Man with No Name

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Man with no name
Dollars Trilogy character
First appearance A Fistful of Dollars
Last appearance The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Created by Sergio Leone
Portrayed by Clint Eastwood
Nickname(s) "Joe" (A Fistful of Dollars)
"Manco" (For a Few Dollars More)
"Blondie" (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)
Aliases The Stranger, The Hunter, The Bounty Killer, Mister Sudden Death, Señor Ninguno, Nameless, No Name
Occupation Bounty hunter/bounty killer
Nationality American

The man with no name (Italian: Uomo senza nome) is the protagonist portrayed by Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy" of Spaghetti Western films: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).

In 2008, Empire chose "The Man With No Name" as the 33rd greatest movie character of all time.[1]

Concept and creation

A Fistful of Dollars was directly adapted from Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961). It was the subject of a successful lawsuit by Yojimbo's producers.[2] The film's protagonist, an unconventional ronin (a Samurai with no master) played by Toshiro Mifune, bears a striking resemblance to Eastwood's character: both are quiet, gruff, eccentric strangers with a strong but unorthodox sense of justice and extraordinary proficiency with a particular weapon (in Mifune's case, a katana; for Eastwood, a revolver).

Like Eastwood's western setting character, Mifune plays a ronin with no name. When pressed, he gives the pseudonym Sanjuro Kuwabatake (meaning "Thirty-year-old Mulberry-field"), a reference to his age and something he sees through a window (although regarding the age he jokes 'Closer to forty actually'). The convention of hiding the character's arms from view is shared as well, with Mifune's character typically wearing his arms inside his kimono, leaving the sleeves empty.[3] Prior to signing on to Fistful, Eastwood had seen Kurosawa's film and was impressed by the character.[4] During filming, he did not emulate Mifune's performance beyond what was already in the script. He also insisted on removing some of the dialogue in the original script, making the character more silent and thus adding to his mystery. As the trilogy progressed, the character became even more silent and stoic.

Yojimbo is itself believed to have been based on Dashiell Hammett's 1929 novel Red Harvest.[3][5] Kurosawa scholar David Desser and film critic Manny Farber, among others, state categorically that Red Harvest was the inspiration for the Kurosawa film Yojimbo.[6] Leone himself clearly believed this theory, stating "Kurosawa's Yojimbo was inspired by an American novel of the série noire so I was really taking the story back home again."[7]

Although Kurosawa never publicly credited Hammett, Roger Corman claims that Kurosawa privately acknowledged Red Harvest as an influence.[8] The lead character in Hammett's Red Harvest is also nameless, identified only as a Continental Op after the detective agency he works for.[9]

A subsequent film, Last Man Standing (1996) starring Bruce Willis, is a credited remake of Yojimbo.

Actual names or monikers

  • In A Fistful of Dollars, he is called "Joe" by the undertaker, Piripero, and Eastwood is credited as "Joe".
  • In For a Few Dollars More, he is called "Manco" (Spanish: "one-armed") because he does everything left-handed, except for shooting.
  • In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Tuco calls him "Blondie" for his relatively fair complexion. He is also "The Good" from which the film receives its name.
  • In the "Dollars" book series (see below), he is also known as "The Hunter", "The Bounty Killer", "Mister Sudden Death", "Nameless", "No Name" and "Señor Ninguno" or its literal translation "Mr. Nobody".

Appearances in literature

The popularity of the characters brought about a series of spin-off books, dubbed the "Dollar" series due to the common theme in their titles:

  • A Fistful of Dollars, film novelization by Frank Chandler
  • For a Few Dollars More, film novelization by Joe Millard
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, film novelization by Joe Millard
  • A Coffin Full of Dollars by Joe Millard
  • A Dollar to Die For by Brian Fox
  • The Devil's Dollar Sign by Joe Millard
  • The Million-Dollar Bloodhunt by Joe Millard
  • Blood For a Dirty Dollar by Joe Millard

Tuco from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly re-appears as a major character in A Dollar to Die For. Once again, the Man with No Name is forced to turn him in for gold, and once again, he helps him to escape from prison because "a world without Tuco would be much less interesting".

