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Author Topic: THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES: The Story 3: Josey and Laura Lee  (Read 8876 times)
Matt
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« on: September 28, 2004, 12:24:27 AM »

Quote
LAURA LEE: You see 'em?

JOSEY: What?

LAURA LEE: The clouds (points to the sky) over there. Clouds are like dreams floating across a sky-blue mind.

JOSEY: Funny, I never thought of them that way.

What do you think Josey is thinking or feeling as he listens to Laura Lee in this scene? What do these characters have in common? What do they see in each other that attracts them to each other?
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Matt
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2004, 03:53:49 PM »

The way Josey reacts to Laura Lee when she says this is one of the most subtle, comedic moments of the film that I love. He literally does a double take just before he very dryly remarks "Funny, I never thought of them that way."

Laura Lee is a strange character ...  even Rose remarks to Grandma Sarah that Laura Lee's father mentioned a daughter who "was a little odd". But, I think what seems so odd about her is that she's a sort of "woman-child"... a fully grown woman who is still so pure of heart, naive and innocent, that she seems like a child.  And it's not as though she hasn't seen enough cruelty in life to tarnish her outlook...  her father was killed in the war, her mother died when she was still young, she was almost raped at the hands of the Comancheros, she watched her grandfather and his brother slaughtered in front of her, and at that point in the film, she's homeless with only a few belongings, all of which were nearly stolen...  and yet, she still has a pureness and goodness about her. She still sees beauty and wonder in little things. And I think this amazes Josey... especially in this scene. I think he also thinks she's a "little odd", but in an incredible way. How differently she handled the trauma of the war than he did... by focusing on what was still beautiful about life.

I think what attracts Josey to Laura Lee is her outlook on life, her optimism, which he lost when his family was slaughtered, and that he felt she needed someone to protect her and take care of her. I think it's through her that he starts to rediscover beauty in the world, and love. These are things that he hadn't felt in so long, that he had nearly forgotten they existed, or he started to think they didn't exist at all, at least for him, anymore.

It's interesting to remember, too, that these two should be anything but lovers. Laura Lee's father was a Redleg, and may have even been one of the men who set fire to Josey's home and farm, perhaps he killed Josey's wife and son. Josey was a "Missouri ruffian" and, in fact, was one of Bloody Bill Anderson's militia who went to Kansas to hunt down the Redlegs and "set things aright". It's very possible that Josey, or at least one of the men he traveled with, killed Laura Lee's father.

Their relationship helps heal the battle scars each has, which they carried so differently. His strength makes Laura Lee stronger (boy, she was good with that rifle when the Redlegs showed up at the ranch... probably taking out more than anyone else), and her innocence helps erase the anger inside him.  It's an uncommon relationship, but it works.
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vik
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2004, 05:29:57 AM »

i think her innocence against his josey's battle hardiness and loss is very touching - he has probably had enough and would need a gentle person to coax him back into life - its a new beginning - obviously have to start a new family  

probably the shooting showed that she had the hardiness to survive and be strong enough to be a partner for josey up until that point you thnk she might break at the sight of putting out some washing

actually its hard to think of grandma and her being related - very subtle in the generations - also subtle in the difference between the indians and settlers

josey will have to work abit to woo her lone waite had no problem with his woman
« Last Edit: October 23, 2004, 05:34:58 AM by vik » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2004, 02:01:54 PM »

Laura Lee sees the bright side of life where Josey only seems to see the dark side.

He desperately needs this innocence she brings her, after all he's been through. She has kind of a soothing effect on him.
And she needs strength, protection, a masculine presence, that only Josey can bring her.

I think they complement each other quite well. Besides Josey's totally different when he's with her. You get to know the man behind the vigilante ... he can laugh, dance, tell jokes.

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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2005, 08:16:30 PM »

Being that I haven't posted in this forum for a while, I decided I would. 

To me when I watch Josey and watch Laura Lee's character, I just think damn she's optimistic.  Way too optimistic for my tastes, so after a while she just kind of annoys me. 

Her and Josey's relationship is almost stereotypical in a way.  And, I don't mean it in a mean way but it is.  It's the same secondary love story that a lot of movies use.   The stereotype that the killer or whatever falls in love with the purest girl in the movie.  It's so over used, especially nowadays.  I mean at the time when Josey was released it probably wasn't as used as much. 

I understand that Laura Lee is suppose to be this little waiff like thing and I suppose she's representing purity or cleanliness, in contrast to Josey who is a murderer and outlaw.  So I see the contrast that was used in the film.  Their love story just doesn't do anything for me though. 

When I see a movie I need to feel something or connect with something.  Especially if there's a love line in it, even if the love story is a plot detail if there is a scene where there is suppose to be love and devotion and I don't feel it in the scene, I'm feel like I've been jipped.  And, sadly that's what I felt when I saw the love scenes between Josey and Laura.  I like the dialogue, I thought it was well written, but they just never striked me as being in love. 

Maybe they're not suppose to be, I don't know but the film gave the impression that they are, and I just didn't feel it at all.  I thought if it had been a little bit more developed in the areas of writing and interaction between the two that might have helped.  How Eastwood and Locke acted toward each other, was how they always act toward each other, they never seem like they're in love.  Even in Bronco Billy, which is a film that I love (yay for Matt and me), I never completely believe that Billy and Lilly love each other, even though the dialogue obviously tells that they are.  I just never believe they fall in love in any of the movies they're suppose to be in love, which is a weakness in this one and in other films Eastwood starred in with Locke.

I really hate saying that, because I really love Clint and all that he does, but in the movies with Sondra Locke I always look back on it and say "ugh, if only, a different actress and some more emotion". 

The dynamic of Josey and Laura Lee is okay, it could be better developed and the acting could have been better in their scenes with each other.   
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2005, 06:58:26 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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2005, 07:06:28 PM by mgk » Logged
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