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Author Topic: Eastwood Movie Challenge Week Two: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Hang 'em High  (Read 10038 times)
Matt
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« Reply #40 on: February 06, 2016, 12:22:18 PM »

I don't have a favorite prostitute in Eastwood-Land. 

I'm sensing a Survivor game on the horizon.  8)
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« Reply #41 on: February 06, 2016, 12:47:38 PM »

Speaking of both Survivor and Inger Stevens, as luck would have it, I saw a bot looking at the Eastwood Co-Star Character Survivor thread and I note that Inger Stevens was the first female voted off, and she went in the first round!

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Christopher
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« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2016, 01:17:46 PM »

Speaking of both Survivor and Inger Stevens, as luck would have it, I saw a bot looking at the Eastwood Co-Star Character Survivor thread and I note that Inger Stevens was the first female voted off, and she went in the first round!
I don't even remember playing that! But it has been going on ten years at least.

And really nothing against Inger Stevens, I just don't think the character is written well enough to be the big part they were trying to make it.
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Matt
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« Reply #43 on: February 06, 2016, 02:04:43 PM »

I was thinkin' I'd go with some folks from Hang 'em High. So I'll go along with one of the choices that seems common this round.

Inger Stevens ....  Rachel Warren
Pat Hingle ....  Judge Adam Fenton

Typical Christopher ... voting off Judge Fenton before anyone from Paint Your Wagon:idiot2:  ;)
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Christopher
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« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2016, 02:07:46 PM »

 ;D I agree that Fenton wouldn't deserve going off the first round. He is an interesting and complex character, and Pat Hingle's acting is very good.
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KC
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« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2016, 07:52:54 PM »


You may have no aim, but you have a good eye. Or, at least as good as mine. I noticed that too in the opening scene. I pulled some screencaps. Click on them to see them larger:





I noticed the same thing in the opening credits sequence of For a Few Dollars More, though I thought Leone may have done it to show the haze and the heat of the desert. Just a guess...



In either case, I much prefer Leone's super wide more cinematic widescreen to Ted Post's more television-style aspect ratio.

(Forgive me for not using proper terminology for aspect ratios... someone else can feel free to step in here with the correct terminology.)
The Leone films were shot in a sort of cheap-o Cinerama process called Techniscope. You get two Techniscope frames for every standard 35 mm frame, and the aspect ratio is 2.33:1 ... as Wikipedia says, "easily cropped to the 2.39:1 widescreen ratio, because it uses half the amount of 35 mm film stock and standard spherical lenses." As opposed to other widescreen processes that use the full 35 mm frame, but shoot with an anamorphic lens that yields a "squeezed" full-frame image, which gets stretched to extra widescreen proportions in projection. I hope that is clear.

As for Hang 'em High, it was shot in the standard theatrical format of the day, that is a 1.85 image obtained by masking the squarish 35 mm film frames to a shape similar to that of modern widescreen TVs. This format is also considered "widescreen," by contrast with the earlier standard, which was the full frame "Academy ratio" of 1.37:1. That was generally abandoned for theatrical films after the advent of television, in order to offer a contrast to what people could get on their home TV screens. So you may think it is "more television style," but at the time of its release, it was the standard thing to see in movie houses, as opposed to on television.

As for the beginning of the film ... I haven't re-watched it yet, but I don't recall anything different about the beginning. I doubt very much whether it would have been shot any way but on standard 35 mm film. Perhaps something went wrong in the video transfer. I'll take a closer look when I watch it.
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The Man With No Aim
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« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2016, 08:23:24 PM »

There is a scene having a river and Clint is crossing the river or riding along beside the river, the wind is rustling tree leaves, the sun is shining brightly, and it all was immediately noticeable to my eye as being definitely softer in definition and not as sharp focus as I am accustomed to seeing in most of the scenes in most of the films I have ever seen. I don;t remember noticing soft focus in the scene in which he is caught and accused of rustling.

In Coogan I saw the same lack of definition in the closing scene in which Clint left in a helicopter from a rooftop heliport. Outdoors, bright sunlight, soft focus.

