Author Topic: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?  (Read 28900 times)

Offline tpe

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Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« on: Apr 15, 2006, 02:01 PM »
This subject has been floating around for a while now, vaguely hinted at in some older threads, and nearly implied in others.

Perhaps the most convincing argument I have seen in the story is the passage where John Twist is telling Ennis that Jack planned to divorce Lureen and move back with the Texas ranch neighbor.  Immediately after this passage, the story proceeds to say that at that point Ennis then knew it was the tire iron that killed Jack.

Some have taken this as a reference to Ennis assuming that Jack was murdered because of the impending divorce with Lureen.  It is indeed strange that Proulx would have Ennis come to this realization (i.e., that Jack was murdered) as a consequence of John Twist's revelation of Jack's intended plans to move back.

I do not have a copy of the online version of the story, but someone with access to one can reference this passage in question.

This also lends support to some interpretations of Lureen's bitter last words to Ennis over the phone: 'I suppose they [i.e., Jack's parents] would be pleased if his wishes were carried out, about the ashes, I mean.' (I paraphrase from memory.)

Some have interpreted this as a double edged sword.  Lureen having to clarify that 'his wishes' pertained to 'the ashes' implies that 'his wishes' could be interpreted in another way.  The implication of course, is that Lureen, having realized at that point who Ennis really was, mockingly asked him to get in touch with Jack's folks, so that the ashes can finally come ot the possession of the one person that Jack wished to be united with in death: Ennis.

I do not have a particularly strong opinion for or against this interpretation.  But I would be interested in your thoughts...


« Last Edit: Apr 15, 2006, 02:06 PM by tpe »

Offline LuvJackNasty

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 15, 2006, 02:47 PM »
My friend and I were discussing this just this morning! A friend of hers just saw BBM for the first time and she said that her friend feels Lureen had Jack killed because she knew he liked men and that Randall was a set up. My friend believes that as well. They both cited Lureen being sarcastic with Jack about men never wanting to dance with their wives. My interpretation is that I do feel Lureen had some hint of the true Jack. I think Randall was just a guy in the same boat as Ennis and Jack and that just because he referenced whiskey and fishing wasn't necessarily a hint but rather it was just the thing to do. Besides, there were a few years between the proposition and Jack's death. I told her we don't know what happened- it could be so many things- he could have been caught with Randall, he could have propostioned the wrong person etc. That's part of the beauty of this story- we become Ennis in not knowing the truth- only having our minds racing with so many possibilities.

I never thought of it as having Jack's ashes be united with the person he wished to be with in death before. I believe Lureen knows the true nature of Jack's death {murder} but I flip flop as to wether or not she had a hand in it. Most of me believes that she didn't. I also waver on the comment about the ashes. She was bitter sounding but there is a part of me that thinks that she was trying to give Ennis some closure as there was some part of her that did love Jack even then. But reading your post has my mind going in another direction. That in realizing who Ennis was this was almost an act of cruelty on her part- to let him be hurt like she was hurt. If that was her intention- to hurt Ennis in letting him find out about the ranch neighbor- it backfired because Ennis found the shirts and knew beyond any doubt his place in Jack's life and heart.

« Last Edit: Apr 15, 2006, 02:49 PM by LuvJackNasty »
“What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand was the time that distant summer on Brokeback when Ennis had come up behind him and pulled him close, the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger."

You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one ~ Imagine- J. Lennon

Offline tpe

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #2 on: Apr 15, 2006, 03:09 PM »
Thanks LuvJackNasty.  There is still so much in the story that is open to interpretation.  That's why it is so powerful...

 

Offline ethan

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #3 on: Apr 15, 2006, 05:23 PM »
Like LuvJackNasty, I also believe that Jack was murdered. But how?

The least possibility I would like to think of is Lureen's involvement to have Jack killed. Could she have really turned from her love to hate and have Jack killed? I really hope not.

IF Lureen did know Jack died because of homophobia, it seems Lureen's cruelty to Ennis is realistic. She had realized that the man she had spent almost 20 years of her lives was not her love.

Ennis was.

I tend to believe this movie is complex love situations - they all happened in the wrong place and wrong time that made BBM a such tragic love story.
Remembering Pierre (chameau) 1960-2015, a "Capricorn bro and crazy Frog Uncle from the North Pole." You are missed

Offline tpe

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #4 on: Apr 15, 2006, 05:42 PM »
I tend to believe this movie is complex love situations

This is why we are here: to appreciate and be moved.

