The only aspect I remember him praising was the shots of the blue skies.
Ha, ha, more than expected …
I actually thought he’d fallen asleep at some points
Safe to say he enjoyed doing the Da uomo a uomo commentary a lot more.
Yeh that’s one of a few behind the scenes shots I used to build my case regarding how Leone’s role overlapped with that of Valerii at times.
What was your conclusion about the director of MNIN?
(Unfortunately I haven’t read your article … sob …)
Unfortunately I’m not allowed to share the whole article here. This was the concluding paragraph
In L’Abruzzo e il cinema, Leone notes with frustration that “I just wanted to be his consultant on the basis of the experience I had accumulated in cinema over many years” but that “only in editing did Tonino become more accepting”. Leone further refers to himself as “a producer of the old Hollywood style”; the implied creative responsibility is still reflected in the bestowal of the Academy Award for Best Picture to the producer rather than the director. This contrasts with the European practice, best epitomised by the Palme d’or at Cannes, where the honour is awarded to the director in accordance with the notion, introduced in Cahiers du cinéma in the 1950s, of the director as the “auteur” (author) of the film. It is fitting that a film shot in two parts across the United States and Europe, based on a thematic contrast between the American and Italian, or more broadly European, take on the Western, should have its ultimate accreditation similarly divided. Tonino Valerii was undoubtedly the director of this European (Italo-Franco-German) production, but Sergio Leone, in his classical American approach to production, was its auteur.
The article itself has supporting photos which complement the text nicely. The only downside is they did not let me proofread it before it went to print so it has several typos for non English words (I used Italian, Spanish and French sources) and had a couple of incorrect captions under the photos which were all written by someone else. In the next issue of Cinema Retro they then issued a correction regarding some of the major errors! Cinema Retro is in general a great read by the way, although I appreciate perhaps not as easy to get hold of outside of the UK and US where it is published.
Generally Cinema Retro seems a bit too retro for my taste, but there are doubtless interesting issues for me amongst them. And yes, it is not that easy to find here.
In the case of MNIN I even think that Leone is the director, even if he did not sit in the director’s chair most of the time, but I assume he controlled the film so much that it is nearly completely his, and though different if he really had directed it completely himself (but more in concept than in matters of style). That his style dominates the film so much that Valerii gets invisible behind Leone’s power.
I’ve always compared this situation to the Howard Hawks/Christisn Nyby debate for The Thing From Another World. Hawks’ influence is all over it.
Regarding the opening scene, this was a nice quote from Gastaldi in L’Âge d’or du cinéma de genre italien:
It was during the summer and Sergio had remained in Rome while Valerii was shooting the film in the USA. Then while I was on vacation, I received a surreal phone call from Sergio: “I’ve just had Tonino on the phone. He’s telling me that he can’t film the scene at the barber’s because the barber is never stationary enough for us to keep the barrel of a gun in his crotch!”
Yes, it’s very hawksian.
There are other examples, like Poltergeist and some other Spielberg productions in the 80s.
Belgian comics artist Joseph Gillain (Jijé) with Leone and Hill on the set of Il mio nome è Nessuno in 1973. At that time, Jijé was working on a comic book adaptation of Valerii and Leone’s farewell Western, but the latter reportedly pulled the plug on that project (some of Jijé’s finished pages and [preparatory] drawings are on view on Inedispirou.com). Conversely, Leone had shown interest in adapting Jijé’s long-running Western comic book series Jerry Spring for the big screen (source: Tanguy et Laverdure, intégrale 8).
GetTV and Sony Movie Channel is often airing this, AWESOME FILM !
I dug up an old photo (pre digital camera) taken in Acoma Pueblo during an “old west” holiday in New Mexico in 1997.
See the same location from the movie:
and here is the village from a distance:
I have just watched Valerii’s My Name Is Nobody for maybe the 5th och 6th time since I bought a DVD just a little over a year ago, and I must confess I think it is rather perfect so it is now number 5 in my top 30 just after the 4 first Leone SWs.
It looks so good, well directed, very good story and has some depth with Fonda as the “dying gunman species”. It certainly nearly could be taken by me for a Leone directed SW if I didn’t know better.
A rather big part of the movie was shot near La Calahorra station, which is always nice to see. Some Wild Bunch scenes in that part of the movie though were obviously shot in Cabo del Gata (Almeria) and in USA.
And the Morricone music is really versatile and very very good, especially the mainly “tough” guitar based theme when Fonda sees his brother’s grave (and during the final duel in New Orleans) and soon thereafter the fantastic Wild Bunch Theme.
I like the mood when Terence Hill watches the Wild Bunch as if it was some rare animal species such as snow leopard, watching with solemn amazement.
I have deliberately avoided other SW comedies because I think they will not fit the by me desired SW mood, but My Name Is Nobody has this depth which I do not associate with “simple” comedies.
I still rank it as a 8/10 but before other 8/10 SWs such as
6 The Big Gundown (Sergio Sollima)
7 Django Kill If You Live Shoot (Giulio Questi)
8 Cemetery Without Crosses (Robert Hossein)
9 Anda Muchacho Spara (Aldo Florio)
He supposedly directed quite a few scenes in the film, including the opening scene, the graveyard scene, the face off with the wild bunch and the final duel in New Orleans. Leone’s influence is all over the film but Valerii was also a very capable director in his own right, so there’s no reason to believe he wasn’t responsible for most of it. Check out Valerii’s ‘Taste of Killing’ if you haven’t already. A hidden gem!
Thanks, I have read its forum thread and it do sounds interesting (shot in Almeria is a + for me), even if a short american trailer at Youtube which just goes bang, bang, bang is rather deterrent.
I thought there are probably no official DVDs with English dub or subtitles for sale for a reasonable price at Ebay or Amazon for the moment, but there is this Italowestern-Enzyklopädie No. 3 from Koch Media which has 4 DVDs including Lanky Fellow - Der einsame Rächer which has English dub according to
Therefore I was quick to order it from german amazon
If you scroll up this thread a little, you can read about Leone’s role in directing the film. I actually published an article in Cinema Retro on it.
Check TRADERA every once on a while, Wild East titles do pop up and usually goes cheap. Taste of Killing went for 46:- some weeks ago… https://www.tradera.com/item/130110/362612972/taste-of-killing-craig-hill-tonino-valerii-wild-east-productions
I will remember that for the future, but I hope in this case the Koch release Italowestern - Enzyklopädie 3 will be a good buy with also 3 other (mediocre?) SWs
Have not seen the Pecos movies in that set but Blood At Sundown aka $1000 Dollars on Black is in my opinion an amazing spaghetti western, one of Garkos best performances IMHO.