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Tony Anthony (actor)

Tony Anthony (actor)

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Tony Anthony is a former film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

, producer
Film producer
A film producer oversees and delivers a film project to all relevant parties while preserving the integrity, voice and vision of the film. They will also often take on some financial risk by using their own money, especially during the pre-production period, before a film is fully financed.The...

, director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, and screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

, best known for his starring roles in spaghetti western
Spaghetti Western
Spaghetti Western, also known as Italo-Western, is a nickname for a broad sub-genre of Western films that emerged in the mid-1960s in the wake of Sergio Leone's unique and much copied film-making style and international box-office success, so named by American critics because most were produced and...


Early career

His first two films were Force of Impulse and Without Each Other, low-budget independent films directed by Saul Swimmer
Saul Swimmer
Saul Swimmer was an American documentary film director and producer best known for the movie The Concert for Bangladesh , the George Harrison-led Madison Square Garden show that was one of the first all-star benefits in rock music...

. In search of greener pastures, he moved to Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, to film Wounds of Hunger that he co-wrote and La ragazza in prestito. His friend Swimmer had moved to England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, where he befriended Allen Klein
Allen Klein
Allen Klein was an American businessman, talent agent and record label executive. His clients included The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.- The accountant :...

. Klein agreed to help Anthony get his foot in the door, and produced his first major film.

Spaghetti westerns

Anthony was present in Europe when the 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...

 Westerns were setting box office records but had not yet been released in America. Anthony contacted Klein, then a major MGM stockholder, about co-financing a spaghetti western he was in, Klein and Anthony both putting up $20,000 US. The film Klein produced was a spaghetti western called A Stranger in Town/Un Dollaro tra i Denti . A low budget clear imitation of 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...

, it starred Anthony as the titular Stranger, a shotgun-wielding antihero who helps a group of Mexican bandits steal gold from the US Army and Federales
Federales is a short term for the Mexican Federal Police or any of its predecessors, including the Federal Investigations Agency or the Federal Preventive Police. The term gained widespread usage by English-speakers due to popularization in such films as The Wild Bunch, The Treasure of the Sierra...

, and then steals it right back from them. Released by MGM to compete with the United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

 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...

 the Man with No Name
Man with No Name
The man with no name is a stock character in Western films, but the term usually applies specifically to the character played by Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy."...

 film series
Film series
A film series is a collection of related films in succession. Their relationship is not fixed, but generally share a common diegetic world. Sometimes the work is conceived as a multiple-film work, for example the Three Colours series, but in most cases the success of the original film inspires...

, it became a surprise success, and spawned three sequels in which Tony Anthony reprised his role.

With these movies, Tony Anthony often brought the genre to unusual places. His own persona was not the typical tough spaghetti western hero; the Stranger was vulnerable and sneaky, with a sardonic sense of humor. The second Stranger film, The Stranger Returns/Un Uomo, un cavallo, una Pistola was a more polished entry that had a golden stagecoach as its MacGuffin
A MacGuffin is "a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot of a work of fiction". The defining aspect of a MacGuffin is that the major players in the story are willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to obtain it, regardless of what the MacGuffin actually is...

 and a Stelvio Cipriani
Stelvio Cipriani
Stelvio Cipriani born 20 August 1937 in Rome is an Italian composer, notably for motion picture soundtracks.Though not coming from a musical background, as a child Cipriani was fascinated by his church's organ. His priest gave him his first music lessons and encouraged Cipriani and his family...

 score that had several cover version
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

s by various orchestras. Anthony's willingness to experiment with the genre resulted in the third series entry, the self-explanatory A Stranger in Japan/ Lo Straniero di Silenzio/The Silent Stranger with another Cipriani score. Considered by many the first "East-meets-West western", predating Red Sun
Red Sun
Red Sun is a Western film, one of few with an international cast. It stars U.S.-born actor Charles Bronson, Japanese actor Toshirō Mifune, French actor Alain Delon and Swiss actress Ursula Andress. It was filmed in Spain by the British director Terence Young. It was released in Europe in 1971 and...

by three years, its release was delayed for seven years in the US due to a dispute with MGM, and never received a European release at all. Anthony later declared the film his best and lamented the cuts that MGM made to it.

