The Times and Democrat
Orangeburg South Carolina
August 14, 1965
ROME (AP) – The cowboy pushes back his Stetson, stares at
his six-gun and says in Italian “To be or not to be, this is the question”.
Who is this unusual cowpoke who speaks Italian and sounds
remarkably like Shakespeare’s Hamlet?
Why it’s none other than Johnny Hamlet himself, Latest
brainchild of Italian movie director Sergio Corbucci, who did the Italian –
made western “Minnesota Clay”.
The picture was a big box-office smash in this country
and now Corbucci wants to move on from simple Italian Westerns to
Italian-Shakespeare – Westerns.
“It must be a Hamlet with a broad-brimmed Texas hat,
“says Corbucci, “The title of the filmwill probably be ‘Johnny Hamlet’ or
something like that, combining the classic name with one that sounds Western.”
Some other suggestions: Wild Bill Hamlet or Hamlet the
Says Corbucci: “I hope I can hire an actor off sufficient
stature for this movie. It’s intended to be a transposition of the great
Shakespearian character in the traditional environment of the American West. I
have in mind Anthony Perkins or Germany’s Hardy Kruger”.
Corbucci doesn’t think there is anything odd about portraying the melancholy Dane as a gloomy ranch hand.
“When it comes to Hamlet, stage and movie directors always wrack their brains to find some unattempted setup for the scene of the famous monologue “To be or not to be”.