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Man with No Name

Man with No Name

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The man with no name is a stock character
Stock character
A Stock character is a fictional character based on a common literary or social stereotype. Stock characters rely heavily on cultural types or names for their personality, manner of speech, and other characteristics. In their most general form, stock characters are related to literary archetypes,...

 in Western films, but the term usually applies specifically to the character played by Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide...

 in Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter most associated with the "Spaghetti Western" genre.Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots...

's "Dollars Trilogy
Dollars Trilogy
The "Dollars Trilogy" , also known as the "Man with No Name Trilogy", refers to the three Spaghetti Westerns starring Clint Eastwood and directed by Sergio Leone: A Fistful of Dollars , For a Few Dollars More , and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly .A Fistful of Dollars is an unofficial remake of...


In 2008, Empire
Empire (magazine)
Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. From the first issue in July 1989, the magazine was edited by Barry McIlheney and published by Emap. Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008...

chose "The Man With No Name" as the 43rd greatest movie character of all time.


  • A Fistful of Dollars
    A Fistful of Dollars
    A Fistful of Dollars is a 1964 Italian Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood alongside Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy, Sieghardt Rupp, José Calvo, Antonio Prieto, and Joseph Egger. Released in Italy in 1964 then in the United States in...

  • For a Few Dollars More
    For a Few Dollars More
    For a Few Dollars More is a 1965 Italian spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Gian Maria Volonté. German actor Klaus Kinski also plays a supporting role as a secondary villain...

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles. The screenplay was written by Age & Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni and Leone, based on a story by Vincenzoni and Leone...


In the 2011 animated feature film Rango
Rango (2011 film)
Rango is a 2011 American computer-animated Western Comedy film directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Graham King. In the film, a chameleon named Rango accidentally ends up in the town of Dirt, an outpost that is in desperate need of a new sheriff...

, the title character (played by Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp
John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II is an American actor, producer and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol...

) has a vision of the "Spirit of The West" (voiced by Timothy Olyphant
Timothy Olyphant
Timothy David Olyphant is an American actor whose notable roles in television drama series include Deadwood as Seth Bullock, Justified as Raylan Givens, The Office as Danny Cordray, and Damages as Wes Krulik...

), who looks and sounds exactly like "The Man with No Name". Rango identifies the character as the Man with No Name, and the character's golf cart is full of Oscars, a reference to Clint Eastwood's successful career. During the film's end credits, a silhouette of Eastwood as the Man With No Name (modified from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) is used when Olyphant receives his credit.

In Back to the Future Part III
Back to the Future Part III
Back to the Future Part III is a 1990 American science fiction comedy Western film. It is the third installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and starred Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson and Lea Thompson. The film...

, Marty McFly
Marty McFly
Martin Seamus "Marty" McFly, Sr. is the protagonist in the Back to the Future film trilogy, and is portrayed by actor Michael J. Fox. Marty was also the protagonist in the animated series where he was voiced by David Kaufman...

 calls himself "Clint Eastwood", dresses in a hat and poncho resembling "The Man with No Name", and borrows a trick from A Fistful of Dollars to defeat "Mad Dog" Tannen.


The popularity of the character brought about a series of spin-off books, dubbed the "Dollar" series due to the common theme in their titles, written by Joe Millard and Brian Fox. They included novelizations of A Fistful of Dollars, written by Frank Chandler
Terry Harknett
Terry Harknett is a British author. He is author of almost 200 books, mostly pulp novels in the western and crime genres. He has written as a ghostwriter for Peter Haining and under an array of pseudonyms, including George G. Gilman, Joseph Hedges, William M. James, Charles R. Pike, Thomas H...

 and For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Joe Millard and are as follows:
  • A Coffin Full of Dollars by Joe Millard
  • A Dollar to Die For by Brian Fox
  • The Devil's Dollar Sign by Joe Millard
  • The Million-Dollar Bloodhunt by Joe Millard
  • Blood For a Dirty Dollar by Joe Millard

In July 2007, American comic book company Dynamite Entertainment
Dynamite Entertainment
Dynamite Entertainment is an American comic book company that primarily publishes licensed franchises of adaptations of other media. These include adaptations of film properties such as Army of Darkness, Terminator and RoboCop, literary properties such as Zorro, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Alice in...

 announced that they were going to begin publishing a comic book featuring The Man With No Name. Set after the events of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the comic will be written by Christos Gage
Christos Gage
Christos N. "Chris" Gage is an American comic book writer and screenwriter.-Early life:Gage is the son of author and journalist Nicholas Gage. He was born in New York, and grew up in Athens, Greece, and then North Grafton, Massachusetts...

