My Name Is Nobody


1h 56m 1973

Brief Synopsis

An aging gunfighter's dreams of retirement are thwarted by a hero-worshipping young man.

Film Details

Also Known As
Mio nome e Nessuno, Mitt namn är Nobody
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Western
Release Date
1973

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 56m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

An aging gunfighter's dreams of retirement are thwarted by a hero-worshipping young man.

Film Details

Also Known As
Mio nome e Nessuno, Mitt namn är Nobody
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Western
Release Date
1973

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 56m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

My Name Is Nobody - My Name is Nobody


With five classic Westerns behind him, director Sergio Leone had had enough. Now he wanted to back off, lay down his camera and hand the reins over to a younger director working under his supervision. The result was My Name Is Nobody (1973), directed by Tonino Valerii but stamped so clearly with the Leone style, it is often considered one of his signature films.

By 1973, the heyday of the Italian Western had already crested and was beginning to fade along with the Western itself. This was, after all, the year before the release of Blazing Saddles (1974), Mel Brooks' spoof that made it hard to take the genre seriously for a long time thereafter. Even before Brooks' movie, the Western was mutating into something else. Sam Peckinpah with The Wild Bunch (1969) had pushed Western violence to its limit in slow-motion bloodbaths. Meanwhile Italian Westerns, or "Spaghetti Westerns" as they were sometimes called, stopped being copies of American Westerns and became parodies of themselves. The most popular Italian Westerns of the early 1970's were the "Trinity" series starring Terence Hill (real name: Mario Girotti) and Bud Spencer (real name: Carlo Pedersoli) as frontier ruffians who used slapstick to bring their opponents down.

In his first effort as executive producer, Leone chose to take all these changes head-on, making a Trinity film that sent up Peckinpah while saying something serious about his beloved West. The idea came from screenwriter Sergio Donati who wanted to create a Western hero modeled on Ulysses who defeated the Cyclops in Homer's The Odyssey by claiming that his name was "Nobody". Leone embellished the idea making this "nobody" into a young gunslinger who wants to become a "somebody" by helping an old gunslinger retire in style - and with his respect intact.

Henry Fonda, one of the stars of Leone's Once Upon a Time in t he West (1968), was cast as the aging gunslinger in what would be Fonda's last Western. For the young man, Leone cast Trinity himself, Terence Hill, for what would be a tip of the hat from the new Western to the old. Hill, representing a new, more comical brand of frontier hero, would help the old West, represented by Fonda, go out in a blaze of glory by defeating "The Wild Bunch," a gang of 150 outlaws, in a parody of Peckinpah's perceived excesses.

Valerii, Leone's former assistant director on For a Few Dollars More (1965) and a director on his own since 1966, would be in the driver seat, or so he thought. As Christopher Frayling recounts in this Leone biography Something to Do with Death (2000), "Tonino Valerii had been warned by Claudio Mancini of Rafran that `if Leone shoots a single frame of film, everyone will say he made the entire movie', which is precisely what happened." While Valerii was shooting Fonda's scenes in the Spanish desert, in order to free up Fonda for another acting job, Leone offered to shoot some of Terence Hill's scenes since the actor desperately wanted to be directed by Leone. The surviving participants still disagree about who directed what in the movie but Frayling's best guess is that "Leone helped out on a duel, then took charge of second-unit work on `the battle' (in Almeria), as well as directing the opening scene and the carnival section of the film."

Battles over credit led to Leone and his director falling out after the movie's release and they never worked together again. The results, however, were an interesting addendum to Leone's body of work. Interestingly enough, Steven Spielberg, another director whose projects as an executive producer often overwhelm the directors working under him (Tobe Hooper in Poltergeist, 1982), declared My Name Is Nobody to be his favorite Sergio Leone movie.

Director: Tonino Valerii
Producer: Fulvio Morsella
Writers: Ernesto Gastaldi, Sergio Leone
Music: Ennio Morricone
Cinematographers: Armando Nannuzzi, Giuseppe Ruzzolini
Editor: Nino Baragli
Art director: Gianni Polidori
Cast: Terence Hill (Nobody), Henry Fonda (Jack Beauregard), Leo Gordon (Red), Jean Martin (Sullivan), Geoffrey Lewis (Leader of the Wild Bunch), R.G. Armstrong (Honest John).
C-111m. Letterboxed.

