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)
  • Claudia Cardinale in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • 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)

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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

The original intent for the opening scene was to use music already composed by Ennio Morricone. However, the attempted blend didn't seem to fit well. The decision was made to drop Morricone's score from the opening train station sequence and record the ambient sounds relating to the scenes (including the squeaking windmill and individual footsteps) after Morricone experienced a musical performance created by using only the sounds of a metal ladder. This created an exaggerated version of what had come to be known as "spaghetti sound".


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

As the speed of rotation of the wind-pump sails varies, the sound of the squeak does not. At no point does it match the period of rotation.


Crazy Credits

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


Alternate Versions

The Hungarian cinematic version emits everything starting from 10 minutes from the end (including Cheyenne's death) by adding a "Vege" (Hungarian for "The End") title card. No Jason Robards falling off the horse, no Claudia Cardinale bringing water to the workers, no spinning title.


Soundtracks

L'Attentato
Composed By, Orchestrated and Conducted by
Ennio Morricone
Published by Universal Music Publishing Ricordi srl
(P) 1969 Sergio Leone Productions

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