. Dynamite refers to him as "Blondie", the nickname Tuco uses for him in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The first issue was released in the Spring of 2008
2008 in comics
-January:*January 9: Teen Titans: The Lost Annual, delayed since 2003, is published.*January 23: Hellblazer #240, marking the 20th anniversary of the series, is released.-February:...

, entitled, The Man with No Name: The Good, The Bad, and The Uglier. Luke Lieberman and Matt Wolpert took over the writing for issues #s 7-11. Initially, Chuck Dixon
Chuck Dixon
Charles "Chuck" Dixon is an American comic book writer, best known for long runs on Batman titles in the 1990s.-Biography:Dixon grew up in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area, reading comics of all genres...

 was scheduled to take over the writing chores with issue #12, but Dynamite ended the series and opted to use Dixon's storyline for a new series titled The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The new series is not an adaptation of the movie, despite its title.

Stephen King
Stephen King
Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy fiction. His books have sold more than 350 million copies and have been adapted into a number of feature films, television movies and comic books...

 stated in the re-release of the first four books of his Dark Tower series that the main character Roland Deschain
Roland Deschain
Roland Deschain of Gilead is a fictional character, the protagonist and antihero of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. He is the son of Steven and Gabrielle Deschain and is descended from a long line of "gunslingers", peacekeepers and diplomats of Roland's society...

, also known as The Gunslinger
The Gunslinger
The Gunslinger is a novel by American author Stephen King, and is the first volume in the Dark Tower series, which King considers to be his magnum opus. It was first published in 1982. The story centers upon Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger who has been chasing after his adversary, "the man in...

, was based on Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide...

's portrayal of The Man with No Name.

Concept and creation

A Fistful of Dollars
A Fistful of Dollars
A Fistful of Dollars is a 1964 Italian Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood alongside Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy, Sieghardt Rupp, José Calvo, Antonio Prieto, and Joseph Egger. Released in Italy in 1964 then in the United States in...

was directly adapted from Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
was a Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter and editor. Regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, Kurosawa directed 30 filmsIn 1946, Kurosawa co-directed, with Hideo Sekigawa and Kajiro Yamamoto, the feature Those Who Make Tomorrow ;...

's Yojimbo. It was the subject of a successful lawsuit by Yojimbo's producers. The film's protagonist, an unconventional ronin
A or rounin was a Bushi with no lord or master during the feudal period of Japan. A samurai became masterless from the death or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege....

 played by Toshirō Mifune
Toshiro Mifune
Toshirō Mifune was a Japanese actor who appeared in almost 170 feature films. He is best known for his 16-film collaboration with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, from 1948 to 1965, in works such as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo...

, bears a striking resemblance to Eastwood's character: both are quiet, gruff, eccentric strangers with a strong but unorthodox sense of justice and extraordinary proficiency with a particular weapon (in Mifune's case, a katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

; for Eastwood, a revolver
A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. The first revolver ever made was built by Elisha Collier in 1818. The percussion cap revolver was invented by Samuel Colt in 1836. This weapon became known as the Colt Paterson...


Like Eastwood's character, Mifune's ronin is nameless. When pressed, he gives the pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

 Sanjuro Kuwabatake (meaning "thirty-year-old mulberry field"), a reference to his age and something he sees through a window (although, regarding the age he jokes 'Closer to forty actually'). The convention of hiding the character's arms from view is shared as well with Mifune's character typically wearing his arms inside his kimono, leaving the sleeves empty. Prior to signing on to Fistful, Eastwood had seen Kurosawa's film and was impressed by the character. During filming, he did not emulate Mifune's performance beyond what was already in the script. He also insisted on removing some of the dialogue in the original script, making the character more silent and thus adding to his mystery. As the trilogy progressed, the character became even more silent and stoic.