Years back I read that it was normal practice in Europe to shoot a movie on 16mm for outdoor scenes and shoot 35mm for indoors and when the stars were in the scene. Only saw a few foreign films back then, in the 70s, and had always noticed a soft focus in outdoor scenes.


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Matt
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« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2016, 08:45:54 PM »

The Leone films were shot in a sort of cheap-o Cinerama process called Techniscope. You get two Techniscope frames for every standard 35 mm frame, and the aspect ratio is 2.33:1 ... as Wikipedia says, "easily cropped to the 2.39:1 widescreen ratio, because it uses half the amount of 35 mm film stock and standard spherical lenses." As opposed to other widescreen processes that use the full 35 mm frame, but shoot with an anamorphic lens that yields a "squeezed" full-frame image, which gets stretched to extra widescreen proportions in projection. I hope that is clear.

As for Hang 'em High, it was shot in the standard theatrical format of the day, that is a 1.85 image obtained by masking the squarish 35 mm film frames to a shape similar to that of modern widescreen TVs. This format is also considered "widescreen," by contrast with the earlier standard, which was the full frame "Academy ratio" of 1.37:1. That was generally abandoned for theatrical films after the advent of television, in order to offer a contrast to what people could get on their home TV screens. So you may think it is "more television style," but at the time of its release, it was the standard thing to see in movie houses, as opposed to on television.


Thanks for that information and the wiki link. It does make sense, especially after reading the article and seeing the picture:



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Given its considerable production cost but lesser image quality, Techniscope was primarily an alternative format used by low-budget film makers, mainly in the horror and western genres. Since the format originated in Italy, most Techniscope format films were European productions.

I didn't notice a lesser image quality at all with any of the Leone films, except for that opening credits scene from For a Few Dollars More.

There's this bit toward the end of the article where it mentions the DVD transfer of the Leone films:

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When transferring a Techniscope film to a digital video format, the 2-perf negative or 2-perf interpositive A/B rolls can be used (the original film negative from the camera, or the first-generation film elements prepared for the making of the anamorphic 4-frame 35 mm release print negative), thus bypassing any blown-up 4-perf element. Many DVD editions have been transferred this way and the results have frequently been stunning, e.g. Blue Underground's The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and MGM's special editions of Sergio Leone's Westerns.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2016, 03:38:37 AM »

Hang 'Em High is certainly not up there with the three spaghetti westerns and never climbs very high on favorite Eastwood Westerns lists but it is a very interesting film. I'm sure Clint was drawn to it as it reminds me of a 1940's Henry Fonda film, The Ox Bow Incident and Clint has said in the past that is a favorite of his.

I agree with others about the music. Does come across as overbearing in some scenes. The romantic subplot wasn't the greatest but Rachel's backstory kept her character interesting throughout.
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« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2016, 05:02:35 AM »



I agree with others about the music. Does come across as overbearing in some scenes. The romantic subplot wasn't the greatest but Rachel's backstory kept her character interesting throughout.


I liked the music.Obviously not the best score of any Eastwood-films but still quite good.Especially the main theme.

About Inger Stevens,I used to consider her part as dull and way too 60`s looking for the western film but nowdays I think she does quite good job and looks nice too.I think this"romantic sub-plot" is ok and kind of like how it ends very un-Hollywood like/not that happily by Eastwood`s character...or By judge Fenton who makes sure Cooper stays as Marshall and not to go and start a life with Rachel.
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« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2016, 09:53:57 AM »

Just finished watching GBU. It's a great film. I'm a bit under the weather so I guess my concentration isn't at its best. Nothing new really that would have caught my eye this time. I'm always excited about the music in this film.
I had the extended version. I'm not sure if I've seen the cut version. Which scenes are deleted in that?
Like some of you here, I have no idea how Angeleyes ended up as sergeant in the camp. I agree with Matt, the scene with the chicken should not have been there. Always felt odd about it.

I am undecided whether I prefer more GBU or For a Few Dollars More.

With GBU it always bothers me that in some scenes, the voices of Van Cleef and Eastwood are off. I remember reading about it years ago, could someone refresh my memory? Why are they dubbed?
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« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2016, 10:56:16 AM »

I watched The Good, The Bad and The Ugly tonight. I was really looking forward to watching it again, since my last viewing was close to 10 years ago. And I loved it as much as I remembered.

