Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The three I might have saved

Arbogast has a wonderful occasional feature called The One You Might Have Saved. He occasionally requests other people's choices, which he's done again.

And an answer of sorts popped into my head.

The three gunfighters from the opening of Once Upon a Time in the West

Snaky, as played by Jack Elam.

Stony, as played by Woody Strode.

Knuckles, as played by Al Mulock.

I don't have some good reason. There's no love lost between Frank, as played by Henry Fonda, and I. He's as mean a son of a bitch as I've seen on screen. And these guys, I admit, are his hired killers.

I spent so much time getting to know them. That's a long, beautiful opening sequence and I've watched it countless times. I feel like I know those guys.

No, I don't necessarily think they're worth saving, but sometimes you can't want to save who'd you most like to want to save.

And I'd have just liked to have spent a little more time with these guys. They're so endlessly compelling to watch.


Rev. Phantom said...

I have to think that a prequel to ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, starring these three guys as the main villains would have been pretty cool. Especially if Leone had directed it.

Neil Sarver said...

I agree.

I'd certainly watch it.

If it was Leone, I'd have undoubtedly seen it 100 times by now.

At least five, considering that's how many times I've seen The Colossus of Rhodes... It's also how many times I've seen My Name is Nobody, but I'm not willing to give him auteur credit on that, despite the fact that so many others are.

Tony Dayoub said...

Interesting story in the wiki entry you linked to for Al Mulock. He jumped to his death shortly after filming this wearing the same duster he wears in the film!?

Neil Sarver said...

It's a sad story. It gets touched on during the commentary, by Christopher Frayling, if I recall correctly. Very odd.

I've seen him in a handful of other Spaghetti's and always find him compelling.

Kimberly Lindbergs said...

Such a great opening. One of the best and these three are just unforgettable. Al Mulock's story is a sad one.

Neil Sarver said...

Thanks. It is an absolutely brilliant opening. I can watch just that sequence repeatedly. It's endlessly compelling and always offers new things.

Kimberly Lindbergs said...

I also wanted to say that I like the new blog look, Neil! I forgot to mention it yesterday when I was praising your choice to save these three would-be killers.

Neil Sarver said...

Thank you. I'm liking it myself. I might still tweak it, but I'm liking it overall.

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