Talk:High Plains Drifter

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Environmental Themes?[edit]

One line that has been in this article from it's inception is that this film explores environmental themes as have many of Eastwood's other films. I have seen this film several times, and there are themes of justice, vengeance, cowardice, etc. I can't remember any scene or series of scenes that have environmental themes. I might be remembering wrong or perhaps I'm not as astute as I think I am! Anybody else want to chime in on this?

ps I wonder what other Eastwood films the author believes explore environmental issues? Dirty Harry? The Bridges of Madison County? Unforgiven? Oh, and just because there are trees in the film doesn't make it environmental. It has to be a theme.

--Bridgecross 15:08, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I'l second that motion. There are no environmental themes explored in this movie. The writer may be referring to the use of widescreen, which creates some interesting scenery. But that is mentioned above, so this would be a redundancy. 10stone5 16:54, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
The gold mine the town depends on is illegally on federal property -- & the sheriff is killed to keep this fact a secret. The movie is shot on the shores of Mono Lake, which has been ravaged by Los Angeles' endless thirst for water. I'd say those are some strong indications of environmental themes -- & since this was filmed at a time when environmentalist sentiments were very strong, I wouldn't dismiss these points as sheer coincidences. -- llywrch 05:55, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Two good points, but I could counter them this way;
-the gold mine being on federal land is a property issue or an economic issue. There is no indication that the townspeoples' environment is affected by the gold mine or their lack of access to it. If the gold mine were leaching heavy metals into the water or if they used strip mining then I would agree, but that never comes up in the film.
-The film is SHOT on the shores of Mono Lake, but in the context of the film the environmental damage from LA is decades in the future. While watching the film it just looks like a bleak lake, akin to salt flats that are common in some parts of the west. There is never a mention of the area being damaged in any way.
Now if you had an Eastwood quote from an interview saying that's why he chose that location, I might agree. Thoughts?--Bridgecross 17:41, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
My thoughts are, first, you have made some good arguments. Second, my concern on this matter is that almost everything I know about this movie is from having watched it many times; for all I know, the possible environmental angle is something everyone but me (& a number of folks who enjoy his movies, but don't read the books about him or his movies) knows is an established fact. Thirdly, Eastwood shows that he was a skilled filmmaker in this movie, & I think it is accurate to say that he put serious thought into everything in this movie; that leads to the problem of trying to determine just what is worth paying attention to in this work. If you or anyone can point us to some published information about just what Eastwood had in mind with this movie, I think that would be very welcome. -- llywrch 21:56, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I've never tried to delete anything from a Wikipedia article but I wish somebody would edit out that environmental nonsense from the High Plains Drifter article. It's not in the movie anywhere. Richard8081 01:52, 5 August 2007 (UTC)


This section is mostly speculation and doesn't belong in an encyclopedia article. However, before I make any drastic changes I'd like to spark some discussion on what should be done with it. It would be a shame to delete it completely, but it isn't satisfactory at its current state.--CountCrazy007 05:04, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

High Plains Drifter had total "rentals" of about seven million dollars back in 1973, from Variety magazine's issue of May 10, 1993, which has a table of "Alphabetical All Time Film Rental Champs", starting on pC76. You can adjust that for inflation by noting that The Godfather had total rentals of about eighty five million dollars or so, in 1972; Love Story had total rentals of about fifty million, about the same time. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly came out in 1967 and had total rentals of about six million dollars. The Unforgiven came out twenty years after High Plains Drifter, and had total rentals of 36 million dollars, but here we start getting serious inflation-adjustment problems. The Bill and Ted movies came out about the same time as The Unforgiven, and both of them did about seventeen million. ("rentals = about half of box office; note the "about".)
You get the idea. High Plains Drifter was no blockbuster.
A first viewing of High Plains Drifter is nearly inexplicable. It's a movie that REQUIRES interpretation. What will happen here is that the uninitiated will watch the movie (the DVD version preferably since it contains several scenes that are shortened unforgivably in the version seen on TV and in the theaters); and then they will scurry to Wikipedia to see what is going on with this unusual flick; and then watch it again, privy now to a first order interpretation provided so authoritatively by the Contributors.
For example, how can a first time viewer possibly make any sense out of the interchange between The Stranger and The Preacher. After Mordecai gives the command to paint the town red with 200 gallons of barn red paint, and the Preacher says, "Surely you don't mean the Church?", The Stranger responds with "I mean especially the Church!" For those who have read the Wikipedia interpretation, The Stranger's answer isn't strange at all: The Church stood silent as a murder was committed; an avenging angel is going to exact divine retribution and it's going to be exacted especially from the Church, yes indeed. Richard8081 04:39, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps more restless spirit than avenging angel; his actions certainly couldn't be interpreted as angelic. I note that Callie [Spanish: Calle, street] and Travers [Traverse, to walk across, to transit] might hint that the character is of loose morals, or even a streetwalker. She might be representative of the town and of the just deserts it gets. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

A related movie[edit]

I just read the plot summary of Bad Day at Black Rock, & was struck by the numerous similarities between the older movie & this one. Has this ever been pointed out by a film critic? I'd be a little surprised, considering how well known "Bad Day" was (at least in Hollywood circles), that no one at least suspected that the one inspired the other. -- llywrch 22:17, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

