The context of rape in Spaghettis


(ENNIOO) #15

As rape towards women moved to other genres (Italian crime films) while the Spaghetti was fading, was there an element of supply and demand in this?


(Phil H) #16

I think it was also (to a certain extent) a sign of the times. As the censorship on sexual content was relaxing I can’t help but think that film makers used it as an excuse to get some tits on show and insert some sexual content for purely titilation reasons. I will bow to Scherps’ superior knowledge on the catholic roots angle, he knows far more about this topic than I do, but you can’t escape the fact that this kind of cavalier attitude towards rape was also present in U.S westerns of the time.

Waterhole #3 is a perfect example of that. James Coburn rapes Margaret Blyes character at the beginning of this film and it is considered all good fun which she fundamentally enjoyed. I find this one of the most distasteful examples of such stuff ever personally. But Clint Eastwood also rapes someone near the beginning of High Plains Drifter as I recall, and he remains the hero of the piece throughout; albeit in an avenging angel capacity.

Thankfully we don’t see too much of this stuff anymore.


(Bad Lieutenant) #17

The first movie that springs to my mind when it comes to this subject matter is God’s Gun, in which Palance’s character discovers he has a son; the product of rape. If I remember correctly there is even more rape, or at least assault, in the film.
Sure, the inclusion of rape might be a cultural thing, but I think it’s also an example of de-glorifying the old west, and emphasizing the vile nature of the bad guys. Furthermore it’s the objectifying of women, which in this way is done to the extreme. Even though it’s not done a lot in American westerns, women in those films are also of little significance; functioning as ‘wallpaper’.
Whether one can stomach it is all subjective of coure. Personally I can stomach anything shown in a movie, for the simple fact that it’s shown in a work of fiction. People get shot in westerns too. That I prefer to see naturally, instead of rape, but in real life I’d pass on that too. Then there’s the way that it’s done in the film. Tarantino managed to shoot an entertaining rape scene (Pulp Fiction), Noe shot a boring and exploitative one (Irreversible) and in God’s Gun it fits the cheesefest tone of the film. All in all the question of whether you tolerate rape in a movie is -in my opinion- dependent on how it’s done and its functionality and is totally different from the question whther you condone it in real life (which luckily virtually noone does).


(Phil H) #18

This is an important point, I think.
For example, Cemetery Without Crosses was discussed earlier. Now, for me, Hossein’s character is genuinely troubled by what he allows to happen to the girl in this film. And, moreover, it is shown as a tragic event with tragic circumstances for all involved. Hossein’s complicitness in the girl’s violation leads to his own demise and is not trvialised at any point. It is also handled tastefully, and I think more effectively, by happening off screen; with only the girls screams to convey the assault.


(scherpschutter) #19

Don’t misunderstand me, I didn’t mean to say that this catholic roots angle was the only explanation for the phenomenon; there were of course other forces at work: macho behaviour, cavalier attitute towards rape, objectifying women, deglorifying the old west etc.

Furthermore rape and most other kinds of violence used towards women was used for shock reasons
So when Ennioo asks if it was a matter of supply and demand, since these things were transported to other genres, the answer most probably is yes. The Italian crime movies were made in the same cultural context and the characters of those movies showed exactly that behaviour Phil and BL have described. But if you want to reach the same shock level after a while, you have to come up with something stronger, more explicite. In horror movies things finally got out of hand.

Haven’t seen Waterhole #3, but it’s odd that I didn’t think of High Plains Drifter yesterday, certainly a very tasteless scene

It maybe true that we don’t see too much of this stuff anymore in the movies (I’m not absolutely sure), but the macho/cavalier behaviour is omnipresent in rap-music, that is often critisized for these things


(Sieglinde) #20

Well, in some SWs the rapist is a very handsome man… ;D so the girls fall in love with them.
I wouldn’t, but if the rapist would be Camaso, Milian, or Volonté, he wouldn’t need to rape me. :stuck_out_tongue: :-[ ;D

The other girl type is who dies like the girls in FAFDM and Tepepa. ??? They are so silly…

The best is Jill, who only needs hot water. :smiley:


(Silvanito) #21

Maybe the girl in For a Few Dollars More killed herself, not because of the rape, but because Indio first shot her boyfriend?


