“Once Upon a Time in the West” and WHO was the third badguy?

5 Jun

Brother Bruce sent me a pic of a scene (and the accompanying dialogue) from one of his favorite Westerns, Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West – a favorite of many Western fans.

Here it is – the classic opening scene of the shootout at the railway station:

once upon a time ...

Bronson: “Did you bring a horse for me?”

Jack Elam: “Looks like we’re shy one horse.”

Bronson (shaking his head): “You brought two too many.”

Franks gun

I figured I might as well show the whole scene.
– accompanied by a very interesting
Once Upon a Time in the West Trivia Question:

Franks gun

Who was the third badguy?


Most any Western movie fan will know the 3 other actors in the scene:

charles bronson

Charles Bronson (Harmonica)

jack elam

Jack Elam (Snaky)

woody strode

Woody Strode (Stony)

But who was that third badguy?

Al Mulock

?

Would anybody go through the trouble of casting 2 very famous Western Movie actors (Elam and Strode) as two of the badguys
and then just stick a nobody in the third role?

???

Not likely.

I’ll give you the answer right now though now because it’s a tough question
and only a very few Leone and Once Upon a Time in the West
fans would know the answer.

Franks gun
Al Mulock

Never heard of him right?
Well after I tell you ‘The Rest of the Story’ you may never forget him.

Wikipedia says:

Alfred Mulock Rogers
(30 June 1926 – May 1968)

– better known as Al Mulock or Al Mulloch, was a Canadian character actor.

Mulock was the great-grandson of Sir William Mulock (1843 – 1944), the former Canadian Postmaster-General.

He attended the Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio in New York City, United States. Then, with David de Keyser, he started The London Studio which taught method acting to British actors. Mulock became active in the British film industry in the 1950s and early 60s making numerous appearances in various British television series and films.

He is best known for his roles in Spaghetti Western films, most notably in his two collaborations with Sergio Leone, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West.

Mysterious Death:

Mulock committed suicide by jumping from his hotel room in Guadix, Granada, Spain in May 1968, during the filming for Once Upon a Time in the West. He was wearing his cowboy-style costume at the time of his fall. Mickey Knox, screenwriter for the film, and production manager Claudio Mancini witnessed Mulock’s suicide as his body passed their hotel window near the end of the shoot. Mulock survived the fall but suffered a pierced lung from a broken rib during the bumpy ride to the hospital. Before being taken away in the ambulance, director Sergio Leone shouted “get the costume, we need the costume”.

The reasons for his suicide, as well as for his choice of killing himself while wearing his costume, are unknown. Though they had been separated for some time before her death, his wife had died the year before of cervical cancer. Mickey Knox also claimed in his book “The Good, the Bad and the Dolce Vita” that Mulock was a drug addict, and committed suicide out of desperation as he was unable to acquire drugs in Guadix.

Franks gun

But nobody really knows??

Al Mulock Partial Filmography (Westerns)

The Hellions (1961)
– a little known (and hard to get) British Western style film starring Richard Todd, Anne Aubrey, Lionel Jeffries, Ronald Fraser and Colin Blakely that was set and filmed in South Africa.

The Hellbenders / 1966 (with Joseph Cotten)
Day of Anger / 1967 (with Lee Van Cleef)
Shoot Twice / 1969 (with Klaus Kinski)

others …


All rather incredible.

It’s doubtful that Al Mulock‘s trivia question will ever be as big as the famous Magnificent Seven trivia question: Who was the Seventh member? (of The Magnificent Seven)

But it’s almost twice as interesting – and a lot more tragic.

7 Responses to ““Once Upon a Time in the West” and WHO was the third badguy?”

  1. Rick June 5, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    Leone wanted the Eastwood, Wallach and Van Cleef to be the guys waiting at the station, but the scheduling wouldn’t work.

    • jcalberta June 5, 2014 at 9:59 am #

      Thanks Rick.I can imagine Van Cleef and perhaps Wallach agreeing … but not Clint. That would have been amazing though!
      For a while i’d thought the “3rd badguy’ was Harry Dean Stanton – who Al Mulock bears some resemblance to.
      Great Western …

  2. Marilyn Armstrong June 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Maybe those doing the counting had fingers missing … or too many fingers (like 6 instead of 5?)??

    • jcalberta June 5, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

      If there’s math involved, fingers are handy.

      (I’m sure that’s not original .. but it was still fun to say)

  3. mikestakeonthemovies June 9, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    nice topic on the `3rd guy`. I was familiar with his story but kind of forgot.

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