by Brian Cady
My Name Is Nobody  - My Name Is Nobody

My Name Is Nobody - My Name is Nobody

With five classic Westerns behind him, director Sergio Leone had had enough. Now he wanted to back off, lay down his camera and hand the reins over to a younger director working under his supervision. The result was My Name Is Nobody (1973), directed by Tonino Valerii but stamped so clearly with the Leone style, it is often considered one of his signature films. By 1973, the heyday of the Italian Western had already crested and was beginning to fade along with the Western itself. This was, after all, the year before the release of Blazing Saddles (1974), Mel Brooks' spoof that made it hard to take the genre seriously for a long time thereafter. Even before Brooks' movie, the Western was mutating into something else. Sam Peckinpah with The Wild Bunch (1969) had pushed Western violence to its limit in slow-motion bloodbaths. Meanwhile Italian Westerns, or "Spaghetti Westerns" as they were sometimes called, stopped being copies of American Westerns and became parodies of themselves. The most popular Italian Westerns of the early 1970's were the "Trinity" series starring Terence Hill (real name: Mario Girotti) and Bud Spencer (real name: Carlo Pedersoli) as frontier ruffians who used slapstick to bring their opponents down. In his first effort as executive producer, Leone chose to take all these changes head-on, making a Trinity film that sent up Peckinpah while saying something serious about his beloved West. The idea came from screenwriter Sergio Donati who wanted to create a Western hero modeled on Ulysses who defeated the Cyclops in Homer's The Odyssey by claiming that his name was "Nobody". Leone embellished the idea making this "nobody" into a young gunslinger who wants to become a "somebody" by helping an old gunslinger retire in style - and with his respect intact. Henry Fonda, one of the stars of Leone's Once Upon a Time in t he West (1968), was cast as the aging gunslinger in what would be Fonda's last Western. For the young man, Leone cast Trinity himself, Terence Hill, for what would be a tip of the hat from the new Western to the old. Hill, representing a new, more comical brand of frontier hero, would help the old West, represented by Fonda, go out in a blaze of glory by defeating "The Wild Bunch," a gang of 150 outlaws, in a parody of Peckinpah's perceived excesses. Valerii, Leone's former assistant director on For a Few Dollars More (1965) and a director on his own since 1966, would be in the driver seat, or so he thought. As Christopher Frayling recounts in this Leone biography Something to Do with Death (2000), "Tonino Valerii had been warned by Claudio Mancini of Rafran that `if Leone shoots a single frame of film, everyone will say he made the entire movie', which is precisely what happened." While Valerii was shooting Fonda's scenes in the Spanish desert, in order to free up Fonda for another acting job, Leone offered to shoot some of Terence Hill's scenes since the actor desperately wanted to be directed by Leone. The surviving participants still disagree about who directed what in the movie but Frayling's best guess is that "Leone helped out on a duel, then took charge of second-unit work on `the battle' (in Almeria), as well as directing the opening scene and the carnival section of the film." Battles over credit led to Leone and his director falling out after the movie's release and they never worked together again. The results, however, were an interesting addendum to Leone's body of work. Interestingly enough, Steven Spielberg, another director whose projects as an executive producer often overwhelm the directors working under him (Tobe Hooper in Poltergeist, 1982), declared My Name Is Nobody to be his favorite Sergio Leone movie. Director: Tonino Valerii Producer: Fulvio Morsella Writers: Ernesto Gastaldi, Sergio Leone Music: Ennio Morricone Cinematographers: Armando Nannuzzi, Giuseppe Ruzzolini Editor: Nino Baragli Art director: Gianni Polidori Cast: Terence Hill (Nobody), Henry Fonda (Jack Beauregard), Leo Gordon (Red), Jean Martin (Sullivan), Geoffrey Lewis (Leader of the Wild Bunch), R.G. Armstrong (Honest John). C-111m. Letterboxed. by Brian Cady

My Name is Nobody


A member in good standing of an odd brotherhood of films always attributed to their famous producers rather then their credited directors (led by Howard Hawks/Christian Nyby's The Thing from Another World), My Name Is Nobody often registers as an unofficial entry in Sergio Leone's spaghetti western cycle. Though Leone's name is barely to be found among the credits (he's listed as contributing an "idea" which served as the basis for Ernesto Gastaldi's screenplay), his style is heavily imprinted throughout much of the jokey, politically curious western, despite official credit going to Tonino Valerii (My Dear Killer, Day of Anger). To make matters even more confusing, the film is also usually lumped in as part of the comedic period pieces starring Terence Hill, usually westerns featuring his lackadaisical "Trinity" persona.

Still basking in a late career renaissance thanks to unorthodox westerns like Once Upon a Time in the West and There Was a Crooked Man, Henry Fonda contributes marquee value as famed gunslinger Jack Beauregard, who longs to hang up his pistols after years of showdowns and close scrapes. Meanwhile an unscrupulous mine company led by the nefarious Sullivan (Jean Martin) wants to silence Jack on his way to retirement in New Orleans, and an overzealous fan, Nobody (Hill), seems hellbent on fulfilling a fantasy in which Jack manages to go out in high style with bullets flying against a posse of the West's most notorious outlaws. Pestered, prodded and provoked, Jack experiences increasing frustration as he tries to live out his autumn years without bullets flying past his face.