The similarities are a matter of opinion. Do you have a reliable source that makes this connection? In my opinion, Bad Day was more a story about the problems of racism and the acceptance of disabled war veterans, while Drifter was primarily a story of revenge and karmic justice, so I don't see an obvious relation between the two. — Loadmaster 21:50, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
There are recurring themes in many stories, and I could quote several that share similar events with High Plains Drifter (Dead Man's Shoes, Wilderness, etc.) but in my opinion these parallels, as with those with Bad Day, hardly merit inclusion in Wikipedia. ALLOCKE|talk 00:20, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Not sure if it's been addressed, but I believe The Wraith is also a remake of this film, going with Eastwood's more Supernatural idea; don't have anything to cite proving it, tho. Anyone got anything? Kweston (talk) 08:58, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Hollywood rips off scripts, ideas, concepts, etc. repeatedly. For instance, Schwarzenegger's "Commando" is just a rip-off of "Rambo: First Blood". I'm sure the "Wraith" was ripped off from "High Plains Drifter", which seems to be based on "Bad Day At Black Rock". Here's the thing: the 9th Circuit Court considers plot, theme, characters, dialog and settings in determining copyright theft. All a script rip-off artist has to do is make cosmetic changes in some or all of these elements to escape copyright infringement when he/she steals a script. With screenplays going for hundreds of thousands of dollars, hacks will take an old movie, re-write it and sell it as original. (Money talks, nobody walks.) The practice is widespread in Hollywood. Spielberg and James Cameron, for instance, are big script thieves. Just go to "Wild Realm Film Reviews--Hollywood Plagiarism" to get more low-down on this low-down practice. Yes, Hollywood sucks. The reason we don't hear more about this horrible practice is that when a copyright settlement is reached, part of the settlement agreement is to not talk about the script theft. Hope this gives everyone some insight. (talk) 08:50, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Here's just a sampling of some movies that were ripped off from other writers: "Amistad", "Terminator", "Shakespeare In Love" (the script was stolen from three other writers), "Driving Miss Daisy", "Jingle All The Way", "Coming To America", etc. Here's something interesting: "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was based on "Secret of the Incas" with Charlton Heston. They even stole the outfit Harrison Ford wears (fedora hat, leather jacket, pistol, tote bag, unshaven, khaki) from Charlton Heston's outfit. The costume designer for "Raiders" mentions this on the Wiki site. They just posted "Secret of the Incas" on YouTube. Check it out. (talk) 09:01, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I think "Invitation to a Gunfighter" with George Segal and Yul Brynner (which was based on a teleplay) is the basis for "High Plains Drifter". The two are very similar. (talk) 09:52, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
This is a 5-year-old thread, but since you brought it up -- I know that a comparison is occasionally made, but the two films are actually quite different. The basic premise is similar -- a group of cowardly townsfolk bringing in a professional assassin to take out a killer -- but there the resemblance pretty much ends. Segal's character killed a man in self defense and is falsely accused of murder; he is not an unequivocal bad guy, like the villains in High Plains Drifter. Drifter depicts the townspeople as nasty wretches who were complicit in the marshal's murder; Invitation to a Gunfighter portrays most of the principals with some degree of sympathy -- townsfolk, gunfighter, and target are all misguided souls attempting to find some degree of moral clarity. There are no clear-cut "good guys" and "bad guys", as there are in Drifter -- and of course, no supernatural element. So if the suggestion is that we add Invitation to a Gunfighter as the inspiration for this movie, there is insufficient evidence in reliable sources to do so, in my opinion. It would be like comparing The Gunfighter (1950) with The Shootist (1976); there are plot similarities, but the former cannot really be said to have inspired the latter. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 23:51, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Django the Bastard[edit]

A few edits added the italian film Django the Bastard [1] as an influence on HPD. While this may be true, this probably needs a citation to be included in the article. Also, the way it was worded was rather unencyclopedic. — Loadmaster 21:45, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Strangerhpd2.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot 19:07, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

"White horse is symbolic"?[edit]

Under the picture in the article the above is captioned. "Symbolic" of what?

This movie was obviously quite influential on both subsequent films and pop culture. This article fails to adequately capture this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

NOT a "white horse" - but a "pale horse" ?[edit]

Describing the horse as "pale" would be more "symbolic". Of The 4 Horsemen of The Apocalypse, it is Death who rides a "pale" horse...
( The original word is variously translated as: "pale" meaning "whitish"; as "pale green"; and even as "dark green"; but is not to be confused with a specifically "white" horse, which is the steed of Pestilence... )

The title of a later Eastwood film - "Pale Rider" - is a more explicit reference to the image of Death as the Fourth Horseman.
( In both these films, Eastwood plays a character who may - or may not - be Death in physical form... ) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:13, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

I think all this white horse / pale horse stuff is just POV or original research. It shouldn't be in an encyclopedic article - unless it can be sourced! Daisyabigael (talk) 21:18, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Which is why I mentioned it here, rather than in the article itself :)

Sorry - I meant the fan-boy caption on the picture itself in the main article. It really should be saved for the undergrad film crit essays... Daisyabigael (talk) 20:04, 16 December 2008 (UTC)


Is it really necessary to have the fan-boy summary of the entire plot? Surely it could be done in less detail?Daisyabigael (talk) 12:47, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. It reads like a novella. (talk) 04:03, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

The "fan-boy summary," referred to in the initial statement, above, is not the present summary. The present one doesn't read like a novella: It reads like a motion-picture treatment.
Maybe the usual Wikipedia "Plot" section is a synopsis. This one isn't. To the person with a particular interest in this movie, it makes clear many of the ingenious details of the plot's construction. That's not a shortcoming.JohnBonaccorsi (talk) 08:58, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

The final exchange between the Stranger and Mordicai by Duncan's headstone is an essential element of the allegorical nature of the plat and should be included in the summary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

The allegory is essential, but the dialog is not. The allegory is already mentioned earlier in the summary. —Coder Dan (talk) 19:46, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
There is too much in the plot section already - no need for more! Dialogue! Why not just sit down and transcribe the script? Who needs to see the film? Daisyabigael (talk) 22:42, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The plot summary is currently under 800 words . . . hardly the "novella" length suggested above (perhaps for a former, longer version?). I, like may others, appreciate a somewhat detailed plot summary for film entries, which I considered to be beneficial in helping to identify key elements of the film. It should not be surprising that sometimes those key elements include bits of dialogue.
> The plot summary is currently under 800 words
The limit is 700. See WP:FILMPLOT:
  • Plot summaries for feature films should be between 400 and 700 words.
  • The plot summary is an overview of the film's main events, so avoid minutiae like dialogue, scene-by-scene breakdowns, and technical detail.
And WP:How to write a plot summary#Length:
> Excessively detailed plot summaries may also infringe on copyright and fair-use concerns.
Coder Dan (talk) 23:58, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Currently the plot is chronologically inaccurate. The training happens after he makes Mordecai Sherriff and the expose on the town's hypocrisy is after both. It's as if the order of events got mixed up during editing. Orion3T — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

Calling the rape scene a rape[edit]