Thanks Ethan.  :)


Offline shieldmaid

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #5 on: Apr 15, 2006, 06:10 PM »
Wow, I never considered the possibility that Lureen might have had something to do with Jack's death . . . I don't want to think that she did, though, not my favorite interpretation.  After all, she does seem grieved in the phone call with Ennis (the small sounds she makes, for instance).
some open space between

Offline Patriot1

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #6 on: Apr 15, 2006, 06:16 PM »
Wow, I never considered the possibility that Lureen might have had something to do with Jack's death . . . I don't want to think that she did, though, not my favorite interpretation.  After all, she does seem grieved in the phone call with Ennis (the small sounds she makes, for instance).

Sweetheart, those "small sounds" you hear her make are not for Jack, they are for herself.  She just found out she is talking to her husbands lover and first true love.

Tell you what...truth is, sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it...

Love is a force of nature.

Offline shieldmaid

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #7 on: Apr 15, 2006, 06:20 PM »
Wow, I never considered the possibility that Lureen might have had something to do with Jack's death . . . I don't want to think that she did, though, not my favorite interpretation.  After all, she does seem grieved in the phone call with Ennis (the small sounds she makes, for instance).

Sweetheart, those "small sounds" you hear her make are not for Jack, they are for herself.  She just found out she is talking to her husbands lover and first true love.



sorry, I still interpret these sounds as pain of some kind--even indicating that she realizes Ennis was Jack's true love suggests that it hurts that she wasn't.  I think she did care about Jack a little in the end, at least.
some open space between

Offline chameau

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #8 on: Apr 15, 2006, 06:21 PM »
Wow, I never considered the possibility that Lureen might have had something to do with Jack's death . . . I don't want to think that she did, though, not my favorite interpretation.  After all, she does seem grieved in the phone call with Ennis (the small sounds she makes, for instance).

Sweetheart, those "small sounds" you hear her make are not for Jack, they are for herself.  She just found out she is talking to her husbands lover and first true love.



I agree with Patriot1, maybe she was suspecting about her husband's secret life but she got the confirmation from Ennis phone call, it's not only "small sounds", she got teary eyes too. 
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Offline edgar

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #9 on: Apr 16, 2006, 10:43 PM »
I think Lureen definitely knows Jack was murdered. The way she repeats the rote story... And the way the movie shows the flashes of the murder, those must come from Lureen's head, yes? Certainly not from Ennis's head, at this point.

I don't see Lureen as mean enough to set up the murder.

Her evil dad is dead by this time, but what about some of his relatives?

Otherwise, it's just another impromptu hate crime like the one Ennis tells about when he was nine.

Offline Valandil Eluch

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #10 on: Apr 17, 2006, 12:35 AM »
i can really say she was not on that
There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.

Offline Patriot1

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #11 on: Apr 17, 2006, 12:54 AM »
...And the way the movie shows the flashes of the murder, those must come from Lureen's head, yes? Certainly not from Ennis's head, at this point.

Why do you think they can't come from Ennis' head Edgar?

He is the one standing there thinking and not saying a word, to the point where she had to say "hello" several times before the images stopped and he "woke up".

I was sure they came from Ennis.

« Last Edit: Apr 17, 2006, 01:27 AM by Patriot1 »
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Offline TwoSkins

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #12 on: Apr 17, 2006, 11:28 AM »
I knew in the theater, as soon as Laureen told Ennis, I had a strong hunch that because of Jack's new relationship with Randall, Laureen Somehow knew and had Jack killed - My wife even yelled at me cause we were in the theater and I yelled out "she killed him"...
Very difficult scene to witness!
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Offline dirtbiker

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #13 on: Apr 17, 2006, 11:48 AM »
Such is the richness of this movie, opening so many scenes to individual interpretation.  As someone mentioned in a review a while back,  in a split second, Lureen had to decide to either treat the person who stole her husband's heart with kindness/compassion or contempt.  I think she treated Ennis somewhere in between.  On the one hand, she wanted to treat him with kindness, but her bitterness foreshadowed that.  I don't think she was capable of having Jack killed though.  I think the story about the flat tire was a cover-up for the disgrace she felt of her husband being lynched for who he was.

Offline Valandil Eluch

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #14 on: Apr 17, 2006, 01:37 PM »
that is so true that story was a cover the more i think about the more i believe that was a queer bash because then it what would be the point of this story it was about homophobia he was definetaly killed.
There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.

