Hand / Spike Ending


The driving of his hand through the spike was a very dramatic ending perhaps to signify that the pawn broker was still human. All the receipts that were stuck on the spike would signify the human tragedies that came through his door for help.

What are you gonna do? Kill me? Every body Dies. John Garfield (Body and Soul)

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The quick cut edits just before the spiking show 8 people (and the spike) three times. Two of the 8 are just deceased. Are the 8 people those who deserved more compassion?

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I thought that it symbolized Jesus Christ getting his hands penetrated by spikes as he was nailed to the cross. Then Mr. Steiger raised his eyes to look upward as you sometimes see Jesus Christ doing as he says, "Father, why hast thou foresaken me?"

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The story was about a Jewish pawnbroker ... I highly doubt that the 'message' was based on a Christ on the cross - although it was the 1st thought that ran through my mind too.

My 2nd thought was that his action was somewhat like what 'cutters' do. I don't know all the 'psychology' behind it but it seems to be a similar act.

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I dunno... sure he's Jewish, but don't you find his name interesting?
Sol means sun, and Nazerman? Man of Nazareth?
Sun of Nazareth, Son of Nazareth? Add that to the stigmata.

I can't ask Edward Lewis Wallant, so it's only an interesting thought...

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The story was about a Jewish pawnbroker ... I highly doubt that the 'message' was based on a Christ on the cross

You DO realize Christ was Jewish? And maybe not so much "on the cross" but the act of crucifixion. I definitely think that's the analogy that was intended.

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When his assistant dies for him he can at last take on the human share of guilt and responsibility himself, no longer the numb victim. He can feel pain again and rather than kill himself, he goes off into the city to be a part of humanity again.

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The final scene's emphasis on Steiger's lengthy departure from the neighborhood suggests to me that he will never return to that pawnshop.

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I'm in the middle, almost literally, of a book by the editor of this film, Ralph Rosenblum titled, When The Shooting stops...The Cutting Begins.

The pawn broker plunges back into his shop. Slowly he impales his hand on a receipt spindle, trying to reach some answer through the self-inflicted pain, and as he does, he's visited by a reprise of memory cuts of the last two days, many of them calling forth the customers he's dismissed as pitiable "creatures."(The reprise montage was a tame device at this point, too tame to have much impact.) As Jesus is taken away in an ambulance, his mother wailing, and crowds milling in the eternal Harlem day, Nazerman runs hysterically out of his shop and down the street, a man who has finally been forced to feel, but to no advantage.




How do the angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves his porch light on?

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Excellent - thanks for sharing that.

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You are very welcome.

How do the angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves his porch light on?

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The driving of his hand through the spike was a very dramatic ending perhaps to signify that the pawn broker was still human. All the receipts that were stuck on the spike would signify the human tragedies that came through his door for help.


Sol sticks the spike through his hand because the physical pain will take his mind off the emotional pain of his long-repressed sense of guilt. He felt guilt for the last quarter century for surviving while the rest of his family were killed, and now those feelings were brought back by Ortiz effectively sacrificing his own life to save him. Since he couldn't cope with the memories or the guilt, he did the only thing powerful enough to clear those thoughts from his mind, if only for a moment.

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When I saw the film for the first time two or three years ago the driving of his hand through the spike was the most dramatic part of an extremely dramatic movie. I just rented it from a local library and that part was almost totally cut out. It showed his hand moving down toward the spike, then his hand with blood on it. Why would cut out the climax of the movie? It didn't make sense to me.



* Who is Keyser Soze?*

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Your mind's eye took control the first time.

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Thank you. I wondered if this was the case. That film really did take a hold of me.



* Who is Keyser Soze?*

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