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Author Topic: TIGHTROPE: The Story: 7 "Maybe I have"  (Read 7108 times)
mgk
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« on: April 24, 2005, 11:16:33 PM »

One of the most shocking lines in an Eastwood movie occurs when Block meets up with a gay male prostitute and is propositioned by him. The meeting was set up and the man's services were paid for by Leander Rolfe.

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MAN: He said this was your first time.

WES: Who?

MAN: You don't know?

WES: (Shakes his head.)

MAN: He bought me for you.

WES: You've seen him?

MAN: (Shakes his head.)

WES: When was he supposed to pay you?

MAN: Right after ... this, at the old warehouse across the street.

WES: (Stands up) Well, you go on over to that warehouse and collect your money.

MAN: You don't want it?

WES: No.

MAN: He said you did. You just don't know it yet.

WES: Well, he's wrong.

MAN: How do you know if you haven't tried it?

WES: Maybe I have.

Were you surprised with Wes's answer "Maybe I have"? Do you think Wes may have experimented with gay sex, or can you think of another reason why he answered the question this way? Were you surprised that Eastwood included this scene in the movie? Describe your reaction to this scene.
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mgk
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2005, 06:12:53 PM »

I was not only surprised at Wes's answer, I was surprised the scene was included in the movie since the gay issue was not as open in 1984 as it is today.

It's hard for me to think that Wes may have had an experience with gay sex but I've always gotten the impression that the reason he answered that way was because he had.  It seemed like Wes was trying everything available to him and I assume that could have been, too.  Whether you like that scene or not, I think you have to admit that it added to the ambiguity of his character.  How far did he go?  What all did he try?  And, of course, why did he involve himself in these aberrant sexual activities?
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Chessie
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2005, 09:08:25 PM »

Personally I loved the line.  While I found it shocking, I thought it was so great.  I never would have expected Clint to say ANYTHING that would imply any sort of gay behavior.  It caught me off guard, but I loved it because it was so out of character for Clint but so in character for Wes.  I think the line adds a lot of dimension to Wes, just in how he responds and his character. 

Do I think Wes experimented with gay sex?  I don't think I want that visual  :-X ;)  But in all seriousness, no I don't.  I think while Wes is very ambiguous, I don't think he wouldn't go down that road.  He always seems very confident in his manhood even though he's been broken.  And I just don't see him trying that. 

Personally, I wasn't that surprised that Clint kept it in.  I think Clint has a great ability to make people think and ponder things.  I think that he knew this scene would make good discussion, and it obviously has.  And, in how the movie flows and is paced it doesn't bother me that it was in there because odd things had already happened such as the scenes with Becky.  It wasn't that shocking in the sense that it was there.  It had been established that Wes was around town and the gay thing was going to come up at one point or another (just noticed how naughty that sentence was  ;)). 

It's one of my favorite scenes in the movie and I'm glad Clint kept it in. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2005, 01:17:44 AM »

Yeah.. it's a great sequence and I find it quite funny.. but nahhh I don't believe Wes has experimented with gay sex.. I think  he's just trying to keep the other guy off balance.  The exchange between Wes and the gay boy is cool and It's a smart comeback which does add  ambiguity to Clints character but it doesn't convince me.. much like I was never really convinced at any time that Wes is the killer.. 
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2005, 11:59:26 PM »

I think he says it just to see what sort of reaction he might get.Just like when he says to Beryl "I'd like to lick the sweat of your body".He likes to have control.I thought it was a good line for Clint,very unexpected.
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2005, 08:46:04 AM »

I was a little surprised, not shocked.  That's not to say because I thought the character had tried gay sex, but because I figured he was just saying it.  The great thing about Clint is his letting the audience figure out scenarios like this for themselves. 
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2005, 04:16:12 AM »

As I recall I was surprised the first time I saw the pic (over 15 years ago) because I was young and naive.

Now that I am old and jaded, not so surprised.

I don't know if he has or hasn't tried it, but he might have.
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Americanbeauty
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2005, 09:16:35 AM »

I must admit that this "Maybe I have" line surprised me. I really didn't expect Wes to answer that.

But I don't think he says that to get rid of the other guy.
He could have said "I don't wanna try" or told him to get off his back or to get lost, you know.  PERIOD. So why did he say "Maybe I have" ? To me it's not innocent.

I think he has.
It's just part of his "dark side" ...
Besides he's afraid of intimacy with women, his wedding was a mess, he suffered from his divorce ... you never know, that's not impossible that one day he decided to try something different, because women had hurt or disappointed him.

And that's why it's a great scene, because it adds something to Wes' character.

At this point of the movie, just when you feel  that you know him -you've met his family, seen hi ex wife, you know about his "habits" ... BAM !!  "maybe I have"  :o
That's just great

As for Eastwood including this scene in the movie, no I'm not surprised.
He likes/is able to make his audience think through his movies. And I think it's a great gift.

This revelation makes Wes even more mysterious and "dark". This is something that appeals to the audience, to the psyche of people, and makes the movie even more interesting.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2005, 06:48:19 PM by Americanbeauty » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2005, 01:09:04 PM »

alot of the film is mysterious and risky and its just one more part of it

you have to make your own mind up about wes - is he more concerned for his family or cracking the case - which could lead him almost anywhere

having seen dirty harry you already know clint could take you anywhere into any situation and say anything


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He likes/is able to make his audience think through his movies. And I think it's a great gift.

absolutely AB
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2005, 02:24:00 PM »

When I first saw Tightrope I thought that Clint as Wes was merely being humorous. But more than that, I think it's indicative of Clint's willingness to explore masculinity in all its forms in his films, something which I've always greatly admired him for. Clint isn't afraid to shy away from this sort of topic or from exploring issues of sexuality and masculinity, which is one reason why he is such an interesting actor and director to me.