Currently the article says “he drags her into the livery stable and has sex with her in a very rough and aggressive manner”. Shouldn't it say that he drags her into the stable and rapes her? That aspect of the scene seems pretty unambiguous. Everything ELSE about the scene is ambiguous as hell: Callie acts like she has a prior relationship with The Stranger, she may (as KevinOKeeffe says below) "decide to consent" midway through, they have other interactions later – the whole scene is hard to unpack. There's a lot on the internet about this scene, whether the rape scene is "necessary" or not etc. Seems to me at the very least this article should call it a rape; and probably there should be a section on it, referencing the controversy along with TV stations editing it out of broadcasts. (I moved KevinOKeeffe's and Validusername's comments here to group the new topic: not what TV stations are doing with the scene, but calling it a rape. Hope that's ok.) Jim Hardy (talk) 14:00, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

I saw the film several months ago, and there's no doubt what-so-ever, that the woman can be seen enthusiastically participating in the act of sexual intercourse. I do not understand how any reasonable person who saw that scene, could possibly construe it as "rape." I submit that no reasonable person does, other than those who weren't paying sufficient attention to it (or have never seen it at all). While Eastwood's character begin with an intent to rape this woman, she clearly decides to consent to the act, at some point midway through it. This is not some weird interpretation of the scene; anyone can readily see this to be the clear & obvious truth, provided they are willing to view the scene. Anyone interested in actually doing so, may do so at this link: [2] KevinOKeeffe (talk) 06:20, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Besides the seven references I have included (and I'm happy to produce more), every DVD and VHS reverse jacket of this release that I have seen includes the text "After committing three murders and one rape in the first 20 minutes, The Stranger is hired by the town..." (one such inclusion quoted in ISBN 1412824699 on page 75; others visible through Google Images, incidentally). I tried to elaborate by adding a more nuanced (and sourced) quote detailing the full extent of the scene, addressing that the character (Callie Traver)'s, reaction to the rape changes something akin to "midway through," as you have noted just above. Validusername 06:45, 6 October 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Validusername (talkcontribs)
Note: I apologize for my latest revision (684370895) having conflicted with one of your edits. It was not meant to revert your change, rather to add important ref=harv parameters to the shortened footnote citations that I am only just learning to use. I will leave editing this article alone until we reach some sort of consensus on this page. Validusername (talk) 06:59, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
In one of your edit summaries, you said, "One can find sources on both sides of this dispute." If you can provide sources that support the interaction of the two characters not being a rape, that would help us reach a consensus on this matter. I have presented many secondary sources that present "analyses and interpretive or synthetic claims" that the interaction in the film was indeed a rape. More than "original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors" is required to counter and outright remove those citations. Validusername (talk) 05:48, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

She purposely bumps into a complete stranger, insults him, and slaps a cigar out of the mouth of a man who just killed three men. The only thing she could have expected in reaction to this was that she would get his attention and he would become sexually aggressive. She appears to be inviting aggressive sex so she can act out a fantasy of being raped. She enjoys the rugged sex and appears to orgasm. This is not rape. The second female pulls a knife on him when she realizes the only way to have sex with him is by going through similar channels. Daviddaniel37 (talk) 09:48, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

Why did you amend the posting date to June 2015, after adding to an almost 2-year-old thread on 2 June, 2017? For the record, WP content is determined by reliable sources, not individual users' opinions. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 17:07, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

I made a typo about the date. Much of this section is opinion, and there is no such thing as a reliable source on either side of an argument about an interpretation of a scene. There can only be opinion. The jacket on a DVD or a summary in TV Guide is not a source for whether it is rape. Since there is great debate about the scene, WP should be objective and not take sides. WP is currently calling it a rape and is therefore not being objective. It should say aggressive sex, or something else. Daviddaniel37 (talk) 10:52, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

WP is calling it a rape because cited sources do. Seven references containing some variant of "After committing three murders and one rape in the first 20 minutes, The Stranger is hired by the town..." are cited in the synopsis, and none of them are DVD jackets. If you can provide sources that support the interaction of the two characters not being a rape, that would help you make your case. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 20:29, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

UK Channel 5 (and possibly other stations) editing out of the rape scene[edit]

As shown on Channel 5 TV, UK, 8-Apr-09 22:00, on the bit where he drags that blonde lass into the barn to 'teach her some manners', the bit where she is fighting, pins her down, gets his lad out and rapes her, is cut out. Instead it cuts from him dragging her in, to her clutching him in the throws of passion. Dunno whether this warrants a new section, I know trivia sections are discouraged.. any thoughts.. ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

"gets his lad out" ? I don't remember there being a teenage sidekick in the movie.
( wanders away thoroughly confused... )
I don't really know Wikipedia's rules about this sort of thing, but I've noticed that that rape scene is discussed quite a bit throughout the internet. (Some of the discussion has to do with the very characterization of the activity as rape.) Why don't you just add a section -- say, after the section headed "High Plains Drifter in popular culture"? Just call it "Editing of rape scene" and then just give the information as you've presented it above: the broadcast date, the channel, the country (UK). Maybe some editor will remove it as trivia -- but on the other hand, it might prompt someone to add material about that particular subject -- maybe something Eastwood has said in an interview. That's my thought anyway. (talk) 17:38, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
The removal of the rape scene for broadcast television should be mentioned in the article. The tone of the movie is substantially effected by which of the two versions of the movie one sees and it goes to what seems to be an interesting point about the movie for many viewers (including this one). --Davefoc (talk) 19:12, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm always unsure how to cite such occurrences. Where not mentioned in a third party source, is it enough to say "I watched it"? We accept a television show episode as a source for its own plot, except where there is something that very much needs interpretation. Would censorship such as this be treated in the same way? WikiuserNI (talk) 21:10, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Uninjured when shot at in the tub[edit]

Currently the article has this language in it: “Callie Travers shoots at him after he is in the tub; inexplicably, he remains uninjured.” Is it really inexplicable? I always understood that bullets slowed dramatically when they hit water: especially bullets fired by 19th C handguns, fairly large caliber with fairly low muzzle velocity. That's why Clint submerges when she starts shooting, to take advantage of the protection that the bathtub water provides. I know jack about ballistics, so I don't know if that explanation makes sense; but if it does, we should remove the "inexplicable" tag. Can someone who knows something about it, weigh in? Jim Hardy (talk) 00:39, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