In almost all of the books succeeding the "Dollars" trilogy (the exception being A Dollar to Die For), The Man with No Name forms temporary alliances with rival bounty-killers who share the physical image of Lee Van Cleef but with different characters:

  • "Shadrach" in A Coffin Full of Dollars continually steals Nameless' prizes before Nameless can kill them and claims the bounties for himself, leaving a $10 bill as "payment" to taunt Nameless; his ruthlessness is second only to Angel Eyes in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
  • "'Reverend' Leemon Fairfeather" in The Devil's Dollar Sign hatches a plan to make Nameless the object of a huge bounty put upon him by outlaws.
  • "Professor Samson Garff" in The Million-Dollar Bloodhunt is an aeronaut using a balloon.
  • "Saginaw Kirp" in Blood for a Dirty Dollar is a life insurance salesman on a mission of vengeance against the unknown person who betrayed his Army unit into a fatal ambush.

The "Dollars" novels also provide some background history:

  • In A Coffin Full of Dollars, it is revealed that when he was young, The Man with No Name was a ranch hand who was continually persecuted by an older hand named Carvell. The trouble eventually led to a shootout between the two with Carvell being outdrawn and killed; however, an examination of Carvell's body revealed a scar which identified him as Monk Carver, a wanted man with a $1,000 bounty. After comparing the received bounty with his $10-a-month ranch pay, the young cowhand chose to change his life and become a bounty hunter.
  • In The Devil's Dollar Sign, the reason why The Man with No Name is a "lone wolf" is revealed to be because of an unfortunate incident in his early career as a bounty hunter: he had partnered with a man known as "Foot Sick" Feebly who turned out to have a serious ladies' shoe fetish and The Man with No Name one evening happened upon him indulging in that fetish. After that, The Man with No Name had decided to never have a partner again.

In July 2007, American comic book company Dynamite Entertainment announced that they were going to begin publishing a comic book featuring The Man With No Name. Set after the events of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the comic is written by Christos Gage. Dynamite refers to him as "Blondie", the nickname Tuco uses for him in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.[10] The first issue was released in March 2008, entitled, The Man with No Name: The Good, The Bad, and The Uglier.[11] Luke Lieberman and Matt Wolpert took over the writing for issues #7-11.[12][13] Initially, Chuck Dixon was scheduled to take over the writing chores with issue #12, but Dynamite ended the series and opted to use Dixon's storyline for a new series titled The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.[14] The new series is not an adaptation of the movie, despite its title.

Other cultural references


  1. "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters - 33. The Man With No Name". Empire. 5 December 2006. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  2. "A Fistful of Dollars and Yojimbo". Side B Magazine. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ebert, Roger (10 April 2005). "Yojimbo". 
  4. From an interview conducted for a DVD documentary on Kurosawa
  5. Giddins, Gary (9 January 2007). "Kurosawa's Red Harvests". The New York Sun. New York City. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  6. Barra, Allen (28 February 2005). "From "Red Harvest" to "Deadwood"". Salon. San Francisco. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  7. Frayling, Sir Christopher (1 January 1981). Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone. Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd. ISBN 9780710005038. 
  8. Carradine, David (1993). Spirit of Shaolin. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9780804818285. 
  9. Hammett, Dashiell (17 July 1989). Red Harvest. Vintage Books. ISBN 9780679722618. 
  10. Brady, Matt (15 August 2008). "Christos Gage on The Man With No Name". Newsarama. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  11. Brady, Matt (28 April 2009). "First Look: Dynamite's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly #1". Newsarama. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  12. Brady, Matt (19 August 2008). "The Man With No Name's New Team: Lieberman & Wolpert". Newsarama. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  13. Phegley, Kiel (23 October 2008). "New Writers on The Man With No Name". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  14. Brady, Matt (20 August 2008). "Chuck Dixon to Write The Man With No Name". Newsarama. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  15. Sherman, Jennifer (14 October 2012). "Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Creator Meets Clint Eastwood". AnimeNewsNetwork. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 

External links