(Silvanito) #22

[quote=“Phil H, post:18, topic:946”]This is an important point, I think.
For example, Cemetery Without Crosses was discussed earlier. Now, for me, Hossein’s character is genuinely troubled by what he allows to happen to the girl in this film. And, moreover, it is shown as a tragic event with tragic circumstances for all involved. Hossein’s complicitness in the girl’s violation leads to his own demise and is not trvialised at any point. It is also handled tastefully, and I think more effectively, by happening off screen; with only the girls screams to convey the assault.[/quote]

I agree about CWC

Also Maria (Michele Mercier) seems to be very troubled by what she allows to happen to the girl

But this is a very grim and tragic film in other ways too, Manuel also kills the two innocent men in the saloon just so that he can be hired by the Rogers gang


(Sieglinde) #23

Perhaps… but I think she and Indio knew each other before. Perhaps he loved her, then he was in prison, and when he came home…
Well, I would shoot the rival, too.
Okay, I love Indio, so I can’t understand that girl… :slight_smile:


(Phil H) #24

Indio over Lorenzo Robledo??
I’m deeply hurt! ;D


(Silver) #25

I think also that this is the probable reason she shot herself. But besides that, when she shot herself, Indio quite obviously hadn’t “finished” so in another way she was denying him satisfaction (unless he was a closet necrophile).


(Silvanito) #26

[quote=“Phil H, post:24, topic:946”]Indio over Lorenzo Robledo??
I’m deeply hurt! ;D[/quote]

You got two scenes mixed up there Phil

We’re talking about the flashback scene with Peter Lee Lawrence and Rosemary Dexter, not the scene where Indio shoots a woman and her child off-screen


(Phil H) #27

Ah yes, sorry. I should have known. No sensible woman would shun Lorenzo!


(Sieglinde) #28

Poor Lorenzo was always killed… :’(

Well, I can imagine very dark things about Indio, but this one is the cause of his madness… the obsession with the watch… and his death wish. (Sure he has it… or he’s pretty illogical with the strategy)

The girl could have shot him very easily…


(Romaine Fielding) #29

A roommate of mine used to have a large framed photo on her wall. It was entitled something like “American girl in Italy.” It was probably from the 1950’s or maybe later. It showed a girl walking down the street and all around her were leering, hooting men.
Much of Italian action cinema (of the Spaghetti type) was made to appeal to just these fellows. Women in westerns, generally, are devalued. Mix that further with a culture of strong machismo (Italy). Then create a commercial product meant to shock or draw attention (fill the seats). That’s one way of looking at what you get with women in Spaghettis.
I agree, of course, with Bad LT & others that, within the context of “movies” mostly anything is viewable.
Within the larger context of violence against everybody/everything, the violence against women in Spaghettis is but a part.
Last night I watched Hole In The Forehead. Robert Hundar drowned a woman in a tub of beer and massacred a monestery of monks. Which is worse?

Phil, poor Lorenzo does get killed an awful lot. I remember a particularly rough dispatching in Fasthand.
Does he ever make it through a whole movie?


(Phil H) #30

Only one I can think of is Fort Yuma Gold but he only really appears at the end as a bearded Rebel officer so no real chance for him to get knocked off.
I thought he might survive in Navajo Joe when I first saw it as he is one of Aldo Sambrell’s gang and is still alive and kicking up until about 10 minutes from the end. But, alas, it was not to be. He got his the same as the rest of the gang and wound up sprawled in a bloody heap in the desert as usual.
But I live in hope of finding a film somewhere in which he survives from start to finish and maybe even gets a line to speak too. Now that would be a rarity!


(Romaine Fielding) #31

[quote=“Phil H, post:30, topic:946”]Only one I can think of is Fort Yuma Gold but he only really appears at the end as a bearded Rebel officer so no real chance for him to get knocked off.
I thought he might survive in Navajo Joe when I first saw it as he is one of Aldo Sambrell’s gang and is still alive and kicking up until about 10 minutes from the end. But, alas, it was not to be. He got his the same as the rest of the gang and wound up sprawled in a bloody heap in the desert as usual.
But I live in hope of finding a film somewhere in which he survives from start to finish and maybe even gets a line to speak too. Now that would be a rarity![/quote]

Well, I think that’s a good reason to check out Ft Yuma Gold.
Lorenzo is near and dear to the hearts of many Spaghetti fans for his seminal appearance in Fistful. His was the first face I recognized widely.
My favorite character actor is Benito Stefanelli. I am fascinated by his facial hair in all its infinite manifestations.


(scherpschutter) #32

I’m not sure but I think he survives THE BIG GUNDOWN

In an amazing sequence he gives Lee something to drink
Subsequently he is knocked down by him
And … Lee steals his horse

Something like that
When I saw it I said to myself: Oh yes, this must happen to this poor guy


(Phil H) #33

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:32, topic:946”]I’m not sure but I think he survives THE BIG GUNDOWN

In an amazing sequence he gives Lee something to drink
Subsequently he is knocked down by him
And … Lee steals his horse

Something like that
When I saw it I said to myself: Oh yes, this must happen to this poor guy[/quote]

Yes, I think you are right. He doesn’t always get killed I guess. Sometimes he just gets beaten up and left for dead.


(ENNIOO) #34

Good point…so this behaviour may be with us for some while yet…