Is Tony soprano dead

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by tylerdurden12, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. tylerdurden12

    tylerdurden12 Active Member

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    Is he dead? Is there proof?
     
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  2. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Sr Member

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    James Gandolfini or the character?
     
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  3. Larry Young

    Larry Young Master Member

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  4. tylerdurden12

    tylerdurden12 Active Member

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    The character. It's that ending last episode I'm confused on. Their are pov shots than the last pov it's blackness. So he's dead?
     
  5. micdavis

    micdavis Master Member

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    No one is ever dead in the movies.

    Although that old guy who played Anakin in the original cut of ROTJ is getting darned close.
     
  6. MFP 2020

    MFP 2020 Sr Member

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  7. MooCriket

    MooCriket Master Member

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    Not dead.
    [​IMG]
    And that Italian by the restroom simply had the runs from the greasy cheese steak.
     
  8. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

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    C'mon, there is no modern weaponry capable of taking down Tony, chemical or otherwise, only Tony Soprano, has the blueprint, to kill Tony Soprano, even the bad Indian food couldnt take him down.

    lee
     
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  9. bullitt3980

    bullitt3980 New Member

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    The ending of the Sopranos and the ending of 2001 both make you want to say WTF?!
     
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  10. tylerdurden12

    tylerdurden12 Active Member

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    Why doesn't David chase just come out and say " yes Tony soprano is dead". I mean I love this show probably the best tv show ever. If he died it makes it all that much good!
     
  11. MooCriket

    MooCriket Master Member

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    ^That's simple. Why should he waste the opportunity to revisit the series, perhaps even in the form of a feature film?
     
  12. Hecubus114

    Hecubus114 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The whole point was to not know. There is no answer. Its so that fans would argue for years about what happened.
     
  13. Mullreel

    Mullreel Well-Known Member

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    He will wake up in the shower and find it was all a dream.
     
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  14. DBHughes

    DBHughes New Member

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    Tony faked his death so that he could eat his hamburger in peace.

    But seriously, My interpretation is that he got whacked.
     
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  15. tylerdurden12

    tylerdurden12 Active Member

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    I agree I guess when T did the sit-down they double crossed him. Members only guy did it one would assume?
     
  16. R.P. McMurphy

    R.P. McMurphy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, "Members Only" guy whacked him. No accident that that was what he was wearing and listed in the credits as "man in Members Only jacket."

    I think the POV evidence listed above is the strongest but there is much more.

    A previous episode that season was also entitled "Members Only," emphasizing that that's how the mafia worked.

    Tony also said in a previous episode while discussing getting whacked that you would "never see it coming."

    The ending suddenly CUTS to black, not fade to black, insinuating a sudden change. The screen stays black an inordinate amount of time before the credits appear. Remember, people thought their cable went out at the crucial moment! That long blackness (rumors have it that Chase wanted it to last even longer) also indicates his death.

    The credits rolled without music for the only time in the history of the series. It's over, he's dead.
     
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  17. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    He's not dead, he's resting.
     
  18. tylerdurden12

    tylerdurden12 Active Member

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    That's the beauty of the writing on that show it's all linked. Also there's a video of someone interviewing chase and he makes strong points to indicate Tonys downfall.
     
  19. piehead

    piehead Well-Known Member

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    according to david chase.... its up to the viewer,,,, life doesnt have nice tied up endings ala the pine barrens episode.... is the russian dead..... who knows... personaly i like the fact there is no defacto final answer... yeah there has been a thoudand different interpretations to the ending but none confirmed.... i like to think its just a case of this is wherenthe soprano story is right now... the future had not been told or wrote so anything is possible.... and anyhoo its just a tv show anything could be the outcome
     
  20. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    He's not dead. The show is just over. The show just stopped (hence why it stopped on the word "stop" in "Don't Stop Believing.")
     
  21. tylerdurden12

    tylerdurden12 Active Member

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    Me personal I think he's dead. The writing on that show is a thing of beauty. The best written and the best made tv show agreed?
     
