My Name is Nobody
|My Name is Nobody
(Il mio nome è Nessuno)
film poster by Renato Casaro
|Directed by||Tonino Valerii
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Edited by||Nino Baragli|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||116 minutes|
My Name is Nobody (Italian: ''Il mio nome è Nessuno''), also known as Gellert, is a 1973 Spaghetti Western comedy film. The film was directed by Tonino Valerii and, in some scenes, by Sergio Leone. It was written by Leone, Fulvio Morsella and Ernesto Gastaldi. Leone was also the uncredited executive producer. The cast includes Terence Hill, Henry Fonda, and Jean Martin.
Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda) is a tired, aging legendary gunslinger who just wants to retire in peace in Europe to get away from young gunmen constantly trying to test themselves against the master. The film opens with three gunmen attempting to ambush Beauregard in a barbershop. After Beauregard has dispatched them, the barber's son asks his father if there is anyone in the world faster than Beauregard, to which the barber replies "Faster than him? Nobody!"
'Nobody' (Terence Hill) idolizes Beauregard and wants him to increase his fame by facing off the Wild Bunch singlehanded. The Wild Bunch are a gang of 150 bandits who use a fake goldmine to launder their loot. The owner of the goldmine sends them after Beauregard because Beauregard's now-dead brother was in on the deal.
Nobody dogs Beauregard through the West, encountering many who wish him dead, and pesters him to let him stage a grand finale. Eventually, the grand shoot-out takes place by a railway line. Nobody arranges for Beauregard to shoot at the Wild Bunch's saddles, decorated with mirrored conchos, which (as he discovered earlier) contain sticks of dynamite, thus letting a few good shots eliminate many of the men. To escape, the two board a train that Nobody has stolen.
Finally, Nobody stages a very public showdown in New Orleans with Beauregard, "killing" him and allowing him to slip away quietly. A street sign, marking where the gunfight took place, says "Nobody Was Faster On The Draw". Beauregard boards a boat for Europe and a quiet retirement, while the Wild Bunch turn their attentions from Beauregard to Nobody.
- Terence Hill as Nobody
- Henry Fonda as Jack Beauregard
- Jean Martin as Sullivan
- R.G. Armstrong as Honest John
- Karl Braun as Jim
- Geoffrey Lewis as Leader of the Wild Bunch
- Steve Kanaly as False Barber
- Leo Gordon as Red
- Neil Summers as Squirrel
- Antoine Saint-John as Scape
By the 1970s, the spaghetti Western had almost become a parody of itself. The serious westerns were primarily violent, low-budget films that were barely distributed outside of Italy. Meanwhile, slapstick parodies of the genre were becoming more popular. Sergio Leone and his team decided that if anyone was going to make the ultimate "joke" version of the genre, they should be the ones. Terence Hill was cast not only for box-office, but because he had in a short time become something of an icon of the genre. Hill had started the comedy spaghetti craze with the hugely successful movies They Call Me Trinity and its sequel Trinity Is Still My Name. With the casting of the classic Westerner Henry Fonda, the contrast between the old and new (dying) West was clear.
Inside jokes in the film include invocations of director Sam Peckinpah: his name on a tombstone, the villains being known as "the Wild Bunch", and use of the duster coats which Peckinpah vigorously espoused on screen.
R.G. Armstrong (erroneously credited with middle initial "K"), Geoffrey Lewis, and Steve Kanaly also appear in the film, which was shot in New Mexico, New Orleans, and Leone's favorite Spanish locales in Almeria. This is the second time Fonda worked with Leone, the former being Fonda's first turn as a villain, in the classic Once Upon a Time in the West. Noted French actor Jean Martin plays the film's main antagonist.
Leone directed several scenes of the film, including the opening scene and the final showdown with the Wild Bunch, but Tonino Valerii was the overall director. After the film's release, it was promoted as a Sergio Leone film, much to the frustration of both men.
The musical score, by longtime Leone collaborator Ennio Morricone, is a very eclectic one and incorporates a large range of styles.
The main theme for the Nobody character presages many of his later non-Western scores. Morricone's adaptation of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, which combines with the wailing voices from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for the Wild Bunch's theme is typical of the movie's sense of humor. Traces of music from "Once Upon a Time in the West" can also be heard.
The main theme was later used for the 2004 BBC3 black comedy Nighty Night.
Release and influence
It was released under various names in Italy, America, France, and West Germany.
The film was Fonda's final western, filmed in Mogollon, Acoma Pueblo and Gallup, New Mexico; Colorado; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Spain. Hill has said it remains his favorite film among those in which he starred, largely because of Sergio Leone's involvement.
A loose sequel, titled A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe (also called Nobody's the Greatest), was released in 1975.