Offline tpe

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #15 on: Apr 17, 2006, 01:45 PM »
I do think it was a wonderful touch that the scene showing Jack being murdered is left ambiguous -- as the original story does.

Homophobia is definitely at the heart of the murder, if you indeed accept that he was murdered (as Hathaway herself implied in the Oprah interview).


Offline Toadily

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #16 on: Apr 17, 2006, 01:49 PM »
I don't think Lureen would do that personally.  I think she was just oblivious for a long time, not in
a hate mode really.  I think Jack was found out due to this affair with the rancher and then word
got around and some drunk red necks killed him.
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Offline Patriot1

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #17 on: Apr 17, 2006, 02:36 PM »
I do think it was a wonderful touch that the scene showing Jack being murdered is left ambiguous -- as the original story does.

Homophobia is definitely at the heart of the murder, if you indeed accept that he was murdered (as Hathaway herself implied in the Oprah interview).

I don't think there is any need to imply anything.  The movie credits say there was an assailant.  The scene was cut. Ang Lee said the whole sequence of the murder was filmed but he couldn't find a place to put it so it was dropped.  The original trailer showed 2 of the guys that killed him. Also, I know I do things differently from other people, but, I would have put the tire on the truck and then pumped it up.  It surely couldn't have blown off of the truck and hit him in the face. Not with 5 lug nuts holding it on.  And, even if he was pumping up the tire with it laying on the ground, you stand up to pump up a tire with a tire pump, generally, with one foot on the pump holding it down.  The tire would have had to fly up 5 and a half to 6 feet to hit him in the face.

Tell you what...truth is, sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it...

Love is a force of nature.

Offline dirtbiker

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #18 on: Apr 17, 2006, 02:44 PM »
I do think it was a wonderful touch that the scene showing Jack being murdered is left ambiguous -- as the original story does.

Homophobia is definitely at the heart of the murder, if you indeed accept that he was murdered (as Hathaway herself implied in the Oprah interview).

I don't think there is any need to imply anything.  The movie credits say there was an assailant.  The scene was cut. Ang Lee said the whole sequence of the murder was filmed but he couldn't find a place to put it so it was dropped.  The original trailer showed 2 of the guys that killed him. Also, I know I do things differently from other people, but, I would have put the tire on the truck and then pumped it up.  It surely couldn't have blown off of the truck and hit him in the face. Not with 5 lug nuts holding it on.  And, even if he was pumping up the tire with it laying on the ground, you stand up to pump up a tire with a tire pump, generally, with one foot on the pump holding it down.  The tire would have had to fly up 5 and a half to 6 feet to hit him in the face.



It wasn't the tire though... She said "the rim of the tire" ;)

Offline Valandil Eluch

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #19 on: Apr 17, 2006, 02:44 PM »
 :o :o :o :o you are always on every detail patriot!!!!  thanks!!!
There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.

Offline tpe

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #20 on: Apr 17, 2006, 02:56 PM »
I do think it was a wonderful touch that the scene showing Jack being murdered is left ambiguous -- as the original story does.

Homophobia is definitely at the heart of the murder, if you indeed accept that he was murdered (as Hathaway herself implied in the Oprah interview).

I don't think there is any need to imply anything.  The movie credits say there was an assailant.  The scene was cut. Ang Lee said the whole sequence of the murder was filmed but he couldn't find a place to put it so it was dropped.  The original trailer showed 2 of the guys that killed him. Also, I know I do things differently from other people, but, I would have put the tire on the truck and then pumped it up.  It surely couldn't have blown off of the truck and hit him in the face. Not with 5 lug nuts holding it on.  And, even if he was pumping up the tire with it laying on the ground, you stand up to pump up a tire with a tire pump, generally, with one foot on the pump holding it down.  The tire would have had to fly up 5 and a half to 6 feet to hit him in the face.

Yes, very well said.

I know some people though who would say that the murder never happened and that it was just all in Ennis's head -- or some such ambiguity.

I personally think that he was murdered.  IMO, the assailant is indeed real, and not just a figment of Ennis's imagination.


Offline Patriot1

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #21 on: Apr 17, 2006, 03:08 PM »
I do think it was a wonderful touch that the scene showing Jack being murdered is left ambiguous -- as the original story does.

Homophobia is definitely at the heart of the murder, if you indeed accept that he was murdered (as Hathaway herself implied in the Oprah interview).

