Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 10th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, December 21st, 1973
Directors: Tonino Valerii, Sergio Leone
Writers: Sergio Leone, Fulvio Morsella, Ernesto Gastaldi
Cast: Terence Hill, Henry Fonda, Jean Martin, Piero Lulli, Mario Brega
DVD released: 2003
Approximate running time: 112 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: Nouveaux Pictures
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL
Retail Price: $31.95
Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda) is an aging gunslinger who is on his way to New Orleans to catch a boat and ride off into the sunset. Sullivan is an owner of an ore mine that has been illegally mixing stolen gold with the ore and Sullivan will do anything to keep this a secret including hiring several assassins to take care of Jack Beauregard. Nobody (Terence Hill) is a laid back cowboy who wants to see his hero Jack Beauregard, leave the west in style. Nobody’s plan is that Jack should single handedly take on all 150 of the wild bunch to seal his place in history. Will Jack over come all the obstacles that stand in his way of arriving in New Orleans on time or will his friendship with Nobody seal his fate?
My Name is Nobody is Sergio Leone’s swan song to old west. He explores many ideas in this film that had been done before in the hugely successful My Name is Trinity series which had even eclipsed Leone’s pervious box office successes. My Name is Nobody was co-directed by Tonino Valerii who had previous worked with Leone as an assistant director on For a Few more Dollars. My Name is Nobody bears a strong resemblance to Tonino Valerii’s 1967 western Day of Anger which also features an aging gunslinger who takes on a younger apprentice in a father/son like relationship.
The film opens with a scene that is classic Leone at his best as three gunmen take over a barber shop and position themselves as they wait to ambush Jack Beauregard. The scene has been masterfully cut as a clock ticks in the background the tension builds to a fever pitch that will make your jaw drop to the floor. Early on the film establishes is slapstick roots letting the viewer known that this is not your typical Leone western. Henry Fonda who had previous worked with Leone in Once Upon a Time in The West stars as Jack Beauregard. Leone is a master at drawing out and emphasizing the rituals of a dual. Unlike his previous collaboration with Leone in which Fonda played a sadistic heavy this time around he is playing a character that is the mirror opposite. By the time My Name is Nobody started filming Henry Fonda was already in the twilight of his career and his status a legend in the world of cinema had already been firmly established making playing a larger then life character like Jack Beauregard a perfect choice. Despite his age the character of Jack Beauregard hasn’t lost any of skill or speed as a gunslinger. After the success of the My Name is Trinity series Terence Hill had become Italy’s biggest box office draw and teaming with Leone would mark a high point in his career. Terence Hill portrayal of Nobody is just an expansion of his Trinity character. The teaming up of Fonda as the straight man and Hill as the fall guy is inspired as the actors perfectly complement each others strengths.
Frequent Leone collaborator Ennio Morricone composed the films music. He composed themes for each of films leads characters before filming began just like he had done previously for other Leone films. One of the most memorable moments in My Name is Nobody takes place when Jack Beauregard takes on the wild bunch. The way the scene unfolds with Morricone’s heart breaking music make this on of Leone’s greatest scenes. Leone’s style more then any other spaghetti western director was often imitated and no one ever came close to matching his epic feel that resonates through out all of his work. With My Name is Nobody Leone manages to come through the experience unscathed and he looks comfortable in his shoes. It is amazing watching him adapt to this name style of spaghetti western. Leone has always obsessed with details in his films and in this film everything has been gone over with fine tooth comb. There is an amusing scene that takes place in an Indian grave in which Nobody is reading the names on the Tombstones and he comes across the name Sam Sam Peckinpah (who’s is referenced more then once in the film). Nobody unlike Leone’s previous protagonists is not motivated by revenge or money he is only along for the ride as he watches his hero Jack Beauregard ride off into the sunset.
Nouveaux Pictures My Name is Nobody release presents the film in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The print is in great shape and it is virtually flawless as there are no problems with nicks or scratches. Flesh tones look natural and black are solid as they remain constant through out. There are no problems with compression and grain is kept to a minimum. One minor complaint about the transfer is that details at times are not as sharp as they could have been. This DVD comes with only one audio option the films original English language track which is presented here in a Dolby Digital mono. This audio track makes good use of the full sonic field as gun shots explode with conviction. Ennio Morricone’s beautiful score sounds robust as the mix perfectly blends it with the rest of the soundtrack. Dialog is comes through clearly and there are no problems with distortion or hiss. Extras for this release include bios & filmographies for Terence Hill and Henry Fonda. Other extras include the films original trailer and production notes. Rounding out the extras is an eleven minute interview with Terence Hill who fondly remembers working with Sergio Leone. Nouveaux Pictures gives My Name is Nobody its best home video release to date. My Name is Nobody, is filled with larger then life performances that complement Sergio Leone’s epic tale about a dying west making it one of the best Spaghetti Western comedies ever made, Highly recommended.