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Clint Eastwood’s Utilitarian Attitude Toward The Dead

Clint Eastwood and the Saloon Owner in A Fistful of Dollars. They’ve taken a body out of town, but to the Saloon Owner’s surprise, Eastwood’s character doesn’t begin to bury the victim, but props him up.

Clint Eastwood: We’re not going to bury them.
Saloon Owner: What do you mean we’re not going to bury them?
CE: That’s right – we’re not going to bury them
SO: If we’re not going to bury them I would like to know what we are going to use them for? Why are we taking the trouble to do this?
CE: The dead can be very useful sometimes. They’ve helped me out of tough spots more than once. First, they don’t talk. Second, they can be made to look alive if I manage it right. And third-well, third, if you shoot them, there’s no worry, ‘cause they’re dead already. Understand?
SO: It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, and I’m getting out. I’m alive, and I want to remain with the living, understand? And when I’m dead, I’ll want to remain with the dead. And I would be unhappy if somebody forces me to remain with the living. I hope that’s clear. And, also, I don’t like the idea that you’ve placed those bodies there!

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