My Name Is Nobody / Il mio nome è Nessuno (Tonino Valerii, Sergio Leone, 1973)

(TheBigSmokedown) #181

Very interesting.

This was a disappointing film for me. Some beautiful shots and of course the opening sequence is jaw dropping. Otherwise, the slapstick elements get in the way and prevent this from being a true masterpiece.

(ENNIOO) #182

Who does Hill say directed the majority of the film ?

(Stanton) #183

Hill says in an interview on the German DVD that Leone completely controlled the film, that it was “his film”, but not that he actually directed most parts of the film.

According to Tom Betts there was maybe something like that everybody who has worked on the film had to swear “to never mention Sergio directed any of the film”. Which would then explain also why Leone in early interviews claimed not to have directed anything himself.
But in later interviews he said that he directed the opening scene, the Fonda versus wild bunch battle and the final New Orleans duel. Which are actually the best scenes of the film.

I just rewatched most of Nobody and greater parts of OuTW, and especially the opening scene is pure Leone. Look at the camera movements, the way the actors are looking and moving and even the cutting. And the use of noises and, and, and …

(El Gorila) #184

This is a really fun film !
I’ve recently gotten my kids addicted to spaghetti westerns, and the loved this one.
Nobody is maybe a bit more " family friendly" than most.

(Paul) #185

[quote=“El Gorila, post:184, topic:71”]This is a really fun film !
I’ve recently gotten my kids addicted to spaghetti westerns, and the loved this one.
Nobody is maybe a bit more " family friendly" than most.[/quote]
I look forward to the day when my son is old enough to understand and enjoy SWs. (He’s just a year and a half now.) Having said that, whenever I’m watching a Western on the television, he often sits with me. I think the genre is visually interesting for children.

I would guess that NOBODY’s use of visual humour and slapstick makes it appealing to children. I know I loved the film (and TRINITY too) as a child.

(sartana1968) #186

the trash of the century! ;D
0 out of 5

(Stanton) #187

Come on, half a point for the score …

(scherpschutter) #188

Never liked the score …

(sartana1968) #189

okay stanton
maybe 0,000001 out of 5 :smiley:

(Stanton) #190


Apart from the jokey main theme it has mostly wonderful music, just like the other scores Morricone did for Leone.
But I like the main theme also.

(Stanton) #191

[quote=“sartana1968, post:189, topic:71”]okay stanton
maybe 0,000001 out of 5 :D[/quote]

That’s quite generous, and not undeserved …

(ENNIOO) #192

Score is the best thing about the film for me. Took a long time for the original score tracks to be issued. L.P editions and first CD releases contained mostly (if not all, cannot remember of the top of my head) studio versions of the themes.


One of the ‘classics’ I do not care much about.

(Stanton) #194

Some more details which add to the “Leone is the true director of MNIN”:

From an interview with Terence Hill, but again it does not contain a direct statement.

The Nobody relevant paasages:

Journalist: Thank you, good evening. Some questions I had were already asked, stolen by Fabio! Returning to the character of "Nobody" from My Name is Nobody, in which you worked with Henry Fonda under the direction of Sergio Leone, perhaps you could give us an idea about who was really the director of the film, if it was Valerii or Leone, even if the fingerprint of Leone is very evident. The character of "Nobody", what he represents in the history of that era of the western, becomes in some way the audience, becomes the screenwriter, becomes practically the scriptwriter of the film because he is the one who in reality is also the director given that he guides the acts of "Beauregard", therefore he is a bit the character who acts as a bridge between the classic western and that of your character of "Trinity".

Terence Hill: Well, I should first answer the question concerning “Nobody”. My Name is Nobody came after the two Trinity films and was conceived of and created by Sergio Leone because when the second Trinity came out, he admired this film very much but he did not expect it to have much box office success. He was surprised however, when the film came out at the same time as A Fistful of Dynamite / Duck, You Sucker with Charles Bronson and James Coburn and we did better than they did. At that point in time, Leone had decided to stop making westerns, but he was still in love with the genre, so he conceived of a film that was like his own story and how he wanted the western to end. I came to understand this during many visits with him, and that he identified with the Henry Fonda character, who was confronted with a new character who was portrayed by me. The character was a bit like the hippy of that era, don’t you think? He slept, lazed around, reacted only when provoked, had no worries and lived day to day with great joy. So Leone wanted to make one last western and it was a very premeditated western, done with great care and professionalism. Three scripts were written but Sergio liked none of them, the last one having been inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey, but even that one did not work. But Sergio wanted to keep the name Nobody which is why it was called My Name is Nobody. Everyone asks me if the film is by Sergio or by Tonino. I don’t want to answer this question out of tactfulness, however I can say that it was Sergio Leone’s baby because he had wanted it so badly. I didn’t know him at the time but he came to me and said: “I want to make a film with you, on a large set, with more financial backing, more serious, with more meaning, epochal”. He really liked epics. Tonino Valerii was his assistant director so there was, you could say, a lot control coming from him. Sergio Leone, whom we all love, saw his moment in that film, and said he wanted to leave the western but wanted to leave a story like Nobody to remain in film history, “Jack Beauregard” pitted against the Wild Bunch.

Gentleman from the public: I must apologize because today’s meeting was not foreseen in my plans, so I find myself here with my little dog that I couldn’t leave at home, which explains the bark from earlier. I would like to ask if among all the characters you’ve portrayed, there’s one you’re more attached to?

