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View Full Version : Sin City: Minor plot question (spoiler?)


Electronic Chaos
04-02-2005, 12:29 AM
Unfortunately, the first five minutes of the movie were sort of ruined for me because the projector was off center, and I couldn't exactly make out what was happening. The two people on the balcony talking, and the guy shoots the gal. But who were they, and more importantly why was she being killed?

Also, at the end. Who was the guy in the elevator with Becky? Was this just a set up for a sequel or did I somehow miss something major?

Wearia
04-02-2005, 01:10 AM
its just an intro scene that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, except to show you what Basin City is like.

Basically the Hitman talks with the girl for a bit, they kiss, the Hitman kills her. Out of the blue so its suprising for the audience. Its just establishes the character as Hitman who kills his targets in a unusual way.
You never learn who they really are, and I didn't pick up on why she was being killed. The Hitman probably didn't know either.

The guy at the end is the same Hitman from the begining, we see her with the prostitute and are led the believe she will suffer the same fate and the girl in the intro.

VampyChick
04-02-2005, 01:25 AM
The guy is the Salesman, an assassin. The girl is the Customer, who apparently hired him to kill her. ("I'll cash her check in the morning.") That part was originally a short story, "The Customer Is Always Right", and was the first part filmed-- it was actually used as the pitch to get Frank Miller to let them do the movie.

So the girl was running from something so bad she hired someone to kill her, is what I got from it. I have no idea who she was. She's always called 'The Customer' in everything I've read, so I doubt she's important in the long run.

Then, at the end in the elevator, the Salesman shows back up, apparently to kill Becky. I assume Becky didn't hire him. Though I haven't read The Big Fat Kill yet, so I can't be sure.

El Elvis Rojo
04-02-2005, 07:04 AM
So, "The Salesman" has nothing to do with Dwight? My friend and I were curious if maybe that opening sequence took place a long time prior to the film, back when Dwight was "...a killer with a different face...", but didn't know.

If there is no connection between the two, what was it Dwight did beforehand that made him change h is face?

Hey, It's That Guy!
04-02-2005, 11:56 AM
So, "The Salesman" has nothing to do with Dwight? My friend and I were curious if maybe that opening sequence took place a long time prior to the film, back when Dwight was "...a killer with a different face...", but didn't know.

If there is no connection between the two, what was it Dwight did beforehand that made him change h is face?

That all happened in "A Dame To Kill For," the Sin City that was published between "The Hard Goodbye" (Marv's story) and "The Big Fat Kill" (Dwight's story). "Dame" introduced Dwight, who was contacted by an old flame, Ava Lord, who begged him for help because she was being tortured by her wealthy husband, Mr. Lord, and his valet, Manute (Michael Clarke Duncan's character in the movie). Of course Dwight, being a sucker for dames, ran to her aid, only to take a lot of punishment as every Sin City hero has to do. When he returned to rescue Ava, he brought a friend with him: Marv. (So this made it clear Marv's story happened after the events of "Dame," and the little bit in the movie in the bar where Dwight said Marv would have been more at home swinging an axe on ancient battlefields was taken from "Dame," not "The Big Fat Kill.")

Marv, eager to help one of his only friends, took on Manute, which led to the latter losing his eye (why he only had one eye in "Big Fat Kill"). Manute revealed said Ava was his goddess, his master, and he would do anything she wanted, which is why he said he served a new master (the mob) in "Big Fat Kill." Dwight killed Ava's husband in cold blood, upon her request. It turned out nobody was torturing her, but she was a psycho, the ultimate femme fatale who loved to seduce and manipulate men into committing crimes and then framing them. She shoots Dwight several times, and of course he still escaped. Then she plays the vulnerable widow for the investigating cops, and seduces one of them into leaving his wife and family and going on a hunt for Dwight. Dwight, who used to be a pug-faced bald guy, gets plastic surgery to look more like Clive Owen (complete with hair!), and takes on the cops, visits Manute in the hospital (Manute is near death thanks to Marv--he obviously got better), and ends up killing Ava at the end.

Miller
04-02-2005, 02:23 PM
I haven't read any of the comics, so my take is entirely based off what was in the movie. I think the hitman worked for Gladys, leader of the prostitutes. When someone crosses her or her girls, she sends that guy out to get them. It seems almost certain that that's why he was in the elevator with the blue-eyed prostitute at the end, it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that's why he killed the woman in the red dress at the beginning. I took the bit about "cashing her check" to be figurative, not literal. He'll collect the payment for killing her in the morning, from whoever paid him to kill her. I don't know a whole lot about professional killers, but it seems unlikely that they'd accept a method of payment that leaves such an easy-to-follow paper trail as a personal check.