  22. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    Okay, how about this: the Producer of the show said that Tony is not dead, and why anyone would assume he is dead is completely beyond him because Tony was, more or less, the main hero of the story (despite the things he did) and it seems pointless to assume he died at the end because of everything he's gone through.
     
  23. tylerdurden12

    tylerdurden12 Active Member

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    Hear the interview with David chase he makes several references to silvio and Bobby. Sil the guy geting shot right next to him and sil not even hearing it. Bobby you don't even hear it when it happens. David talks about all of this
     
  24. micdavis

    micdavis Master Member

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    I think he was a replicant.
     
  25. Yellowjacket

    Yellowjacket Well-Known Member

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    Life is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so.
     
  26. R.P. McMurphy

    R.P. McMurphy Well-Known Member

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    DANGER: Super, super long post ahead!

    I feel like I may be wading into a discussion that is similar to the Ghost thread in the OT and that changing anyone’s mind is most likely out of the question so I wont’ try to do that. I would, however, like to present my experience with the subject.

    For the past three years, I’ve been using the Sopranos final scene for a writing/discussion exercise in a college course that I teach. Having recently held this class, this is fresh in my mind.

    After watching the scene, the first part of the exercise is for the students to decide, “What happened?” Despite most of these students being unfamiliar with the show, they almost always come up with the two main theories that are out there: 1) nothing happened and life goes on, or 2) Tony is killed by the man seen at the counter when he comes out of the bathroom.

    The second part of the exercise may be more difficult as they are then asked to, “Prove what you think happened.” While it’s nice to say that the ending can be anything you want it to be, that makes for poor analysis and doesn’t answer the question of “What do you think happened?” Inevitably, someone in the class, sometimes seriously, sometimes comically, will say, “a bomb went off!” or “Tony’s daughter killed him when she came through the door!” Are those valid answers? I guess so to those who think anyone’s interpretation is just as good as anyone else’s. I disagree. Depending on support, different interpretations gain or lose credibility.

    What’s out there from creator David Chase to help us interpret this scene? From the HBO Sopranos Final Edition Book (my emphasis added),

    "Why would we entertain people for eight years only to give them the finger? We don’t have contempt for the audience. In fact, I think The Sopranos is the only show that actually gave the audience credit for having some intelligence and attention span. We always operated as though people don’t need to be spoon-fed every single thing- that their instincts and feelings and humanity will tell them what’s going on.”

    In a classic, “show, don’t tell,” Chase points out he’s counting on the audience using their intelligence to grasp the bigger picture without him having to specifically say it. He states that something is most definitely “going on.” It doesn't seem to take much analysis to say, "nothing happened."

    Chase used similar phrasing in a Newark Star Ledger interview (again my emphasis added), “People get the impression that you’re trying to (mess) with them and it’s not true. You’re trying to entertain them. Anybody who wants to watch it, it’s all there.” “It’s all there,” is an incredibly important phrase to me. Something is actually there. He’s telling us that what we need to know to intrepret the scene is right there for us to discover so let’s dig deeper to see what’s there.

    Those that have put forth the “Life Goes On” theory have typically presented two main pieces of proof for support: 1) the Journey song Don’t Stop Believin’ and 2) the diner is a slice of life portrayal indicated a normal life.

    The main support from Don’t Stop Believin’ are the lyics that state, “the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on and on…” and the refrain, “Don’t stop believin’.” The interpretation is that the show is like the movie and will just continue to go on and on like the song suggests. Some believe the fact the show ends after the word “stop” is heard in the song shows that it is just a normal stopping point and nothing special happened. The diner as a “slice of life” can be interpreted as looking at a normal family in a normal setting going on with a normal life.

    Those in the “Tony is killed” camp often conceed that the diner is a slice of life but don’t concur that it provides evidence towards any definite conclusion and the Sopranos and certainly not an average family.

