When I first saw this film back in 2000, I did not think about it much. It was a fun, if formulaic, watch. Good guys win, bad guys lose. The other day, I was wandering through a series of blogs and saw this clip on one of them. I watched it only because I enjoyed the movie the first time I saw it.
I have some different thoughts today:
- The hanging of children in the beginning of the clip was not only to punish the 'wrongdoers', but to scare the rest of the people into line. This is what our government does to us today. Consider the TSA, IRS, DHS, BATFE, and your local police for examples.
- The pastor tried to avoid the 'announcement' by declaring something that all in that town already knew. The town already knew that the church was a house of God, in fact, they had probably built it themselves. The pastor was avoiding the idea that sometimes you must fight evil on the temporal planes as well as the spiritual ones. Sometimes, evil requires a well aimed bullet. Consider the 2nd Amendment and it's purpose.
- A woman (and a teenager to boot) shames the men into going off and fighting, but she does not pick up a rifle and go too. This actually annoyed me. This was Hollywood feminism at its worse. Men cannot do anything without a woman telling them how to do it right. I suspect that this never happened back then.
- The father and his son standing up to fight always give me goose-pimples.
- The young man played by Heath Ledger asks Ann's father if he can write to Ann. The father acts like a fool and is shown up by his own daughter. It might have been an amusing scene, but it makes another man look like a fool and right after the church scene in which Ann makes all the men look like cowards.
- Finally, the pastor gets his gun and goes with the men to fight. This scene is one that every pastor, priest, and rabbi need to watch and re-watch until they understand that a shepherd fights the wolves too. The leaders of the church were often the leaders on the battlefield too. They fought in the temporal realms as well as the spiritual realms. We need this today.