I take it as a subtle hint that the Stranger is a supernatural force — something akin to a vengeful ghost of the slain marshal — which would mean that although he was in the path of one or more of the fired bullets, they had no physical effect on him, which would be something beyond rational explanation. As for ballistics, I don't think the bath water alone would stop a bullet from injuring a person still within its path. It is also possible that, in her rage or just by chance, she simply missed him with every shot, which would be a valid explanation. This leads me back to my read of the adverb as a subtle acknowledgement of the Stranger's supernatural nature. Validusername (talk) 01:23, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Not that subtle.  :-) Anyway, "inexplicable" still seems not to apply, because now we have TWO possible, non-supernatural explanations: bath water slowing the bullets, and Callie shooting so wild that she just misses. Googling, it seems that Mythbusters did a segment related to my original question. I haven't watched it yet: there's a summary at . The summary calls it "partly confirmed", saying that "slower velocity bullets, like pistol rounds, need up to 8 feet of water to slow to non-lethal speeds." I wonder if they tested with only modern weapons? A 19th C pistol like The Stranger used in the movie, would be a lot less powerful than (most) modern handguns. Jim Hardy (talk) 13:38, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 1[edit]

At 13:16, 28 July 2016, a plot summary I'd posted about seven hours earlier was undone, reverted, in favor of what I will call, herein, the Present Summary. A few days earlier, at 03:17, 25 July 2016, a plot summary I'd posted had been similarly undone, for reversion to the same Present Summary.

In neither case did the reversion surprise me, for in each case, I knew the summary I'd posted was arguably too long. In each case, excessive length was, indeed, the posted reason for the reversion. With respect to the original reversion, of 25 July, the editor who carried out the reversion wrote as follows:

Plot summaries are supposed to be ~700 words - this was over double that, with way too much detail.

In the second case, the editor wrote the following:

Reverted good faith edits by (talk): Again: plot summaries are to be ~700 words.

My own check of the word counts, via Microsoft Word, confirms that my original summary was about 1500 words, i.e., "more than twice [700]," as was said by the reverting editor. Though still long, my latter summary was much reduced, about 1,000 words, as I indicated when I posted it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 2[edit]

To address shortcomings or defects of the Present Summary, as I have termed it, I'll first direct attention to two of the article's introductory sentences, namely, the following:

  1. High Plains Drifter is a 1973 American supernatural western film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, written by Ernest Tidyman (who also wrote the novelization), and produced by Robert Daley for Malpaso Company and Universal Pictures.
  2. Eastwood plays a mysterious, prepotent stranger, meting out justice in a corrupt frontier mining town.

Without examining the article's history, to determine the details, I'll say neither of those sentences is without a history itself. By that, I mean neither is the formulation that first appeared in the article. Some years ago, when I myself saw that the article described the movie as a "Western film," I changed the wording to "Western film with a hint of the supernatural." What course the editing took after that, I don't know; but at some point, there arose the present wording, in which the phrase "supernatural western film" includes a link to Wikipedia's article about "Weird West."

Before I myself—again, some time ago—entered the sentence about the Eastwood character's "meting out justice," the wording was quite different. The 12 March 2014 version, which I've just now visited at random, says the following:

Eastwood plays a mysterious gunfighter hired by the residents of a corrupt frontier mining town to defend them against a group of criminals.

These are not minor points, not minor changes of wording. Each of them gets to the nature of the movie, the nature of the story it tells. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Okay, fair enough; but you haven't specified what "shortcomings and defects" you would like to fix in those two opening sentences. Personally, I think they're reasonably descriptive as they are -- although I doubt that most readers know what "prepotent" means. If you have specific changes to suggest for those sentences, by all means, suggest them. As for the plot summary: Per WP:FILMPLOT, the summary should describe events "as basically as possible" and "avoid minutiae like dialogue, scene-by-scene breakdowns, individual jokes, and technical detail". It should also be in the neighborhood of 700 words long, and this one is already close to the 800-word range, because I couldn't find anything further to cut without compromising the accuracy of the description. My apologies if you were upset by my reverts, but WP:BRD applies here -- you were bold, and reverted, so now we discuss. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 00:39, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
I should have made clear I'm not yet finished with this multi-part post. Just now, after I posted Part 3, I saw your comment, above. Starting with my Part 4, I'll write "TO BE CONTINUED" at the end of each of my posts until the final one, after which I'll write something like "MULTI-PART POST COMPLETED." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 3[edit]

When, as I have said, I wrote, here in the Wikipedia article, that High Plains Drifter is a "Western film with a hint of the supernatural," I was unaware of the term "Weird West." Had I been aware of that, I might well have employed it; I might, in other words, simply have said the movie is a "Weird Western film," which is probably what the introduction should say.

The movie is not a supernatural story in the strict sense. That is, it doesn't include phenomena that are, for instance, clearly indicated as ghosts and clearly recognized as such by characters in the story. No, it's a "weird" story, one whose essence, as I recently said in a comment I posted at YouTube, is "doubleness." Not only as a whole but in its every part, such a story can be understood as either natural or supernatural; it is never quite clearly one or the other.

In High Plains Drifter, that doubleness, which is the genius of such a story, is addressed, late, in the scene in which Sarah Belding, wife of the hotelier, converses post-coitally with the Eastwood character. She and he have the following exchange:

Eastwood: Well, I was just stopping by for a bottle of whiskey and a nice hot bath.
Wife: All right, if you say so.
Eastwood: You don't believe me?
Wife (in sexual languor): Mister, whatever you say is fine with me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 4[edit]

As I said, a "weird" story is double as a whole and in its every part. High Plains Drifter as a whole is double as follows:

NATURAL: Clint Eastwood just happens to have ridden into Lago; just happens to have found himself in circumstances in which he's made the town's protector; and just happens, by the movie's end, to have straightened out everything morally.
SUPERNATURAL: Eastwood is in control from the very beginning of the movie. Everything that happens is either his doing or something he draws others into doing, baits them into doing. He has come to Lago to set things right—and he does so.