    “Tony is dead” theorists will agree that the song is important but for a much different reason. They see the title, Don’t Stop Beleivin’ as a reference to the show as a whole. The Sopranos is largely based on Tony trying to reconcile his “mob life” with his “family life” and his false belief that he can live each of those lives without consequence. His hope that he can have these dual lives “go on and on and on and on” is cut short as the music is abruptly halted. The song doesn’t end, doesn’t reach its conclusion, it is stopped, ended prematurely as they feel Tony’s life is cut short by an assassin. The lyric, “it never ends” is false, it is shown to stop.

    There is much other evidence presented by the “Tony is dead” side. For example, the man presented as his killer and the manner in which he is suggested to have been killed. The idea is that the man at the counter, the man in the “Members Only” jacket comes out of the bathroom and puts a bullet in the back of Tony’s head. The first episode of the final season is entitled, “Members Only.” That episode deals with what it means to truly be a made man and a mafia member and includes an assassination carried out by a man wearing “Members Only” jacket. Clear foreshadowing. In the episode prior to the finale, Silvio is shot by a man in “Members Only” jacket. This is not coincidental.

    The manner in which Tony may have been killed, by the man in the jacket coming out of the bathroom is considered an homage to The Godfather movies. Chase has repeatedly been quoted as saying what an influence those films have been to him. Silvio always gets big laughs when he quotes a Godfather film, “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in!” Perhaps the most famous and significant murder in all of the Godfather films is Michael’s killing of the police captain in a restaurant. The plan was for that murder to take place as Michael came out of the bathroom as Tony would have been killed in the finale.

    The opposing mob members stated that Tony having Phil killed in front of his family was disrespectul. There is the thought that having Tony killed in front of his family would be reasonable payback.

    There is an indication in the closing credits that the man in the “Members Only” jacket had greater significance than the other unknown people in the diner that night. Every other unknown person is listed as: “Truck driver in diner,” “Old man in diner,” “Old woman in diner,” etc. He is listed differently as “Man in Members Only Jacket,” showing that he and what he was wearing was important.

    There is other foreshadowing of Tony’s death through this last season. Perhaps the strongest is the conversation Tony has with Bobby Bacala about being killed. Bobby tells him, “You probably don’t even hear it when it happens, right?” This is emphasized in the episode where Torciano is murdered in front of Silvio. We see the blood spattered on Silvio before we hear any shots. Silvio even goes so far as to tell Tony, “I didn’t know what happened.” Which is exactly the way Tony would have experienced the cut to black.

    The cut to black is indicative of a sudden, drastic change in the scene as well. Typically a fade to black will connotate things moving on in the direction we are left with, most usually a happy ending. The cut to black shows that something has dramatically changed the scene and that change is Tony’s death. The length of time before any credits appear emphasizes that nothing more is taking place, Tony’s life is over, there is nothing more. Remember, many people felt that their cable had cut out because the blank screen lasted so long. This was not an accident. The lack of music over the credits, for the first time in the history of the show, a show where music has played an important role, again accentuates a major change. Tony is now dead.

    An interesting use of the camera in this scene is in its movement. The camera uses a still placement to shoot each of the images except for two, when Tony walks into the diner (showing that this is a significant action) and when man in Members Only jacket walks to the bathroom (showing that this is a significant action).

    The strongest evidence of Tony’s death is the Point of View (POV) camerawork employed brilliantly by Chase. If you take the time to watch the scene again, you can’t help but notice the bell that goes off periodically throughout the scene as Tony notices someone coming into the diner. When we clearly hear the bell, the same sequence takes place EVERY time. We hear the bell ring, are shown Tony’s face, and then see through Tony’s eyes what he is seeing. This exact sequence happens again and again and again and again. The final time we hear the bell, we are shown Tony’s face, and, when we have been shown by Chase to expect the next shot to be what Tony sees, the screen CUTS to black. Tony sees black, nothing, he has been shot in the back of the head by man in Members Only jacket in Godfather style. Chase has been quoted as saying that, “many of us see Tony as an alter-ego.” This was also a way to put us into the head of our “alter-ego” and experience that demise firsthand.

    This is artisitically and creatively done to let us, the audience, use our intelligence to deduce what has clearly happened, as Chase has indicated that he wants us to. These are the things that are “there,” to quote Chase.

