Far and away one of the strangest films we’ve discussed on the podcast, right up there with the cannibal movies, is My Name Is Nobody, a comedic send-up of the Spaghetti Westerns from the very people who created them. Starring the legendary Henry Fonda and a goofy blonde himbo named Terence Hill, it kind of tells the story of an aging gunslinger and the younger man who idolizes him. It’s got a lot of familiar tropes from the Western, Spaghetti and otherwise, thrown into a hopper and shaken and tossed around, until they come out on the other side completely disoriented and confused. But it’s mostly pretty fun! Topics of conversation include the films’ experimental approach to filmmaking, the ugliness of the supporting cast, how much it is or isn’t like Looney Tunes and Unforgiven, my familiar “Prankster God” interpretation (as well as a host of other metaphysical fan theories I float), how much the titular Nobody has in common with Heath Ledger’s Joker, the successful subversion of the familiar revenge plot line, and a considered look at some of the film’s more awkward vignettes, such as a racially charged carnival game and a sensual piss joke.
We have a longer than usual segment on what else we’ve been watching this week, including such titles as Mourning Becomes Electra, Jaws, The Name of the Rose, Sully, and John Wick Part II, which ends up having a surprising connection to Open Range. This episode was a listener request (thanks Steve!) and we would be happy to take more. Please email us at email@example.com to let us know what we should do an episode on. And why not visit us on iTunes and leave ratings an reviews? Eh? Next time on Westerns With Dad, we’ll be covering Last Train From Gun Hill, starring Kirk Douglas. It’s another listener request!
My Name is Nobody stars Henry Fonda and Terence Hill, and was directed by Tonino Valerii, from ‘an idea of Sergio Leone’.
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In this episode, we take a good long look at last year’s Best Picture nominee, Hell of High Water, an entry into the modern Western subgenre, with elements of the Crime Thriller and a hint of Noir. It’s the socially relevant story of two brothers driven to bank robbery by a broken system that preys on the poor, and the Texas Ranger charged with hunting them down. Beyond the archetypes and familiar set-up, this terrific movie has a lot on its mind about the disenfranchised working class in America, which makes it an especially timely film to be watching nowadays. As is our custom, we try not to delve to deep into politics, but the very nature of this movie makes it difficult to avoid, and we do spend some time examining the cultural drives that force the protagonists, both as they pertain to the Western and the current climate of the world, specifically gun culture. I don’t think there’s anything here that’s going to bother anyone, but just so you know, we get into a bit. Beyond that, topics of conversation include how much we like Ben Foster, siding with the outlaws, the vanishing west of physical currency slot machines, the gorgeous cinematography of desolation, what I’d do if I was an idiot criminal, Jeff Bridges’s casual racism, and the foundational myth of Self-Determination in the American West! We also talk a fair amount about the Western genre’s representation at the Academy Awards. It’s a solid episode, moves pretty quick.You should all see the movie, it’s pretty good!
At the end of the episode, we spend some time talking about the new Tom Hanks Robert Langdon adventure, Inferno, as well as the franchise as a whole. There’s also a brief mention of John Wick and The Man Who Would Be King, which are both absolutely excellent. Watch them too! Next time on Westerns With Dad, we’ll be talking about the odd Western comedy My Name Is Nobody. It’s a listener request, and you can make one too by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please give us reviews and ratings on iTunes!
Hell or High Water stars Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. It was written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by Benjamin Mackenzie.
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