His next film was Blindman, a spaghetti-western variation on the Zatoichi
is a fictional character featured in one of Japan's longest running series of films and a television series set in the Edo period. The character, a blind masseur and swordmaster, was created by novelist . This originally minor character was developed for the screen by Daiei Studios and actor...

 series and unlike other Zapata Westerns, featured the Federales
Federales is a short term for the Mexican Federal Police or any of its predecessors, including the Federal Investigations Agency or the Federal Preventive Police. The term gained widespread usage by English-speakers due to popularization in such films as The Wild Bunch, The Treasure of the Sierra...

 winning at the end. Anthony played a blind gunslinger hired to escort fifty mail-order brides to their husbands. By that time, Allen Klein had become the manager of the Beatles, and Saul Swimmer had directed many of their music videos and concert films. Both were producers on Blindman, and their presence led to Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
Richard Starkey, MBE better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles' drummer in...

 accepting a supporting role as one of the bandits. Ringo would produce Anthony's next film, which Swimmer would direct: a semi-autobiographical road movie called Cometogether. In this film, Anthony plays an American stuntman working on spaghetti westerns in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. The film contains behind the scenes-footage of a spaghetti western being shot.

In 1976, long after the heyday of the genre, Anthony starred as the Stranger for a fourth time in Get Mean. A bizarre film that can barely be considered a western at all, it instead takes place in Spain, where the Stranger has to battle invading Vikings and Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 after escorting a princess there. It failed to find a wide audience.

The 3-D years

In 1981, Anthony returned to the Spaghetti well one more time for what would be his biggest box-office success. Comin' at Ya!, which he wrote, produced, and starred in, was a fairly ordinary western in all respects but one - it was in 3-D
3-D film
A 3-D film or S3D film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception...

. In order for the film to receive a wide release, Anthony designed a low-cost projection lens which was cheaper than the old-fashioned 3-D lenses. With constant 3-D effects throughout the film and an extensive marketing campaign, the movie became a smash which set off the short-lived but intense 3-D craze of the early 80s.

Tony Anthony would star in one more 3-D film: the Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones
Colonel Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., Ph.D. is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials...

 ripoff Treasure of the Four Crowns
Treasure of the Four Crowns
Treasure of the Four Crowns is an action adventure film, featuring Tony Anthony, Ana Obregón, Gene Quintano and Francisco Rabal and directed by Ferdinando Baldi...

. Rushed into production to cash in on his previous hit, it came near the end of the 3-D craze and failed to find the same success. Anthony next announced a 3-D science-fiction movie called Seeing is Believing, but with the 3-D craze over, it could not find a financer and was never made.

Later career

Treasure of the Four Crowns
Treasure of the Four Crowns
Treasure of the Four Crowns is an action adventure film, featuring Tony Anthony, Ana Obregón, Gene Quintano and Francisco Rabal and directed by Ferdinando Baldi...

would be Tony Anthony's last acting role. He has effectively retired from the movie industry, although he has occasionally produced films, such as the infamous Wild Orchid and the spaghetti western throwback A Dollar For the Dead. He currently runs an optical equipment company.

In late August 2009 it was announced that Tony Anthony had taken the "over and under 3-D" format of "Comin' At Ya!" and converted it to "digital 3-D" as a part of the film's reissue.
A release date has yet to be stated.
This announcement was made on the film's official site CominAtYaNoir3D.com .

External links

  • Get Mean Producer, Ron Schneider
    Ronnie Schneider
    Ronald Schneider is best known for being the business presence at the epicenter of pivotal 1960s events including the Altamont Free Concert, the dissolution of the Beatles and the reorganization of their business arm, Apple Corps...