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


(Frank Talby) #81

I just revisited this one. I enjoyed it a lot as I had forgotten most of what happened from the first viewing. I like that it is more lighthearted than most of the spaghetti’s I watch. Having Fonda as the aged gunman is great and he’s very likable as is Terrence Hill (who can be annoying at times in other movies). While not as great as Day of Anger Valerii (along with Leone) created an interesting movie that shows the twilight of the American West.


(Novecento) #82

A very rough translation of some Leone-pertinent French subtitles to Valerii’s Italian commentary track on the French MNIN DVD (based purely on the translated French text and not the original Italian audio which I have not heard):

Sergio Leone produced it and me, I directed it.

Once in Spain, Leone fired Nannuzzi - it was not me who fired him but Leone - and hired Ruzzolini. He had already been his cameraman… One can say that Ruzzolini did the village and the interiors filmed in Italy and in Spain.

Here is the scene with dwarf [on stilts]… It is a sequence filmed by Ruzzolini… We were already in Spain… After this shot, there is a sequence directed by Leone… While Leone directed the scene with the [shattering] glasses, me, I directed this [hall of mirrors] one. We were right across from each other.

Baragli has never been my editor. He was Leone’s editor. Mine was Franco Fraticelli. They were like brothers but they edited very differently.

The man descends the train and heads towards the public toilets. Terence Hill arrives. He sees him enter the toilets. He should get off the horse, board the train and leave… However it is a long scene about which one doesn’t understand the point. [Leone had the idea of adding this scene] when we were in Almeria, in Guadix…. No we were in Calahorra. It was towards the end of the filming. One day he arrived and [said]: “You have already filmed the WC scene? I would like to do it.” I found it really banal. I said: “Do it, I’ll do something else.” And here is the result, it’s incredible! I cannot understand it. Once it had been filmed, at the editing I said: “We’ll cut it Sergio. Moreover, we will know that it is you who has filmed it. I will be the first to say. I don’t want to have anything to do with this scene.”

While Sergio filmed the saloon sequence, I filmed this. It is superb when he gives a drink to the horse… The charge of the Wild bunch, this one, it is me who filmed it. One day I was absent to have an ear exam and Leone filmed some shots but not the entire scene. But it is what one says. One also hears that Leone filmed the entire film! He pretended to have done the whole part of the Indian Cemetery. He wasn’t even in America! He only came for the last 5 days. If you listen to all that’s said, one finds the same scene in my first film. When the bridge explodes and the guy jumps. There is the same scene. Leone even managed to extend this scene which a priori could not be. The train advances, he backs away… we see the horse once, twice… It is a to-and-fro of horses and trains! So the scene is so simple from the beginning. The train arrives, Beauregard puts on his glasses, the bunch appears and he opens fire. It was simply that. It is exactly what I had begun to do. He did all the rest in one and a half days. I had catarrhal otitis. It made me dizzy. Things like this happen. I ask myself why one makes such a big deal about the three scenes that Leone filmed in my film when no one cares that Franco Giraldi filmed half of ‘A Fistful of Dollars.’ Half of the film, it is Giraldi. The massacre of Rio Bravo, it is Giraldi. The night at the Baxters’ and the killing of all the family, it is Giraldi. The cemetery scenes, the comings and goings, the burying of the bodies, it’s Giraldi. Leone did not spend a single day in Almeria. When I did the location scouting for ‘For a Few Dollars More’ he had never seen Almeria. Giraldi filmed half of his film. No-one remembers it.

[Edit - reduced to only most pertinent comments]


(Bill san Antonio) #83

That’s some bitter stuff.


(LankyFellow) #84

Very interesting to read , thanks for translate that !


(Stanton) #85

Thank you very much Novecento. Very interesting.

I have much to say about it, but unfortunately no time to write much about it.

I’m sure Leone was unfair and ungrateful to Valerii (and to many others), but it seems that here Valerii is overdoing his great revenge.

So Giraldi had shot half of FoD? Ha ha, these 3 scenes are not exactly half of it, and they would only add to Leone’s genius as 2 of them (river ambush, cemetery gunfight) are by far the weakest of the film. Well, the only real weak scenes of FoD. And the Baxter house ambush scene is also not amongst the best.

But the first 2 are mainly second unit material, which a director has not necessarily to shoot himself. But if he cares for his film, he still has to ensure that he gets what he wants. So it’s probably still Leone who is to blame for their weakness.
Anyway, I’m sure if Leone had made FoD later in his career he would have devised these scenes rather differently.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #86

Thanks for the translation Novecento. Sergio Leone never had a reputation for being a nice guy, so I totally understand a lot of people hating him. As for Giraldi filming half of FOD I’m pretty sure Clint Eastwood might’ve noticed LOL. I think thats bullshit.

Its true sergio took ideas from others, same with alot of other great directors.


(Novecento) #87

When you get the time Stanton… (am eager to hear what your take is on this)


(korano) #88

Valerii seems to be in a very bad mood. Was he calling Leone scum?! Maybe but did he also insinuate that it was a good thing leone was dead?

I’m sure Giraldi may have leant a hand to some filming some scenes but whatabout the Leone trademarks in these scenes?

And the stories about Leone on set in Spain? Dressed up like a cowboy? That you don’t forget. Valerii seems to be a grumpy old man these days whos tone sounds similar to …you know who.


(Silence) #89

What if it is him…


(Stanton) #90

Him? Know who?


(Silence) #91

I won’t mention this again…


(Stanton) #92

He’s talking about SD? Or what?


