In my opinion, Terrence Hill had a great talent for comedic acting in Italian westerns. This was especially the case with his portrayal of Nobody in the 1973 Tonino Valerii film, My Name is Nobody. It seemed apparent to me that the character Nobody (Hill) represented a folkloric or symbolic figure in relation to Jack Beauregard (Fonda). I’ve watched the movie a few times and I can’t put my finger on whether Nobody is Henry Fonda’s spirit animal or if Nobody is simply a trickster who is out to “stir up the pot” and see what happens as a result. What are your thoughts about the character, Nobody? I’m interested in reading your ideas
Personally, I’ve always read Nobody as “the new” in all possible ways. He’s the unknown youngster who doesn’t have a name yet replacing the older generation, but he’s also the new type of western film giving the traditional western a run for its money. By extension, he’s even the later part of the Spaghetti Western replacing the more serious variant from the beginning of the cycle. He’s the new fashion, the new taste, the new way - until one day he’ll be the one being replaced.
I’ve read and heard that perspective before as well, which definitely resonates. What are your thoughts on both the Old (Jack Beauregard) and New (Nobody) making reference to Sam Peckinpah?
If it was not for the silly, Trinity-esque slapstick, My Name is Nobody would be a masterpiece. The performances, action scenes and score are superb. The film also works on a higher, allegorical level regarding the link between the American and Italian western genres.
Good question. I can only guess. Maybe he’s seen as a bridge between the two. Or, as a true maverick, he belongs to neither category and consequently is buried prematurely?
I think that’s just a bit of fun from Leone , who had asked Sam Peckinpah to direct ‘Duck You Sucker’ aka 'Fistful of Dynamite (which he obviously declined)
Clint Eastwood had famously suggested some names for the graves surrounding ‘Arch Stanton’ in the finale of GBU … one of which was the character name ‘Richard Kimble’ aka ‘The Fugitive’, played by his old friend David Janssen …
I personally don’t believe there is any symbolism going on here … that’s what fans and some media student types, like to come up with 40 or 50 years after the event … just blah blah blah to fill up their thesis !!!
Does anyone here own the original script (I giorni dell'ira. Il mio nome è Nessuno - Ernesto Gastaldi - Libro - Ass. Culturale Il Foglio - La cineteca di Caino | IBS)? I wonder if the reference is in there?
It’s also still possible to ask Gastaldi about it. He seems to be very willing to talk (and write) about old times. Whether he actually remembers such a detail or maybe is tempted to colour his memory in his favour (only) Nobody knows.
In a German book I found a quote by Leone about that Peckinpah grave:
“If you bury someone round here, you extend his life”
By this it would be just a nice homage.
The film itself is very much a beautiful and clever follow up to the twilight western themes established by Peckinpah’s seminal Ride the High Country.