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In the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, the ambitious Robert Ford shoots Jesse James in the back of the head. When he falls, his eyes are closed. The camera moves to Bob, and then back to Jesse, whose eyes are open again. Is this a mistake, or does it signify something?

  • Not an answer, because I'm not sure. I think when you die, your muscles relax and open your eyelids, even if they were closed. This might be a question for a medical forum. – Meat Trademark Jan 11 at 3:32
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On page 99 of the script, which I am viewing here it says:

...JESSE drops from his knees and smacks onto the floor like a great animal, shaking the house with his fall

ZEE rushes into a room that is still blue with smoke and screams.

BOB slowly retreats and straddles the windowsill.

         ZEE
   What have you done?

BOB looks stricken, as though he wants to apologize but can't.

JESSE looks at the ceiling, his fingers curl and uncurl, his mouth works at making words.

Now we don't know that this is the script that was actually used during the making of the movie, or that day's scene's, but it is quite possible that this is what Brad Pitt received for that scene. It's obvious in this script that Jesse James (Brad Pitt) doesn't immediately die. So, it may be this, or it may be bad editing with a continuity error, or maybe Pitt couldn't keeps his eyes open throughout the take and was caught in a blink.

I believe it was Pitt's interpretation of a dying James.

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