Every single one of the movie's details—FROM ITS VERY BEGINNING TO ITS VERY END—can similarly be construed:

NATURAL: The Eastwood character's wraithlike "appearance," at the movie's start, is simply an optical illusion, a natural phenomenon—a mirage, a result of the desert heat.
SUPERNATURAL: Eastwood actually is an "apparition" of some kind, coming into the world from a supernatural realm.
NATURAL: The Eastwood character has simply gone into the saloon to get a drink, and he can't help it if those three ruffians give him trouble until he has no choice but to shoot them, more-or-less in self-defense.
SUPERNATURAL: Eastwood has come to the town to ruin it, to settle the moral score; and Step 1 of his plan is to get rid of those ruffians and get himself installed as the town's protector. He eyes the three ruffians, before he goes into the saloon, to bait them. He knows how they'll react to his looking at them, just as he knows how every other person in the town will react to things he does.
NATURAL: The ducking beneath the bathwater when Callie Travers fires at him saves the Eastwood character because, well, he kind of got lucky with the physics. The water interfered with the bullets' trajectory, and the riled-up Callie, who has to contend with the sheriff's grabbing her, doesn't fire quite accurately.
SUPERNATURAL: Eastwood is non-mortal and thus faces no danger from the bullets. He ducks beneath the bathwater simply to mask his supernaturalness, just as, to mask his supernatural identity, he consistently declines to give his name.
NATURAL: Eastwood knows the teamster is sneaking up behind him, to knife him, because, well, because he, Eastwood, is alert and, you know, maybe he hears the guy's footsteps.
SUPERNATURAL: Eastwood is omniscient.
NATURAL: The dynamite with which Eastwood destroys the hotel does no damage at all to the adjoining general store because, well, you know, sometimes those things happen. The hotel's only surviving room is the marriage chamber of Sarah and Lewis Belding because, well, again, sometimes those things happen.
SUPERNATURAL: Eastwood is intent on destroying the hotel, which is, for him, the symbol of the outrage that was perpetrated upon Marshal Duncan. It's not just some coincidence that Eastwood orders the other customers out of the hotel before the townsmen try to attack him there. It's not just coincidence that he invites Callie Travers there, to his bed. He's the one in charge at every moment. He's the one who, supremely moral, clears the innocents out of the hotel ahead of time. By making his date with Callie, he baits the townsmen into attacking him there and thus has a justification for destroying the building. His supernatural dynamite didn't "just happen" not to harm the general store or not to destroy the Beldings' marital room. That dynamite did exactly what Clint wanted it to do.
NATURAL: By happenstance, Clint's actions, in the course of the movie, result in the moral elevation of Mordecai and the liberation of Sarah Belding. (See the following, which, some time ago, I myself added to the article's footnotes: The Representation of Justice in Eastwood's High Plains Drifter Flynn, Erin E. Presented in The Philosophy of Clint Eastwood, edited by Richard T. McClelland and Brian B. Clayton, University Press of Kentucky, 2014.)
SUPERNATURAL: The elevation of Mordecai and the liberation of Sarah are part of Clint's agenda, because those two persons are the town's only members who showed concern over the whipping of the marshal. Even Clint's making Mordecai sheriff and awarding him that big handgun are not things that "just happen." They're things that Clint does because he, Clint, knows, in his supernatural way, that, at the end, Mordecai will use the gun, sheriff-like, to destroy Lewis Belding and thus not only punish Belding for his role in the whipping of the marshal but allow Sarah to avoid the ignominy of a walking-out on her husband.
NATURAL: Clint's vanishing, at the end, into the desert heat, is, again, just a mirage.
SUPERNATURAL: No, it isn't.

TO BE CONTINUED — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:56, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 5[edit]

As should be clear, the Wikipedia article, in its every statement, whether in the introduction or in the plot summary, should be in no way inconsistent with the movie's doubleness, as I've termed it. Let's take, as a specimen for discussion, Callie's shooting at Eastwood, a subject that's already come up on this talk page, in a section headed "Uninjured when shot at in the tub." The editor who originated that section was rightly bothered that the article said Eastwood "inexplicably" had remained uninjured. "Inexplicably" is objectionable because it takes sides, so to speak. To say the character's remaining uninjured is inexplicable is as much as to say it's supernatural. One must never indicate, with respect to any element of the story, or with respect to the story as a whole, either naturalness or supernaturalness: one must AVOID TAKING SIDES.

Okay—so "inexplicably" was objectionable; but just as objectionable, in the Present Summary, is the statement that Callie "inaccurately" shoots at Eastwood. That, too, takes sides, in favor of the natural. The narrative moment, the shooting, should be presented so that neither a natural nor a supernatural "explanation" is favored. Is it possible to present it that way? Of course, it is. English is furnished with a word for the trick. That word is "curious," as in, "That's curious." One says something like, "Curiously, the stranger is uninjured." That makes clear the story is "weird."

TO BE CONTINUED — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:33, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 6[edit]

Let's put aside, for the moment, the question of word-count, as we examine the summaries we're discussing.

An enigmatic stranger (Eastwood) rides into the isolated desert mining town of Lago, on the shore of a small lake in an unnamed western territory. Three men follow him into the saloon with one verbally taunting him, then all three follow him to the barbershop. When they make an aggressive move on him, he kills all three with little effort. Attractive townswoman Callie Travers (Mariana Hill) deliberately bumps into him in the street, knocks his cigar from his mouth, and loudly insults him. He drags her into the livery stable and rapes her, "[beginning] with Callie's furious resistance but [ending] with her obvious sexual satisfaction."

Is that first paragraph of the Present Summary satisfactory? Compare the following, which is from my latter summary, i.e., the one I posted on July 28:

Emerging from shimmering desert heat, a quiet stranger (Eastwood) rides on horseback into the lakefront mining town of Lago and is immediately the center of attention. After three ruffians whom he has eyed taunt him in the saloon and then act threateningly toward him in the barbershop, he shoots them to death, with a gun he’d deftly concealed beneath the barber cape. Among the impressed are the town dwarf Mordecai and an attractive townswoman named Callie Travers. The former lights the stranger’s cigarillo and asks him his name, which the stranger doesn’t provide. The latter, to get the stranger’s attention, deliberately bumps into him on the street and then loudly insults him. When he drags her into the nearby livery stable and forces himself on her, her “furious resistance [gives way to] her obvious sexual satisfaction.”

The difference, I think, is significant. In the paragraph I posted, there is nothing conclusory: the character is not described as "enigmatic," which—I shall be blunt—sounds like something on the back of a DVD package. The character is described simply as we see him—quiet—and there are presented several facts of the first significance: He emerges from the heat; the ruffians are persons "whom he has eyed"; his shooting of them has involved cunning and awareness; Mordecai has instantly become his servant; and—NOT INCIDENTALLY—he won't say who he is. Every one of those facts, along with the mention of his interaction with Callie, supports the intro's declaration: He is mysterious and prepotent. At the same time, those facts are, as the reader shall eventually appreciate, consistent with the story's doubleness: The stranger appears from the heat and has soon destroyed men he's eyed.