I don't think there is any need to imply anything.  The movie credits say there was an assailant.  The scene was cut. Ang Lee said the whole sequence of the murder was filmed but he couldn't find a place to put it so it was dropped.  The original trailer showed 2 of the guys that killed him. Also, I know I do things differently from other people, but, I would have put the tire on the truck and then pumped it up.  It surely couldn't have blown off of the truck and hit him in the face. Not with 5 lug nuts holding it on.  And, even if he was pumping up the tire with it laying on the ground, you stand up to pump up a tire with a tire pump, generally, with one foot on the pump holding it down.  The tire would have had to fly up 5 and a half to 6 feet to hit him in the face.



It wasn't the tire though... She said "the rim of the tire" ;)

I don't understand your point dirtbiker.


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Offline Patriot1

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #22 on: Apr 17, 2006, 03:25 PM »
I do think it was a wonderful touch that the scene showing Jack being murdered is left ambiguous -- as the original story does.

Homophobia is definitely at the heart of the murder, if you indeed accept that he was murdered (as Hathaway herself implied in the Oprah interview).

I don't think there is any need to imply anything.  The movie credits say there was an assailant.  The scene was cut. Ang Lee said the whole sequence of the murder was filmed but he couldn't find a place to put it so it was dropped.  The original trailer showed 2 of the guys that killed him. Also, I know I do things differently from other people, but, I would have put the tire on the truck and then pumped it up.  It surely couldn't have blown off of the truck and hit him in the face. Not with 5 lug nuts holding it on.  And, even if he was pumping up the tire with it laying on the ground, you stand up to pump up a tire with a tire pump, generally, with one foot on the pump holding it down.  The tire would have had to fly up 5 and a half to 6 feet to hit him in the face.

Yes, very well said.

I know some people though who would say that the murder never happened and that it was just all in Ennis's head -- or some such ambiguity.

I personally think that he was murdered.  IMO, the assailant is indeed real, and not just a figment of Ennis's imagination.

And where do these brilliant people say Jack went tpe?  Why does Laureen cry when she finds out who Ennis actually was in Jack's life? Why didn't she just hang up immediately and run off to confront Jack if he was still alive? Why was Mrs. Twist so kind to Ennis? Do you REALLY think that bitter old bustard (sic) of a father would be a part of any conspiracy to hide Jack from Ennis?

Tell you what...truth is, sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it...

Love is a force of nature.

Offline dirtbiker

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #23 on: Apr 17, 2006, 03:27 PM »
I do think it was a wonderful touch that the scene showing Jack being murdered is left ambiguous -- as the original story does.

Homophobia is definitely at the heart of the murder, if you indeed accept that he was murdered (as Hathaway herself implied in the Oprah interview).

I don't think there is any need to imply anything.  The movie credits say there was an assailant.  The scene was cut. Ang Lee said the whole sequence of the murder was filmed but he couldn't find a place to put it so it was dropped.  The original trailer showed 2 of the guys that killed him. Also, I know I do things differently from other people, but, I would have put the tire on the truck and then pumped it up.  It surely couldn't have blown off of the truck and hit him in the face. Not with 5 lug nuts holding it on.  And, even if he was pumping up the tire with it laying on the ground, you stand up to pump up a tire with a tire pump, generally, with one foot on the pump holding it down.  The tire would have had to fly up 5 and a half to 6 feet to hit him in the face.



It wasn't the tire though... She said "the rim of the tire" ;)

I don't understand your point dirtbiker.



Just saying that the rim was still on the tire, so it must've been pumped while still on the truck.  If it did explode, it could've shot the hubcap off and knocked Jack unconscious. Wait... the rim is actually the inner round metal thingie where the tire sits on right?  Maybe Lureen meant the hubcap and not the rim.  It would be impossible for the rim to hit Jack unless the bolts were loosened up before pumping the tire.

Offline Patriot1

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #24 on: Apr 17, 2006, 03:38 PM »
Just saying that the rim was still on the tire, so it must've been pumped while still on the truck.  If it did explode, it could've shot the hubcap off and knocked Jack unconscious. Wait... the rim is actually the inner round metal thingie where the tire sits on right?  Maybe Lureen meant the hubcap and not the rim.  It would be impossible for the rim to hit Jack unless the bolts were loosened up before pumping the tire.

Yes, the rim of the tire, dirtbiker (   ;D   ) is that round metal thing the rubber tire sits on. Even if the lug nuts weren't tight, but were on enough to hold the tire, it would have to have been a pretty large explosion to sheer off 5 lug nuts and fly straight up and hit Jack in the face.  Even then, it would have had to come straight out (away from the truck) and then make a 90 degree turn straight up.  I don't think so.

