|This line is delivered by the very brilliant Francis Fisher in Clint Eastwood's classic western: UNFORGIVEN.|
It's from quite early on in the fillum just after Delilah had her face slashed by the two cowboys, —Sheriff Little Bill arrives and Alice explains that Delilah has done little to enrage the cowboy:
She didn't steal nothing.
She didn't even touch his poke. Alls she done, when she
seen he has a teensy little pecker, is give a giggle. That's all.
She didn't know no better. Going to hang them, Little Bill?
Now the very important point I would like make to you today
( that I know will surely rock your system to it's very core ) is this:
I reckon the intonation is 'wrong' in the first two lines.
Yes. I hate to be the bearer of such news but there it is: the facts are undeniable; there's no getting away from it. When we pay full and proper attention to Mr Eastwood's masterpiece we simply cannot escape the fact that, in these two lines, the emphasis is like so :
She didn't steal nothing.
She didn't even touch his poke.
|As if the stealing of a man's property and the 'touching of his poke ' were equally nefarious but unrelated activities; ( either of which might be said to warrant at least some degree of cowboy censure).|
|But,- when we know that 'poke' is slang for money*, we can see that she is not denying 'stealing' or 'poke-touching' as two distinct possibilities: she's simply denying theft, twice, the second time with more emphasis and so the line should be actually be delivered:||*( Originating from the Gaelic "i do 'Phóca'" if we believe professor Cassidy, and we don't always )|
She didn't steal nothing: she didn't even touch his poke !
An astonishing blunder indeed.
I have written of this grave situation to Mr Eastwood and suggested what could be done to salvage both his film and reputation. Mr Eastwood's publicity people have replied, to thank me for both pointing out the error and for my suggestions about what might be done to remedy this calamity.
They report that, sadly, that as Clint, Gene and Morgan are all getting on a bit, and as Richard Harris is unfortunately no longer alive, a complete re-shoot of the entire film to properly correct this oversight is no longer a possibility.
I can only conclude that Mr Eastwood has instead ( quite nobly in my mind) elected to bear the shame of this error with fortitude and to hope that the small contribution he has made to the film industry hitherto shall not be completely eclipsed by news of this glaring inaccuracy.
I wish him luck .