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Author Topic: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary  (Read 88940 times)
Xichado
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« Reply #60 on: December 19, 2002, 08:57:31 PM »

Originally posted by little_bill, 12-20-2001 04:33 AM

Quote
Originally posted by bigdai:
Gen_max i'm going to Lago with you, what a load of rubbish. It's on the same heap as The Sound of Music and Shane.
Controversy, i like it!!

the BEST thing about SHANE is that he DIES in the end!!!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #61 on: December 21, 2002, 07:58:33 PM »

Originally posted by bdc28, 12-26-2001 08:20 AM

BIGDAI: "Bdc28, Nice argument but... what if there is no God?"
Sorry Bigdai, I didnt mean to bypass your question, its a goodie.  :)

Okay, removal of theological ideologies, lets try the scientific standpoint.

ALL things in life that are of no use to man, for its survival, eventually phase itself out (ie, the shrinking of tonsils after man learned how to cook food). So it would stand to reason that actions like rape, murder, and such would phase themselves out, and the agressive gene as well, because of its "lack of use" to the whole of man, right? Wrong.

There are a bunch of cruel and not so cruel terms to deem these uses. Whether you call it "thinning the herd", or "killing the weak so the strong survive", or something PC like "population control", this gene, the aggressive gene, manifests itself in humanity to serve ALOT of purposes that maybe conscious man cannot do by his/her own hand.

Another logic, which I will premise with a biblical statement, was the symbolism of Adam and Eve eating from the "tree of knowledge" as the beginning of the downfall of mankind. Being self aware is both our enlightenment, and undoing. Yes we can create, but with our self awareness and ability to stand up and walk...we also have the same burden of being able to lay down in emotion.

Where an animal can deal with pain instinctually by dealing with it and moving on, mankind instictivly tries, to its own undoing, to find some deeper meaning in it. "What did it mean, that my mother/father/sister was killed/robbed/raped?" When in fact it actually meant NOTHING, those things happen by natural law.

It is our need to philosophize even the most minute happenstance that can sometimes cripple us from using our ablity to rise above it. God really has nothing to do with it, it has to do with our ability to be able to define what we can and cannot control, so that we can deal with what is sometimes dealt us...whether you call it Murphys law, TARFU, FUBAR, its the same thing...life FREQUENTLY doesnt go your way, to a painful ending.

The point to all that though, is that you are only here for a cup of coffee, and then you are gone. You can live in one millisecond of a bad situation and let it define the rest of the minute that you have of a lifetime, or you can try to make the best of what little time you actually have. My favorite quote from a movie is "life is pain, deal with it".

Thats not to say I am a depressing person, I love life and ALL aspects of it. But that is also because I try NOT to shield myself from pain. I dont worry about the neighborhoods I shouldnt be in, or people I shouldnt talk to, or situations that can hurt me. They all can, granted. In many cases they already have, but that doesnt mean I have to live in them. You can take a piece of me, but you cant take ME, that I own. I dont have time to worry, ta hell with that!! Life is too fun and too short!!
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« Reply #62 on: December 21, 2002, 08:00:04 PM »

Originally posted by bigdai, 12-28-2001 04:12 AM

Bloody hell, that is deep!!!
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« Reply #63 on: December 21, 2002, 08:02:19 PM »

Originally posted by little_bill, 01-02-2002 02:47 AM

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Originally posted by bigdai:
Bloody hell, that is deep!!!

he's definitely no slouch in the thinkin' department is he?
hey bdc i'm gettin a creek in my neck from lookin up this conversation is WAY over my head d'ye think you could dumb it down to say anyone with an IQ of less than 150 (one hundred fifty thousand that is)
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« Reply #64 on: December 21, 2002, 08:04:15 PM »

Originally posted by Hombre, 01-02-2002 01:49 PM

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the BEST thing about SHANE is that he DIES in the end!!!!!!!!!!

Are you sure, little_bill?, in the last shot of the movie he is injured but still very much alive, from what I can see. Probably just doused that bullet wound with some soda-pop, grimaced a little and rode on (reluctantly of course} to his next gunfighting adventure.