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Offline tpe

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #25 on: Apr 17, 2006, 03:49 PM »
And where do these brilliant people say Jack went tpe?  Why does Laureen cry when she finds out who Ennis actually was in Jack's life? Why didn't she just hang up immediately and run off to confront Jack if he was still alive? Why was Mrs. Twist so kind to Ennis? Do you REALLY think that bitter old bustard (sic) of a father would be a part of any conspiracy to hide Jack from Ennis?

I guess they have the ambiguity in the short story in mind, and not the movie itself, which is much less ambiguous IMO.  ;)


Offline Patriot1

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #26 on: Apr 17, 2006, 03:54 PM »
And where do these brilliant people say Jack went tpe?  Why does Laureen cry when she finds out who Ennis actually was in Jack's life? Why didn't she just hang up immediately and run off to confront Jack if he was still alive? Why was Mrs. Twist so kind to Ennis? Do you REALLY think that bitter old bustard (sic) of a father would be a part of any conspiracy to hide Jack from Ennis?

I guess they have the ambiguity in the short story in mind, and not the movie itself, which is much less ambiguous IMO.  ;)

Yes, if someone had only the short story it becomes more ambiguous.  But, there are still those questions I asked above.



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Offline filazahies

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #27 on: Apr 17, 2006, 07:00 PM »
IMO Lureen didn't have Jack killed. I think she really loved Jack. In the Thanksgiving scene, when Jack shouts at Lureen's father she shows a smile of complicity or joy for what Jack has done. And at this point of the movie she may already "suppose" that after Jack's trips to Wyoming there was something more than a visit to a friend ( she might think Jack was cheating with another woman).Remember that Jack tells Ennis that he and Lureen could make love through the phone (or something like that)
When she talks to Ennis, she finds out that the visits were really to his friend Ennis, but he was the person with whom Jack was cheating on her... at this point she realised about her husband's "secret" and probably she could imagine the reason of his death. And that's wy she sounded so bitter, she was talking to the person her husband really loved.
It's just my opinion...

Offline edgar

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #28 on: Apr 17, 2006, 10:36 PM »
...And the way the movie shows the flashes of the murder, those must come from Lureen's head, yes? Certainly not from Ennis's head, at this point.

Why do you think they can't come from Ennis' head Edgar?

He is the one standing there thinking and not saying a word, to the point where she had to say "hello" several times before the images stopped and he "woke up".

I was sure they came from Ennis.



Thanks for the response P1. Well, it just seems to me that Ennis, hearing for the first time about Jack's death, would not instantly replace the images Lureen is feeding him with other, violent images of Jack being murdered.

Maybe later he would think about this as a possibility, but not immediately.

Also, I'm coming from the perspective that the shots of Jack's murder are "real." In other words, we are seeing what really happened to Jack. Ennis does not, cannot know this at this time. Lureen, imho, knows what really happened and *cannot keep* those images from her head as she repeats the lie.

I like your point about Jack's silence and faltering, but couldn't that just be a reaction to hearing the horrible news of Jack's death? Ennis was never much of a talker, you know....

Offline Patriot1

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Re: Did Lureen Have Jack Killed?
« Reply #29 on: Apr 17, 2006, 10:48 PM »
...And the way the movie shows the flashes of the murder, those must come from Lureen's head, yes? Certainly not from Ennis's head, at this point.

Why do you think they can't come from Ennis' head Edgar?

He is the one standing there thinking and not saying a word, to the point where she had to say "hello" several times before the images stopped and he "woke up".

I was sure they came from Ennis.

Also, I'm coming from the perspective that the shots of Jack's murder are "real." In other words, we are seeing what really happened to Jack. Ennis does not, cannot know this at this time. Lureen, imho, knows what really happened and *cannot keep* those images from her head as she repeats the lie.

I like your point about Jack's silence and faltering, but couldn't that just be a reaction to hearing the horrible news of Jack's death? Ennis was never much of a talker, you know....


If you believe the images are real, that would have to mean either Ennis or Laureen was there when it happened in order for one of them to have a flashback of the real scene.

We all see the movie the way it means to most to us and I can not offer any conclusive proof or any kind of evidence to say the thoughts came from either one.  However, because Ennis is listening to her and thinking, and so caught up in his thoughts of Jack dying by the tire iron, I just believe the thoughts came from him.  She was talking, he was thinking.  For me, it doesn't make sense any other way.  She is talking and he is just standing there empty headed?

Tell you what...truth is, sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it...

Love is a force of nature.