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Author Topic: Angel Eyes and the elder Zoto  (Read 3714 times)
Andrew Hyatt
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« on: May 13, 2003, 08:36:30 AM »

I am recently reading Jan Potocki's classic "The Manuscript Found in Saragossa", written in the late 1700's or early 1800's.  It's a book of stories that deal with the supernatural, the humorous, the ribald, and the scientific.  One of the stories tells the tale of the bandit Zoto's father, who was also a bandit.    Let me quote from it, and you will see the relationship with Angel Eyes.  The narrarator is the younger Zoto.

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In Benevento there were two gentlemen, one called Count Montalto, and the other the Marchese Serra.  Count Montalto summed my father and promised to give him five hundred sequins if he would assassinate Serra.  My father took the commission but asked for time to carry it out because he knew the marchese was very much on his guard.

Two days later the Marchese Serra summoned my father to a lonely spot and said to him, 'Zoto, here is a purse containing five hundred sequins.  it is yours.  Give me your word of honour that you will murder Montalto.'

My father took the purse and replied, 'My lord, I give you my word of honour that I will kill montalto, but I must tell you that I have given my word to him that I will kill you.'

The marchese laughed and said, 'I sincerely hope that you won't do so.'

My father gravely replied, 'I am very sorry, my lord, I have given my word and I will keep it.'

The marchese leapt back and drew his sword, but my father drew a pistol from his belt and blew the marchese's brains out.  He then went to Montalto and told him that his enemy was no more.  The count embraced him and gave him the five hundred sequins.  My father then admitted to him with some embarassment that before dying, the marchese had given him five hundred sequins to murder the count.

Montalto said that he was delighted to have forestalled his enemy.

'My lord,' replied my father, 'that is neither here nor there.  I have given my word.'

And with these words, he struck him down with his dagger...

I have to wonder if Leone was familiar with this story.  Probably so, this book is fairly well known, and probably is even better known in Europe.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2003, 05:51:46 AM »

Leone, or one of the other screenwriters I'm sure.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2008, 04:09:54 AM »

A shame the episode never made it into Has's film adaptation.

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Calamity Jane
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 11:12:54 PM »

My guess is, Leone read the book and, after reading this scenario in the story, he thought it would be a great scenario to use in the movie.   Leone used the persona of Zoto's father and incorporated it into the character of Angel Eyes - thus, 'the bad' character of the movie was born - Cheesy

« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 11:14:33 PM by Calamity Jane » Logged
dave jenkins
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2008, 03:49:48 AM »

SL wasn't known as much of a reader. I suspect the credit has to go to Luciano Vincenzoni.

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