Reviews: Spaghetti western is worth your time ‘My Name is Nobody’ with Henry Fonda has drama, comedic moments
IS WORTH YOUR TIME
The likable film “My Name is Nobody” (“Il Mio Nome E Nessuno” in Italian) works on several levels.
It is a serious (but not deadly so) example of the Spaghetti Western popularized by Sergio Leone (and produced by him, though someone named Tonnino Valerii directed most of it). Leone provided the story idea and it stars Henry Fonda, who also appeared in the director’s “Once Upon a Time in the West.” But it’s also a comedic film, thanks primarily to co-star Terence Hill, who repeats essentially the same kind of character he essayed in the Trinity movies, a man whose ability with a gun and his fists is concealed by a goofy demeanor . . .
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As much as anything else, the film serves as a valedictory to the genre (in a graveyard scene, one of the names on a gravemarker is Sam Peckinpah) and a reflection on changing times (aside from the casting of Hill and Fonda the film is tellingly set in the year 1899).
But if that sounds as though the proceedings are heavy going, they are anything but. Just as Fonda and Hill are juxtaposed, so is the epic with the comic. Scenes of the Wild Bunch (one of the groups out to get Fonda) rampaging about are accompanied by Ennio Morricone’s snide arrangement of Richard Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries,” a shootout in a hall of mirrors humorously references Orson Welles’ “The Lady from Shanghai” and the splendor of Leone’s trademark panoramas are undercut with an undercranked camera speeding up the action.