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Author Topic: G.M. Volontè as Tuco?  (Read 4107 times)
Leonardo
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« on: July 14, 2012, 09:27:42 AM »

Didn't know that G.M.Volontè thought that Tuco's part was his. From Diego Gabutti's book "C'era una volta in America", Leone interview, page 108 (translation from italian by yours truly):
"G.M.Volontè didn't like Eli being cast for GBU. He thought the role was just perfect for him. He was wrong. I told him to do a screen test. He refused. He was a star by now after all..I was relieved, I would have given him a thumbs down anyway, since at that point I had selected Eli already anyway."
Also according to Sergio, Clint was quite angry when he learned that in FFDM Lee van Cleef was co-starring. "And he was even more pissed off when he learned that Eli would be in GBU. But this time he was right, as Eli would have stolen the show for any actor. He was a force of nature."
By the way, in the same interview (page 109) he confirms once more that he wanted Clint, Eli and Lee in the opening sequence of OUTIW. Leone: "It was some sort of a childish way to say goodbye to my westerns. Eli and Lee accepted immediately, but Clint flatly refused. He said that a star could not be killed in the first 15 minutes of a movie, the audience wouldn't like it and understand it. So I had to change, since it would have worked only if all three agreed".
Quite an interesting book. In essence,  in his interviews Sergio did not think very highly of Clint as an actor, and I'm sorry to say, as a man. I think the same applies to Clint every time he is asked to talk about Sergio and his westerns. He does acknowledge the fact that Sergio gave him the opportunity of his life, but he rarely has a good word about Sergio as man and even as a director. He always sort of dodges questions about SL telling some funny anecdotes, but never really admits that he has learned at least some bits of the trade from Sergio. Or is it just me who feels this way?Huh?

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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 09:42:40 AM »

Thanks for the translation.

Personally, I can't see Volonte as Tuco. Fine actor though he was, he lacked the humor or pathos essential for the role.

You're definitely right about the Clint-Leone relationship. There certainly seems to have been a lot of animosity between them. I recall from Frayling they fell out during post-production of GBU and didn't meet again until the end of Leone's life.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 10:06:25 AM »

OTOH, you can never really trust what Leone says in interviews. From what I've learned of Volonte, he wasn't, at that point in his career very interested in making films that did not carry an explicit political message (a message, needless to say, that he agreed with). Was GBU really his kind of movie?

As for Clint and Leone: it was never an issue over actors, it was the writing! Clint kept seeing his parts being diminished by the addition of other lead characters. In so far as he was really unhappy on GBU, that unhappiness began when he read the script. It had nothing to do with who was cast.

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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 10:12:15 AM »

This is true Jenkins, though Volonte may have sensed Tuco as a really meaty part and wanted it for that reason. Or the movie's anti-war message may have appealed to him.

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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2012, 11:01:18 AM »

No, the messages of Bullet For The General and Face to Face are what appealed to him.

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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2012, 11:52:58 AM »

Volonte wasn't fond of acting in genre films. Melville had a lot of problems with him in Le cercle rouge. He found his kind of stuff with Quien sabe? and soon after his kind of director with the great Francesco Rosi.

I can easily see him as Tuco, but not as good as Eli was.

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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2012, 12:18:48 PM »

He found his kind of stuff with Quien sabe?
Which he did instead of GBU. His choice or Leone's?

Actually, Volonte appeared in 6 films that were released in 1966. He didn't have time to do GBU.

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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2012, 01:02:10 PM »

I'm sure Volonte wasn't keen on working again with Leone. On the other hand I can imagine that Leone would have taken him again (if Volonte had the time and the interest) if he hadn't found Wallach.

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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 10:04:58 PM »

Just imagine Volonte as Tuco, running around in the cemetery in the ecstasy of gold sequence...yeah I can't either.

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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 10:12:17 PM »

I just pictured this face - http://th07.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/i/2011/231/2/4/el_indio_poster_by_emptysamurai-d46v2cd.jpg, running around in the cemetery.

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"Roll it up! Roll it up! I'll give you a good idea where you can put it!" - Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez
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