Hey, It's That Guy!
04-02-2005, 02:33 PM
I think the hitman worked for Gladys, leader of the prostitutes.

Gail, Rosario Dawson's character. Gladys was Marv's name for his gun.

Miller
04-02-2005, 02:35 PM
Whoops! Thanks for the correction!

lawoot
04-02-2005, 03:08 PM
So a question about Marv - Is he just a big, powerful goon, or does he have some sort of 'powers'? He seems to be able to take alot of abuse.

DoctorJ
04-02-2005, 03:08 PM
He'll collect the payment for killing her in the morning, from whoever paid him to kill her.
Remember, this was a totally stand-alone story in the comics (and, while I'm not a big comic nerd or anything, probably my three favorite comic book pages ever). It's always been clear to me that he was hired by the woman in the red dress herself.

The dialogue points in that direction. "You're sick of running. You're ready to face what you have to face, but you don't want to face it alone." "I'll never know what she was running from. I'll cash her check in the morning."

It's a scant enough story that I guess you can take several meanings out of it, but I think this was clearly the one that was being conveyed, not to mention the one I like the best.

I don't know a whole lot about professional killers, but it seems unlikely that they'd accept a method of payment that leaves such an easy-to-follow paper trail as a personal check.
He probably wouldn't kill her on a balcony outside a party, and then hold her in his arms while she bled out, either. It's hardly the most unbelievable dramatic license in the whole series.

Miller
04-02-2005, 03:49 PM
Like I said, I haven't read the comics, and am basing my take on it solely from what I saw in the movie.

The dialogue points in that direction. "You're sick of running. You're ready to face what you have to face, but you don't want to face it alone." "I'll never know what she was running from. I'll cash her check in the morning."

Sounds consistent with my version. He's been watching her for three days at that point, which wouldn't seem necessary if she'd hired him to kill her. He knows who she's running from (Gail and/or himself, as Gail's hired killer), but not what: he doesn't know what she did to get a price on her head, only that it's there, and he intends to cash it in.

It's a scant enough story that I guess you can take several meanings out of it, but I think this was clearly the one that was being conveyed, not to mention the one I like the best.

I disagree. It's not the one you like best.

Er, I mean it's not the one that was being clearly conveyed. I like my interpretation better, because it makes it more likely that his lines about falling in love with her were genuine, and not part of some pre-arranged script. It also makes the moment he shoots her more of a betrayal, which fits in much better with the over-all theme of the movie.

I guess he could have also fallen in love with her after she paid him to help her commit suicide by proxy, but in that case, I'd think he'd try to talk her out of it or protect her from whatever she's running from, or something. If there's a third agency involved that wants her dead, particularly if it's one that he has some sort of debt or allegiance towards, it makes him killing her more unavoidable, something that he doesn't have any choice over.

He probably wouldn't kill her on a balcony outside a party, and then hold her in his arms while she bled out, either. It's hardly the most unbelievable dramatic license in the whole series.

Okay, you got me on that one.

Miller
04-02-2005, 03:55 PM
So a question about Marv - Is he just a big, powerful goon, or does he have some sort of 'powers'? He seems to be able to take alot of abuse.

I don't think there's anything like superpowers in Sin City, but the pulp noir format has just about everyone taking a lot more abuse than a real human could reasonably survive. Bruce Willis' character gets shot an awful lot without dying. How many real people could survive having a revolver emptied into their back from almost point-blank range, and still be standing there, having a florid metaphor contest with the guy who just shot him?

Marv is just a big goon, but in a setting where everyone is already inhumanly tough, that puts him right over the top in terms of dishing out hurt and soaking it up in return.

Menocchio
04-02-2005, 07:25 PM
A nice subtle touch from the comics that I missd here is that Marv grew as the story went on. At the begininng, he was just a big ugly guy, but by the end, he was as big as the freaking incredible hulk!

I don't know who Hartnett's assassin was working for at the begininng (although I like the idea that it was for the victim herself), but at the end he wasn't working for Gail. If Gail needed Becky dead, she would have done it herself, sent Miho, one of the other girls, or failing all that, Dwight. I think he was working for the mob, rubbing Becky out for apparently betraying Manute and his goons.

MikeG
04-02-2005, 07:31 PM
As for who paid The Man
I thought that "her" referred to another woman who paid him to kill Becky

VampyChick
04-02-2005, 08:27 PM
If Gail needed Becky dead, she would have done it herself, sent Miho, one of the other girls, or failing all that, Dwight. Exactly. There is no way Gail or anyone involved with the whores hired the Salesman to kill Becky. They take care of their own business. I agree with the idea he was hired by the mob guys, to keep her from telling Gail everything--as she would probably have to do to avoid a slow death by Miho. Maybe get herself upgraded to quick death by Miho.

