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Comedy Movies - My Name Is Nobody

BUY My Name Is Nobody (dvd cover)
Henry Fonda, Terence Hill
A Sergio Leone Production
Music by Ennio Morricone
1974
115 Minutes
Image Entertainment 2005
It is important to get the history right. This is what Nobody, Terence Hill, keeps telling Jack Beauregard, Henry Fonda, in the great comedy western My Name Is Nobody. In other words, those who believe this is the movie that made Terence Hill famous have their history wrong as Hill was already doing the Trinity Movies with Bus Spencer a few years before Sergio Leone or director Tonino Valerii tagged him to be the coolest, most laid-back, and funniest gunslinger around.

All that legend Jack Beauregard wants to do is retire. Unfortunately some bad guys are after him to kill him either because of something about a fake gold mine or to make a name for themselves. Nobody wants to make sure he is the one to take out Beauregard but not before making sure the legend has earned his rightful place in history by taking on the 150 men of the Wild Bunch.

My Name Is Nobody is self-referential in many ways. This is a movie about the old west and old western traditions dying or being taken over by a more modern west and new kinds of heroes as it is a movie about the old western making way for a more modern version of it. It is no accident that at one point in the movie Nobody Terence Hill notices one of the tombstones in the cemetery is for Sam Peckinpah and then does a very short and subtle Clint Eastwood (of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, For A Few Dollars More, and A Fistful Of Dollars all written and directed by Sergio Leone). The cast itself, new style western star Hill being supporting actor to old style western star Henry Fonda to the point he slowly becomes the title character, is another way Leone manages the many references within references in this classic comic western.

Most of the humor in this movie comes from the Terence Hill character and the situations he gets himself into to write the Fonda character into the history books. Most famous are the scenes where Nobody shows off how quick a draw he is but people also remember for a long time the scene in the house of horrors and mirrors, the scene where he takes a guy walking on stilts down a few notches (pun intended), or the scene where he takes on four bad guys with a wooden dummy.

The writing is of course excellent and the source of quite a few in-jokes such as: "Nobody is faster than Jack Beauregard. Nobody." or when Hill tells Fonda, "If you're gone, who's gonna be left? Nobody!" but the music by Ennio Morricone also plays a major role in making this movie the classic fun western it is. Many of the musical cues refer to other Morricone compositions but he also knows this is a comedy of sorts so he does a quick-paced western-style version of March of the Valkyries. My Name Is Nobody is also the movie where you get told the funny story about the bird that gets himself into a cowpie and the lesson you should learn from this bird.

The version released by Image Entertainment is the full-length widescreen version of this funny classic spaghetti western. Both picture and sound quality are beyond reproach, something not necessarily always easy considering this movie was an Italian-French-German co-production originally made in Italian so many of the secondary characters are voiced-over in English as are some of the lines spoken by the stars of this movie. Great care was also taken with the menu selection and the dust jacket, a minor detail that major studios sometimes get terribly wrong.



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