Beautifully filmed in scope and featuring a catchy, goofball score by Leone's regular composer Ennio Morricone, My Name Is Nobody indulges in bizarre tonal shifts from slapstick comedy to action sequences bordering on Theater of the Absurd; it's as close to a live-action cartoon spaghetti western as you can get. Hill does his usual down-to-earth clown routine, peppered with bodily function gags and plenty of mugging for the camera; fortunately he's nicely contrasted by Fonda's dignified, effective portrayal of a legend who doesn't necessarily want to go out with guns blazing. Newcomers to spaghetti westerns will have quite a difficult time adjusting to what feels like an expensive lark, but anyone who's sifting through Leone¿s bizarre, endearing Duck, You Sucker! should find this a smooth, engaging tribute to a genre slowly on its way out of public favor.

As with most of its previous international DVD counterparts, Image's American disc presents the film in anamorphic widescreen - though for the first time, the image isn't zoomboxed and all of the essential super-wide compositions are firmly in place. Morricone's score sounds fine, and the English track (dubbed but mostly in synch as usual for Italian films) comes through nice and clear. Extant video versions all contain the general release version of the film, which is slightly tightened from the initial Italian premiere print and loops out a bit of coarse language (namely a startling early use of the "f" word, another bombshell used by Leone in Duck, You Sucker!) to keep the proceedings family friendly. The transfer is much sharper and more colorful than the earlier widescreen version prepared by Universal; through some inexplicable rights contortions the title instead wound up on DVD courtesy of Alfredo Leone, best known for distributing most of Mario Bava's films on tiny silver platters.

For more information about My Name is Nobody, visit Image Entertainment. To order My Name is Nobody, go to TCM Shopping.

by Nathaniel Thompson

My Name is Nobody

A member in good standing of an odd brotherhood of films always attributed to their famous producers rather then their credited directors (led by Howard Hawks/Christian Nyby's The Thing from Another World), My Name Is Nobody often registers as an unofficial entry in Sergio Leone's spaghetti western cycle. Though Leone's name is barely to be found among the credits (he's listed as contributing an "idea" which served as the basis for Ernesto Gastaldi's screenplay), his style is heavily imprinted throughout much of the jokey, politically curious western, despite official credit going to Tonino Valerii (My Dear Killer, Day of Anger). To make matters even more confusing, the film is also usually lumped in as part of the comedic period pieces starring Terence Hill, usually westerns featuring his lackadaisical "Trinity" persona. Still basking in a late career renaissance thanks to unorthodox westerns like Once Upon a Time in the West and There Was a Crooked Man, Henry Fonda contributes marquee value as famed gunslinger Jack Beauregard, who longs to hang up his pistols after years of showdowns and close scrapes. Meanwhile an unscrupulous mine company led by the nefarious Sullivan (Jean Martin) wants to silence Jack on his way to retirement in New Orleans, and an overzealous fan, Nobody (Hill), seems hellbent on fulfilling a fantasy in which Jack manages to go out in high style with bullets flying against a posse of the West's most notorious outlaws. Pestered, prodded and provoked, Jack experiences increasing frustration as he tries to live out his autumn years without bullets flying past his face. Beautifully filmed in scope and featuring a catchy, goofball score by Leone's regular composer Ennio Morricone, My Name Is Nobody indulges in bizarre tonal shifts from slapstick comedy to action sequences bordering on Theater of the Absurd; it's as close to a live-action cartoon spaghetti western as you can get. Hill does his usual down-to-earth clown routine, peppered with bodily function gags and plenty of mugging for the camera; fortunately he's nicely contrasted by Fonda's dignified, effective portrayal of a legend who doesn't necessarily want to go out with guns blazing. Newcomers to spaghetti westerns will have quite a difficult time adjusting to what feels like an expensive lark, but anyone who's sifting through Leone¿s bizarre, endearing Duck, You Sucker! should find this a smooth, engaging tribute to a genre slowly on its way out of public favor. As with most of its previous international DVD counterparts, Image's American disc presents the film in anamorphic widescreen - though for the first time, the image isn't zoomboxed and all of the essential super-wide compositions are firmly in place. Morricone's score sounds fine, and the English track (dubbed but mostly in synch as usual for Italian films) comes through nice and clear. Extant video versions all contain the general release version of the film, which is slightly tightened from the initial Italian premiere print and loops out a bit of coarse language (namely a startling early use of the "f" word, another bombshell used by Leone in Duck, You Sucker!) to keep the proceedings family friendly. The transfer is much sharper and more colorful than the earlier widescreen version prepared by Universal; through some inexplicable rights contortions the title instead wound up on DVD courtesy of Alfredo Leone, best known for distributing most of Mario Bava's films on tiny silver platters. For more information about My Name is Nobody, visit Image Entertainment. To order My Name is Nobody, go to TCM Shopping. by Nathaniel Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Director Sam Peckinpah's name is on one of the graves in the graveyard.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1973

English version

Released in United States 1973