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Author Topic: Eastwood as Harmonica  (Read 8601 times)
DJIMBO
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« on: April 19, 2004, 03:56:19 AM »

Thinking about it, Clint was approached by Leone for the role of Harmonica.

I just cant see Clint haunted by the past as an Indian boy. Bronson seems just so perfect. Dunno about others opinion, but im sure some die-hard Clint fans will think differently to me!!

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2004, 05:16:35 AM »

Yea it don't seam likely, Bronson was perfect for it, he would have been more of a shock in the role of Frank.

That would have had almost the same reaction when Franks appears for the first time. It would have been limited to Spag fans though, at the time, and not to a general western audience who had seen Fonda time and again.

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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2004, 12:05:37 PM »

I can't see anybody else but Charles Bronson in this role.

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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2004, 08:36:29 AM »

Thinking about it, Clint was approached by Leone for the role of Harmonica.

I just cant see Clint haunted by the past as an Indian boy. Bronson seems just so perfect. Dunno about others opinion, but im sure some die-hard Clint fans will think differently to me!!

you don't know how right u r.
On www.clinteastwood.net forums, many of them slag off Once Upon A Time In The West for not having Clint Eastwood in, and others saying Bronson is crap for the role as 'The Man With No Name'. Bronson isn't 'The Man With No Name', for one thing his motives are different:
Clint - Money $$$$
Bronson - Revenge

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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2004, 03:52:17 PM »

you don't know how right u r.
On www.clinteastwood.net forums, many of them slag off Once Upon A Time In The West for not having Clint Eastwood in, and others saying Bronson is crap for the role as 'The Man With No Name'. Bronson isn't 'The Man With No Name', for one thing his motives are different:
Clint - Money $$$$
Bronson - Revenge

I agree wholeheartedly, screamingeagle.  I love Clint as TMWNN, but as Harmonica?  Sheah right.  

Other than that neither of them have a definite name, there is absolutely no similarity between them.  Enough said?

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DJIMBO
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2004, 03:43:16 AM »

the whole idea about eastwood's man with no name is that u dont know about his past. even if he'd played different character i think it would have been ruined by having eastwood haunted by the death of his bro.

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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2004, 04:21:27 AM »

I'm not sur but I believe that Leone wanted Eastwood and...Van Cleef in OUATITW,.......but for the men at the begining, in the station, when Harmonica kills them...and Leone wanted an other actor, who had ever play in a trilogy dollar movie's Leone, but I don't remind who. And for Eastwood, he was shoting a Inspector Harry (Dirty Harry?) movie so he didn't can.
information at verify... Embarrassed Embarrassed Embarrassed Tongue

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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2004, 06:40:51 AM »

Can someone please explain something to me.

Admittedly, I have only seen OUATITW once, and I was not as blown away by it as most seem to be... but that's another story.

I watched the movie after becoming interested in the original trilogy, and perhaps I was disappointed because I was expecting more of the same, and to me, Bronson seemed like a poor-man's Eastwood.

Many may disagree, and that's fine, but it's just the way I saw it then... but I need to watch it again.

I had even convinced myself that the part was written for Eastwood, and Leone just gave it to Bronson when he knocked it back, replacing his trademark cigar with a Harmonica...

The one thing that made me believe this most was the scene in which Harmonica turns up in the night at the womans house, and all she can hear is the Harmonica... all of a sudden, he lights a match... WHY?

If it was Eastwood, I could understand that it was his trademark entrance, lighting a cigar... It would have been cool to see it in the dark as well... but why would harmonica do it?

