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Author Topic: Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter  (Read 49297 times)
Chessie
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« on: April 12, 2005, 10:16:25 PM »

Recently I got into a debate with my Spanish teacher about High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider.  He told me to re-watch both films and then see if I could see it from his point of view. 

His point of view is this: Preacher is a resurrected soul, kind of like Lazarus, I've never thought this.  His opinion of High Plains Drifter is that it's exactly the same as Pale Rider

So I was thinking about this so intent through the rest of class, ha.  I've never thought that Preacher had died in Pale Rider, I always thought he'd survived an attack, most likely with Stockburn.  But, my Spanish teacher is pretty good at this one, he said well then why would he hear the voice in the canyon saying Preacher?  To which I said something about that being an alias for him.  Not my best come back of the day, but I think it worked well enough. 

Then my teacher argued the point that High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider are practically the same.  What with the whole protecting a settlement and mysterious stranger coming into town.  I don't know if I agree.

So I thought I'd stir up some discussion on this.  Do you think the Preacher and Stranger are practically the same character?  Are the stories practically the same or are they different?  And any other comparisons any one feels like posting.

I'd like to have a good argument so when I do my oral report next week, I can sound intelligent.  Ha.

Thanks guys!   O0
« Last Edit: July 10, 2006, 02:49:12 AM by KC » Logged

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Americanbeauty
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2005, 12:40:10 AM »

Recently I got into a debate with my Spanish teacher about High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider.
I wish I had had those kinds of debates with MY teachers when I was in high school   8) O0

Personally I never thought Preacher had died.
He might be an angel, sent by God to protect LaHood's community (the reference to the Bible at the beginning).
But I don't think he's dead.
He's got these scars on his back, meaning that he was hit, but survived

I see him more like a lone ranger

But on the contrary, I do believe that Stranger is dead.
He is the ghost/resurrection of Jim Duncan, and came back to take his revenge
Hearing the whip disturbs him, he has those dreams (that only Jim Duncan could have)
When he's in the bathtub and Callie shoots him, he isn't even hit and yet she shoots in the bathtub, plus the bathtub moves when she bumps into it a sign that he has no mass, no weigh ... like a ghost.
And in the end when he whips Stacey Bridges and you see all these flames surrounding him, kind of a reminder of where he really comes from ... he died.


What with the whole protecting a settlement and mysterious stranger coming into town.
I don't think that Stranger drifted into town to protect Lago.
He wanted to get even, that's why he obliged them to paint their town in red, or made Mordecai the new sheriff.


Quote
But, my Spanish teacher is pretty good at this one, he said well then why would he hear the voice in the canyon saying Preacher?
Why ? Well Preacher's got ears, just like you and me  ;)

Did he think it was God's voice or something like that ?

But remember that Sara hears the voice too , she asks Preacher "who was that ?"
And he answers "a voice from the past" = Stockburn (I was wondering about this voice too -in the Pale Rider thread- and Matt explained to me where it came from, and that makes sense)

I would say that the only thing they have in common is that they're both drifters, mysterious, you don't really know where they come from and who they are (Sara asks Preacher "who are you, really ?" and Stacey asks Stranger "who are you ?" too) ... and in the end they both get even, Preacher with Stockburn and Stranger with Lago's people.

I can't remember exactly what I had said about Preacher, but maybe you could re-read the "Preacher in Pale Rider" thread  :)
It could give you some ideas
« Last Edit: April 13, 2005, 12:44:06 AM by Americanbeauty » Logged

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Doug
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2005, 01:33:20 AM »

I don't think the stories are the same, but they do both have a supernatural element to them, if that's how you want to interpret them.  I think in Pale Rider the supernatural element is stronger, and the suggestion that Preacher was killed and has come back is very strong.  The difference in High Plains Drifter is that the Stranger is not necessarily the same man who was killed before the story opens.  The Stranger is out for vengence only and not to help this community; he is a ruthless avenging angel, issuing appropriate retribution on the citizens of Lago, though he treats well the very few innocents in the town.  Or maybe he's only Duncan's brother out for revenge....  I prefer the supernatural explanation.  Your Spanish teacher has not hit upon anything new, but it is always interesting to hear how other people interpret those films.  I assumed that most people saw the supernatural element of Pale Rider very clearly, but I guess not. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2005, 07:22:54 AM »

The stories are not the SAME, however there are similarities between them.  I believe the Preacher is dead and has come to kill Stockburn.  His arrival and departure are, to my mind, supernatural. 

