questions about the plot


At the beginning, it's said that the plane is empty. What does it mean? And in Confidential Report, at the end, the British guy ran up the stairs and shouted, " Is it true? Mr. Arkadin's plane is flying up there empty." I just don't understand why they said it's empty. Maybe he jumped off the airplane before it crashed?

When Guy is talking with Arkadin in Mexico after he met Sophie, he said there were five men worked for Sophie. Two of them are behind the Iron Curtain. Does it mean that those two men were still in Poland? At that time the East and the West were closed to each other because of Cold War, so that those two could not threaten Mr. Arkadin.

Haven't seen the comprehensive version yet. So far I think the Corinth version is much better than Confidential Report. The flashback sequence is really terrific at the beginning. There is no trouble to get the plot, although in some places it doesn't connect very well. It's more mysterious and fun. I think that's why the criterion collection put it in disc 1. And it's this version that is believed as the closest to Orson Welles' idea, but not the comprehensive version.

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Got the answer to the second one. Based on the radio program, Harry Lime, Arkadin did jump out the plane before it crashed down. It didn't say if his body would be found, or maybe it's just a trick and he's still alive somewhere.

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Whether Welles intended this or not, I like to think that Arkadin jumping out of the plane is symbolic of him vanishing into thin air like a fairy tale orge once the princess stops believing in him (carrying through the "fairy tale" metaphor Welles sets up earlier in the film).

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Exactly, MagAmbersons.

R.

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I think it's very Welles-ian to leave many things unanswered - his trademark in many movies, along with shadows & lighting. we're not sure whose words to believe. Another trademark is the fast-talking chatter of the characters as they argue. Its also possible he (and those he blamed for making un-approved edits to his movie) left some of those connecting scenes on the floor... I have heard he filmed reels & reels, and the movies would have been outrageously long if not edited shorter. In this one, as in C-Kane, the rich powerful man cannot buy what he desires most, and lets himself be hurt by it. Also interesting to note that he died in 1985, but his voice made 4 more films, right up to 2004.

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I think the scene where Mr. Arkadin tries to get a plane at the airport is based on a late scene in Richard III ("my kingdom for a horse!"). Here, it's a plane.

R.

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all i did so far was to watch this movie on TCM. i do not own the criterion DVD. so, what was hardest for me is that some of arkadin's former acquaintances that he kills off one by one speak in very heavy accents. therefore, it makes the story not so easy to understand. else:

this film reminds me so much of citizen kane: you have so many people in your life that form opinions of what, of who you are, but you are subject then to their own particular personal beliefs. whereas, YOU are more complex, you have reasons behind your behavior than those that know you can relate. unless we all took 12 hours a day to explain certain parts of our conduct to everyone that knew us when they saw it (no one has the time to listen and to question the subtle nuances of our deeds that make them form their particular idea of who we are in a given situation), nobody but we ourselves really knows us. no one was able to fully understand kane, just to give different opinions on his deeds, on what motivated him, etc. at least in citizen kane, those that are being interviewed in order to learn what he meant when he issued his dying statement, "rosebud" don't have such heavy foreign accents like they do in this movie. citizen kane is a better movie than is this, but i like this one a lot too.

so all in all i must say that i wish i could watch this movie in slow motion, in order to fully HEAR, therefore, to understand, arkadan's friends'/associates'/acquaintenances' garbled speech! :-)

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