Thursday, June 26, 2014

three amigos

I never got enough of these guys.  They were so incredible in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, I had hopes that Leone would throw them together somewhere down the trail. That was never to be.  Eli Wallach only appeared in one of Leone's Dollar films.  He was brilliant. Van Cleef was in the first and last of the trilogy.  His career was revived after those films.  Eastwood's rise never stopped.

Leone did offer Eastwood and Wallach roles in Duck You Sucker (aka: Fistful of Dynamite).  Eastwood declined because he felt the role was too close to his Man With No Name character in the Dollar films.  James Coburn picked up Eastwood's part and Rod Steiger ended up with the part written for Wallach.  That would've been interesting to watch.  Coburn did a great job, but the film seemed hollow without Wallach playing the bandit. 

Leone originally intended an opening farewell at the beginning of Once Upon A Time in The West.  Leone wanted to kill off his three Dollar stars at the beginning of his new Western trilogy. Sergio intended to have Eastwood, Wallach and Van Cleef to be the three gunmen waiting at the train station at the first of Once Upon A Time In The West.  Wallach and Van Cleef agreed to do it, but Eastwood refused. 

I wonder how many other young men like me waited and hoped that Eastwood, Wallach, and Van Cleef would one day be in a Western together again.  It was a secret hope of mine.  Sergio Leone was an admirer of John Ford.  John Ford had what people referred to as his 'stock company'.  Wouldn't it have been nice if Leone had picked up on that idea from Ford.  Leone did use actors over again, but why dust his boots off of these three amigos?

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