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The Man with No Name (Godhead)

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

The character played by Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy has no name—he is The Man With No Name, that’s his name. Technically, he is called various names, such as “Blondie”, by the other characters—but those are names imposed upon him.

Eastwood, in these films, represents the complete masculine archetype: total self-reliance—laconic, mysterious. He appears and acts—says little and departs. His sense of justice is described as “all his own”—as when, in the scene above, he hangs the “Ugly” character in the film but then shoots the noose through at a distance.

In these films, Eastwood is an avatar for the Godhead—for the ineffable, the unnamable. He is not “a god”, like Zeus or Jehovah—he is the Godhead itself, the inexpressible from whence all creation proceeds. It’s almost invisible but it’s also the most potent thing in existence—it precedes existence.

That’s Eastwood—before man there was war, it was always there (waiting for him).

Eastwood is a better divine avatar for Europeans in this film than any rendition of the Christian god—who is basically this rather warm but stern bearded Jewish father, to whom you have no relation (he’s almost womanly).

Eastwood is what European men are like—laconic actors, doers. He’s the knight—the man who keeps his own counsel and rides alone through his own adventure. He’s the absolute warrior. His self-sufficiency is total (Godhead; the principial, the unmoved mover)—he has wisdom, in that he accepts everything and adopts a “we’ll see” attitude. His patience is infinite, he has been around for a long time.

In The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966) we even have the Trinity—with Eastwood as the Godhead, the inexpressible “Good” from which the Son and Holy Ghost emanate (the three depend upon each other for “gold”—both literal and metaphysical; and “the Bad” is named “Angel Eyes”—Eastwood’s suggestion, an intimation of the film’s spiritual significance).

Note that “the Good” has a sense of justice “all his own”—it’s Providence, beyond reason (beyond man’s reason). Eastwood’s character is inexplicable to the corrupt men around him, and he never tries to explain himself—Clint Eastwood is my favourite actor.

It’s why these films have a quasi-religious feel to them—especially The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It took an Italian, a European, to make the most quintessential Western films—all filmed in Spain—because you need distance, objectivity, and culture to really understand a phenomenon like the Old West.

The Americans have no culture, no objectivity, and no spirit—so they couldn’t understand what they themselves participated in. Only “the lion”, Leone, could get it; of course, he was at least half Jewish—but close enough.

The advent of Javier Bardem’s unnamed assassin in No Country for Old Men (2008) marks the decline of America in what was an “anti-Western”—the “Man with No Name” is now an ineffable force for pure destruction and vindictiveness; he is Latino—the old lawmen and all-American trailer trash tremble before him, his evil is an irresistible force of nature. He is the counterpart to “The Man with No Name”—the advent of American despair, decadence, and destruction (in this primarily Jewish movie).

But if you want to understand what “God”, the Godhead, is then look no further than Eastwood in the Dollars trilogy—hell, you might even try to emulate him.


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