I worry about the bags of dollars
left by “Blondie,” the Man With No Name,
after all of the bad guys have taken a bullet,
worry about the bags after it’s clear Tuco won’t die
in the graveyard where the big gundown has transformed the West
with gold coins and spilled blood and highly operatic desert.
I want to live in that place, that’s really Spain—Europe’s only desert.
And somehow I want Tuco to collect all of those dollars
from the bags he split open with a shovel in the imaginary West.
Because without a horse I can’t imagine how he’s going to carry them, name
or no name. And I wonder how Lee Van Cleef can just die.
And oh my God—are those flies crawling on his face? One bullet
and he drops. I expected him to be more diabolical than that. One bullet
and “Angel Eyes” drops like a solitary crow circling the endless desert.
And I wonder what it’s like to be Eli Wallach, a nice Jewish guy who doesn’t die
in this movie, but who also starred in The Magnificent Seven for many more dollars.
An actor’s an actor no matter what, no matter how big their name.
But c’mon—would you ever guess he’d play in two of the best Westerns
ever made? No way. The only West Eli knew was West
Brooklyn. Am I right? I’ll bet he wouldn’t let flies crawl on his face or take just one bullet.
I’ve seen every Spaghetti Western by now. The ones with name
stars and the ones with actors like Edd Byrnes or Alex Cord, shot in the same desert
towns in Almeria, Spain. I love the Sergio Leone Dollars
trilogy, and his classic Once Upon a Time in the West. The way Henry Fonda dies
is fabulous. I’m sure he was tickled that he got to gnaw scenery and die
on screen. Not something he did often. And is it just me or does the Old West
make more sense with Leone at the helm. Bandits shooting up the place for dollars.
Bullets flying everywhere. Family, kids, bystanders taking a bullet.
I heard they had to shoot new footage for TV versions of these desert
shoot-‘em-ups. Harry Dean Stanton’s intro about the Man With No Name
assures the American audience that he’s not really a bounty killer sans name
but a U.S.-government-trained agent. Censors should just do the right thing and die.
Thank God the Italians shot all of these movies in the ‘60s, in the desert.
Django, My Name Is Trinity, Sabata, Death Rides a Horse. The Old West
just isn’t the same without Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack, complete with bullets,
harmonicas, and soaring choruses. But back to the bags of dollars.
Sure, Clint left all those dollars. The Man With No Name was fair in his way.
The Good? An ominous question mark. Better than a bullet or dying under the big sky.
The Ugly gets off easy—wandering mythic Western deserts with a fistful of dollars.