TO BE CONTINUED — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:04, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 7[edit]

Paragraph two of the Present Summary is as follows:

That night, in his hotel room, the Stranger dreams of a man being brutally whipped. In the morning, while he's having a bath at the barbershop, Callie inaccurately shoots at him as he ducks underwater. He casually resurfaces, cigar still in mouth, and says to the diminutive barbershop employee Mordecai (Billy Curtis), “I wonder what took her so long to get mad?”

In my Part 5, above, I addressed that paragraph's conspicuous problem, namely, the adverb "inaccurately," which should be removed. My own second paragraph was the following:

By the next morning, the stranger has taken a position as the town’s protector, but not before two strange occurrences. At the hotel where he’s taken a room—and declined to sign the register—he has had a disturbing dream, in which a man is brutally whipped. At the barbershop, whither he has come, in the morning, to collect his deferred bath, his merely ducking beneath the bathwater has enabled him to evade four shots fired at him by a vengeful Callie.

Though arguably conclusory, "strange" keeps the story's weirdness before the reader's mind. "Curious," as I've already said, would be a tad better for the shooting; but the main thing is that I tried to keep the synopsis going: Get right to the stranger's being hired as protector and mention the strangenesses as things that have happened along the way.

TO BE CONTINUED — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:17, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 8[edit]

The following, which are paragraphs three and four of the Present Summary, seem to me to have serious problems:

A flashback reveals that Jim Duncan (Buddy Van Horn), a federal marshal who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Stranger, was whipped to death by outlaws Stacey Bridges (Geoffrey Lewis) and brothers Dan and Cole Carlin (Dan Vadis and Anthony James) as the people of Lago looked on. The murderers were arrested and convicted, but are now about to be released from prison, and the townspeople are terrified.
Sheriff Sam Shaw (Walter Barnes) approaches the Stranger and offers him a job defending the town from the newly released outlaws. He declines—but Shaw, in desperation, says he can have anything he wants. Eventually, the Stranger learns why they are so frightened: Not only did the townspeople do nothing to prevent Duncan's murder, but some were complicit in it; they hired the outlaws to kill him after he discovered that the town's only source of income, the mine, was on government land, and therefore illegal. They then double-crossed the murderers and turned them in.

In the first place, it's unclear why the flashback, which occurs much later in the story, should be mentioned at this early point in the synopsis. No, a synopsis doesn't have to follow the story as it was presented; but in this case, I'd say, the early introduction of the info merely slows the reader and complicates his or her understanding of the goings-on. Beyond that, the first of those two paragraphs contains an OUTRIGHT ERROR: Bridges and his partners were not arrested for the murder. In fact, I'm pretty sure the movie has a moment in which it's pointed out that neither the townsmen nor Bridges and his partners can mention the murder, because all were involved in it. Bridges and his partners were arrested for a theft, for which they were framed.

The second of those two paragraphs also contains an OUTRIGHT ERROR: The stranger never "learns" that the townsfolk did nothing to prevent Duncan's murder. He never "learns" anything about it. In fact, when Sarah Belding mentions that Duncan is in an unmarked grave, the stranger, exhibiting indifference, says, "What makes you think I care?"

Before closing this, my Part 8, I'll mention that the Present Summary's next paragraph begins as follows:

After hotelier Lewis Belding (Ted Hartley) inadvertently admits this, the Stranger accepts the job and takes full advantage of the deal.

Huh? The meaning of this, apparently, is that Belding inadvertently admits, to the stranger, as per the preceding paragraph, that the townsfolk were complicit in Duncan's murder; that the murder took place because of the government land problem; and that the townsfolk then double-crossed the killers. Only after Eastwood has learned all of this, we're apparently to understand, does he accept the position as town protector.

I'll say it again: Huh? Belding never inadvertently admits any of those things to the Eastwood character, and, in fact, he never inadvertently admits them to anyone. We, the audience, learn all of those things in the later course of the story, not at this early point, at which Eastwood is hired as protector; and they're discussed by persons who already know them, not by persons to whom they're "inadvertently admitted."

My own paragraph for this part of the summary was the following:

Three felons who are due to be released from the territorial prison that very day are expected to come to Lago, to burn it to the ground. In tendering the stranger the town leaders’ reluctant offer of the protectorship, craven sheriff Sam Shaw has acknowledged that the felons felt they’d been railroaded for the theft that had sent them to the prison. He’s acknowledged, too, that he’s no lawman, that he became sheriff only after “young Marshal Duncan” was whipped to death in the street—though “not by anybody from this town.” The three miscreants whom the stranger killed, upon his arrival in Lago, had been the original hired protectors, obnoxious though they were.

Notice that that also makes clear that the killing of the three ruffians, in the barbershop, was not an event unconnected to the rest of the story: it's what put the town in a position in which it had to hire Eastwood. In the Present Summary, nothing of that is communicated.

TO BE CONTINUED — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 9[edit]

Rather than continue with comparison, paragraph-by-paragraph, of the Present Summary and my July 28 summary, I'll say simply that the Present Summary seems to me to demonstrate no awareness of some of the basic elements of the story. There's no indication of the Eastwood character's focus on the hotel, and no indication why he would be focused on it. There's no indication of the movie's critical relationships, namely Eastwood's relationship with Mordecai and with Sarah Belding. My July 28 summary, in its entirety, was the following:

