In the 1970 Lee Marvin western, Monte Walsh, the eponymous protagonist learns rather suddenly that his woman, Martine, is dead. This caught me completely by surprise and led me to believe that this was a rather hackneyed attempt at increasing the tension. However, Wikipedia's summary introduces the character as:

Monte has a long-term relationship with an old flame, prostitute and saloon girl Martine Bernard (Jeanne Moreau), who suffers from tuberculosis.

When I watched the film, Martine appeared to be completely fine until she moves to a neighbouring town. Two-thirds of the way through the plot, we see her coughing as she has a drink. She apparently doesn't normally drink either and there is no hint in the dialogue that she is sick.

I'd like to know if there was any suggestion that she was sick before the scene where Monte is informed that "Martine is in a bad way".

  • 1
    Not an answer, but an explanation - desert climates were generally suggested for sufferers of tuberculosis - like Arizona. The town in the film is called Harmony, but was filmed in Tuscon, AZ. Tuscon, AZ held 12 sanitoria in the early 1900s - see wikipedia. – wbogacz Dec 12 '13 at 20:32
  • @wbogacz That is enlightening. Thank you. – coleopterist Dec 12 '13 at 20:36

Unfortunately, this may only have been found in a scene which was cut from the final edit of the film, because no such scene exists in it. Martine having TB is a story element which is suddenly introduced to the viewer and is a surprise as a result.

Both the 1963 eponymous novel and the 2003 remake, starring Tom Selleck, make Martine's health issues clear to the reader/viewer. The 1970 film does not, and this may have been the result of editing needed to prevent the pace of the film slowing.

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