OK, it's not great but Shane must have something going for it, after all Pale Rider is a remake of that film.
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« Reply #65 on: December 21, 2002, 08:05:57 PM »

Originally posted by little_bill, 01-03-2002 04:32 AM

yeah i'm pretty sure thats why he doesn't turn around when the kid runs after him.
by the way did you see The Negotiator starring kevin spacey and samuel l jackson, cause tthey have the same discussion in the film it leads to quite a clever moment near the end, i liked it a lot.
but hey it's just my opinion after all there is no concrete evidence either way.
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« Reply #66 on: December 21, 2002, 08:07:54 PM »

Originally posted by Timothy, 06-17-2002 10:20 PM

An old thread but a good thread,

I have a different point of view. I have to have you guys consider a few thing first though. Remember to have an open mind.

1) The first time that the people of the town tried to "plan" to kill him is in the hotel. He sleeps with the woman, she slips out, they try to shoot him up. When he was getting a shave I don't think that was an organized plan.

2) People are creatures of habit. What worked one time will work a second time.

3) Is it possible that (in the past) the raped woman drew Clint into a situation inwhich his pants were down. The people of the town came in and killed him in a slow, helpless, painful manner for profit and they enjoyed it.

4) If your son or brother were killed in this manner then what would you want to do to the woman that started the plan rolling?

I say hook her legs up to two different tractors and do a wish bone pulling. You can't hit or shoot an unarmed girl. But if the girl used sex appeal to lead to a killing of a man for profit then I say it is justified.

They make light of the situation beacuse these town's people seem to join with who ever is the strongest. They are like animals and they only kiss up to someone who is strong. I think if they didn't make light of it and took it seriously (as it should be in real life) then Clint would not have been as powerful as he was.

Only adults should watch this.

There is a book out called "I know why the caged bird sings". In this book there is a rape. However, this is considered to be (I don't know why) one of the best books of all time. If it were made into a movie then I think they should keep the rape scene as a reminder to how terrible life can be in the projects. It made the caged person seem that much more caged.

Tim
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« Reply #67 on: December 21, 2002, 08:11:33 PM »

Originally posted by bdc28, 07-23-2002 11:50 AM

Hey Timothy,

As many disagreements as Daisy and I have had over the years (god its been that long?), in this particular case, I take her side.

Cinematically, the voice that was reflected was the voice of the seventies, when the movie was made. Although rape was a crime on the books, it was a VERY touchy subject. Most women during the seventies never reported rape, due to embarrasment and shame. Also alot of public image at large was that if a woman got raped, she in some way shape or form had something to do with it. IE: "She wouldnt have been raped if she wasnt wearing that dress..etc..etc".

Thats not to say that Clint's directing was condoning it, far from it. Everybody knew it was wrong. But at the time, no one truly understood the LASTING affect rape had on a woman. So even as a crime, it wasnt taken seriously. It was a tag-along crime. "This man is up for murder, robbery, and oh yeah, rape".

Clint has even stated that he would do it over differently. But again, its just cinematically, a sign of the times.
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« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2002, 08:13:08 PM »

Originally posted by GMAT, 07-23-2002 12:20 PM

I'm glad that Eastwood didn't omit it, though, because the act speaks to the severe anti-heroism and sense of moral ambiguity and nihilism that he was trying to project with this film.

The act and its aftermath also speak to the town's corruption: the Lago brass gives the Stranger a complete pass on the rape.
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« Reply #69 on: December 21, 2002, 08:14:41 PM »

Originally posted by bdc28, 08-20-2002 06:13 AM

I had another thought on this.

I also believe that the "rape" scene was kept to seperate the character from the previous "men with no names". This was not the cool gun, but with a real well hidden heart of gold. This was a cold blooded, remorseless, jaded man with revenge (or as Val Kilmer said in TOMBSTONE, a "reckoning") on his mind.

The only character he didnt abuse was the only one that had reason not to get involved. Other than that, everyone else got what they deserved, whether they acted directly or not.

This wasnt Manco, or Blondie. This was hell on a horse.
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« Reply #70 on: December 21, 2002, 08:16:18 PM »

Originally posted by KC, 08-20-2002 10:13 AM

Good observation, bdc. I'd add that the Stranger does protect the only two townspeople who are seen in the flashbacks to have been sympathetic to the martyred marshal, namely Mordecai and Sarah Belding ...

KC
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« Reply #71 on: December 21, 2002, 08:19:29 PM »

Originally posted by Hombre, 08-20-2002 07:14 PM

And his attitude to the minorities in the town can't be ignored either. I had to wince when my wife said "How sweet!" the first time she saw what he did for the Indians in the general store. And then later he forbids those Mexicans to attend the party. Isnít there at least a suspicion of compassion hiding behind that heart of iron?
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« Reply #72 on: December 21, 2002, 08:21:27 PM »

Originally Mark, 09-06-2002 01:30 PM

Whilst I most definetely detest the very idea of rape, this was not your average rape:

A few things to put it in perspective:

1) Eastwood's character had come to the town to exact 'revenge' and punish the townsfolk for their sins. In the same way that he turned the others' sins upon them (primarily the violence factor), he does the same to Callie: She was obviously a promiscuous woman to the point of it being a sin, and the rape scene was a very ironic way to punish her for this lustful character.