    The evidence that I have seen most used:

    Nothing Happens and Life Goes On
    Music (it goes on and on and on…)
    Diner is a slice of life

    Vs.

    Tony Killed by Man in Members Only Jacket
    Music (title/abrupt ending)
    “Members Only” jacket, man in
    -refers to previous episode title
    -refers to being in the mob
    -have seen others killed by people in a MO jacket
    -given greater significance in credits
    Manner of suspected death (shot coming out of bathroom)
    -homage to the Godfather (Michael’s plan to kill cop coming out of bathroom)
    Foreshadowing
    -Bobby telling Tony that you’d never see it coming just as we didn’t
    -Silvio saying he didn’t know what was happening just as we didn’t
    -killing Tony in front of his family would be payback for his doing the same to Phil
    Cut to black rather than fade to black
    -shows drastic change rather than continuity
    -exceptionally long blank screen shows that is all, life is over
    -no music emphasized drastic change, life is over
    -alter-ego
    Camera movement
    -only moves for Tony and man in Members Only jacket
    Point of view
    -clear POV established, last shot is blackness/death
    Chase’s comments
    -doesn’t like “spoon-feeding” the audience, wants them to decipher the meaning
    -“it’s all there.”

    I’ve seen and heard other interesting thoughts on these theories but I think I’ve covered most of the biggies. Based on the support listed above, I strongly believe that Tony Soprano was murdered/shot in the head by the man in the Members Only jacket as he left the bathroom.

    As I began this post (however long ago!), I use this scene in a class I teach so I’d be very interested in similar or opposing views that can offer support for their theories.

    Thanks to anyone who took the time to actually read this!
     
  27. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    I'm telling you, he's NOT dead, he's resting. The New Jersey mobster prefers kipping face down on the floor of a diner.
     
  28. bwayne64

    bwayne64 Well-Known Member

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    What I want to know, Is J.R. Ewing Dead, :)
     
  29. Mechamaniac

    Mechamaniac Sr Member

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    I can go either way but I lean towards him being dead. At least he was shown to have some tiny amount of a conscience or remorse for the things he had done.

    What galls me about the series is that the most morally reprehensible scumbag of them all....Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtiere didn't die a slow, horrible death. Silvio was equally worthless, but at least he got his in the form of a never ending coma.
     
  30. tylerdurden12

    tylerdurden12 Active Member

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    Him being dead makes show great. You go back and watch previous seasons and you know he's going to die.
     
  31. SSgt Burton

    SSgt Burton Sr Member

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    I think we the audience got whacked.



    Kevin
     
  32. micdavis

    micdavis Master Member

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    I like that. Our eyes closed. Nice.
     
  33. R.P. McMurphy

    R.P. McMurphy Well-Known Member

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    This is one of those tangental theories that came out of the finale. It's an interesting idea that, unfortunately, I have not seen any real evidence to support. At no point during the entire series does the "fourth wall" come down.

    It can, however, be an extension of the "alter-ego" idea I included in my previous mega-post. Chase is on record as saying he believes that much of the audience relates deeply with Tony and even sees him as an "alter-ego" of themselves. In showing us Tony's death through Tony's eyes, we are experiencing it as well. Experiencing what Tony does, however, is not the same as saying the viewer as an entity to itself is being killed.
     
  34. tylerdurden12

    tylerdurden12 Active Member

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    There's one thing I don't get members only guy go into the bathroom and gets the gun. Than shoots Tony. Why hide the gun in the bathroom it's holstons diner there's no security guards military guys guarding the door.
     
  35. R.P. McMurphy

    R.P. McMurphy Well-Known Member

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    Nothing to say he goes in and gets the gun. The assumption is he has it already. Coming out of the bathroom allows him to approach Tony from behind so, as the cut to black and other foreshadowing indicates, he never sees it coming.

    The methodolgy is simply reminiscent of the murder in the Godfather and is most likely not a coincidennce.
     
  36. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    Okay, you guys want the original ending. Here it is.
     
  37. alienscollection.com

    alienscollection.com Master Member

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  38. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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  39. rodneyfaile

    rodneyfaile Sr Member

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    There is no Tony Soprano without James Gandolfini. They are both gone forever.
     