Comparing the humor in the three Man With No Name films... the first has very little humor (probably the funniest moment is the look on Joe's face when he accidentally punches Marisol); the second has some over-the-top humor, like the Prophet and the Hotel Manager's Wife's scenes; but the humor in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is JUST RIGHT. Okay, that whole sentence really sounded like Goldilocks & the Three Bears, but we are talking about Blondie, but I digress.  It's laugh-out-loud funny, but in a sarcastic, understated way.

I think Fistful is funny all the way through, that it was designed as a comedy, a parodic take-off on Westerns. What about the whole set piece of the stranger's showdown with the Baxter men, from "Get three coffins ready" to "My mistake ... four coffins"? Except for the massacre at the riverbank (later turned into macabre humor with the two corpses in the graveyard), the torture scene (which is so over-the-top that it's not really painful) and the final slaughter of the Baxter family, there's very little in it that can't be seen in a comedic vein. Pretty much the same could be said for For a Few Dollars More, with the exception of some of Indio's worst excesses and the visions seen in his marijuana flashbacks. But I agree that The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is the most successful of the three as a comedy, especially in the way the comedy is integrated with the drama—for instance in the Branston Bridge sequence, where the figure of the Captain with his sardonic, despairing wisecracks contrasts with the horror of the mass slaughter.

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The 'Idiots. It's for you" line is my favorite line in the movie.

On the commentary track, Frayling says that in the shooting script, the note read "Bravi. See you soon," but the line was changed to "See you soon, idiots." Tuco has trouble reading the word "idiots," and Blondie (if you can read his lips) originally responded, "Idiots. It's for us." He says the idea to change it to "Idiots. It's for you" was an inspiration of the dubbing studio.

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There's so many funny moments. I also mentioned in another thread recently that one of my favorite moments in the film is the second hanging of Tuco and while his hanging offenses are being read off, Tuco just looks around, bored and rolling his eyes.

Frayling says Wallach reminisced about how he felt in that scene ... he found himself thinking, "What am I doing sitting on a horse in the middle of the Spanish desert when I could be doing Chekhov on the stage?" and he went "Grrrr!" as an improvisation, which Leone loved and retained (with a great reaction shot by the woman in the bonnet).

Frayling also mentions that that town ("Valverde" in the script) was part of Carlo Simi's "El Paso" set from For a Few Dollars More.

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Or the moment when Blondie and Tuco find themselves sitting right in front of a box of explosives, and Blondie carefully backs his cigar away from the box -- and then when they're running across the battlefield with the stretcher with a box that's clearly marked "EXPLOSIVES" is more of that humor that's just perfect and make this totally bad-ass almost three-hour movie fly right by.

Frayling comments on that too ... calls them "a couple of Laurel and Hardy characters," carrying a stretcher with a box marked "EXPLOSIVES," like two thieves with a bag marked LOOT breaking into a house. "It's almost a cartoon image." I always feel sorry for the poor guy with the shot-up leg who was on the stretcher before Tuco and Blondie stole it!

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A few words about the extended version with the additional scenes... although I like the "Six, a perfect number" line, the voices, especially Clint's, sound wrong. It never flows or feels right. And that chicken scene deserved to be on the cutting room floor. GBU was the perfect movie in its original edit, and it's been tainted with these additional scenes. I'll go back to watching my old DVD next time I plan to watch it.

Which "original edit" are we talking about? The original Italian premiere version (Rome, December 1966: 177 minutes and 43 seconds) had all of the extra scenes that were finally added back in an English-dubbed version for the new DVD in 2003. The original American release was 161 minutes. The British release was even shorter (148 minutes, after the excision of most of the extreme violence).

