My Name Is Nobody (DVD)


My Name is Nobody is a 1973 Spaghetti Western comedy film. The film was directed by Tonino Valerii and, in some scenes, by Sergio Leone. It was written by Leone, Fulvio Morsella and Ernesto Gastaldi. Leone was also the uncredited executive producer. The cast includes Terence Hill, Henry Fonda, and Jean Martin.

The title of the movie alludes to the reply Odysseus gave when Polyphemus the Cyclops asked his name.

Plot

Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda) is an aging legendary gunslinger who wants to retire in peace in Europe to get away from young gunmen constantly trying to test themselves against the master. The film opens with three gunmen attempting to ambush Beauregard in a barbershop. After Beauregard has dispatched them, the barber’s son asks his father if there is anyone in the world faster than Beauregard, to which the barber replies “Faster than him? Nobody!”

After getting off a river ferry Beauregard watches a bum (Terence Hill) trying to catch fish. He then carries on to an old goldmine, only to find a dying acquaintance (Red), who has just been shot by a gang. Beauregard asks what happened and about the whereabouts of a certain Nevada, but Red only manages to disclose Nevada’s village (Acoma).

At a horse relay station the bum is asked by three men to deliver a basket to a certain person inside. It turns out to be Beauregard, who is being informed by the post office boy that his ship to Europe will sail within sixteen days from New Orleans, at a ticket price of $500. The bum impresses Beauregard with his knowledge of the latter’s track record, and then throws the basket outside. A bomb inside the basket explodes, leaving the three men in disarray. The bum identifies himself as “Nobody”. “Nobody” idolizes Beauregard and wants him to increase his fame by facing off the Wild Bunch single-handed. The Wild Bunch are a gang of 150 bandits who use a fake goldmine to launder their train robbery gold loot. The owner of the goldmine (Sullivan) has a hunch Beauregard is out to kill him, so he tries to get to him first. Hence the two previous attacks on Beauregard. The Wild Bunch however want Sullivan to focus on keeping his reputation clean.

At Acoma, Beauregard is awaited by Nobody, who reveals that Nevada is dead by showing him his grave. It turns out that Nevada was Beauregard’s brother. Again Nobody challenges him to face the Wild Bunch. Again Beauregard declines, and notices that Nobody’s saddle is decorated with mirrored conchas.

Nobody arrives at a saloon town. After humiliating the local gunslingers with his drawing speed and accuracy, he is summoned to a private poker room up in the saloon. There he is awaited by Sullivan, who offers him a lavish bounty to kill Beauregard. Nobody agrees, but Sullivan doesn’t trust him, and sets up some men of his own around town as a back-up plan. When Beauregard arrives in town, Nobody indeed has no intention of killing him, but on the contrary helps him do away with Sullivan’s men. Then, the Wild Bunch rides into town, to collect sticks of dynamite, caching them in their saddles bags, which are decorated with mirrored conchas (much like Nobody’s). They ride out again, uninterested in Beauregard and Nobody.

An old resident of the town then tells Beauregard that he was bought out of a derelict gold mine by Nevada and Red, only to see them make a deal with Sullivan afterwards. Miraculously, the mine then started producing prodigious amounts of gold. Nobody walks in, again urging Beauregard to face the Wild Bunch, for sport. Beauregard hurries off to the gold mine.

At the gold mine, he catches Sullivan loading sacks of gold powder. Sullivan, afraid Beauregard is about to revenge his brother, tells him that it was Red who killed Nevada. He offers Beauregard Nevada’s share in the mine. Beauregard tells him he couldn’t care less about his despicable brother, and just takes two sacks, and $500 out of Sullivan’s wallet. He asks where he can catch a train to New Orleans, and then leaves.

A train is being loaded with bars of gold, under the protection of US troops. Nobody tricks the driver and manages to steal the train under their noses. In the mean time, Beauregard has arrived at the train stop, an open spot in the middle of the desert, but the Wild Bunch turn up before the train and he chases away his horse to prepare making a last stand against them. Nobody turns up with the stolen train but refuses to let him on it, insisting he must fight. Beauregard smiles and returns to his shooting station. Then, as Nobody had anticipated, he suddenly remembers the mirroring conchas, and aims at them. One by one they explode, blowing up most of the Wild Bunch. He escapes with Nobody on the train. However, Nobody tells Beauregard that he still has to die.

In New Orleans, Beauregard and Nobody finally face each other in a street duel, with lots of spectators and even a photographer. Nobody draws faster and Beauregard falls to the ground, apparently dead. A few days later, Nobody walks by the ship that was to take Beauregard to Europe. A sign with the text “Jack Beauregard, 1848 – 1899. Nobody was faster on the draw.” has been erected. However, it is revealed that Beauregard is in his cabin, awaiting departure. He and Nobody staged his death, allowing him to retire peacefully in Europe. Thinking Beauregard is actually dead, the Wild Bunch turn their attention to Nobody, who playfully eludes their attacks. Beauregard writes Nobody a fond farewell letter, reflecting on changing times and the gone romanticism of gunslinging.

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