Young, ambitious gunman Nobody (Terence Hill) sets his eye on his idol, gunslinger Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda), who's intent on sailing off into retirement.
My Name is Nobody
is a spoof of spaghetti Westerns, but it's also a legitimate, highly regarded entry in the genre. Its pedigree is purebred, as it was executive produced by the maestro of spaghetti Westerns, Sergio Leone, as a personal farewell to the genre that he helped to create. It's a transitional film, cheekily acknowledging the impact of The Wild Bunch
and Sam Peckinpah (whose name is seen on a gravestone in one scene) and the popularity of Terence Hill, whose comedic "Trinity" films represented the last gasp of the once-glorious spaghetti Western. All of these elements are beautifully combined in the amusing tale of Nobody (Hill), an ambitious young gunman in 1899 who idolizes a legendary gunslinger Jack Beauregard, played by Henry Fonda in his final Western (and his second for Leone, after the classic Once Upon a Time in the West
). Before Beauregard can retire in peace, Nobody sets up a final showdown of epic proportions, and the great Ennio Morricone enhances the abundance of memorable scenes with one of his most playfully inventive scores (including a comical use of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries"). Tonino Valerii fully deserved his director's credit, but Leone also made significant contributions (including the opening scene), and the result is a delightful and surprisingly resonant film that Steven Spielberg later called his favorite Leone production. It's easy to see why: Like many of Spielberg's films, My Name is Nobody
qualifies as both art and
entertainment. --Jeff Shannon