Just after the premiere, Leone, under pressure to shorten the film for the sake of turning around the audience in under three hours, cut the grotto or "chicken" scene. I agree that it adds little (and Wallach's "old" voice is especially jarring in that one). The scene where Blondie meets Angel Eyes' gang also feels pretty superfluous. But I appreciate most of the rest of the extra footage, and feel it blends in well with the rest of the film and fills in important gaps in the story. I especially feel that way about Angel Eyes' visit to the Confederate encampment in the ruined ranch. It's here we get our first introduction to the devastation of the war, and Morricone's first use of a "Civil War" theme. There are some wonderful shots of Lee Van Cleef reacting to the site of all the carnage ... even "the Bad" can be made to feel some compassion. And he gets some important information: Carson, the man he's looking for, went with Sibley to the battle of Glorieta, where the Confederates were crushed. If any were still alive, they'd probably be in the notorious Yankee prison camp of Batterville (sometimes spelled Betterville or Battleville).

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Angel Eyes never once glanced down at that stew. Not once. What an incredible intro to his character. And he really punched the hell out of Bill Carson's woman.  :o

Part of that scene was cut for the British release.

By the way, Frayling mentions that the name "Angel Eyes" for Van Cleef's character was suggested by Eastwood. He's "Sentenza" in Italian, and I think in most other languages as well. ("Sentenza," "the sentence" ... a death sentence, namely.)
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« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2016, 11:20:07 AM »

Like some of you here, I have no idea how Angeleyes ended up as sergeant in the camp.

One reason why we need one of the restored scenes is so we know why Angel Eyes was determined to get into that camp, but preferably not as a prisoner! (See my comment on that scene in my post, above.)

In the novelization of the screenplay (by Joe Millard; p. 65), Angel Eyes takes the sergeant's uniform, and his commission for the camp, from a dead soldier near Glorieta pass:
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Sentenza squatted and went through the dead man's pockets. Inside the jacket he came upon an order, assigning Sergeant Alan Crane to adjutant duty at Battleville Prison Camp.

Glorieta Pass is the site of the decisive defeat of the Confederate forces, among them the man with the secret of the gold, Bill Carson. If he has survived the battle, he was pretty certain to turn up in that camp, as the Confederate sergeant in the ruined ranch (in that deleted scene) had told him.

With GBU it always bothers me that in some scenes, the voices of Van Cleef and Eastwood are off. I remember reading about it years ago, could someone refresh my memory? Why are they dubbed?

In 1966, the entire film was dubbed after production into all the languages it was going to be released in ... Italian, German, Spanish, English, possibly some others. That was the way the Italian film industry worked back then. No "live" sound from the production was ever used in Italian movies.

About 17 minutes of footage was cut for the American version of the film before the English-language dubbing was done (the American release was in early 1968). So there was never an English-language soundtrack for those scenes. In 2002, when it was decided to edit that footage back into the film, the person in charge of the restoration project thought it was important to get Eastwood and Wallach to dub their own voices because they were so well-known. He admitted they would sound older, but thought it was the best solution. I'm not so sure there, but it was a judgment call ... can we be sure that imitators of the young Clint and Wallach would have sounded more natural and more like the original soundtrack? (Van Cleef had died in 1989, so they had to get a soundalike for him.)
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« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2016, 12:46:43 PM »

Sometimes I think I've turned KC's life upside down. I post so much, and she has to follow me around, correcting me. I hope she doesn't mind. I find it fascinating to read all her knowledge (and I absolutely don't mind AT ALL to be corrected -- it's always so interesting and helpful).


I think Fistful is funny all the way through, that it was designed as a comedy, a parodic take-off on Westerns. What about the whole set piece of the stranger's showdown with the Baxter men, from "Get three coffins ready" to "My mistake ... four coffins"?

Yes, that's a funny moment, and it's always great for a smile, if not a laugh. But, I've always thought of that scene as the epitome of coolness, rather than comedic. It is dark humor, if anything, and that scene does remind me more of the type of comedy we'd see more of in GBU. But, I definitely don't see FOD as a comedy or a parody of a Western. I see it as a true Western with just a great "coolness" to it. I know I mention "cool" a lot when I talk about the Spaghetti Westerns. Maybe I should break out a Thesaurus and come up with another word, but that's the word that always comes to mind when I think of those three films, more than parody or comedy. Just the coolest of all Westerns ever.


