Gian Maria Volonte

  1. Eli Wallach, Il buono, il brutto il cattivo/The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Italy, 1966.      In an interview with a journalist named Dario Argento (!), spaghetti Western king Sergio Leone said his titular trio would be Clint Eastwood, Enrico Maria Salerno and Volonte. However, Leone (pointedly) never worked with Volonte again after the two Dollars film – as Jean-Pierre Melville vowed to do after Le cercle rouge, 1970
  2. Tony Musante, Metti una sera a cena (One Night For Dinner), Italy-France, 1969.     When neither Volonte or Franco Nerto were free for  director Giuseppe Patroni-Griffi’s kinky drama, Nero recommended the Italian-American Musante – they’d recently completed  Sergio Corbucci’s spaghetti Western take on the Mexican Revolution movie: Il mercenario (US: The Mercenary), 
  3. Fabio Testi, Il giardino dei Finzi Contini (US: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis), Italy-West Germany, 1970. Volonte rejected the maestro, Vittorio De Sica. Testi did not – and for once he was not dubbed as his regional accent, something of a hindrance for his Italian career, matched the accent of people in the Finzi’s home town of Ferrare.
  4. Yul Brynner, Indio Black, sai che ti dico: Sei un gran figlio de… (US: Adios Sabata), Italy-Spain, 1971. Van Cleef loved his Sabata movies for director Gianfrano Parolini and the whole new career that opened for him in Italy – and LA – after For A Few Dollars More. But only at the correct salary… Not getting it, he flew home and, ironically, took over Brynner’s Chris in The Magnificent Seven Ride! Parolini and Van Cleef reunited for The (awful!) Return of Sabata, 1971.
  5. Donald Sutherland, Casanova, Italy, 1976. As per usual, maestro Federico Fellini’s producxer played with the idea of superstars – Brando, Caine, Nicholson, Pacino, even Redford!! Fellini preferred a more parochial venture – with, maybe, Alberto Sordi, the unknown cabaret performer Tom Deal… or Gian-Maria Volonte, who was “greatly flattered” but felt he needed six months to study and investigate the character. “Sadly, that’s impossible,” said Fellini. Actually it was… as the original shooting date of October 30, 1974, was postponed until July 20 1975 “We’ll find each other on another occasion,” promised Fellini. (They didn’t.  Fellini later called him “pretentious and stupid.”)  Ultimately, it was “Donaldino.” He had shared Paul Mazursky’s , Alex in Wonderland, 1970, with Fellini in Hollywood and they met again on the set of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 in 1975.
  6. Donel Donnelly, The Godfather: Part III, 1991.
  7. Erland Josephson, To vlemma tou Odyssea (US: Ulysses’ Gaze), Greece-France-Italy-Germany-UK-Yugoslavia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Albania-Romania (phew!),1994. After 14 weeks shooting the Greek director Theo Angelopoulos film in the ex-Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania and Greece, the veteran Italian actor (aka John Wells in Sergio Leone’s two Dollaro films) had a fatal heart attack. Greek director Theodoros Angelopoulos sent for Josephson from about the only country not in the budget mix: Sweden.






 Birth year: 1933Death year: 1994Other name: Casting Calls:  7