A young, easygoing gunman worships and competes with an old gunfighter who only wants to retire.
In “My Name is Nobody”, an aging Henry Fonda plays Jack Beauregard, a famous wild-west gunslinger who’s ready to retire and Terence Hill is Nobody, an unconventional, lackadaisical but cunning and fast-handed gun fighter who aspires to make sure his hero, Beauregard, goes out in style, though Beauregard isn’t as passionate about Nobody’s enthusiasm to help him finish out as a legend. All Beauregard wants to do is retire to Europe in peace and in one piece. For anybody who saw Hill’s other spaghetti western classics, “They Call Me Trinity” and “Trinity is Still My Name”, he pretty much brings his Trinity character to this film. And that’s not a bad thing. “They Call Me Trinity” is one of my all-time favorite spaghetti westerns and Hill was perfectly cast in the role. The producer of this film, Sergio Leone, and some say the director, was famous for making ‘the man with no name’ trilogy with Clint Eastwood (“A Fistful of Dollars”, “For a Few Dollars More” & “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”). After the more serious tone in the man with no name trilogy and also with “Once Upon a Time in the West”, which also starred Mr. Fonda, I found it very surprising that “My Name is Nobody” had a more comedic tone, farcical at times.
Mr. Hill is perfect when it comes to slapstick, his comedic timing is always spot on, just watch his ‘Trinity’ movies and any of his other films (“Watch Out We’re Mad”, “Super Fuzz” and “Lucky Luke” to name but a few) but when you add that element to this story that’s more serious in tone, especially when Mr. Fonda appears onscreen, it comes across as somewhat haphazard. At times, it almost feels like you’re watching two completely different movies that were cut together to try and appease audiences of both genres. I hadn’t watched “My Name is Nobody” in many years so I had forgotten the majority of the story but as I coursed through the movie, I found it disheartening that it wasn’t up there in terms of overall scope along with Mr. Leone’s man with no name trilogy and even “Once Upon a Time in the West.” Mr. Fonda pretty much played Mr. Fonda, he didn’t have much to do in this movie other than scowl and squint from time to time, something I don’t think any other actor will ever come close to achieving better than Clint Eastwood.
If anything, the movie was fun. Some might say it was a comedy with serious overtones while others, myself included, might say it was a serious movie with comedic elements. Sometimes, mixing these genres up works well, the ‘Trinity’ movies are a perfect example of that but with “My Name is Nobody”, I felt like the producers probably thought it was a great idea to put a serious, aging Hollywood icon onscreen with a more comedic, fresh-faced up-and-coming actor and then sit back and see what happened. For me though, the final result wasn’t what I expected, or hoped for. Ennio Morricone, who composed an unforgettable score for “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, here, feels like he owed Mr. Leone a favor and gave a half-hearted attempt for a score that was forgettable. Now I’m in the mood to watch my ‘Trinity’ collection.
In stores November 5th
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