Il Mio nome è Nessuno (1973)

“Il Mio nome è Nessuno” (1973)



Filmmaker versus actor

This is a Leone production where Leone was watching and supervising its making, and blinking his eye to direction in several scenes, according to record. I think that is true, there are moments which sound Leone. Unfocused, uninterested, but Leone.

So, for better and worse, it is visible that Leone was here, the very idea of the story (which is interesting) is credited as his, but it wasn’t the mastermind behind the conception of the grand scale, the grand picture. In fact that’s the problem. This isn’t inserted in a grander scheme, it’s just a film about characters, and that’s not what Leone did, when he was fully in control.

Tonino Valerii is, for this sample (it’s the only film i’ve seen by him) a weak controller, who either doesn’t have the pulse to carry his vision, or doesn’t have a vision to offer. I suspect the second. So here, instead of a story about a story-maker, which is what the script Is about, we have a story about two characters, Fonda’s and Hill’s. Whereas Fonda is clearly cashing the check, and not motivated to do anything interesting, Terence Hill is young and wanting to show off (a common thing in less mature actors). The film lives on his gimmicks and physical comedy, but it shouldn’t.

A funny thing: when Leone was the master-minds, the actors were his employees, serving a greater picture. Here the actors take the action, drive the film. The end result is, in the first situation the actors get out finely, in the second one, they become forgettable. See the thing? Most of the times actors are only the visible, yet not so important part of the big game, which is to be played by a major player, a man of vision, someone who wasn’t here, since Leone was here only for production and to amuse himself in directing single scenes.

Good points: the initial scenes are not as focused as with the equivalent in Leone’s films, they don’t have the perfect timing, they are rushed in yet overlong. Still they are enjoyable, some frames are good pieces of visual storytelling (the mirror at the beginning).

The Orson Welles bits, in the fantasy house, here the mirror scheme is once again used to enhance Terence Hill’s comedy bits, but it’s not misused, i think the sequence is enjoyable, and on its own fills what was intended for it to fill.

The section near the end, with Fonda facing the band “alone” is actually watchable. The alternating between extreme detail and grand scope of a minimalistic landscape is something Leone invented, and actually works here.

For those who enjoy Terence Hill (and his partner Bud Spencer) there are other enjoyable rides, in films centered from root on characters, on their characters. Here we have a film divided into wanting to look big epic, Leone type, and being assaulted by characters who wanted to do their numbers. Incidentally, the story is about two characters each trying to write the story his own way. Who wins? the one who clearly is more a ‘character’ than the other. See? Coordinated forces, that’s what’s missing here. Isn’t cinema, mostly this kind of grand-scale cinema, about that?

My opinion:1/5

This comment on IMDb


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