Minnesota Clay (Sergio Corbucci, 1964)

(IndioBlack) #202

Sorry for late reply. No he doesn’t tell her that she is his daughter:
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So, did you tell her?

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No. I didn’t have the courage.

(Novecento) #203

Thanks for clarifying.

The more I think about this one, the more I think the happy ending must be original in spite of the fact that the Corbucci who evolved from this would undoubtedly have gone with the sad ending had he been filming slightly later in his career.

(IndioBlack) #204

The long version, where he doesn’t die, where there is a strong possibility of him getting a pardon, where he doesn’t tell his daughter who he is (presumably safe in the knowledge that a fine young man will marry her, and he can let go), and where he throws away his spectacles because he can manage without them, is as happy an ending as we are going to get. This is Corbucci’s ending. In his earlier films he tried to emulate the American Western, which he loved, and only later did he become more - what shall we say: inventive?
The shorter version, where Clay dies, was imposed by the American distributor who, ironically, hated the happy American ending.
For Il Grande Silenzio, Corbucci shot a very similar ending where the hero ends up being shot to pieces by the bad guy. But he also shot a happy ending where Frank Wolff resurrected himself and rode in to rescue the hero. Perhaps what had been done to Minnesota Clay influenced Corbucci’s downbeat version.
Interestingly, although Trintignant plays the hero as a mute, the trailer clearly includes a shot of him talking. One wonders at what point they decided he wasn’t going to speak at all, rather than just being taciturn.

(Stanton) #205

Is this knowing, or is it a guess?

For me the directing of the last scene in the shorter version with the camera pulling back, indicates that this was the intended ending.
The longer version ending feels wrong after that, but the last shot with Clay shooting his spectacles is as asininely overdone as is the false ending of TGS. Or Sam fuller’s directing of the last scene of 40 Guns.

(Bill san Antonio) #206

Producers demanded the happy ending so Corbucci shot such a nonsensical and bad stuff that it would never be used (although it was apparently used in North Africa).
I believe that the shot of Silence talking is taken from some backstage material or maybe unused “joke stuff” for alternative ending.

(IndioBlack) #207

This is knowing.
If I was speculating, I would have said, “My guess is…”.
It may have been reported in an issue of the William Connolly publication Spaghetti Cinema, where Minnesota Clay was discussed at length.
The link for his website where you can discuss the matter is here:
Or maybe I read it elsewhere. I do read a lot.

Anyway, you can clearly see that the pull back shot in the US version ends on a freeze whilst it goes on for a little longer in the Italian version, before mixing to the next scene.
Good directors don’t do a pull back with the intention of freezing. They pull back, hold wide, and then fade-out. Freezing is how you stop a movie when the shot isn’t long enough.

(Cat Stevens) #208