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  40. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well I didn't read that whole article... because... well... it's longer than "The Stand"...

    But reading "No, He isn't." - if that truly is the case in the writers mind/world, then I'm happy to be right.

    Ever since I saw that ending I just felt it went to black because, as the song says, "it goes on and on and on"... those last minutes of the show were just pure anxiety, waiting for the bullet to come that never did. And that's what the rest of his life is going to be, looking up at every noise, suspicious of everyone... forever.

    I felt it perfectly brought you into his frame of mind.

    Now that novella there in that article may go against everything I just wrote, and I look like an idiot... but that's what I took from it all those years ago...
     
  41. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    david has been talking to Ridley too much! :lol
     
  42. alienscollection.com

    alienscollection.com Master Member

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  43. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The last two paragraphs say a lot. He seems to be indirectly admitting that the end is actually undecided from his perspective. Also, look at the jukebox song card closeup. Right under "Don't Stop..." we can see "Any Way You Want It". Do we want Tony dead or alive? A lot of filmmakers that do open endings don't give any power to the audience to come to a conclusion on their own, thus depriving them of ANY sense of closure. The truly great directors and writers do the opposite: leave it open but with enough information and subtext that the creative minds of those willing to decide for themselves, can do so.

    Example (well two, actually) from Joss Whedon's Serenity:
    At the end, Malcolm Reynolds asks Inara if she's ready to head back to her planet and she replies "I don't know.", leaving the viewer to decide whether or not she (finally) stays with him and puts an end to the will-they-won't-they of the relationship. In the final scene River says "Storm's getting worse" alluding to the fact that a whole mess of trouble has opened up by the events of the film, but Mal's "We'll pass through it soon enough" give you enough that you can decide that they'll all be alright in the end.

    Another example is the ending of Green Card:
    Depardieu's character gets deported back to France by US immigration after he and Andie MacDowell's character have fallen in love. the film ends with him saying something about waiting to hear the "banging of drums and restless elephants" (or some such... I can't remember the exact line) which is an indirect way of letting the audience know that there's a possibility of a happy ending on the horizon, but since it doesn't give details, we are free to decide for ourselves.
     
  44. 0neiros

    0neiros Master Member

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    From my POV it really doesn't matter, Tony's screwed. If he'* it's actually more of a blessing. The Feds are about to scoop him up and toss the key. His crew is Dead or incapacitated, and that very weakness means someone is going to come in and take over, it's just too good an opportunity. And on top of it, he no longer has his shrink to vent to, so he's a walking breakdown/heart attack/stroke waiting to happen. Then again I feel no sympathy, Tony and his crew were all sociopaths, which the writers reminded us of by having them do terrible things every now and then just for a dose of reality.
     
  45. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I haven't seen the series in a LONG time, but plan on re-watching... and one thing I will be re-watching for is if there was ever another a hit against a mafia member that took place in similar fashion... in front of their family, in an open restaurant, in front of a bunch of boy scouts...

    I never felt in anyway that he died. But arguing it is pointless cuz there seems to be no real answer. It's whatever you take from it.
     
  46. JoeG

    JoeG Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the final season there was a hit in the middle of a restaurant, but the victim's family wasn't there. Also, Bobby got hit in the model train store in front of kids.
     
  47. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ah! That's exactly the info I needed!
     
  48. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thats what the whole abrupt cut to black thing was about, he died. No fade to black, no pan left, no roll credits.........CUT TO BLACK. The fact that people are still discussing the ending was the magic of it. The director not being up front and saying, 'Yea, hes dead.' is kind of a cop out. But it was his baby and he wants it to still be relevant years later.
     
  49. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hard cuts don't equal death.

    If you want to go that route, then it being a shot OF him when it cut to black, would indicate his kid's POV and the kid is the one who got hit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
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  50. R.P. McMurphy

    R.P. McMurphy Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree. I stand by my long post at the top of page two in this thread. The weight of evidence provided clearly points to Tony's death.
     

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