Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => The Good, The Bad and The Ugly => Topic started by: stanton on December 26, 2010, 02:16:51 AM

Title: A true story
Post by: stanton on December 26, 2010, 02:16:51 AM
A few years ago I heard a rumour that William Shatner was Leone's 1st choice for all 3 leads in GBU.

That's wrong, of course!

Truth is that Shatner was asked by Leone to play ALL the Union soldiers in the scenes around the bridge near the end of GBU. But this had included playing the drunk officer, which was refused by Shatner who disliked the idea of playing an alcoholic.

So Aldo Giuffre took over for the about 500 (!) roles. Unfortunately after one day of shooting with Giuffre multiple attacking the bridge, it became clear that he wanted to be paid for every single role, which by any stretch of imagination wasn't payable. So Giuffre was left with the drunk officer and the usual cheap extras of the Spanish army came in for the rest. Even if this meant that the footage of one whole day had to be re-shot.

Over the years it seemed that all the unused Giuffre material had gone lost, until recently when one millisecond was luckily found in the archives of the Aldo Giuffre foundation. Unfortunately it was too late to be included as bonus on the GBU Special Edition DVD.

So one of the greatest statements about the uniformity of war got lost by the shortsightedness of two actors.

And it could have changed the whole film history. It's obvious that with this statement GBU would have been instantly regarded as one of the great film classics, so that Leone wouldn't had all his doubts about his abilities, which would had led him doubtless to a creative flow with many, many more great films (amongst them several more SW masterpieces) and a happy and healthier and much longer life.
Also all the trekkies would have become inevitably sooner or later great SW fans, so that we would have now a much wider audience for DVD releases, and all the great SW classics would have been released in beautiful 12 DVD Digi-packs.

Sigh !!! But that's how life went.
Title: Re: A true story
Post by: Dust Devil on December 26, 2010, 02:37:09 AM
This is a great piece of information, stanton, and it confirms what I have been saying here for years: the faces of the soldiers are not shown deliberately (they show some, sure, but only the young boy Blondie gives his cigarillo to, the drunk captain, the doctor, and I think a very few others can be glimpsed at), the soldiers on the other side were also not shown for a purpose - as if it doesn't matter who's on the other side (as it rarely/never does). This was not just a matter of economics, as some here stated (can't remember who it was but they must have been bloody Yanks, I know that :D), the meaning was far more subtle and deep.

Title: Re: A true story
Post by: Dust Devil on December 26, 2010, 02:42:23 AM
But say, it's a good thing good ole Willie Shatner was - in one way or another - cast away from the project. :D

He did, what, Incubus that same year? And then Comanche blanco? - I won't even write a lol, it's Christmas.

Willie, Willie, Willie...
Title: Re: A true story
Post by: Prabal on November 17, 2014, 11:54:17 AM
This must be the greatest thing I have learnt from this forum.  O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0