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Author Topic: High Plains Drifter: Was The Rape Scene Really Necessary  (Read 82530 times)
misty71
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« Reply #80 on: July 10, 2003, 03:45:54 PM »

ok, I took the time to read this thread, but that was a long time ago ;DWhat I think is; of course it wasnt necessary, of course it didnt NEED to happen, but you know what?it made the film more shocking, more intense, the charater more depraved.You think "if this guy just did THAT, what could he possibly do next?" I think its good that people get shocked once in a while.Like bdr mentioned, were so desenticized now, it cant be bad to be shocked once in a while, to remember what it feels like to actually care for once.
Ok, that was just my opinion ;D
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« Reply #81 on: August 21, 2003, 08:17:45 AM »

I can only agree with misty.
Besides the whole movie drips with "poetic justice"
the town painted red, the inhabitants left to fend for themselves in the end, and of course the gunning down of the scumbags.

the rapescene is a fist in the face, and it shows (which makes it all the more menacing) that worse is to come...

NOW THATS BUILIDING A MOOD!!!  :o
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D'Ambrosia
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« Reply #82 on: August 21, 2003, 09:10:51 AM »

I just think overall, the directing, the acting, the camera work, the characters, the feel, the mystic uncertainty...  All in all it's one of Clint's best.  Granted the first 15 minutes are a real shocker :o and your thinking this guys something... But as the movie progresses you find out why he's doing all of these things.  That's great movie makeing...

The colors in the flick are vibrant and stunning to look at and I've all ways loved Clint's direction in this movie...
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The Man With No Name
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« Reply #83 on: September 14, 2003, 02:50:51 PM »

Whew, at first glance of this topic I thought the question was if the MOVIE was necessary... I almost had a Terry McCaleb there... Uh... Rape scene right...
 I think it's really about Clint's character and exacting revenge, [which is a theme in almost all his movies].
He was whipped and beaten to death... So now it's hard to tell if this man is a reincarnation... a messenger, but like what side is he on?
 I would classify him as an anti-hero... A sort of renegade angel... Maybe given one chance to set things straight... and he still has that lust cause he's human so he just takes the girl and does with her what he wants.
  All in all the movie is just outstanding.
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1861navycolt
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« Reply #84 on: September 23, 2003, 11:14:09 PM »

In my opinion the scene should not have been included.  It sickens me much and I can't let my 12 year old watch it either.  I believe that they could have easily done other things to form the character that they wanted to put forth.  
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dane with no name
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« Reply #85 on: September 25, 2003, 06:33:48 AM »

Quote
It sickens me much and I can't let my 12 year old watch it either
The whole movie is dark, violent, and very gritty and not for children or the weak of heart (no pun intended). Even if the rape scene wasnt included, a scene such as the whipping of the marshal is to much for any young child to watch.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #86 on: January 19, 2008, 11:31:55 PM »

I stumbled across this great discussion by accident when I was searching for something else last night. It  originated on the old board and was brought back to life by Xichado back in 2002. I'd like to revive it as I'm sure a lot of us weren't around way back then.

I did change the title from Was "it" necessary to Was "The Rape Scene" necessary as I thought "it" meant the whole film when I first saw the title. I hope you don't mind Xichado. :)

Anyway if you haven't read the first six pages of this topic and I think you should as it's probably one of the best discussions I've ever read here and some great points brought up throughout.

I decided to watch this film again today after reading this thread, and I have to say was it really rape?

To me Callie came across as the town whore, we find out later in the film she was sleeping with Stacy Bridges and as soon as he went to prison, it wasn't long before she was in bed with Morgan Allen. 

The way Callie purposely walks into The Stranger, then verbally abuses him, and as he tries to walk away she stops him to abuse him even more then slaps the cigar out of his mouth, she definitely is asking for trouble. I know Callie was unwilling at first but she seemed to succumb very quickly and in the end seemed very contented. She didn't get up and run out after it was all over, she just layed still in the hay with a pleasent look on her face.

Also later in the film she sleeps with The Stranger again, this time without even complaining. Would a woman who has just been raped by this man do that? Maybe this time it was to get him in bed so the others could pounce on him when he least expected it but we know he was too good for them in that department having already climbed out the window when they burst in the room.

What about when The Stranger slept with Sarah Belding, she was unwilling at first, but also quickly succumbed to him and finished up staying the whole night. I don't think anyone else has mentioned that. Should we call that rape as well?
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« Reply #87 on: January 20, 2008, 12:15:40 AM »

See, part of the myth about rape is that they're "really" willing. Though in this case ... that's sort of how it's written.
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Richard Earl
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« Reply #88 on: January 20, 2008, 12:55:16 AM »

Does anyone know if there are any interviews with Clint about the opening scene of High Plains Drifter?
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SpiderMonkey
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« Reply #89 on: January 21, 2008, 02:49:46 AM »

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.
The rape scene in A Clockwork Orange is extremely disturbing, as is Scorsese's violence.  I squirm in my seat in scenes such as these and I find them to be borderline distasteful.

I agree - depending on the film - that violence and rape should be disturbing.......but I think good filmmakers can convey this realism without having to resort to excessively brutal, gorey scenes.  Look at Unforgiven.  Eastwood himself has expressed concern over the amount of violence in films. 