Menocchio
04-02-2005, 09:20 PM
I don't think it was to keep her from talking. After all, what could she have told them? I think the mob assumed that Becky set up Manute. She did conveniently survive.

Hey, It's That Guy!
04-02-2005, 09:26 PM
I don't think it was to keep her from talking. After all, what could she have told them? I think the mob assumed that Becky set up Manute. She did conveniently survive.

In The Big Fat Kill comic, Becky was mowed down in the alley gunfight, killed along with Manute and the rest of his henchmen. She never had a chance to sneak away. They changed it for the movie to give it some parallel form, ending it with Josh Hartnett's Salesman character getting ready to do what he did to open the film.

Fiver
04-03-2005, 01:25 PM
Okay, I've got a new question.

Why was Nancy in danger? Or at least, why was she newly endangered when Hartigan got out of prison and went to look for her? After all,


She was still living in Sin City
She hadn't changed her name, and
It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out "Cordelia" must have been the girl Hartigan saved.


Seems like the bad guys could have taken her out any time they wanted to, and without Hartigan's unwitting help.

Furthermore, how did Hartigan get out of prison just by signing a confession? "Just confess to your violent crimes and we'll let you go free" isn't how the system works in any state I've lived in...

Lakai
04-03-2005, 09:34 PM
He probably plea bargined.

Diogenes the Cynic
04-03-2005, 10:16 PM
Okay, I've got a new question.

Why was Nancy in danger? Or at least, why was she newly endangered when Hartigan got out of prison and went to look for her? After all,


She was still living in Sin City
She hadn't changed her name, and
It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out "Cordelia" must have been the girl Hartigan saved.


Seems like the bad guys could have taken her out any time they wanted to, and without Hartigan's unwitting help.
They didn't know where she was. She never gave away in her letters where she lived or where she worked and she actually wasn't in any danger. Hartigan was manipulated into believing that she was so that he would lead them to her.
Furthermore, how did Hartigan get out of prison just by signing a confession? "Just confess to your violent crimes and we'll let you go free" isn't how the system works in any state I've lived in...
He had already done eight years and the Senator was probably powerful enough get him released for time served after he signed the confession. And obviously the stories aren't intended to be realistic but are hyper-noir. Marv would not have been executed so quickly IRL either.

Sam Lowry
04-03-2005, 10:35 PM
Furthermore, how did Hartigan get out of prison just by signing a confession? "Just confess to your violent crimes and we'll let you go free" isn't how the system works in any state I've lived in...

I just assumed since it was a corrupt system, and they put him in jail to discredit him, not because he actually committed a crime, that once he signed the confession and had his reputation further ruined, they didn't need to keep him in fail anymore. Also, they needed him to get out to follow him to Nancy.

Fiver
04-03-2005, 10:43 PM
They didn't know where she was. She never gave away in her letters where she lived or where she worked and she actually wasn't in any danger. Hartigan was manipulated into believing that she was so that he would lead them to her.
You can't have it both ways. If they wanted to find her, then she was in danger.

And since she was from Sin City, it would have been a natural place for the bad guys to start looking. And she was using her real name. Even pre-Google it doesn't get much easier than that.

seriousart
04-03-2005, 11:46 PM
A bit off topic, but I found the opening/closing to be by far the weakest parts of the movie. The dialogue was already pretty stiff, but Hartnet took it to a whole other awful level. About ten minutes in a was worried I was in for a pretty terrible two hours. I was relieved to see him disappear for the other 95% of the movie.

And besides being poorly acted, the whole scene was totally incongruous with the rest of the film. Others here have explained it a bit, but it would either be made to stand alone within the context of the film or excised for a stronger opening.

At least IMHO.

I did really like the movie though, especially the Marv portions.

Menocchio
04-03-2005, 11:52 PM
You can't have it both ways. If they wanted to find her, then she was in danger.

And since she was from Sin City, it would have been a natural place for the bad guys to start looking. And she was using her real name. Even pre-Google it doesn't get much easier than that.

They wanted to find Cordelia, so they could use her to completely break Hartigan. They didn't know she was Nancy (although they could've guessed). The fact that she was was just gravy.

Bill Door
04-04-2005, 12:04 AM
Furthermore, how did Hartigan get out of prison just by signing a confession? "Just confess to your violent crimes and we'll let you go free" isn't how the system works in any state I've lived in...

I'm gonna say it was that a lot of times the parole board will not release you unless you show repentance for your crimes, which if you continue to deny having committed can't happen. Unfortunately, if an innocent man is convicted, his best chance of early release is to admit to everything.

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