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Author Topic: The Good the Bad and Me  (Read 5360 times)
Beebs
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« on: August 06, 2005, 06:42:50 PM »

Good for all of you who realized this is the title of Eli Wallach's autobiography. This may be a long thread but for those of you who take the time to read I thank you and hope you find it as interesting as I did.

In his book, Mr. Wallach has a chapter on GBU. Here are some funny stories and facts in it.

When Eli met Leone he expected a sporting Italian with a two tone jacket and a Stetson hat instead he met a man who "was dressed in a silk summer suit... he must have weighed 300 pounds"  he had an interperater and they showed Eli the credit sequence from FFDM and he became hooked and accepeted. Later Wallach found why Leone wanted him to act despite the fact he had been warned against using Wallach. He said it was because he like the scene in How the West Was Won where he pretends to shoot the sheriff's kids with his index finger.

When he met him in Rome he noticed Leone wore both a belt and suspenders (OUTW) and quickly asked "Can my character wear a belt and suspenders?" Leone smiled and snapped his suspenders.

When Leone told Wallach he had no holster for his Mexican bandit role, he asked "where do I put my gun?"
"You have rope around your neck with gun on end of it"
"So it dangles between my legs?"
"Oui, you twist your shoulders hard, I cut to your hand and there's the gun"
After asking for a demostration Leone put the gun around his neck and twisted his shoulders but it missed his hand and hit him in the groin. He groaned and said, "Just keep in in your pocket"

Wallach said that he never got the lessons to quick draw like Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood. so he was glad he didnt have to do the quick draw.

When in Madrid, Clint said he had a friend who would gladdly put them up for the night before leaving for Almeria. They got there and the man tured out to be Eli's agent's son. They went up to the bedroom and there was one small bed. Clint said "Well, do you want the left side or the right side" Eli said "i dont know, I guess the left" When he told his wife the story whe laughed and said he can say he's the only man to hav slept with Clint Eastwood.

When he arrived in Madrid from Rome, Clint told him that he didn't like flying in "those rickety crates the Spainards call planes" so he invited him to drive down to Almeria with him. On the way he talked about SW and Eli replied "I been in Westerns before" Clint said"No, you've never made a Western like this. Don't show off."

When doing the hanging scene Eli was a little wary abou the dynamite stuck in the top of the noose that Clint "shoots". He asked Leone to put cotton in the Horses ears. leone said no it's not dangerous. It took a mile for Eli to stop the running horse.

Spanish soldiers played the Civil War soldiers.

The Bridge was built by the special effects team and the army.  When Leone told Clint he wanted them down by the  dam Clint said "Where will you be?"
"I'll be up at the top of the hill"
"we'll be right up there with you"
"But but... I want to get the shots with you then sweep...."
"nope. we'll be right up next to you"

The Special Effects leader told the Captain of the Army he could do the honor of blowing the bridge. he reluctantly agreed and the S.E. guy said he'd say "go" to blow it up. When talking to someone else he mentioned "go" and the Captain shot hte works. Eli was just waiting as Leone was getting ready. Clint was playing with a golf putter. When it went off the S.E. guy got in a jeep and headed for the airport. Leone cursed after him and the Captain came up and explained. They agreed to rebuilt the bridge if Leone wouldn't fire the S.E. guy. He agreed.

Leone and Wallach played a game on set trying to out smart eachother. Eli would turn his back on a camera and Leone would change the lines on him or leave the camera going for Eli to make up stuff. He had to make up how he took the guns apart and put them together. He also made up the Closed sign thing and Leone loved it.

The dog in the cemetary was a trained dog Leone released on Eli to make him jump. He said that was his method, to get a natural surprise from the actors. "That evens our game" Leone said.

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KERMIT
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2005, 09:58:38 PM »

beebs, it's posters like you that make this the site it's grown to be.  i'm scoring  that eli autobiography tomorrow.  my deepst thanks for your efforts, and dedication. 

fortissimo ! magnifico !

« Last Edit: August 06, 2005, 10:20:16 PM by KERMIT » Logged
titoli
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2005, 10:01:58 PM »

Leaving off anecdotes, what is his personal assessment of Leone as a director and of GBU as a movie?

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Beebs
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2005, 05:54:28 PM »

Kermit- Thank so very much for your kind words. Ever since I joined here only 2 months ago, I have wanted to be in the league of the "Top Posters" and Senior Members. It seems I have made it.

Titoli- From what I gather, he enjoyed the movie but his first impressions were grim. He thought of Leone as not giving much thought to his safety but enjoyed going to the beach with him and his family. One thing about the movie he didn't like in the first was the time away from his family. He didn't think too highly of Almeria but his family went shopping a lot.

I'll post more as I read it as far as his views on the film go.

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Beebs
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2005, 07:55:51 AM »

Well, I read more.

