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Author Topic: ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ: The Story 3: Doc's Painting Privileges  (Read 14708 times)
KC
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« on: January 30, 2005, 11:44:24 PM »

In one scene, the Warden drops his nail clippers and they fall inside Doc's prison cell. The Warden has the cell opened to retrieve them, and is suprised to see all the artwork inside. He sees a painting of himself, and turns the light on to get a better look:



The Warden holds the painting, and seems to look pleased:



Yet, this scene follows:

Quote
WARDEN: I want painting privileges taken away from Chester Dalton.

DEPUTY WARDEN: Doc?

WARDEN: Cell 233.

DEPUTY WARDEN: What's the reason?

WARDEN: You're the Deputy Warden. You think of one.

DEPUTY WARDEN: When do you want the suspension to begin?

WARDEN: It's not a suspension. It's an elimination. Right away.

DEPUTY WARDEN: Yes sir.

Upon losing his painting privileges, Doc chops off three fingers from his right hand with a hatchet in the carpentry shop. Morris picks up the fingers and brings them in a box to the guard.

Later on, the Warden brings up the "accident" to Morris:

Quote
WARDEN: Morris.

MORRIS: (Walks over to the warden) Sir?

WARDEN: I hear there was a slight accident in one of the shops.

MORRIS: Accident? Oh, you mean Doc. Yeah, it seems someone didn't like what he was painting, so someone won't let him paint anymore.

WARDEN: Someone should have warned Doc to be careful about what he paints.

MORRIS: You're absolutely right, sir. There's always the possibility that some @sshole would be offended. Wouldn't there?

WARDEN: We all have to be careful.

Does the Warden seem pleased to you in the scene where he discovers the painting? Why do you think he revoked Doc's painting privileges? What effect do you think this incident had on the prisoners?
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mgk
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2005, 09:51:42 AM »

The warden does seem very pleased with the likeness that Doc captured in the portrait of him.  It fed his already over-sized ego and it felt good to him.  However, this warden, who had a combination of apathy toward everyone and a meanness toward most, just couldn't bear to see any prisoner of his "enjoying" what he was doing.  He could see that Doc was an excellent artists and probably knew that the drawings provided Doc with a hope that he could keep the more beautiful things about life alive through his drawings.  And, in the warden's mind, "we can't have that."  So, he stripped Doc of his "hope" by taking away his painting privileges.
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Brendan
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2005, 05:49:57 PM »

I can agree with what you said, mgk. He seems to realize that this inmate is having fun and is able to do something constructive and meaningful to himself and since they are prisoners why should they given that right? So stripping the Doc of that hope just solidifies who the boss is and that the prisoners are there for a reason.
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Christopher
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2005, 07:53:18 AM »

I always thought the warden was trying to imitate the expression in the painting. I don't know if that means he was pleased with it or not. Afterall, he didn't seem to have a problem with Doc painting until he saw his own portrait.
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Agent
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2005, 06:18:26 AM »

Hi KC!

I've always gotten the impression that the warden wasn't thrilled at all with the painting. What was our first reaction when we saw that portrait? Laughter or snickers, most likely. I think that the warden perceived and feared this, and viewed it as a mock portrait of him, perhaps because of the expression in the painting. But on the surface he kept his composure (as was his style), and appeared to be pleased. But inwardly he despised it.

It crumbled Doc's rock of stability, his world, and reason for continuing.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2005, 06:56:25 AM by Agent » Logged

"I tried being reasonable, I didn't like it." - Clint Eastwood
KC
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2005, 08:36:08 PM »

Hi Agent! Always nice to see you on the Board. (Just so you know: Matt, mgk and I all work on all the questions, then we take turns posting, and I didn't actually write this one.)

I tend to agree with you about the Warden. I think he "read" the painting as satire, and he knew he could break Doc by taking his painting from him and that would be his revenge.

By the way ... I've sometimes wondered what happens to Doc after the "slight accident" in the shop. Unless he doesn't get medical attention, the loss of his fingers shouldn't be fatal. Was he removed to a psychiatric facility?
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2005, 08:58:21 AM »

Hi there,

I thoroughly enjoy questions like about Clint's older movies because it gives me a chance reflect on my first impression and what my thoughts are now.

I never got the impression the warden disliked the portrait.  Upon viewing during it's first run in theatres, I figured taking Doc's painting privelages away gave the warden pleasure because he was mean.  I didn't put much stock into why because I was only about 12 years old at the time.  Re-thinking the scene now, I would guess he was possibly ashamed in sharing something positive with an inmate and out of embarassment decided to discontinue Doc's hobby altogether.   
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dane with no name
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2005, 03:58:19 PM »

It´s an interesting question. Doc tells Morris earlier on that he´s painting a picture of the Warden, but he never says if this is an arrangement they have. Have the warden agreed to pose for Doc? Does the warden already know of Doc´s talent? We dont really know for sure. Also, when the warden pulls out the painting it looks like it stands with its face inwards to the wall. Does that mean it´s "hidden" somehow?

I think the warden didnt know of the painting, then he saw it, acknowledged the talent, despised the satire (how many paintings of important people shows them smiling/grinning all over their faces)
I think he smiles because he here sees a reason to mess up an inmates life completely, and i wouldnt be surpriced if his thoughts were ; so this is what they think i am...
This might even be part of the reason he crushed the chrysantemum in the dining hall, to show them who´s boss...
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KC
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2007, 06:15:08 PM »

Thanks to everyone for participating in this discussion. This topic is now closed, please post any additional thoughts in the General Discussion forum.
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