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Author Topic: What if Harmonica WAS the man with no name in OUTITW?  (Read 5382 times)
dane with no name
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« on: December 04, 2007, 03:37:18 PM »

While reading through the thread Who would have loved to see Clint Eastwood as Harmonica in OUTITW by WeAllGotItCommingKid something made me wonder...
 
What if OUTITW was originally intended to be the "origin story" about the man with no name? The one that finally told everything we wanted to know about his past?
Of course we can't get any proper answer anywhere now, and we could probably discuss this forever, but do you consider it a possibility that this might have been the idea to begin with? Harmonica is simply called Harmonica because he plays a... well... harmonica, but otherwise he is just as nameless.
That would have made OUTITW so close and personal a story about the man with no name as we would ever get and if we are assuming that the bit about the silent avenger was changed to an silent avenger playing a harmonica instead after Eastwood turned Leone down I see a lot of similarities.   

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(Interviewer:) And is it true that Leone offered to have you bury the myth of the Man with No Name by having your character shot to death in the first ten minutes of Once upon a Time in the West?

(Eastwood:) Not that I know of.  He offered me the role of the silent avenger that was eventually taken by, hmmmmmm ... Charlie Bronson.
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SpiderMonkey
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2007, 05:58:31 PM »

Originally, there was supposed to be a backstory scene for Joe in 'A Fistful of Dollars,' but Eastwood convinced Leone to drop it, adding to the mystique of the character.  So I'd have to stick to the same kind of logic here.  The less we know about him the better.
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dane with no name
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2007, 08:23:27 AM »

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The less we know about him the better.
Absolutely SpiderMonkey, but i am still thinking if Leone's intentions was to tell the whole background story about the man with no name with OUTITW, and if that may have been the reason they had a bit of a falling out once Eastwood turned the project down. 
If it was Leone's intentions to tell the whole background of the man with no name in OUTITW to truly finish of the entire story about the stranger it might have been compared to what a movie like Indiana Jones and the last crusade did for the Indiana Jones character, whom we actually didn't know that much about from the first two movies. 
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KC
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2007, 04:42:24 PM »

It's an interesting thought, but isn't Once Upon a Time in the West supposed to be taking place in a vaguely post-Civil War period? Which would put the story's action after that of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, at least.
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dane with no name
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2007, 08:35:03 AM »

I don't know for sure KC, reckon I'll just have to sit down and watch OUTITW to get the facts straight  :) Maybe even the dollar trilogy too, for any small bits that might connect the dots so to speak.  8)

A general part in a lot of revenge movie is the training of the wronged person (the kung fu fighter is trained by an old master to be the ultimate badass before returning to exact his revenge, or Josey Wales going out into the yard after the death of his family and starts to trains his gun skills until he is confident enough with the weapon to join the Confederates etc.) so perhaps the man with no name only felt secure enough to face Frank (Fonda's character) who might seem like an totally overwhelming opponent considering what he had put TMWNN through in his youth, so after walking the earth a bit, only feeling confident enough to return home for revenge after having taken out a Angel Eyes (another interesting thought. who would win if Angel Eyes and Frank ever met (with full back up) ?) 

If we're assuming that the four movies was meant to be connected in some way, (perhaps as some sort of learning curve )and that TMWNN has an eventual future revenge in mind, the overall plan in the movies might look a bit like this.

A fistfull of dollars : TMWNN tries to play two groups out against each others, but eventually gets caught and beaten into a pulp when he get in a little too deep. So it's back to the drawing board because Frank would merely shoot him in the head and get on with it.

A few dollars more : El Indio is a pretty cunning, resourcefull opponent (but lacks the style of Frank) so TMWNN watches and learns, keeps an eye on the "potential ally" that is the Colonel. They're both exposed to more than enough danger throughout the movie, so some parts of the movie could be considered a "learning curve" so to speak.

GBU : There's absolutely no question here. TMWNN knows what he is doing all along, and always seems two or even more steps ahead in the game. While he is in a bit of trouble when Tuco has the upper hand a few times, he is generally confident that he can outdraw or lead tuco by the nose for the most part. Tuco plays an excellent distraction at the shootout in the cemetery in the end. Clint knows he only has to watch Van Cleef (a dangerous opponent, no doubt about that ) which gives him the upper hand as opposed to Angel eyes who has to watch both opponents not knowing Clint emptied Tuco's gun while he slept.

OUTITW : Having formulated the final plan for revenge TMWNN returns to face Frank. He now got a lot of experience under his belt. A thing he is going to need if he's going to come out of the fight successfully against Frank (Who truly rank pretty high on the badass-meter ;) )       

I'm merely kicking some ideas around at the moment, but I'll get back on the matter once I've re-seen the movies.
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WeAllHaveItCominKid
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2008, 10:39:14 AM »

It's an interesting thought, but isn't Once Upon a Time in the West supposed to be taking place in a vaguely post-Civil War period? Which would put the story's action after that of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, at least.

OUATITW takes place post-civil war around the time of the dying days of the WILD WEST. I think it goes hand in hand with The Wild Bunch in that right.
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