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You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: those with loaded guns... and those who dig. You dig.
~ Blondie, to Tuco.

The Man With No Name (real name unknown) is the main protagonist of the Dollars Trilogy, serving as the protagonist of A Fistful of Dollars, co-protagonist of For a Few Dollars More, and protagonist of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

He is a rogue outlaw who goes by multiple names, such as Joe, Manco and Blondie. He often attempts to gain large amounts of money, but is also principled and honorable, and does the right thing from time to time.

He was portrayed by Clint Eastwood, who also played Dirty Harry, Frank Morris, and Frank Horrigan.

Biography

Good Bad Ugly

In 1862, during the American Civil War, a mercenary known as "Angel Eyes" interrogates former Confederate soldier Stevens, whom Angel Eyes is contracted to kill, about Jackson, a fugitive who stole a cache of Confederate gold. Learning Jackson's new alias "Bill Carson", Angel Eyes kills Stevens and then his employer Baker so he can find the gold himself.

A Mexican bandit named Tuco Ramirez is rescued from bounty hunters by a nameless drifter to whom Tuco refers as "Blondie", who delivers him to the local sheriff to collect his $2,000 bounty. As Tuco is about to be hanged, Blondie severs Tuco's noose by shooting it, setting him free. The two escape on horseback and split the bounty. They repeat the process in other towns until Blondie grows weary of Tuco's complaints and strands him in the desert.

Bent on revenge, and after a failed attempt with friends of his, Tuco catches up with Blondie and force-marches him tens of miles across the desert until Blondie collapses from dehydration. A runaway horse-drawn hospital ambulance arrives with several dead Confederate soldiers and a near-death Bill Carson, who promises Tuco $200,000 in Confederate gold, buried in a grave in Sad Hill Cemetery, in exchange for help. When Tuco returns with water, he sees Carson talking to Blondie, slumped next to him.

When Tuco gets to them, Carson has died. Blondie reveals that Carson recovered and told him the name on the grave before dying. Tuco poses as a Confederate soldier and takes Blondie to a nearby frontier mission to be nursed back to health. After a few days at the mission, Tuco reunites with his brother, Pablo, who left his family when Tuco was young to become a priest. Their meeting does not go well; they become hostile and engage in a physical confrontation. Tuco and Blondie subsequently leave the monastery.

The duo decide to search for the gold together, but they are apprehended by Union forces shortly after leaving the mission - Tuco yells out Confederate-supportive statements at a group of Union soldiers, as they are covered in dust, obscuring the blue color of their uniforms. The two are brought to a prison camp which Angel Eyes infiltrated as a Union sergeant in his search for Bill Carson, getting his attention when Tuco poses as Bill Carson.

Angel Eyes has the large Corporal Wallace beat Tuco until he reveals the name of the cemetery, and is sent away on a train - handcuffed to Wallace - to be killed. Knowing that Blondie would not reveal the location after being tortured, Angel Eyes recruits him into his search. Tuco escapes his fate by pushing Wallace off the train and smashing his head open on a rock. Tuco soon finds himself in an evacuated town, where Blondie, Angel Eyes, and his gang have also arrived.

Blondie finds Tuco and the pair team up and kill Angel Eyes' men, though Angel Eyes escapes. They travel to Sad Hill before ending up on the Union side of a military siege over a strategic bridge. Blondie decides to destroy the bridge to disperse the two armies to allow access to the cemetery. As they wire the bridge with explosives, Tuco suggests they share information. Tuco reveals the name of the cemetery, while Blondie says "Arch Stanton" is the name on the grave. After the bridge is destroyed, the armies disperse.

Tuco steals a horse and rides to Sad Hill to claim the gold for himself. Tuco finds Arch Stanton's grave and begins digging, where Blondie encourages him at gunpoint to continue. Angel Eyes arrives and holds Blondie at gunpoint. Blondie states that he lied about the name on Stanton's grave and writes the real name of the grave on a rock before challenging Tuco and Angel Eyes to a three-way duel.

The trio stare each other down, and everyone eventually draws; Blondie kills Angel Eyes, while Tuco discovers that his own gun was unloaded by Blondie the night before. Blondie reveals that the gold is actually in the grave beside Arch Stanton's, marked "Unknown". Tuco is elated to find bags of gold, but Blondie holds him at gunpoint and orders him into the noose he'd made beneath a nearby tree as Tuco dug up the gold. Blondie binds Tuco's hands and forces him to stand balanced precariously atop an unsteady grave marker while he takes his half of the gold and rides away.