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On the commentary track, Frayling says that in the shooting script, the note read "Bravi. See you soon," but the line was changed to "See you soon, idiots." Tuco has trouble reading the word "idiots," and Blondie (if you can read his lips) originally responded, "Idiots. It's for us." He says the idea to change it to "Idiots. It's for you" was an inspiration of the dubbing studio.

Very interesting... and a great change by the dubbing studio!

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Frayling says Wallach reminisced about how he felt in that scene ... he found himself thinking, "What am I doing sitting on a horse in the middle of the Spanish desert when I could be doing Chekhov on the stage?" and he went "Grrrr!" as an improvisation, which Leone loved and retained (with a great reaction shot by the woman in the bonnet).

And his boredom of doing that scene in real life fits it SO WELL in the movie. Fantastic! Thanks for all this great information. :)


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Frayling comments on that too ... calls them "a couple of Laurel and Hardy characters," carrying a stretcher with a box marked "EXPLOSIVES," like two thieves with a bag marked LOOT breaking into a house. "It's almost a cartoon image." I always feel sorry for the poor guy with the shot-up leg who was on the stretcher before Tuco and Blondie stole it!

I know, I laugh at that too. You can hear the man they dumped off "aah, ahh!" and the soldiers who were carrying him "What are you doing?!" It's stupid funny, and great.

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Which "original edit" are we talking about? The original Italian premiere version (Rome, December 1966: 177 minutes and 43 seconds) had all of the extra scenes that were finally added back in an English-dubbed version for the new DVD in 2003. The original American release was 161 minutes. The British release was even shorter (148 minutes, after the excision of most of the extreme violence).

The original American release.

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Just after the premiere, Leone, under pressure to shorten the film for the sake of turning around the audience in under three hours, cut the grotto or "chicken" scene. I agree that it adds little (and Wallach's "old" voice is especially jarring in that one).

This is the version that's in the Mondo version - all of the scenes except the chicken scene. The length is 174 minutes and 23 seconds.

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Elizabeth77
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« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2016, 02:24:08 PM »

I finally got around to watching GBU today.  I had a "million" things to do today, but life has a way of changing one's plans.  I've been confined to my Lazy-Boy recliner most of the day.  The only bright spot was that I was able to agreeably while away three hours of the day.  I don't think I've ever sat so still for so long through this film.

My sons and I affectionately refer to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as "The Bad, the Worse and the Worst".  We used to have discussions over which one was actually worse, Angel-Eyes or Tuco, and seriously questioned calling Blondie "good".  While Tuco has an endearing quality to him in spite of everything, he is actually ruthless and heartless.  What comes across as funny is his childish tendency to switch sides to whichever one appears to be to his advantage.  The swiftness with which he does this is amazing.  Blondie obviously has him figured out and uses this knowledge to his own benefit (and safety).  Blondie doesn't go out of his way to do kind things for others, and he can definitely be cold blooded with the riff-raff that he tends to associate with, but he has moments when he shows a remarkable understanding for the needs of his fellow men and has his own code of behavior.  I am always touched with his understanding of the Captain's anguish regarding the waste of his soldiers' lives.  Tuco sees the opportunity to get rid of the soldiers (and give the Captain what he wants), but Blondie goes out of his way to give him some hope, even in his dying moments.  Angel-Eyes seems so terribly heartless and cold, yet even he is somewhat touched by the terrible waste that is war, if only for a moment.  Still, he uses it to his own advantage and obviously doesn't work alone.  The others may not know his plans, but he always seems to have a number of henchmen.  Still, when it comes down to something as valuable as $250,000, that seems to have been a private project.

I find it interesting how Angel-Eyes deals differently with Tuco and Blondie.  He knows that torture will get what he wants out of Tuco, but he knows it won't work with Blondie.  The only thing he seems to underestimate, is Tuco's ability to wriggle out of tight places.  His brain is full of ideas and his ruthlessness allows him to do whatever it takes to survive.  Angel-Eyes and Blondie have a different kind of respect for each other.  They are obviously known to each other, at least by reputation.  At the final showdown, Angel-Eyes is afraid of both men because he knows that they will go for him first, but his respect for Blondie seems to make his fear stronger in that direction.  Tuco is afraid of both men facing him because he gives them the full benefit of the ideas of treachery that fill his own brain.  Blondie doesn't appear afraid.  Of course, he stacked the deck, so he knows that he doesn't have to fear Tuco.  While the movie is definitely dominated by Tuco, he would be unbearable without the balancing effect of Blondie.  It's like fire and ice.

