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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8.5/10
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  • Henry Fonda and Claudia Cardinale 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)
  • Charles Bronson 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)

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Reviews & Commentary

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15 January 1999 | jj-72
Fonda's favorite, and mine too
There are few movies that can combine great directing, acting ,music, cinematography, and writing into one movie, but this one does. There are no weak points. Every scene is a piece of art. I know of no other film that affects the senses as this one. Henry Fonda said this was his favorite film and role. It's easy to see why. He created 1 of the great "bad guy" roles in history. In a side note, Leone wanted to put brown contacts in Fonda's eyes,("who ever saw a villain with blue eyes", Leone said), but Fonda wouldn't have it, and the effect is magic in the famous Leone close-ups. Bronson, Cardinale, and Robards are equally powerful, all have great lines and the camera loves them. Speaking of cameras, the visuals are stunning. There is nothing fancy about this movie. Raw power is what you see and feel. Simply the best western if not film ever made.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sergio Leone liked to tell the story of a cinema in Paris, where the film ran uninterrupted for two years. When he visited this theater, he was surrounded by fans who wanted his autograph, as well as the projectionist, who was less than enthusiastic. Leone claimed the projectionist told him "I kill you! The same movie over and over again for two years! And it's so SLOW!"


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

In the stable scene, Harmonica says to Cheyenne, " I saw three of these dusters a short time ago. They were waiting for a train. Inside the dusters, there were three men." While all three were wearing dusters upon arrival, only two of the three gunslingers were actually wearing dusters when Harmonica arrived.


Crazy Credits

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


Alternate Versions

The opening scene is several minutes shorter in the current American print, as, according to Christopher Frayling's biography of Leone, Leone's daughters Rafaella and Francesca appear as girls playing near the station - but in my copy of the VHS, no such girls appear.


Soundtracks

Come Una Sentenza
Composed By, Orchestrated By
Ennio Morricone
Choir:Cantori Moderni Di Alessandroni
Published by Universal Music Publishing Ricordi srl
(P) 1969 Sergio Leone Productions

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