Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 122

118 Populär Culture Review juxtaposes the characters’ methods o f gaming their names, and thus illustrates the contrast between their deeper motives as well. W riters and directors, o f course, have motivations o f their own. W ister’s intent was to describe his character, to show what this character is all about, and emphasize not only those qualities but also that observational way of leaming about them. Other, less important characters could be named outright, but his main character was called by a series o f nicknames— only for the reader’s sake, and not any other character’s— to illustrate what was important about him at that point of the story. The Virginian was nameless only to the reader. In Leone’s case, there is the realization that the old motifs, some stemming from W ister’s influence, were wom out. Using them, one could only make movies that had been made before, with new faces beneath the Stetsons. Out to recharge both the westem itself and his place in Italian cinema, Leone created the antihero described in the introduction, one who looked different than a westem hero and who acted only for him self—a man who could kill four men from one gang for the hope o f a job with another. His look was just the tip o f the iceberg. “As the resultant Dollars trilogy progressed,” points out Lily Parker, “it became clear that Leone was doing more than add violence and so-called ‘antiheroes’ to the westem; he was increasingly subverting it both formally and thematically” (6). Not only are the “heroes” less heroic and the villains far more sadistic and insane than usual, but they all exist in a west that totally lacks the morals and codes the westem form had cliched. Parker discusses how Leone ups the ante with every new film. Referring to For a Few Dollars More (Leone, 1965), she says “By explicitly identifying him as a bounty hunter, Leone attributes a particularly individualist and self-profiting motivation to Eastwood’s character” (Parker 13). Bounty hunters are “unheroic” enough as it is, but in the next film, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Eastwood isn’t even an honest one; “not only is Blondie a bounty hunter, he is also a conman, repeatedly collecting bounties on the same man . . . Thus it can be seen that Leone’s Avaricious Hero, developed through his collaboration with Eastwood, provided a significant departure from established models of heroism within the cinematic westem” (Parker 14). Frayling said o f this collaboration, “W hen [Eastwood] got there, he became one o f the few actors in movie history to fight for less lines. He figured, as did Leone, that the more mysterious and silent, the more interesting the character would be” (43). And, as a consequence, his few words would have more