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Old 11-16-2013
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Re: Robert Redford, Sailor

And the back story you provided is one of but many possibilities. There is no right answer. The letter that's read in the beginning is very short and intentionally vague. He apologies for something but we don't know what.

That's what the writer wanted.

The movie merely provides a framework, the audience has to fill in the blanks.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------Possible spoilers
Exactly. I provided the back story that appeals to me, and fills in the blanks for me. I posted here to get others thoughts, not to act as a film studies professor. Thanks for the kind and thoughtful comments.
On other threads the movie has been trashed for mistakes. I'm not so sure they are mistakes. A writer, director and to a lesser extent an editor have enormous latitude on what they write and film and the scenes they put in the movie. Robert Culp one said about his under rated "Hickey & Boggs" that a director fills a scene with many details, each one imparts important information that is needed for the story. I prefer to believe that some details are important, not mistakes.
That being said I still cannot reconcile the the steering and the number of flares. I am guessing the cockpit was cut from one of the boats, and Redford's wheel was attached to nothing for filming. Redford admits he is not a sailor, the steering wheel keeps spinning, so he keeps spinning it. The flares? A question of time I guess, how many unseen flares can you fire before the audience get up to leave?
Lou
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