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Author Topic: Harmonica  (Read 2588 times)
Yojimbo
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« on: October 24, 2003, 11:38:39 AM »

Anyone know if this is true.
I heard that Terence Stamp was offered the role of "Harmonica" in "OUATITW" before Charles Bronson. I have never read/heard this anywhere except in an interview with Terence Stamp on television a while back. He claimed that he turned it down, and went on to say he told himself at the time he was being choosy regarding the parts he would take (he turned down many other good roles as well), but in hindsight secretly he knew he was concerned about his ability as an actor to perform the part (unfounded of course as Stamp is a fine actor). It's now hard to imagine anyone other than Bronson in the role.

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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2003, 03:56:32 PM »

Anyone know if this is true.
I heard that Terence Stamp was offered the role of "Harmonica" in "OUATITW" before Charles Bronson. I have never read/heard this anywhere except in an interview with Terence Stamp on television a while back. He claimed that he turned it down, and went on to say he told himself at the time he was being choosy regarding the parts he would take (he turned down many other good roles as well), but in hindsight secretly he knew he was concerned about his ability as an actor to perform the part (unfounded of course as Stamp is a fine actor). It's now hard to imagine anyone other than Bronson in the role.

On page 273 of "Something To Do With Death", it is mentioned by Frayling that among the many candidates for Harmonica  was, indeed, Stamp.

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[After Eastwood turned the role down] . . . Leone made the same pitch to James Coburn, with a similar result.  He also thought about Terrence Stamp for the part.  Early on in the project, the names of Rock Hudson and Warren Beatty were mentioned to him, but he was certain the audience would roar . . . "What the f*** is going on?  They're ruining the atmosphere!"

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Jayson Kennedy
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2003, 05:32:55 AM »

It's now hard to imagine anyone other than Bronson in the role.

Exactly, no matter who I hear was considered for the part I simply cannot imagine anyone else filling the role.

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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2003, 06:58:58 AM »

Exactly, no matter who I hear was considered for the part I simply cannot imagine anyone else filling the role.

The hardest part is to imagine Harmonica with a cockney accent... I think some changes in the story must have been made, too. Stamp is a splendid actor, but he has unfortunately chosen a lot of bad movies. I'd sack my agent, if I were him.  

Anyway, I also got this about Harmonica from Christopher Frayling (could be the interview on this site, or on the OUATIW-dvd - I ordered the book just yesterday), so it is probably true.

My favourite never-got-to-be moment from this film was that Leone supposedly wanted to kill off Eastwood, Wallach and van Cleef in the opening. Now, that would have been pretty damned cool....

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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2003, 10:30:03 AM »

I totally agree that it would have been an incredible scene, killing off the GBU boys.  I can't think of anything similar ever being done in film, before or since.  Who would have taken Jack Elam's part, Tuco or Blondie?  The buffoonery with the fly in the pistol barrel seems to have been written for Tuco.

I think Stamp could have handled the role of Harmonica, he has that same air of quiet "don't mess with me" menace.

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And what if your hand should shake a little?  And that Gringo so fast on the draw.
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