"I grew to admire Leone's innovations- he was the man who controlled the rhythm and the pace of the film."

When Leone was preparing to make DYS, he offered Wallach the lead part. Wallach was scheduled to do another movie but dropped it for Leone's. When they got to Hollywood the stupid Californian producers said they had to use Steiger or the movie wouldn't be made. Leone called up Wallach and said that he had to do what they told him. Wallach yelled back that he'd dropped two roles now and was jobless. Leone said I'm sorry I can't let you play the role. "I'll sue you" Wallach yelled back. "Get in line!" Leone replied and slammed the phone down. That was the last they spoke.

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titoli
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2005, 02:37:53 PM »

thanx.

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KERMIT
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2005, 11:37:37 PM »

"E-lie", w/ rope around neck, hands tied behind him, on a  hot rod lincoln, nag of a horse,  asks leone
to place cotten in the horse's ears in case the dynamite attached to the rope around his neck went off accidently scareing horse, leaving him hanging high in the heat of the moment.  leone says no cotten in horse's ears. time is wasting.

clint tells "E-lie", never volunteer for your own stunts. let the stunt men do  the tricks. this isn't a western. this isn't what you think it is so don't show off. 

from: "good , bad and me". spaghetti chapter reveals the genius that was leone.  what eli encountered.
   

« Last Edit: August 21, 2005, 03:06:15 AM by Kermit » Logged
KERMIT
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2005, 08:37:30 AM »

Leaving off anecdotes, what is his personal assessment of Leone as a director and of GBU as a movie?

leone could be brutal to those around him.  eli wallach
had to have a breif tutorial by clint.  in the"the good  bad and me". wallach's thinks back to logical issues he had that were based on his hollywood experience.

leone, wasn't interrested in logic.  he knew what he wanted from his personal and how to get it. nothing else mattered, including safty.  to cut down on my garble, check out this chapter, "the good , the bad in me"  next time while visiting book store.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2005, 08:46:58 AM by Kermit » Logged
Beebs
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2005, 08:52:16 AM »

I agree, great chapter from someone who experience his wrath and beauty first hand. Naturally there in only one big chapter not the whole book but if you take time the rest of the book is great too.

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iceman
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2005, 04:46:40 PM »

Kerm....whats this dynamite attached to rope. Was it to effect the bullet cutting the rope. Surely Eli didnt have a real noose round his neck...DID HE?Huh

ICE

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"Take a slug of this captain.....and keep your ears open"
Beebs
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2005, 05:55:52 PM »

Sure did. Sorry for answering your question not directed to me but if you read the chapter you get a better understanding of the entire safety issue with Leone.

Did I tell the story about the train? Oh, I guess not. Well, here it is:

The scene with Tuco and Wallach on the tracks to cut the handcuffs, the train was actually whizing by Wallach's head. After the first take, Leone yelled at him for not turning to face the camera while the train was going past. So they dug the ditch deeper that he was sitting in but now you couldn't see Eli at all. So Frusturated Leone let the first take go so Eli wouldn't decaputate himself on camera.

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KERMIT
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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2005, 10:32:07 PM »

yes, the whole book needless to say, is great stuff from tuco himself. leone didn't care for rules. totaly wrapped up by third film {GB&U} he had a hit. a big hit.  Cool

it's hard not to relay some of the stories wallach reveals
in his dealings w/ leone.  schedule was unbelievablely grueling. i'm going to give that chapter another look see. 

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Hanley
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2005, 02:11:55 AM »

Kerm....whats this dynamite attached to rope. Was it to effect the bullet cutting the rope. Surely Eli didnt have a real noose round his neck...DID HE?Huh

ICE
I interviewed the special effects experts Giovanni Corridori and Eros Bacciucchi (now deceased). The vertical rope went behind Eli Wallach's neck and it was attached to a harness around his thorax. The noose was fake. The rope incorporated a small charge and it was pre-cut to facilitate rupture of the rope. The same technique was used for Shorty Larson etc. The close-up shot of the rope rupture was also used more than once.

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Beebs
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2005, 06:31:26 AM »

Ok my mistake. I must have jumped to conclusions

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KERMIT
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2005, 07:29:40 AM »

I interviewed the special effects experts Giovanni Corridori and Eros Bacciucchi (now deceased). The vertical rope went behind Eli Wallach's neck and it was attached to a harness around his thorax. The noose was fake. The rope incorporated a small charge and it was pre-cut to facilitate rupture of the rope. The same technique was used for Shorty Larson etc. The close-up shot of the rope rupture was also used more than once.
nevertheless eli is sitting on a horse thats ready to bolt any second
w/ hands tied behind. he wants cotten placed in the horses ears for his own saftey. eli had spent a sleepless night worring about how to convey this to leone. he'd just met him and wanted all to go well.
thanks hanley  Wink

« Last Edit: August 22, 2005, 07:39:06 AM by Kermit » Logged
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