Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

PG-13   |    |  Western


Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Poster

A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

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  • Henry Fonda and Claudia Cardinale in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Claudia Cardinale in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Jason Robards in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

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14 May 2004 | DavidRobinson10
Sergio Leone:I salute you
I have recently commented on Leone's GBU and was intending on reviewing AFOD and FAFDM as well as this one - OUATITW, but after reading a number of the comments about these from all the avid fans on this great site, I will simply give you a short account of how these films have affected my life. I am 55years young and saw all these films on their first release in Sydney.(late '60's) They were cut, but it didn't stop me seeing the brilliance in them. I would imagine that a lot of the members of this site are much younger than myself and have only watched these films on DVD or TV quite recently. (Stood the test of time, eh!!) (WideScreen is a must for these.) Leone's films exhibit an idealism in art that surpassed his Hollywood models (eg: Ford). Although, at the time of creation, I doubt he would have thought he was. He simply had a vision.

From film to film he improved on this. Like most artists, I don't think he was too concerned with the financial gains that might or might not be realized.(This was probably his downfall). That these little films can impress all you younger fans so much says a lot about good taste and the sad lack of it in American films of recent times.

Great directors, like Leone, don't come along every day and it saddens me greatly to know he died before he was recognised for the genius he surely was. Morricone must be 75 now, soon we will loose him too. I am a successful composer in Australia and can tell you, without bias, that Morricone is in the top five best ever film composers just from these four films alone, if not one of the best composers in general (yes, this includes Stravinsky, Bartok, Debussy and Schoenberg.) of the 20th century. Eastwood is also reaching the end of his life and although I'm not a huge fan of his recent work, he is one of the last living greats. Without the inspirations put forth by these men, I might not still be writing and recording my music these days. Plenty of times I could have stopped when things got tough but all I had to do was revisit these gems of modern art to realise that greatness does still exhist , all you have to have is the love and desire and guts to make your visions a reality. Leone, Morricone and Eastwood: I salute you.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-writer Bernardo Bertolucci says on the film's DVD that when he first suggested to Director Sergio Leone that the film's central character be a woman, Leone was hesitant. Leone first budged on this subject by suggesting the introductory shot of Jill would be from below the train platform so the camera could see under Jill's dress and show she wasn't wearing any undergarments. Claudia Cardinale said she was never told this idea, and said she probably wouldn't have agreed to be in the movie if it required this shot (suggesting that Leone, mercifully, gave up on the idea in the writing process).


Quotes

Cattle Corner Station Agent: Hey. Hey-hey-hey-hey, if you want any tickets, you'll have to go around, eh, to, eh, the front of, eh, eh... oooh, well, I s'pose it'll be all right. The hell am *I* doin' around here if they walk in and can do as they damn please?


Goofs

Mr Morton's train must have a driver and a fireman. Morton also needs a housekeeper. It is unbelievable that none of these people appear, whatever happens on the train.


Crazy Credits

The film's title does not appear until the end of the final scene.


Alternate Versions

Frank's line upon giving Harmonica his namesake varies from version to version. The Italian translates to "play something for your brother," but the most common English version is "keep your loving brother happy," and the German translates to "play me the song of death." The German movie title was inspired by this line.


Soundtracks

Danny Boy
(1913) (uncredited)
Written by by
Frederick Edward Weatherly
Hummed and sung a cappella a bit by Simonetta Santaniello

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