2) As Mordecai says something like 'Maybe it's because you didn't come back for more' after Clint questions her revenge attempt, and later Clint says 'I happen to know she enjoyed that quite a lot' we can assume, with the added knowledge of watching her struggling subside and eventually become enjoyment, that Callie possibly WANTED a sexual experience with Clint. Indeed, maybe she had an affair with the Marshal Jim Duncan whilst he was alive, and this was part of the revenge process.

3) As we find out at the end, Callie had been in a relationship with one of the 'bad guys' of the story Stacey Bridges, so maybe in its strange, probably symbolic way, the scene was rerlated to that.

To conclude, Callie's real sins were all centred around sex, and promiscuity, and, the experience to most punish her abuse of her good looks is surely to have someone else abuse them: hence, the rape scene.

Eastwood approaches Callie, as certain other members of the town, with a mood which suggests that he somehow knows them. This is why we assume some king of 'ghostly' quality to his character.
Eastwood, it seems, had a relationship with Callie at some other time, and was here punishing her, but also, it seems, she did get enjoyment out of it.

Just an idea, anyway!  ;D
« Last Edit: December 21, 2002, 08:24:01 PM by Xichado » Logged

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« Reply #73 on: December 21, 2002, 08:25:15 PM »

Originally posted by GMAT, 09-06-2002 03:23 PM

Men receive the pistol, women the phallus.
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« Reply #74 on: December 21, 2002, 08:27:09 PM »

Originally posted by bdc28, 09-25-2002 11:35 AM

Hey Mark,

WOW that was good. Alot of that I thought, but didnt really think how to put into words.

But alot of it isnt established in the story solidly, its kind of left to the imagination. That is what is the genius of this story. In some sick way you knew it was gonna happen, you just never get the satisfaction of knowing WHY!!
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« Reply #75 on: December 21, 2002, 11:41:30 PM »

Thanks, Xichado, for bringing this entire discussion over to this board.  

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« Reply #76 on: December 22, 2002, 12:52:19 PM »

In the early '70s, there were movies like A Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs which depict graphic rape scenes, in fact, much more graphic than High Plains Drifter (I've only seen Straw Dogs on TV, but I'm guessing they have to heavily edit it).

It may have already been said in this thread that perhaps the scene in Drifter was just for it's time. Several weeks ago, when HPD was on TCM, I was surprised by how un-graphic the scene actually was. The first time I'd seen that scene, I was left with the immpression that it was more graphic, I guess that just shows the power of the scene. I think the important aspect of the scene shows that the Eastwood character was not your basic good guy, but then again, neither is anybody in the town. To me, High Plains Drifter is the most violent and cold blooded of Eastwood's movies. The violence and that rape scene are a little disturbing, but violence and rape should be disturbing in movies. It means that violence is being portrayed in a truthful way.

If anybody caught Martin Scorsese on "Inside the Actor's Studio" last weekend, he was asked about how he felt about violence in his films, and he said that he tried to depict violence in a truthful way.
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« Reply #77 on: December 26, 2002, 08:06:53 AM »

Dear God, I gave myself a headache re-reading all this.
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« Reply #78 on: July 10, 2003, 02:46:28 AM »

I feel it's ironic that viewers will have no problem with any number of scenes of murder and torture, but one rape scene will have them throwing up their arms and squirming and screaming and asking whether it was really necessary.  Rape is reprehensible and unforgivable, but so is murder--we're just used to murder in films and are "desensitized" to it.  Same reason why we wince if somebody kicks a dog in the same film where they shoot somebody in the head.

I apologize if I just repeated something further up the thread... didn't read all of them...
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« Reply #79 on: July 10, 2003, 01:31:23 PM »

The impression I got of the film and the charchter was that he was meant to be from hell. The way he burns the town down at the end links with his rape of the women, meaning he really has no value for anybody, and his ghostly apearence etc. I don't really see how people think he has some honour in the film. I think he is just a bad guy who tries to help but stays evil, hellbent on revenge. The quote from the movie poster is

"they'd never forget the day he drifted into town"
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