High Plains Drifter

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High Plains Drifter

Post by Phil White » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:33 am

Now here's an odd one.

I'm sure I have said before that I'm a sucker for westerns, particularly Sergio Leone and a few of the subsequent Eastwood movies. Before the days of DVDs and Amazon, I watched them on TV whenever they popped up. As a result, I know most of them from the German versions, as I lived most of my adult life in Germany.

And I always loved High Plains Drifter, as it was so offbeat. And it always made sense.

A few years back now, I got hold of the DVD and have since watched in English. And it always felt a little less satisfying. But I could never put my finger on it. I have long become used to the fact that Clint Eastwood speaks with the wrong voice, so that's not it.

As I now see very little detail, I tend only to watch films that I know and rely on my memory for the visuals, and I dug it out tonight to watch it again. All the way through, as I know the film well, I know that the Stranger is the murdered marshal's brother, but right at the end I suddenly realized that it is never said in the film. How odd! Where the hell did I get that idea from? The Stranger is quite clearly a ghost, or something supernatural, not the marshal's brother.

Wikipedia has the explanation:
During an interview on Inside the Actors Studio, Eastwood commented that earlier versions of the script made the Stranger the dead marshal's brother. He favored a less explicit and more supernatural interpretation, however, and excised the reference, although the Italian, Spanish, French and German dubbings restore it.
Two entirely different films hinging on the very final line spoken! Utterly bizarre!

There now follows the mandatory, self-indulgent digression:
As far as dubbing is concerned, the Germans really do make a very good job of it. And the actors they use generally dub the same original actors. The guy who dubbed all the classic Eastwood movies made a superb job of it. Same sort of laconic drawl. The guy who dubs Bruce Willis, on the other hand, has a deep, gravelly voice. Super for the macho Die Hard stuff. I was gobsmacked to find that Bruce Willis squawks like a budgerigar in real life!

Years ago, when I used to drive to work in Munich, I was listening to the local news and heard an ad for a provincial furniture store. Not a big chain, just a provincial furniture store. And somehow, they had managed to pay Gerard Depardieu to do it for them. Amazing! It was weeks later that it dawned on me that they had afforded the guy that dubs Depardieu. If it was deliberate, it was inspired.
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: High Plains Drifter

Post by trolley » Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:02 pm

I've seen it a million times and never once imagined Clint to be the marshal's brother.I thought he was the marshal, himself, having somehow come back from the dead or else the marshal's ghost. I too, am a huge fan of "dusters". My all-time favourite movie is the 1961 movie One-eyed Jacks with Marlon Brando and Karl Malden. It's a masterpiece, also directed by Brando.Critics claimed (among many other things) that it was too long but rumour has it that Brando actually shot hundreds of thousands of feet of film that never made it into the final cut. I'd watch every inch of that excess footage, if I could.

Re: High Plains Drifter

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:15 am

Trolley I am very surprised that the edits have not been released. It seems that Director Cuts and the like make a lot of money. Maybe they have been destroyed or belong to Brando's estate.

WoZ who is good, bad and ugly
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

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