PG-13 | | Western
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.
Henry Fonda prepared for his role as the villain "Frank" by arriving in Italy with a pair of brown colored contact lenses and a mustache. When Sergio Leone saw them, he ordered them removed. Leone had planned an important close-up shot of Frank's entrance and wanted the audience to instantly recognize Fonda with those blue eyes.
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?
In the beginning scene, as Snaky is escorting the Stationmaster to the closet, he is clean shaven. Immediately after, he is sporting a several-days beard growth.
Lionel Stander receives on screen credit in the original U.S. theatre release prints even though his part was completely cut out of this shortened version.
Paramount cut the film down to 140 minutes for its U.S. theatrical release. The major scenes removed were (in chronological order): 1) The entire scene set at the watering station with the introduction of Cheyenne and his gang, and his encounter with Harmonica, 2) Mr. Morton's visit to Frank's cave, 3) Frank's return to the train where he discovers the bodies of both his and Cheyenne's gang as well as a near dead Mr. Morton, 4) the last and perhaps the most damaging removal: Cheyenne's death at the end was completely dropped; cut was directly from Jill looking at Harmonica and Cheyenne leaving to the train arriving. This version also ADDED one scene to the film that was not in the original 165 minute release, in which Harmonica gets up with a wounded arm after being shot in the opening scene. When it was run on U.S. network television, A.B.C. made edits to the 165 minute international version. Paramount's syndicated television version was also the international version (with edits). This meant that more of the film was shown on television than was seen in U.S. theaters.
$5,321,508 (USA) (22 June 1984)
Check out our guide to the Golden Globes, see what IMDb editors are watching, and more.