While watching today, I pondered (again) on the scene between Tuco and his brother.  I think there is a great truth touched on and passed by without too much comment.  Tuco may have caused shame and heartbreak to his parents by his choices in life, but Pablo's religion caused him to desert his parents for the life of the church.  That was his way of gaining honor, while Tuco chose banditry.  They both seem to blame the other for abandoning the family, but the reality is that they both carry guilt for what they have done.  Perhaps Pablo tried in some way to atone, but Tuco's words obviously hit home and hit hard.

Thinking of the scenes in Pablo Ramirez' church, I noticed something.  Sergio Leone's first two films come across as rather sacrilegious in their treatment of churches as houses of worship, and of religious themes generally.  I'm not saying he's wrong, I just find it unnecessary.  In GBU, however, he shows them in a different light.  They have a use as a place of refuge for those injured by life's experiences.  The nearly destroyed church near the cemetery is another place of refuge for the dying.  Generally, there is not so much sarcastic treatment of religious themes.  Either that, or they are more subtle and I didn't notice them.

I just noticed something this time.  My version is the extended English language one.  In the scene where Blondie meets Angel-Eyes' six friends that Blondie reduces to five, he says that he has six more bullets, one for each of them plus Angel-Eyes.  Once they get to whatever town it is that they take possession of while everyone else is fleeing it, there are seven horsemen, which adds up.  However, Blondie kills one (the one with the note found on him later), then he and Tuco each kill two more while walking up the street, then Blondie kills one last one, whereupon Tuco tells Blondie that Angel-Eyes is his.  Where did the sixth gunman come from?  It's not important, but I noticed it this time.  Probably did before, but couldn't be bothered to go back and count them.

For A Few Dollars More is still my favorite of the trilogy, but GBU has the best and funniest lines.  I readily admit the many reasons why it is the favorite of so many.

I'd better stop writing and get to watching Hang 'em High.
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« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2016, 03:16:25 PM »

Elizabeth, what a great post! I'm so glad you're joining us for the Challenge. I look forward to reading more of your posts of these movies as we go through them.
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« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2016, 08:40:37 PM »

I did it!  I finished Hang 'Em High!  I'm not particularly fond of hangings, and the idea of going out to a hanging as a social occasion has never appealed to me, but I've always liked parts of this film.  I like the opening, because it gives me a better appreciation of Jed than I might otherwise have.  I have one question that never occurred to me before today.  Why did Jed meet the men on foot instead of from horseback?  It seems like he put himself at a disadvantage that way.

The first time I ever watched this film was because Ben Johnson is in it.  He is my favorite cowboy.  I was so disappointed that he has such a small part in the story, although he is important.  I found it interesting that when Marshall Bliss brings in the tumbleweed wagon, that he stops in the street so that Rachel can look over the prisoners before they get down to the dungeon.  Is this so that she doesn't have to go down there where it's so unbearable?

A curious coincidence?  The same year that Hang 'Em High came out, Ben Johnson played a character named Jed Cooper in the TV series The Virginian.  Apparently that Jed Cooper tended to skirt on the wrong side of the law.

Having watched this film two or three times before, I was able to watch some of the individuals more than I may have in the past.  I find Judge Fenton to be a heavily burdened man.  He takes his job seriously and tries to do his best.  He frankly acknowledges that he's made mistakes, wishing fervently that he could know without a shadow of a doubt that he is making the right decisions regarding the lives of these men.  He doesn't throw up his hands and give up because the job is too big, although it is.  He carries on and seeks others who will help him do what is necessary to bring about a better condition of things.

This film covers the same general theme of The Ox-Box Incident.  We shouldn't be too quick to dispense "justice" in the heat of the moment.  The process of law may be cumbersome and slower than we'd like, but it can prevent a lot of unnecessary regret and anguish.  If the men in both films had been willing to listen and take the time to learn the truth, they would have had nothing to regret and they could have gone home unscathed in conscience.  Mob "justice" becomes rather mindless and usually has disastrous results.

