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Thursday, June 14, 2018

What's In A Name?

So... just before the posting of this here blog, I was watching For A Few Dollars More, the 1965 masterpiece spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood.

It was on the TCM channel (Turner Classic Movie) You should get it if you don't. I guarantee you that several times a month, a movie you've always heard about but never seen, or a genre you have a passion for, will appear. I'm a sucker for Westerns, war movies - preferably WWII, monster movies, hard-boiled private dick flicks, and good solid comedies starring the stars... Harold Lloyd, Marx Brothers, Abbot & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Keystone Cops, Buster Keaton et al.

It's the second movie of the so-called Man With No Name trilogy... all shot in Italy, and with Italian actors, excluding Clint and Lee Van Cleef.

Anyhow... for a series of movies dubbed the "Man With No Name", it's funny that in this movie, Eastwood's character is named Manco.

Also... since I just happened to take a look, the movie was actually released in Japan (twice)... from 1967... and its re-release in 1972.

Actually, the trilogy was made in 1964, 1965 and 1966 and released in Italy in those three years, the rest of the world didn't get to see them until 1967 when all three were released that year.

While "Manco" is Spanish for "One-Armed Man", in Japanese "Manko" (note the spelling difference, though pronounced essentially the same)... well, it means a female body part with a feline equivalent, and rhymes with wussy.

I just wonder if Japanese audiences giggled when they heard his name spoken aloud... or written out in the katakana alphabet reserved for foreign words or names when it appeared on the silver screen?

It's so ridiculous... Eastwood's character has two arms... and he sure ain't no rhymes with wussy. And... he has a name!

Andrew Joseph

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