As Tuco screams for mercy, Blondie returns into sight. He severs the rope with a rifle shot, leaving Tuco alive to furiously curse him while he disappears over the horizon.

Fistful of Dollars

Blondie arrives at the small town of San Miguel, on the Mexican border. Silvanito, the town's innkeeper, tells Blondie about a feud between two smuggler families vying for control of the town: the Rojo brothers (Don Miguel, Esteban, and Ramón), and the family comprising town sheriff John Baxter, his matriarchal wife Consuelo, and their son Antonio. In order to make money, Blondie decides to play these families against each other. He demonstrates his speed and accuracy with his gun, to both sides, by shooting with ease the four men who insulted him and his mule as he entered town.

Blondie seizes an opportunity when he sees the Rojos massacre a detachment of Mexican soldiers who were escorting a chest of gold (which they had planned to exchange for a shipment of new rifles). He takes two of the dead bodies to a nearby cemetery and sells information to each of two groups, saying that two Mexican soldiers survived the attack. Each faction races to the cemetery, the Baxters to get the supposed survivors to testify against the Rojos and the Rojos to silence them. They then engage in a gunfight, with Ramón appearing to kill the supposed survivors and Esteban capturing Antonio Baxter.

Blondie approaches Marisol, a woman whose family has been caught in the crossfire between the feuding families, to go with Ramón, and for her husband Julio to take their young son Jesús home. He learns from Silvanito that Ramón framed Julio as a cheat during a card game and took Marisol prisoner, forcing her to live with him. That night, while the Rojos are celebrating, Blondie rides out and frees Marisol, shooting the guards and wrecking the house in which she is being held to create the appearance of an attack by the Baxters. He gives money to Marisol, urging her and her family to leave the town.

When the Rojos learn that Blondie has freed Marisol, they capture and torture him. Nevertheless, he escapes them. Believing that he is being protected by the Baxters, the Rojos set fire to the Baxter home, killing them all as they flee the burning building. After pretending that he will spare their lives, Ramón kills the pleading John and Antonio Baxter. Consuelo, appearing and finding her family dead, curses the Rojos for killing unarmed men. She is then shot dead by Esteban.

With help from Piripero (the local coffin-maker), Blondie escapes town by hiding in a coffin. He convalesces inside a nearby mine, but Piripero tells him that Silvanito has been captured and is being tortured by the Rojos for information on Blondie's whereabouts, so he returns to town to confront them. With a steel chest-plate hidden under his poncho, Blondie taunts Ramón to "aim for the heart" as Ramón repeatedly shoots Blondie in the chest, confused as to why Blondie is still alive, until Ramón's Winchester rifle's ammunition depletes.

Blondie then shoots Don Miguel, Rubio and the other Rojo men standing nearby. He then uses his revolver's last bullet to free Silvanito, who had been hanging from a rope by his hands. After challenging Ramón to reload his rifle faster than he can reload his own revolver, Blondie shoots and kills Ramón. Esteban Rojo aims for Blondie's back from a nearby building, but is shot dead by Silvanito. Blondie bids Silvanito and Piripero farewell and rides away from town.

Few Dollars More

The man that many call Manco is a bounty hunter, a profession shared by a former army officer, Colonel Douglas Mortimer. They separately learn that a ruthless, cold-blooded bank robber, known as "El Indio", has been broken out of prison by his gang and all but one of his jailers slaughtered. Whilst El Indio is murdering the wife and son of the man who had him captured, he is shown to carry a musical pocketwatch taken from a woman who had shot herself, as he was raping her, after he had murdered her husband. The incident has haunted Indio, and he smokes an addictive drug to cloud his memory.

Indio plans to rob the Bank of El Paso, which has a disguised safe containing "almost a million dollars". Manco arrives in the town and becomes aware of Mortimer, who had arrived earlier. He sees Mortimer deliberately insult the hunchback Wild, who is reconnoitering the bank. Manco confronts Mortimer and, after the two have studied each other, each ascertaining that the other will not back down, they decide to work together. Mortimer persuades Manco to join El Indio's gang and "get him between two fires". Manco achieves this by freeing a friend of El Indio's from prison in spite of El Indio's suspicions.