The sad thing about this story, is that the men in the hanging party weren't "bad" men.  They were ordinary men with dreams and plans not unlike Jed's own.  They made a poor decision in haste, then had to face the consequences.  The one man who turns himself in when he realizes that Cooper is still alive gets a death sentence, too, just not pronounced from the bench.  Two men are still on the run (and will likely always be running) at the end of the film, another breaks under the strain and is killed as a result, and the rest decide to compound their first mistake by making a worse one.  On one hand they admit they are wrong, but they don't seem to think they should have to face the consequences.  Instead, they want to get rid of the man whose existence condemns them.  Don't they think that the law would catch up with them even more surely if they actually killed him?

I think this story would have done just fine without trying to add a romantic aspect to it.  The story of Rachel is fine and gives character interest, helping to give a wider perspective on the world Jed lives in, but it's just too neat and tidy she should now fall for Jed.  Rachel has always seemed somehow out of step with the time of the story.  She is out of character in comparison to the other "good" women of the town, which Rachel is implied to be.  Curiously, the story writers seem to want her to be "good", while being seen in the company of women whom the "good" women of the town would have stayed away from.  Maybe her past experience puts her in a kind of social limbo.  I don't have any particular problem with Inger Stevens as Rachel, but I surely don't like her hairstyle.  They went to enough trouble to give a degree of authenticity to the attire of ordinary people in the film, but in their attempt to set her apart, they overdid it.  Her dress indicates the same ambivalence to period accuracy.  Ordinary women of the day did not go around wearing low or revealing necklines as an everyday thing.  She would have worn a sober-looking dress and behaved accordingly.  You get that general feeling from how Rachel's part is acted, they just don't back it up visually.  The other curious thing, grown women didn't go about with their long hair down.  They had long hair, but they wore it up.  So much for picking on the aspects of this film that have always bugged me.

I like the score in places, but it definitely has moments when it is too heavy handed.  Still, while not in my top 10 (or 20) list of westerns, I like Hang 'Em High.
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Rawhide7
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« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2016, 09:06:55 PM »

I havent had much time lately due to my job.  But I watched the trilogy back in November and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them just like every yr.  Just top notch westerns all three of them.  GBU is by far my favorite out of the three.  Always really enjoyed Tuco. 
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« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2016, 09:19:30 PM »

I watched both For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with Christopher Frayling's commentary on. In general, it is excellent, informative, intelligent and very illuminating both about the production history of the films and about details we might have overlooked. However, he does make a few mistakes. As I mentioned in the Week One thread, in For a Few Dollars More, he places Tucumcari in Mexico, instead of in New Mexico. More startling, in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, during the "triello" at the end, when we have a closeup of Angel Eyes' hand creeping closer to his gun ...



... Frayling points out the missing fingertip, and adds "In real life, Lee Van Cleef did not have a piece of his finger missing. So the hand they're using is a prop hand, as it were, a body double, to show that this man, even he has been damaged by his life as a gunfighter."

It's a nice thought. But in real life, Van Cleef DID have a piece of his finger missing! It's quite well known and is mentioned in all his biographies. and besides ... it's evident in quite a few other scenes of the film, and it's obviously not a body double!


Over on the Lee Van Cleef discussion board, someone posted a picture that shows Van Cleef in a TV show with a bandage on his finger. The show aired in December 1962, so they conclude the accident (he was building a doll house for his daughter, according to some sources) probably happened sometime the previous summer.



Frayling is right about one thing ... Leone wanted to exploit this physical disability. Eli Wallach recalls, in his memoir The Good, the Bad, and Me (page 252):

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Leone always liked to use non-actors with disabilities—legless war veterans, for example—and he focused the camera on Van Cleef's finger during the final cemetery shootout.
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Rawhide7
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« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2016, 09:26:51 PM »

Very interesting KC!  Ive always wondered what happened to his finger.  Just shows you that nobody's  perfect and even famous people have flaws or accidents happen to them.  Ive always liked Van Cleef and thought he was great in westerns.  I didnt realize there was a discussion board on the web for him.  Ill have to check it out.
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