the Comancheros she tells Lone Watie "This Mr. Wales is a cold-blooded killer. He's from Missouri where they're all known to be killers of innocent men, women and children."

When they arrive in Santa Rio, where her late son's ranch was located, in the Saloon she tells Rose that her son "was killed in the Border War by Missouri ruffians. He died a proud member of Senator Jim Lane's Redlegs, fighting for the just cause!"

They camera then cuts to Josey, who has an especially pained look on his face.

The movie is in no way clear about this but I think it is entirely plausible that Josey Wales is responsible for the death of her son Tom.  It's my guess that he was one of the soldiers in the redleg division that he gunned down with the Gatling gun.

Later in the movie when Grandma Sarah says grace before a meal she says "And thanks a lot for Josey Wales, who you changed from a murdering bushwhacker on the side of Satan to a better man in time to deliver us from the Philistines."

Has Grandma figured out by this point that Josey, her savior, is the very same person who killed her son? Or is she just referring to his checkered past?  Impossible to say.

It would be just Clint Eastwood to set up this incredible scenario whereby he kills someone in the redleg division, one that that killed his entire family, then goes on to save this person's family from being killed by bandits, then helping them set up and defend their homestead from the same army division, creating a extended multicultural family and a new harmonious life for themselves.  Its a complicated, conflicted yet redemptive conclusion to this incredible saga.

Am I crazy or does anyone else see this connection?   

Many thanks to Global Moderator Matt for his post where I found the specific quotes was looking for:

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re: The Outlaw Josey Wales
« on: May 18, 2018, 06:12:59 PM »
Last Christmas day this show was on TV and my brother-in-law and my 2 nephews watched the entire film.  I was pleased to discover he is a fan of the movie.

I have seen this move more times than I can count, and I'm able to quote what I thought was an impressive number of the more memorable lines in the film along with the actors.

However, my brother-in-law, who is a bodybuilder and not well known for his mental facilities, absolutely shocked me by reciting EVERY SINGLE word in the movie!  Even tiny little incidental things like someone saying hello, he nailed, to the word.

It was an impressive display.  I have never seen anything like it.

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