The rape scene in High Plains Drifter is Mickey Mouse stuff compared to something like the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange.  I think the issue people have with the rape scene in High Plains Drifter is that it advocates The Stranger's actions.  First and foremost, I would argue with those people by saying that The Stranger is an amoral hero and his actions are NOT advocated.  Callie is apart of the immoral Lago community that maliciously played a hand in the murdering of Marshall Jim Duncan - the fact that The Stranger rapes her as a form of retribution sets up his dark, merciless character.  By having Callie "enjoy" the encounter, it further degrades her character.


« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 02:51:16 AM by SpiderMonkey » Logged
The Highlander
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« Reply #90 on: January 24, 2008, 12:26:04 AM »

In a flashback we see her cheering while he's whipped in the street. I think that is even more disturbing.
[/quote]

Actually, if I recall, Callie was screaming for them to STOP whipping the marshal, not cheering them on.  I could be wrong because I haven't watched the movie recently, but I'm pretty sure I remember her saying, "You've got to stop them!" and then being restrained before she could run out there.
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SpiderMonkey
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« Reply #91 on: January 24, 2008, 07:11:14 PM »

In a flashback we see her cheering while he's whipped in the street. I think that is even more disturbing.


Actually, if I recall, Callie was screaming for them to STOP whipping the marshal, not cheering them on.  I could be wrong because I haven't watched the movie recently, but I'm pretty sure I remember her saying, "You've got to stop them!" and then being restrained before she could run out there.
I believe that was Mrs. Belding.  She was the only one who attempted to stop it.

I watched a bit of the film on television the other day, and if I'm remembering correctly, Callie looks on silently next to her romantic interest, Morgan Allen, who played a hand in framing the Marshall.
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« Reply #92 on: January 24, 2008, 09:28:50 PM »

I'm sure you're right, SpiderMonkey.
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WeAllHaveItCominKid
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« Reply #93 on: January 25, 2008, 02:47:18 PM »

I absolutely hate rape scenes but I think it was necessary in this film to show just how unpredictable and crazy this character is.
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Conan
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« Reply #94 on: January 27, 2008, 07:15:41 AM »

The rape scene in High Plains Drifter is Mickey Mouse stuff compared to something like the rape scene in A Clockwork Orange. 

  I agree.  The rape scene in "A Clockwork Orange" is hardcore stuff compared to HPD, though it works in the context of the plot so I think it was necessary in that one as well.  As for "High Plains Drifter", I think many moviegoers are used to seeing a main character as a straight-up "good guy" with no grey areas - so this brutal scene came as a shock to them.  If a "bad guy" had done it, I don't think the HPD rape scene would have been as much of a big deal.

  I'm with Roger Ebert...I don't judge a movie based on its content; its the execution of the content that matters.  So basically...I think scenes involving rape, the torturing of old women/children, extremely racist hate crimes, and other horrible stuff are not cool if done in a gratuitous manner - but if done in the context of the plot then I think its necessary.

  Haha.  Skimming through I was just reminded that this is the thread where Little Bill blasted a few of us for talking so cavalierly about rape.  And I can't believe that the original discussion was something like 7 or maybe even 8 years ago...Time flies.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 07:30:44 AM by Conan » Logged

bdc28
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« Reply #95 on: November 01, 2012, 05:37:09 AM »

Ok, wow now that Ive reread this, I see why Lil Bill (sigh) kept asking me to stay on point with the topic.

I am going to contribute a thought to the thread, and it may not be popular, also its not going to be condoning the rape...just a side thought.

Its not until towards the very end of the movie that its revealed that she had a relationship with Stacy and the bad guys....in fact she would be considered "his woman" considering that the very first thing to be brought up upon his return, was whether or not she was faithful to him.

Has anyone given any thought to the idea that she was part of the conspiracy to Duncans death? Perhaps she was involved with Duncan and set him up...you know..."caught with your pants down"...maybe Duncans death had absolutely nothing to do with the money, it had to do with her. Perhaps the Drifter sought to minimize her role WITH the rape....letting her know she wont be pulling the wool over anyone's eyes with her feminine ways.

Just a thought?
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« Reply #96 on: November 01, 2012, 04:29:03 PM »

Hmm, I never thought of it like that ... you may have a point!
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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #97 on: November 03, 2012, 04:28:19 AM »

bdc, that certainly is a different slant on the reasons for the rape scene. Like KC I had never thought of like that either.
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KC
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« Reply #98 on: November 03, 2012, 05:48:23 AM »

Actually, though, I think it's made pretty clear in the film: Most of the townspeople were "part of the conspiracy to Duncan's death," and they also say that it WAS about the money, so even if Callie helped lure Duncan to his death ... I'm not sure how it makes a difference?

The Stranger treats Sarah Belding almost as badly as Callie, at least at first, and we see in flashbacks that she had tried to stop Duncan's murder.

I think this is one of Clint's more intriguing films in terms of simple plot. There are a lot of mysteries that are left up to the audience to solve.
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bdc28
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« Reply #99 on: November 06, 2012, 05:40:30 AM »

True, but I think we have to differentiate.

Most of the town were being punished for just standing and watching him get whipped to death, except of course for Mordicai, who was powerless to do anything because of his size.

But its kind of established towards the end of the film that she was somewhat part of a bigger conspiracy...at least in my opinion. She was a player in all this, and although maybe her motivation was Stacy and the money, she only had one real weapon.

Also, if you think about it, a whipping is an excessive way to kill someone. As three killers you really dont have to make an example of the town by excessively beating someone over five or ten minutes. The fact that you have the heart to KILL the Marshall will put them on notice.

The whipping was personal.
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