The Stranger, once again I think he is dead, arrives to help the innocent of the town and for revenge.  I feel the Stranger is the ghost of Jim Duncan and the final scene when Mordecai says " I never did know your name" and the Stranger tells him "Yes you do".  I see that as the reason to believe that he is Jim Duncan's ghost.

Both the movies leave you to make up your own mind and there can be no right or wrong as to who the Preacher and the Stranger are, alive or dead.    It is easy to see why people confuss both these movies, but they are completely  different stories albeit ones of revenge and good triumphing over a past wrong.

I have said elsewhere that Clint often leaves you to decided the ending. Million Dollar Baby is just another example, so he continues to be enigmatic right up to his latest movie.   Where will Flags of Our Fathers take us?

« Last Edit: April 13, 2005, 10:41:57 PM by Lin. » Logged
Christopher
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2005, 01:15:25 PM »

I was thinking the same thing others here have already said.

Preacher is there for protection. The Stranger takes advantage of the cowardice town. As Duncan dies, he says, "Damn you to Hell," which is what the Stranger does.
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2005, 10:50:44 PM »

It is easy to see why people confuss both these movies,



;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;

Whoops and I got an A+ in English.A levels
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 11:27:33 AM »

 :)Good about lunchtime from a part of The American Midwest-USA:

    I treasure both of these great films, but I only have one on DVD....I still need HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER...

    I was hooked when he did a number on those four bullies with the axe handle....I don't know I just love that kind of thing.....I never got concerned whether he was some imaginary miracle of some kind....I just enjoyed seeing the bad guys getting wasted, which is what I like....

     I realized it is almost a year later, but I just found this subject....

Respectfully,
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2006, 02:59:57 PM »

I've seen both films and I've never made up my mind, who the Stranger in High Plains Drifter really is.

But with Preacher, I think he has met Stockburn in the past and almost got killed. And now he is there for a revenge. I've never actually thought that he could be a ghost or anything supernatural.

Every time I see High Plains Drifter, it leaves me with so many questions. I love the ending and I've thought about it many times. Who was the Stranger?!  :D The questions make me confused. Yet, I love the movie. I like the way the things are left, for me to decide which is true.

Also with Pale Rider, the ending and the story itself are not usual. I really love movies like that. Also with Million Dollar Baby, the ending leaves us a question. I get to use my imagination, not everything needs to be told.  ;)
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2006, 09:15:45 AM »

Every time I see High Plains Drifter, it leaves me with so many questions. I love the ending and I've thought about it many times. Who was the Stranger?!  :D The questions make me confused.
Hey, -satu-  :)
Are you watching the movie in English or in Finnish? The reason I'm asking this is because there might be a slight difference as to who this Stranger really is.

The English version is better, if you ask me, because it leaves some things unanswered.
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2006, 09:37:44 AM »

Hey, -satu-  :)
Are you watching the movie in English or in Finnish? The reason I'm asking this is because there might be a slight difference as to who this Stranger really is.

The English version is better, if you ask me, because it leaves some things unanswered.