Terence Hill: Yes, I’m very attached to “Trinity” and to “Nobody”. “Trinity” because his was a portrayal that came totally spontaneously, unconsciously. “Nobody” was instead a performance that was very studied. For the journalists here who are interested in cinema, I’d like to provide an example of what I mean. Sergio Leone wanted his films to be epic films. I had become something of a favourite of his, so he would take me to see his films when they were showing, and he told me that Charles Bronson’s character in Once Upon a Time in the West / There Was Once the West, was made to always enter the scene from right to left. He wanted to visually develop this hero in that way, to have him arrive at the climactic moment to confront the bad guy, in this case, Henry Fonda. In the final duel, you can see that as Henry Fonda is walking in a circle, the background is turning too. Leone said to me: “Do you know how I did that?” And I said: “No, I don’t know. How did you do that?” “I put him on a platform and made the platform turn together with the camera”. Then when Charles Bronson enters the scene to confront the bad guy, he has him enter from right to left, which he explained later to me the reason why, and I remember I jumped up in my seat because the music composed by Ennio Morricone had been developing throughout the whole movie, and when the crescendo came, he (ed. Bronson) entered the scene, and the emotions aroused were incredibly strong. Sergio Leone worked on the unconscious of the audience to achieve this effect. And for My Name is Nobody, he told me: “You know what I’m going to do with you? I’m going to have Nobody enter the scene from bottom to top.” That’s why the first time you see him he’s coming out of the water, which is actually a mythological reference. He created the emotional reactions in the audience, unconsciously, directing those emotions all the way to the climax of the story, in which by then the audience is clearly involved, continually playing with the strings of the archetypal characters. It’s also for those reasons that I’m attached to My Name is Nobody, As a character, “Nobody” is very spontaneous and very direct, but supporting him is much that is well thought out and studied.

Federica: Ciao! Have you ever considered making a sequel to My Name is Nobody, you could take the part of “Jack Beauregard”?

Terence Hill: Yes, Federica. Sergio Leone is no longer with us, but he did make a sequel that was very different. He hired actors who were representative of the characters they were to portray. Henry Fonda represented the old west so he paired him with what he wanted the character to communicate. I would like to make another western; I thought about that just the other day. Maybe I’m getting to the point of being “Jack Beauregard”, but I’m not sure. Anyway, I would like to make another western, of course one with a solid story, a beautiful story.

Fabio Melelli: Are there any more questions? By the way, you acted in another western produced by Sergio Leone, with Rafran, that was Damiano Damiani’s A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe, however it was aimed more towards comedy, wasn’t it?

Terence Hill: Here we are, this answer may satisfy the journalist who asked about My Name is Nobody. Tonino Valerii was a student of Sergio Leone. Damiano Damiani, however, was an independent auteur, so the films that he made, were not made following in the footsteps of Sergio, in that style, which I think was a mistake. Westerns have a certain style; they have to have a certain rhythm; they have to have certain shots and set-ups which can’t be improvised. But okay, I’m not going to say any more!

(Stanton) #195

Interestingly again Hill evites a direct assertion.

There must be also something on the French disc that Leone and Gastaldi worked on the screenplay for several months. That they read the dialogues to other people and checked their reactions so long until Leone was pleased. And that only after the screenplay was ready Leone searched for a director and tested 32 people amongst them Corbucci and uhh Pasolini (hard to believe).
And Gastaldi has said that MNIN was his only screenplay which was exactly filmed as it was written.

(Sundance) #196

Don’t know if the link has been posted here before, (perhaps Stanton and some others have seen it at the Leone boards), but is Valerii just hanging around in these photos waiting for Leone to direct? :wink:
(The site may load very slowly or require a few tries…)

(JonathanCorbett) #197

Partial translation of the interview with the writer Ernesto Gastaldi

“On this film I hear and see on TV comical and false statements
Too bad it’s all a big story! Terence Hill has never starred in a film directed by Sergio Leone! In My Name Is Nobody Sergio filmed two or three scenes* as a second crew for production reasons, but the film was entirely directed by Tonino Valerii
Indeed there is more, when 15 days before the filming of My Name Is Nobody we remained without a director Terence begged Leone to direct him, I also advised Sergio to do the directing but he answered me disgusted: “But you think I’m going to direct … Trinity!?” So the movie My Name Is Nobody was directed by Tonino Valerii and our good Mario Girotti told lies on TV!”

  • According to Leone opening, graveyard, wild bunch and final duel sequences

(Stanton) #198

And on the German DVD it is Hill who names Valerii “that liar”.

One of the photos at least shows Valerii working on the barber shop scene.
I still think that Valerii directed the bulk of Nobody in the sense of that he was sitting in the director’s chair and giving advices, only that I think he made a Leone film with a Leone crew, and that the advices were rooted in the Leone pre-planning.

Most of the films produced by David O. Selznick are in the end David O. Selznick films and not films of their directors. Especially Gone with the Wind.

(I love you M.E. Kay) #199

Yeah, or like how much of Tsui Hark’s produced, but not directed films are still considered Tsui Hark films. Sometimes, the producer is the auteur, I guess.

(Stanton) #200

I generally also work with the names of the directors, but I’m sure that’s a simplification as long as we talk about mainstream filmmaking.

A director must not do everything himself, but if he wants to be the main creative force behind a film he should have at least made most of the important decisions. And if a director only enters a film a few day before shooting starts, and then a production with a guy like Leone in his neck, then many important decisions were already made. Like screenplay, casting, score, crew, locations etc.
It will be then hardly “his” film unless he changes a lot after shooting starts. But it seems that was not the case in the case of Nobody.
If we try to trust Hill again Leone also helped cutting the film. And Valerii also has claimed that the cutter (again Nino Baragli) was “Leone’s man, not mine”, and that he would have chosen instead one he had already worked with.