Emerging from shimmering desert heat, a quiet stranger (Eastwood) rides on horseback into the lakefront mining town of Lago and is immediately the center of attention. After three ruffians whom he has eyed taunt him in the saloon and then act threateningly toward him in the barbershop, he shoots them to death, with a gun he’d deftly concealed beneath the barber cape. Among the impressed are the town dwarf Mordecai and an attractive townswoman named Callie Travers. The former lights the stranger’s cigarillo and asks him his name, which the stranger doesn’t provide. The latter, to get the stranger’s attention, deliberately bumps into him on the street and then loudly insults him. When he drags her into the nearby livery stable and forces himself on her, her “furious resistance [gives way to] her obvious sexual satisfaction.”
By the next morning, the stranger has taken a position as the town’s protector, but not before two strange occurrences. At the hotel where he’s taken a room—and declined to sign the register—he has had a disturbing dream, in which a man is brutally whipped. At the barbershop, whither he has come, in the morning, to collect his deferred bath, his merely ducking beneath the bathwater has enabled him to evade four shots fired at him by a vengeful Callie.
Three felons who are due to be released from the territorial prison that very day are expected to come to Lago, to burn it to the ground. In tendering the stranger the town leaders’ reluctant offer of the protectorship, craven sheriff Sam Shaw has acknowledged that the felons felt they’d been railroaded for the theft that had sent them to the prison. He’s acknowledged, too, that he’s no lawman, that he became sheriff only after “young Marshal Duncan” was whipped to death in the street—though “not by anybody from this town.” The three miscreants whom the stranger killed, upon his arrival in Lago, had been the original hired protectors, obnoxious though they were.
Having been promised anything he wants, the stranger subverts the venal townsmen’s self-satisfaction. He gives away merchandise at the general store and the saloon and transfers to humble Mordecai the offices of mayor and sheriff. The wagon of the whip-owning teamster is damaged when the stranger allows the townsmen to use it for target practice, in preparation for the felons’ return; and the barn of Lewis Belding, the hotelier, is taken apart by Mexican carpenters, whom the stranger instructs to use its lumber for picnic tables. Without giving a reason, the stranger instructs the distressed Belding to eject all the other customers from the hotel.
Only as the vision recurs, this time in the mind of Mordecai, do we see that the whipping took place in front of the hotel itself. The whip handlers, who address their victim as “Marshal,” are revealed as the three felons, whom we’ve now seen released from the prison and en route to Lago. Of the shadowy onlookers, who are now seen to have been the townsfolk, only Mordecai and Sarah Belding, the hotelier’s wife, show concern. Sarah is prevented by her husband from going to the marshal’s aid; and Mordecai, from his nook beneath the hotel’s boardwalk, looks on helplessly as the dying marshal damns the townsfolk to hell.
In thwarting an attack on him by the town leaders, who’ve decided he’s more trouble than he’s worth, the stranger destroys the hotel with dynamite that, astonishingly, does no damage at all to the adjoining general store. As he drags the protesting Sarah Belding to her marital bed, in the hotel’s only room that has survived, her husband fails to come to her aid. The following morning, after she has submitted to his sexual appeal, Sarah speak to the stranger of Marshal Duncan, who, she explains, is in an unmarked grave in the town cemetery. She retails the superstition that the dead cannot rest until their graves have been marked.
En route to the town on horses they’ve obtained through murder, the three felons are briefly provoked by the stranger, who attacks them with dynamite and rifle fire from a concealed spot. In the meantime, the townsmen have followed the stranger’s bizarre command to paint the town’s every building red, with the same paint he has used to write “Hell” over “Lago” on the town sign. As Sarah Belding tells her cuckolded husband she’s leaving him, we learn the marshal was killed at the town leaders’ instigation, because he was insistent on reporting that the town’s mine was on U.S. government land. The whip handlers, who’d subsequently become unmanageable, had been framed for the theft that carried them away to prison.
Upon his return to the town, the stranger orders the raising of a banner that reads “Welcome Home Boys,” above the picnic tables that are now in the middle of the main street. As he then rides away, out the town’s back end, the townsmen look on in distress, helpless without his leadership. Not until that night, after the felons have, indeed, set the town on fire and huddled the helpless townsfolk in the saloon, does he return, to destroy the attackers. He whips one to death, hangs a second with a whip, and then shoots the leader, Stacey Bridges, whose dying words to him are “Who are you?” When an opportunistic Lewis Belding now tries to shoot the stranger in the back, Mordecai shoots Belding to death, with the gun the stranger had awarded him in his role as sheriff.
On his way out of town the following morning, the Stranger passes Sarah, who is packing her suitcases into a wagon. At the cemetery, he pauses beside Mordecai, who is finishing a new grave marker. “I never did know your name,” Mordecai says. "Yes, you do," the Stranger replies, startling him; and in a reverse angle, the camera reveals the new headstone: Marshal Jim Duncan—Rest in Peace. As the stranger continues off, he vanishes, back into the shimmering heat.

TO BE CONTINUED — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:00, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Part 10[edit]

WP:FILMPLOT includes the following:

Plot summaries for feature films should be between 400 and 700 words. The summary should not exceed the range unless the film's structure is unconventional, such as Pulp Fiction or Memento's non-linear storylines, or unless the plot is too complicated to summarize in this range. (Discuss with other editors to determine if a summary cannot be contained within the proper range.)

So—is the plot of High Plains Drifter "too complicated to summarize in this range," i.e., 400 to 700 words? I doubt it. The movie can probably be summarized in that range. Unfortunately, I myself haven't figured out how to summarize it within that range. As I've argued above, in my Parts 1 through 9, my July 28 summary has strengths that the Present Summary does not have; and the Present Summary has, moreover, defects.

MULTI-PART POST COMPLETED — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:10, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Unsure about this - Postscript 1[edit]

From the Present Summary:

When Belding’s wife, Sarah (Verna Bloom), objects to all of this, he drags her, kicking and screaming, into her bedroom. The next morning, a post-coital Sarah tells the Stranger that she was the only one in town who made any effort to stop Duncan's murder—and that Duncan cannot rest in peace, because he is buried in an unmarked grave outside of town.

COMPLETELY FALSE, the statement that Sarah tells Eastwood she was the only one in the town who made any effort to stop Duncan's murder. She says no such thing; and in fact, she says nothing at all about the circumstances of the marshal's murder. In fact, she doesn't even mention that he was, actually, murdered. Her exchange with Eastwood is the following:

Sarah: Have you ever heard the name Jim Duncan?
Eastwood: I've heard a lot of things. Why?
Sarah: He was town marshal here. He's lying out there in an unmarked grave. They say the dead don't rest without a marker of some kind. Do you believe that?
Eastwood: What makes you think I care?
Sarah: I don't know. He's the reason this town's afraid of strangers.

That's it.

Again, I'll be blunt: It's as if whoever assembled this summary is just making up his or her half-remembered version of the movie. Should I repost my summary, anyone who'll undo it in favor of the Present Summary will be intentionally posting at Wikipedia misinformation.