Indio sends Manco and three others to rob the bank in nearby Santa Cruz. Manco guns down the three bandits and sends a false telegraphic alarm to rouse the El Paso sheriff and his posse, who ride to Santa Cruz. The gang blast the wall at the rear of the El Paso bank and steal the safe, but are unable to open it. Groggy is angry when Manco is the only one to return from Santa Cruz, but Indio accepts Manco's version of events thanks to Mortimer having given Manco a convincing wound.

The gang ride to the small border town of Agua Caliente, where Mortimer, who had anticipated their destination, is waiting. Wild recognises Mortimer, forcing a showdown that results in the hunchback's death, whereafter Mortimer offers his services to Indio to crack open the safe without using explosives. Indio locks the money in a strongbox and says the loot will be divided after a month. Manco and Mortimer break into the strongbox and hide the money, only to be caught immediately afterwards and beaten up. Mortimer has secured the strongbox lock, however, and Indio believes that the money is still there.

Later that night, Indio instructs his lieutenant, Niño, to use a knife belonging to Cuchillo to kill the man guarding Manco and Mortimer. Once Niño has freed the prisoners, Indio reveals that he knew they were bounty hunters from the start, executes Cuchillo for supposedly betraying the gang, and orders the rest of his men after Manco and Mortimer, hoping they will all kill each other and he and Niño can split the money just between themselves. But Groggy realizes the scheme and, after killing Niño, forces Indio to open the strong box, which is found to be empty.

Eventually, after he and Manco kill the bandits, Mortimer calls out Indio while revealing his full name. Mortimer shoots Groggy as he runs for cover, but is disarmed by Indio, who plays the pocketwatch while challenging the bounty hunter to regain his weapon and kill him when the music ends. But as the music ends, the same tune begins from an identical pocketwatch which Manco had pilfered from Mortimer. Manco gives his own gunbelt and pistol to Mortimer, saying "Now we start."

When the music ends, Mortimer shoots first, killing Indio. Mortimer retrieves the watch from Indio's hand and Manco remarks on Mortimer's resemblance to the woman in the photographs. Mortimer reveals that he is her brother (father in the Spanish dubbing) and, with his revenge complete, declines his share of the bounty and leaves. Manco tosses the bodies of Indio and his men into a wagon, finally adding Groggy's body after killing him, and rides off to collect the bounties on them all, briefly pausing to recover the stolen money from its hiding place.

Personality

The "Man With No Name" embodies the archetypical characteristics of the American movie cowboy - toughness, physical prowess, independence, and skill with a gun - but departed from the original archetype due to his moral ambiguity.

Unlike the traditional movie cowboy, exemplified by actors John Wayne, Alan Ladd and Randolph Scott, Blondie will fight dirty and shoot first, if required by his own self-defined sense of justice. Despite being the hero in his films, he also proves to be a dangerous and a dollar-greedy man.

Nevertheless, he still shows his good sides by playing fair during duels, saving lives of some innocent civilians, and sparing Tuco's life and still sharing him part of the money they'd found. Although he tends to look for ways to benefit himself, he has, in a few cases, aided others if he feels an obligation to.

This is seen when he frees Marisol's captive family from the Rojos in A Fistful of Dollars, gives his own pistol to Douglas Mortimer to allow him to get his revenge on El Indio in For a Few Dollars More, and comforts the dying soldier he encounters after the bridge explosion in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

He is an outsider, a mercenary or bounty hunter, or even an outlaw. He is soft-spoken and laconic. He is also an anti-hero, and he has a soft spot for people in deep trouble. While rescuing Marisol 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 (in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), sums up the only personal history the viewer ever receives about the character.

Gallery

Trivia

  • He has appeared in several book spin-offs of the films.
  • Empire ranked him as the 33rd greatest movie character ever.
  • Although several actors appeared in two or all three Dollars films, Blondie is the only character in more than one film.
  • It is unknown if the first film takes place before or after the second film - it is only known that the third film takes place first.
  • He appeared as a cameo in the 2011 CGI movie Rango, but was voiced by Timothy Olyphant, and was credited as the 'Spirit of the West'.
  • Sergio Leone did not originally intend to make the Dollars trilogy connected canonically, but due to them being marketed as a trilogy, they are made to be. The only thing that could contradict the continuity would be the same actors playing different characters throughout the films.
    • There are some canonical links between the films, however; in the third film (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), Blondie adopts his poncho outfit that he wears in the first two films, thus also proving that it takes place before the first two films.
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