Yojimbo is itself believed to have been based on Dashiell Hammett
Dashiell Hammett
Samuel Dashiell Hammett was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade , Nick and Nora Charles , and the Continental Op .In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on...

's novel Red Harvest
Red Harvest
Red Harvest is a novel by Dashiell Hammett. The story is narrated by The Continental Op, a frequent character in Hammett's fiction. Hammett based the story on his own experiences in Butte, Montana as an operative of the Continental Detective Agency, San Francisco.Time included Red Harvest in its...

. Kurosawa scholar David Desser and film critic Manny Farber
Manny Farber
Emanuel "Manny" Farber was an American painter, film critic and writer. Often described as "iconoclastic" , Farber developed a distinctive prose style and set of theoretical stances which have had a large influence on later generations of film critics; Susan Sontag considered him to be "the...

, among others, state categorically that Red Harvest was the inspiration for the Kurosawa film Yojimbo. Leone himself clearly believed this theory, stating:

"Kurosawa's Yojimbo was inspired by an American novel of the serie-noire
Hardboiled crime fiction is a literary style, most commonly associated with detective stories, distinguished by the unsentimental portrayal of violence and sex. The style was pioneered by Carroll John Daly in the mid-1920s, popularized by Dashiell Hammett over the course of the decade, and refined...

so I was really taking the story back home again."

Although Kurosawa never publicly credited Hammett, he privately acknowledged Red Harvest as an influence. The name of the lead character in Hammett's Red Harvest is also unrevealed — a man with no name — and identified only as a Continental Op
The Continental Op
The Continental Op is a fictional character created by Dashiell Hammett. A private investigator employed as an operative of the Continental Detective Agency's San Francisco office, he never gives his name and so is known only by his job description....

 after the detective agency he works for.

A subsequent film, Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing (film)
Last Man Standing is a 1996 action film written and directed by Walter Hill, starring Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, and Bruce Dern. It is a credited remake of the Akira Kurosawa film Yojimbo.- Plot :...

1996 in film
Major releases this year included Scream, Independence Day, Fargo, Trainspotting, The English Patient, Twister, Mars Attacks!, Jerry Maguire and a version of Evita starring Madonna.-Events:...

), starring Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis
Walter Bruce Willis , better known as Bruce Willis, is an American actor, producer, and musician. His career began in television in the 1980s and has continued both in television and film since, including comedic, dramatic, and action roles...

 is a credited remake of Yojimbo.

Actual names or monikers

  • During A Fistful of Dollars, he is referred to as "Joe" by the undertaker
    Funeral director
    A funeral director , also known as a mortician or undertaker, is a professional involved in the business of funeral rites. These tasks often entail the embalming and burial or cremation of the dead, as well as the planning and arrangement of the actual funeral ceremony...

    , Pipinero, and Eastwood is also credited as "Joe", although the "Joe" is here likely used in the generic sense, i.e. "(informal) a male; a guy; a fellow".
  • In For a Few Dollars More, he is called "Manco" (Spanish: "one armed"), referring to the way he does everything left-handed, except for shooting.
  • In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the character Tuco calls him "Blondie" as a reference to his relatively fair complexion. In a scene cut from the international version, a Union Captain asks his name, to which he responds with an "Uhh", imitating Tuco, and the conversation moves elsewhere.


The "Man With No Name", as personified by Eastwood, embodies the archetypical
An archetype is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated...

 characteristics of the American movie cowboy
A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of...

 — toughness, exceptional physical strength or size, independence, and skill with a gun — but departed from the original archetype due to his moral ambiguity. Unlike the traditional cowboy, exemplified by actors John Wayne
John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison , better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height...