If someone can explain this to me properly I will gladly withdraw my comments about the harmonica character... Grin

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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2004, 10:46:31 AM »

first of all... lets get one thing straight... don't know if you meant to or not and hell you may be right... but this thread is implying that van cleef and eastwood were first choices for frank and harmonica... when really it was the other way around, bronson and fonda were first choices for the man with no name and later on angel eyes... as far as i know, baldwin is right, the only offer eastwood or van cleef, and the other was wallach, ever recieved was for the opening scene, with the three gunmen, played by elam, muloch, and strode... the idea was for it  to be a gag, making the audience think the good the bad andthe ugly were back, and then killing them off 5 minutes in to the movie... no offense to clint fans,  but there is no way that leone would ever think about approaching eastwood for the part of harmonica in place of working with one of the guys he had always dreamed of working with... and at the same time there is no other harmonica... bronson is perfect... i don't know if i have ever seen better casting than bronson as harmonica and fonda as frank. I've just always seen clint as the arrogant stranger and i don't think he would have been right for the vengeful mysterious sorta feel bad for stranger.

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Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race...
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2004, 11:04:53 AM »

as far as i know, baldwin is right, the only offer eastwood or van cleef, and the other was wallach, ever recieved was for the opening scene, with the three gunmen, played by elam, muloch, and strode... the idea was for it  to be a gag, making the audience think the good the bad andthe ugly were back, and then killing them off 5 minutes in to the movie...
With that scene, Leone also wanted to show that he was done with the Dollar trilogy, and that he had moved on to the next level of filmmaking.

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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2004, 11:53:26 AM »

Grandpa_Chum, you read my mind! I fully agree to what you said in your last post. True, Sergio never ever had Clint in mind as Harmonica and yes, Bronson was just perfect in that role!!
The reason why Sergio wanted Clint, Lee and Eli in the opening sequence getting killed was because he wanted to make it clear that  GBU was his last dollar film.
I've read and heard enough interviews with Sergio where he stressed this point.
Lee and Eli were willing to accept, but Clint felt that he was a superstar already and declined the offer.

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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2004, 03:22:38 PM »

With that scene, Leone also wanted to show that he was done with the Dollar trilogy, and that he had moved on to the next level of filmmaking.

true... i never thought of it that way

although it would have been interesting i actually prefer that elam, strode, and muloch did it... i mean leone finally got a chance to use some real non-lead actors from american westerns instead of some spag extras... elam, strode, wynn, robards... and so on

anyway i just get angry when people want to downtalk bronson because of all the sht movies he did following 1970, when he is one of my favorite actors for the stuff he did prior to and including OUATIW

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Frank: Just a man.
Harmonica: An ancient race...
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2004, 03:51:42 PM »

Even if Leone had gotten Clint, Lee, and Eli, they probably would have been playing different characters, I doubt Eastwood would have been in a pancho, or Eli playing a Mexican, Lee would not be "Angle Eyes" (he was already dead, lol) They probably would be wearing the dusters, it would have been cool in that respect.

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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2004, 04:09:37 PM »

The thing i love about OUATITW is that it IS a radical departure from the Dollars Trilogy. I personally dont think Clint would have been right in Bronson or the gunman role, nor Wallach or Van Cleef, i prefer it as it was.

Bennyvtown, u have to see it again - it wasnt until the second or third time i saw it that it hit me either, thats the beauty of Leone - he's endlessly watchable cos u always spot something else.

And just as if there is any debate over my point - Bronson is perfect as Harmonica - i cant imagine anyone doing it better. He's as perfect for the Man with the Harmonica as Clint was for the Man with no Name.

Because:
1) He's so stoic
2) He looks like a Native American
3) He brilliant in a close-up
4) He looks convincing as haunted by the past yet has a sense of humour
5) He plays off Robards, Fonda and Cardinale brilliantly

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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2004, 06:24:02 PM »

According to Frayling, Eastwood was indeed approached by Leone for the role of Harmonica. It was very unlikely, as the two of them clashed somewhat during GBU, but he did. Eastwood turned him down, as he was preparing for several American movies and was longing for a breakthrough in America.

It might have been that Leone knew this, and never was completely serious about the offer.

But even as a "die-hard Eastwood-fan", I think he would have been wrong as Harmonica. Would have been fun to see him, Wallach and van Cleefe gunned down in the beginning, however....

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