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

SPOILERS:
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:
http://home.earthlink.net/~scinema/
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


(MMcG) #209

Hi All, I just watched this movie at the weekend - I was wondering what happened in the end - in my version (US?) he looks like he is dying in the street, reveals who he is to his daughter and then the extra scene switches from English so I did not know exactly what was said.

The soldiers took off, then Clay - with spectacles - rides off and leaves his brother/daughter, then throws the spectacles in the air and shoots them.
From the earlier comments I guess he is a free man and is wondering off for some reason - to find himself?


(autephex) #210

I’ve been eyeing this one on the shelf for a rewatch in the last few days, and I guess I need to now because I can’t really remember much specifically about that scene, or the entire film, other than really liking it. All of Corbucci’s films seem to keep popping up for me right now, perhaps I should have a Corbuccithon.

I did notice in the DB recently that there is a blu ray release - anyone seen it?


(Stanton) #211

You can read the whole stupid dialogues of this ending above in post # 196.

I’m still sure that is not the ending Corbucci wanted.


(Novecento) #212

Why so sure? This was my conclusion above:

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.

I need to look through all my Corbucci interviews to see if he ever talks about this. I don’t remember ever coming across anything in the past.


(scherpschutter) #213

I’ve never been able to figure out which of the two was the one he wanted either. One person who was involved in the making of the movie, told one of my Italian acquaintances that she didn’t remember (she actually didn’t remember the movie quite well). I like both endings, yes the happy one as well (especially that final scene: the glasses with the two bullet holes in front of the camera)


(Cat Stevens) #214

I started from mostly scratch on that earlier poster, in case anyone is interested in an update!


(Novecento) #215

Yeh - it’s a great shot and Corbucci clearly put some effort into it.


(Novecento) #216

Looks really good!


(Stanton) #217

First, cause the directing looks like he’s supposed to be dead.
Same in I crudeli. I’m sure that everyone was supposed to die, but I assume that the real ending is then missing.

Second, cause the happy ending is as ridiculous as the one from TGS. Sure the last shot is beautiful, but on the other hand the shoot out in the false TGS ending is also a well directed action scene, at least not a sloppy one.

Third, why should the film be released in other countries with an unhappy ending, if there is a happy one? Distributors and producers generally prefer happy endings.


(autephex) #218

I gotta agree with @stanton on this one

Although a great shot, this only means Corbucci was a capable director, not that he wanted this ending

But of course, we’ll never know


(Novecento) #219

I don’t think the question is so much what Corbucci wanted but rather what was the intended ending whether it was imposed by the producer on Corbucci or not.


(autephex) #220

Actually it is the question being discussed :wink:

And since its Corbucci’s film, what he wanted is really what matters as for the intended ending… if the producer forced an alternate ending, then that’s not really the intended one is it?


(Novecento) #221

You need to read some of the posts higher up about an apparent abruptness created by the camera not pulling out as much as might be expected