(Silence) #93

That’s what I thougt, but I don’t know what Korano was thinking.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #94

Valerri = SD HAHAHAHAHAHAHA


(Chris_Casey) #95

Thanks for all of the translation and the posting, Novecento!

Interesting to get Valerii’s point of view on this.
I think there is quite a bit of overreaction and bitterness coming forward on his part, though.
But, it is to be expected, in my opinion.

I mean, if you think about it, there are several reasons why Valerii is undoubtedly bitter about all of this.

Outside of the usual Spaghetti Western fan communities, Valerii is mostly known as the director of this film. If he did actually direct the bulk of it, then he could certainly be bitter about people crediting the work exclusively to Sergio Leone. If he didn’t actually direct the bulk of the film, then he could very well be bitter, as only an artist could be, about being known for something he didn’t actually do.

So, frankly, I would not expect an unbiased (or non-bitter) view point from Valerii on this film, whatsoever.

As for the comments he made about Giraldi’s work on FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, I do not know what to say.
Except that I have never come across any reference of Giraldi, himself, making any such claims about his role in the making of that film.
It would certainly make sense for him to vocalize such things if they were true; but, he has (to my knowledge) never even alluded to them.
Therefore, I think all of that is mostly, if not entirely, bogus and just the result of “sour grapes” on Valerii’s part.

As for who directed the bulk of MY NAME IS NOBODY…
We may never really know for sure.
All I can contribute is what actor/stuntman, Neil Summers (who portrayed Squirrel) told me about his experiences working on the film. Neil swears that Leone directed absolutely all of the sequences he was in and that Valerii seemed to be “just hanging around”, for the most part, when these scenes were shot.
Granted Neil was only in a few segments of the film; but, he said he stayed on while they were shooting in Spain–and he never saw anyone truly directing anything apart from Sergio Leone and the credited assistant director, Stefano Rolla.

Who is wrong, who is right?
Who knows!?


(Silence) #96

I think it must be Valerii after all, the film is like a Comedy version Day Of Anger. I would also get quite mad if someone else was often said directing your own film. Valerii is often said directing this film but I use to see Leone credited for it almost more often.


(Chris_Casey) #97

I want to add one more thing that might account for much of Valerii’s bitterness against Terence Hill in particular…

In early 2004, my compadre, Aldo Sanbrell, was in talks with Valerii to make another Western. The film was also set to star Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, and even Giuliano Gemma! Tom Betts will likely recall Aldo sharing with us a photograph showing all of these people together. The photo had been taken during a meeting about the project in Rome.
Well, for a number of different reasons, the project fell through. One of the reasons, according to Aldo, had to do with Terence Hill’s dropping out of the project because he “didn’t want to work with that ‘liar’ Valerii”! That is a quote from Aldo, by the way, not Terence Hill directly. What Valerii had lied about that made Hill drop out of the project, Aldo did not know.
But, I personally have my suspicions…

So, seeing as how Terence Hill walked out on one of Valerii’s projects from just a short time ago…it is no surprise that he (Valerii) would say such things as: “…I have no time for him, I’m fed up. I pardon all except him. He should not have done it.”.


(korano) #98

[quote=“Stanton, post:92, topic:71”]He’s talking about SD? Or what?[/quote]Not SD in a sense as unreasonable but in the vicious sense.

But from here on… :-X


(Stanton) #99

[quote=“Chris_Casey, post:97, topic:71”]I want to add one more thing that might account for much of Valerii’s bitterness against Terence Hill in particular…

In early 2004, my compadre, Aldo Sanbrell, was in talks with Valerii to make another Western. The film was also set to star Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, and even Giuliano Gemma! Tom Betts will likely recall Aldo sharing with us a photograph showing all of these people together. The photo had been taken during a meeting about the project in Rome.
Well, for a number of different reasons, the project fell through. One of the reasons, according to Aldo, had to do with Terence Hill’s dropping out of the project because he “didn’t want to work with that ‘liar’ Valerii”! That is a quote from Aldo, by the way, not Terence Hill directly. What Valerii had lied about that made Hill drop out of the project, Aldo did not know.
But, I personally have my suspicions…

So, seeing as how Terence Hill walked out on one of Valerii’s projects from just a short time ago…it is no surprise that he (Valerii) would say such things as: “…I have no time for him, I’m fed up. I pardon all except him. He should not have done it.”.[/quote]

Hill was interviewed for the documentary on the German nobody DVD and there he gives all the credit to Leone. He says " this was a film, that the concept, the development was all Sergio Leone’s".

And everything else he remembers is all about Leone doing this and doing that. Even cutting the film, at least the Fonda versus Wild Bunch scene. And this (now it becomes sentimental) “with tears in his eyes” because “he loved the western so much and he loved My Name Is Nobody”.

He talks so much about Leone (with a glorifying shimmer in his eyes and voice) that it’s understandable that Valerii is pissed off.


(Chris_Casey) #100

[quote=“Stanton, post:99, topic:71”]Hill was interviewed for the documentary on the German nobody DVD and there he gives all the credit to Leone. He says " this was a film, that the concept, the development was all Sergio Leone’s".

And everything else he remembers is all about Leone doing this and doing that. Even cutting the film, at least the Fonda versus Wild Bunch scene. And this (now it becomes sentimental) “with tears in his eyes” because “he loved the western so much and he loved My Name Is Nobody”.

He talks so much about Leone (with a glorifying shimmer in his eyes and voice) that it’s understandable that Valerii is pissed off.[/quote]

Ah…I see! I was unaware of this interview, Stanton. That, coupled with Hill walking out on Valerii’s project a few years ago, truly makes Valerii’s anger understandable (regardless of who is right, or wrong).