(1973) dir. Tonino Valerii, Sergio Leone
Based on “an idea” by Sergio Leone and produced by Leone, and according to some web research, perhaps co-directed in part by Leone, My Name is Nobody is a much more loosey-goosey Western, a contrast, perhaps, in styles, of the more somber side, portrayed by Henry Fonda, and the more goofy side, portrayed by Terence Hill as the titular “Nobody”. In some ways, it’s kind of a prolonged joke. Fonda’s character, Jack Beauregard, is an aging gunslinger, who from an opening sequence, is noted that “nobody” is faster than him when it comes to shooting up bad guys. Nobody turns out to be a real guy, a Loki-like imp, who is faster than anyone, but actually doesn’t shoot or kill anyone either. In the end, he is “Nobody” is faster than Fonda. Punch line shows up on a coffin.
The story doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why “Nobody” wants Beauregard to go out in a blaze of glory never really comes clear. I guess that this film is somewhat about legend-making and the passing of a genre and a period. Hill’s character is comic relief and has quite a few good scenes, particularly the drinking/glass-shooting sequence in the saloon. I haven’t seen the other Terence Hill Spaghetti Westerns, so I can’t really say what he might represent, other than something much more comical…though in this film, he could be much more of a sort of mystical character, one who simply pushes Beauregard into a final gun battle with the “Wild Bunch”, 150 outlaws on horseback. And his final gun battle in the streets of New Orleans.
All in all, it’s highly entertaining. I found the final monologue/letter from Beauregard as a somewhat heavy-handed attempt to put the narrative into some perspective. I actually kind of liked the spartan story-telling and the unusual set-ups that make for most of the film. It’s solid stuff overall, though not top drawer Spaghetti Western. Worth a view, for sure.