Hi AB,
I know about the differences too. I'm always watching movies in english (spoken language, finns don't dub movies), with finnish subtitles. But when I listen to them speaking, I notice there are some words and sentences that have been translated wrong. But they always keep the main idea there. I've never seen a movie where the subtitles would have been totally wrong.  :)
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2006, 07:02:57 AM »

I was watching Pale Rider just the other night actually, I have always seen the preacher as a ghost like figure, and I'm sure the movie is shaped in such a manner to edge the audience in that direction. Looking at the bullet marks on the preachers back all placed precariously around the heart, it's hard to image how anybody would have survived such a deadly onslaught. There are also many biblical references which also adds to argument and teases the audience into believing there is in deed a mythical aspect to the preacher character, the girl's prayer virtually summoning Clint's avenging angel, is to me the most obvious example, but that's just my own thoughts.
High Plains Drifter I believe is a lot harder to establish, I think Clint has quoted in the past that the character was originally written as the Brother of Jim Duncan, but I believe he wanted to adjust that original idea, playing with the character and leaving a great deal of unanswered questions, is he the ghost of Jim Duncan or his brother, for me I have also come to the conclusion that it is the spirit of Jim Duncan, the painting of the town Red to symbolise Hell, and of course this is confirmed in the painting of the sign in the films closing. I like the idea of Clint's opening shot of the Stranger's ghost like appearance from the heat of the desert plains, virtually materialising as a ghostly apparition, enhanced by Dee Barton's eerie music score, all tends to make me think he is a ghostly angel of death. I think, without doubt, Clint certainly made it with the intension of leaving the audience to reach their own conclusions, but that's just my own take on the 2 films.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2006, 07:08:43 AM by mary mary » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2006, 02:26:56 PM »

mary mary it is good to read other peoples takes on these two movies.   Everyone makes up their own minds about the character and the endings.  I think that is what Clint had in mind.   It makes for cool discussions and reading other peoples opinions makes you think over yours again.  :)
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2006, 01:21:58 PM »



 Interesting. I never would think anyone would have a debate with a Spanish Teacher about Eastwood movies...Last debate  i had with my Spanish Teacher was because he gave me a 55 on a test score.
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2006, 03:25:17 PM »

I think the Stranger made more of a mockery of the town rather than protected it. He was really just out for revenge. The Preacher on the other hand helped those people out of the goodness in his heart.

I never thought about the fact that the latter could be a ghost before. Or an angel brought to the town by the girl's prayer. (That girl annoyed me to no end, BTW.)
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2006, 10:32:52 AM »

The Preacher on the other hand helped those people out of the goodness in his heart.
Yes, but in the last scene we understand that revenge was also on his mind. Something happened between him and Stockburn. They obviously know each other.

Stockburn killed Preacher (?), who then came back from the dead to get even.

Maybe Preacher's soul couldn't rest in peace because of what Stockburn had done to him ... he had to come back. They say the eyes are the mirror of the soul. That's the first thing Stockburn recognized when he saw Preacher ("You!!"). That's the man he once knew and killed. Different body, but he recognized the eyes, filled with revenge and hatred.

Being a "ghost", an "angel of death", I bet Preacher knew exactly where to find Stockburn, and that's why he came to LaHood in the first place.
He was not just passing by...
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2006, 11:20:47 AM »

Hm, maybe you're right. It just seems weird for Clint to do two pictures with practically the exact same premise. I mean, how often do you get ghost stories in Westerns?

Also I heard that Pale Rider was based off of the John Wayne movie Shane. Was he supposed to be a ghost in that as well?
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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2006, 04:19:18 PM »

Shane stars Alan Ladd as a gunfighter who is trying to escape his past, but ultimately can't (the movie is okay, but I'd really recommend the book).
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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2006, 04:26:56 PM »

Really? That wasn't a John Wayne movie? Man, I'm out of it.
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2006, 08:06:08 PM »

Shane is a classic!  :D

It's not my favorite Western, but it is one that should be seen to appreciate the history of the Western. And yes ... it shares a good deal, thematically, with Pale Rider, though the latter is far from being a re-make. (And the Ladd character in Shane isn't a ghost, but his past is veiled in mystery.)
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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2006, 11:40:18 AM »



  Shane is better than okay...hah...Though I can do without the dancing.
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