, Alan Ladd
Alan Ladd
-Early life:Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was the only child of Ina Raleigh Ladd and Alan Ladd, Sr. He was of English ancestry. His father died when he was four, and his mother relocated to Oklahoma City where she married Jim Beavers, a housepainter...

, and Randolph Scott
Randolph Scott
Randolph Scott was an American film actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962. As a leading man for all but the first three years of his cinematic career, Scott appeared in a variety of genres, including social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals , adventure tales, war films, and even a few...

, the Man with No Name will fight dirty and shoot first, if required by his own self-defined sense of justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

. Although he tends to look for ways to benefit himself, he has, in a few cases, aided others if he feels an obligation to, such as freeing a couple held captive in A Fistful of Dollars
A Fistful of Dollars
A Fistful of Dollars is a 1964 Italian Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood alongside Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy, Sieghardt Rupp, José Calvo, Antonio Prieto, and Joseph Egger. Released in Italy in 1964 then in the United States in...

and comforting a dying soldier after the bridge explosion in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

He is generally portrayed as an outsider, a mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

 or bounty hunter
Bounty hunter
A bounty hunter captures fugitives for a monetary reward . Other names, mainly used in the United States, include bail enforcement agent and fugitive recovery agent.-Laws in the U.S.:...

, or even an outlaw
In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, this takes the burden of active prosecution of a criminal from the authorities. Instead, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute...

. He is characteristically soft-spoken and laconic. The character is an oft-cited example of an anti-hero
In fiction, an antihero is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is at least in some regards conspicuously contrary to that of the archetypal hero, and is in some instances its antithesis in which the character is generally useless at being a hero or heroine when they're...

, although he has a soft spot for people in deep trouble. While rescuing the young mother Marisol (Marianne Koch
Marianne Koch
Marianne Koch is a retired German actress of the 1950s and 1960s, best known for her appearances in spaghetti westerns and adventure films of the 1960s. She later worked as a television host and as a physician....

) in A Fistful of Dollars, he responds to query about his motives with a curt "I knew somebody like you, once ... and there was no one to help." This, along with the comment "I never found home that great" and stating that he hails from Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, sums up the only personal history the viewer ever receives about the character.

The character's distinctive appearance consists of a battered brown hat with a telescope crown, pale blue shirt, dark blue jeans, tan boots, a sheepskin vest, and a patterned sarape, or "poncho." In contrast with other Western heroes of the early- to mid-1960s, The Man is unshaven, almost to the point of sporting a full beard. He habitually smokes a cigarillo
A cigarillo is a short, narrow cigar. Unlike cigarettes, cigarillos are wrapped not in paper but in whole-leaf tobacco. Cigarillos can be found for purchase alone or in packs, and are often made without filters...

 while working.

His preferred weapon is a Colt Peacemaker .45 LC, which has diamondback rattlesnake grips on it. He is very skilled with this weapon and can draw and empty it in less than a second. However, in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, he uses a Colt 1851 Navy instead (the film is set in the Civil War, and the Colt Peacemaker was not available then). His 1851 Navy has the same grips on it as his Peacemaker.

Due to budget considerations, Eastwood made the initial investment for his character's appearance and demeanour. Most of the clothing was purchased second-hand in California (with the exception of the sarape or poncho, which was provided by Leone); the gunbelt, holster, and boots were from Eastwood's previous TV series Rawhide
Rawhide (TV series)
Rawhide is an American Western series that aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959 to September 3, 1965, before moving to Tuesday nights from September 14, 1965 until January 4, 1966, with a total of 217 black-and-white episodes...

. The Man's trademark cigars were also from California; their harshness put Eastwood in what he called a "scratchy mood", which aided in his characterization. The trademark squint was partly due to these cigarros.

Director Leone has admitted that the iconic olive green poncho, so indelible to the character now, was less a style decision than an attempt on his part to make the conventionally built Eastwood look more like the actor he originally had in mind: American muscleman Steve Reeves
Steve Reeves
Stephen L. Reeves was an American bodybuilder and actor. At the peak of his career, he was the highest-paid actor in Europe.-Childhood:...

, fresh from his years starring in Italian Hercules movies.