As for whether Wes could have actually slept with a man, in many ways I don't see why not. He has slept with prostitutes and I see no reason why he might not have slept with men - not necessarily as an adult, but it's possible he did when he was a young man and potentially confused about his sexuality. Of course, Wes could be bisexual - though we'll never know for sure. An interesting question at any rate!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2005, 05:57:34 PM by KC » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2005, 02:34:30 PM »

I think it's indicative of Clint's willingness to explore masculinity in all its forms in his films, something which I've always greatly admired him for.
I couldn't agree more.

All his movies deal with, in one way or an other, masculinity. From The Beguiled to Dirty Harry, Play Misty, EWW, Unforgiven, BOMC ... you name it.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2005, 06:48:38 PM by Americanbeauty » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2005, 02:42:41 PM »

I couldn't agree more.

All his movies deal with, in one way or an other, masculinity. From The Beguiled to Dirty Harry, Play Misty, EWW, Unforgiven, BOMC ... you name it.

Absolutely! In 2001 I wrote a dissertation on Clint and masculinity, and looked at Tightrope, Dirty Harry, Unforgiven and Bridges. Wish I could do it all over again :)

Looking it over just now, I realised I had commented briefly on the above scene. I noted that Wes's reply is rather ambiguous (or at least, I think that's how we're supposed to interpret it). Here's what I said:

'Clearly, Block's masculinity is an enigma of sorts; because of his desires (and darker desires at which the film hints) he is placed both in the realm of misogynist, homosexual, and even psychopath.'

The result is that we question Wes Block as a character, especially when it is suggested that he might even be the killer himself (or have committed similar acts).
« Last Edit: May 06, 2005, 02:50:02 AM by allycat » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2005, 03:06:15 AM »

When I first saw Tightrope  I thought Wes had perhaps experienced a gay relationship and thought what the heck.  Now I think it was just to put the guy off.  It is the kind of parting shot that someone might make to keep you guessing.
There is no doubt about Block's masculinity in the rest of the movie
« Last Edit: May 06, 2005, 06:27:14 AM by KC » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2005, 12:04:53 PM »

do you think he goes out to explore macuslinity - i don't think so per se

i think he finds projects that interest him then he adds that clint spark or twist

i mean he don't have to prove he is awesome

i see bridges more of a love story rahter than him proving anything

true crime him taking shots at life - everett having to prove what  nothing to others maybe something to himself
« Last Edit: May 06, 2005, 12:10:28 PM by vik » Logged

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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2005, 08:46:51 PM »

But I don't think he says that to get rid of the other guy.
He could have said "I don't wanna try" or told him to get off his back or to get lost, you know.  PERIOD. So why did he say "Maybe I have" ? To me it's not innocent.

I think he has.


It's not innocent, for sure.  But it may be that in all his jaded encounters has simply developed a jaded sense of humour. 

He might not say "get lost" because he has no judgemental or antagonistic feelings towards the male prostitute. 

Or maybe he had previously mentally toyed with the idea on some level without exploring it in reality..

etc etc

WKC.
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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2005, 08:49:01 PM »

do you think he goes out to explore macuslinity - i don't think so per se

i think he finds projects that interest him then he adds that clint spark or twist

I'd say that's about right.

WKC.
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vik
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« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2005, 01:59:45 PM »

i don't think maybe - its just his humour and the way the film is portrayed
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allycat
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« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2005, 03:10:26 PM »

do you think he goes out to explore macuslinity - i don't think so per se

i think he finds projects that interest him then he adds that clint spark or twist

i mean he don't have to prove he is awesome

i see bridges more of a love story rahter than him proving anything

Don't say that vik, I wrote a 10,000-word dissertation on the subject back in 2001! Of course Clint finds projects that interest him, he wouldn't do a film if he didn't find it worthwhile. But I said in my essay that Clint has portrayed different versions of masculinity, through the roles he has taken over the years, there is a definite transition from characters such as Harry Callahan, to Wes Block, to William Munny (demythologising the hero) and finally to the more 'feminised' character of Robert Kincaid in Bridges. Clint took those roles precisely because he was confident in his own masculinity and unafraid to portray characters who were both heroic and yet flawed in some way.

I wish I had my dissertation to hand so I could take a Clint quote from it, where he refers to masculinity (will have to wait til later) but the fact is, Clint doesn't have to prove anything, it's not about proving anything, it's about taking on roles which often explore masculinity (though that's not solely why Clint takes them on I'm sure) and doing something different. The point is that Clint has always been willing to be progressive and not always play the same roles in his films, like John Wayne or Arnie - you could say the masculinity they depict in their films is more rigid and stereotypical. At least, that was my argument :)
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2005, 03:09:36 PM »

I dont think Wes has had any experience on that matter. He frequents prostitutes because he misses something in his life, something he can relate to. He dont seem like the type of character who would go to so big extremes. Wes might love rough sex but joining the "other team" seems a bit far fetched. I think he says it merely to be "polite". 
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« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2009, 10:40:02 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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