(Above is unsigned, but presumably it is the same IP as the previous ten — unsigned — posts.)

Well, gee. I'm sure there are some good points in the massive wall of text above, but due to the demands of my real job, I haven't the time to plow through it. You seem to be very passionate about this particular movie; but in an encyclopedia, deep and detailed analyses are not necessary or appropriate. In movie articles, we are supposed to summarize the plot -- not expound on the symbolism of the hotel, or how one scene relates to another; that's original research. Again, plot summaries should be 400-700 words, describing events "as basically as possible, avoiding minutiae ... and technical detail". Whoever wrote the original summary may very well have mis-remembered some facts -- especially if he/she didn't have a script to consult -- and no one will object if you correct factual errors, one or two at a time. But if you replace the entire summary yet again with one that reads like a novella, and exceeds 1000 words, someone, I'm reasonably sure, will just revert it again. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 14:33, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The Present Summary does not indicate that the hotel is revealed as the marshal's murder site and that the stranger subsequently blows it to pieces. That's right: There is no mention at all of the destruction of the hotel, no mention that the "enigmatic stranger" destroys the murder site in the town in which he sets things straight. My being concerned about that is not "original research" and is not a concern with the "symbolism" of the hotel: it's a concern that the synopsis include a major detail of the story. For the record: I reject your characterization of my posts as a "massive wall of text." Most Wikipedia talk-page exchanges are fruitless because it is very difficult to make clear, in the talk-page format, the reasons that underlie suggestions. Before mentioning several specific problems with the Present Summary, I took the trouble to lay out the general considerations that make them clear. The demands of your real job, as you term it, are not a justification of your not having read that. As to your request below: I prefer not to type the four tildes.
Oh, and one other thing: Please sign your posts with four tildes, as the welcome package you received (and every talk page header) explains. Common courtesy, and all that. Thanks. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 16:34, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Hmm—I will now type the four tildes, to see whether they will solve a display problem I'm having on this talk-page. (talk) 18:07, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Talk-page display problems will make it impossible for me to respond to any other comment you might post in this our exchange. I myself expect to post nothing more. (talk) 18:13, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
I have no idea what you mean by "display problems", or why that makes further discussion impossible -- but disagreeing that your wall of text is a wall of text does not negate the ineluctable fact that it is a wall of text; and signing your posts on talk pages is not optional, so please do it, whether you "prefer" to or not. But thank you for finally stating your major concerns in a few concise sentences. I will try to incorporate the details that you consider important (unless you plan to do it) without exceeding the guidelines, and without having to eliminate other important details. Cheers, DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 20:45, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
By "display problems," I meant that I seemed not to be getting a current version of the page. My Parts 7 through 10 and my Postscript were not consistently showing, and thus it was getting to be a problem for me to participate in our present exchange, here in my Postscript. Anyway, the problem seems to have gone away. No, I won't be addressing the summary's problems I've mentioned. If "wall of text" means merely a large block of prose, well, then, yes, my posts here are a "wall of text." My sense is that it means, rather, a block of nonsense, which my posts are not. To get the summary right, one doesn't need a copy of the movie's script, which, actually, would be unhelpful, since the movie might not match it. All one has to do is go to YouTube, watch a bootlegged upload of the film, and carefully note the contents. The operative word there, of course, is "carefully." (talk) 03:24, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
Some text walls are "blocks of nonsense", and some others are intentionally disruptive; but most, as in this case, are simply due to a lack of awareness of good practices -- in other words, attempting to express every one of your cogent points in a comprehensive, multi-chapter response that is roughly the length of a short novel. There is no reason that a wall of text cannot be nuanced and thoughtful; but you have to keep in mind that the longer it is, the less of it people will read. This isn't a full-time job for any of us, and we all have a finite amount of time to devote to it. I would love to re-watch some of these vintage films, taking careful notes -- but I don't see it happening anytime before retirement, and I doubt that many other editors have that sort of luxury either. But I will attempt, as time permits, to correct the problems you have pointed out in this particular article. Cheers, DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 16:41, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough. Cheers. (talk) 18:29, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

This film is primarily a Western.[edit]

Per WP:FILMLEAD, Genre classifications should comply with WP:WEIGHT and represent what is specified by a majority of mainstream reliable sources. Beyond that, this film is never explicitly supernatural. When it was released, High Plains Drifter was presented as a Western. The possible reincarnation element was meant to be a surprise, and it was deliberately left ambiguous. Calling this film supernatural in the lead is misleading for readers who haven't seen it, and sets up false expectations. It should be obvious that in order for a film to be primarily in a supernatural genre, there needs to be no ambiguity as to whether or not it was supernatural. As for Weird West, it is not a commonly recognized film genre. It's own article calls it a literary subgenre. Even if it were a common film genre, it would not apply here as this film is primarily a Western. - Gothicfilm (talk) 16:12, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

Nobody says it's not a western. Weird West is the correct subgenre and is required per WP:SPECIFICLINK--Taeyebar 12:56, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
No it is not "required", as that is a guideline, not a policy, and it is not applicable to film leads. WP:FILMLEAD is what we use for film leads. You have provided no response to the point that High Plains Drifter is never explicitly supernatural, nor have you shown how a majority of mainstream reliable sources agree with your fringe subgenre. As you have been told many times before, WP:SPECIFICLINK is referring to hard facts, like the flag of Tokelau over the flag of Tokelau, or geographical locations, etc. No one disputers Paris is in France, so we use Paris instead of France. SPECIFICLINK does not apply to debatable, subjective subjects like subgenres. It was certainly not intended to override FILMLEAD. SPECIFICLINK does not give you license to put in your desired subgenres, and you need to stop using it as an excuse to edit war. - Gothicfilm (talk) 14:05, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Sources categorize it as a Western. The American Film Institute regard it as a Western. As does Allmovie. TCM equivocates and calls it a Western/Drama. The "Western" is the overriding genre here so that is what should go in the lead. Betty Logan (talk) 14:44, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Gothicfilm and Betty Logan. This is primarily a Western. Honestly, I can't believe this needs to be debated. ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 15:38, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Also concur with identifying it in the opening sentence as a Western film. The lead section can mention the supernatural element if the article body writes about this element. Calling it a Western film upfront does not mean it is not part of the Weird West; it just means that it is the predominant genre under which this film falls. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 22:08, 27 December 2016 (UTC)