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

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15 June 2017 | Fella_shibby
9
| A bit slow n tedious but still one of the best western film. Fonda was terrific.
As a fan of Westerns, I saw this film many times in the early 90s. Saw this recently again on a DVD aft many years. The plot- Claudia Cardinale arrives at her ranch, to find that her husband has been murdered by hired gun Henry Fonda. Mysterious gunman Charles Bronson wants an appointment with Fonda. Bronson teams up with outlaw Jason Robards to help protect Cardinale n her ranch from Fondas evil intentions. There are long scenes where you get close shots of a person's face. Sergio Leone loves the stare-down, and you can see it in virtually all of his films. In this movie he allows the camera to linger longer than ever before. You get those quiet scoreless scenes where the natural sounds of the environment are greatly exaggerated. Leone's opponents take a long time to feel each other out before they act. One may find the long stretches of silence and inaction tedious n boring. Honestly, even i found some scenes boring, especially the opening scene. Henry Fonda is terrific. No one expected him to play such a ruthless and brutal killer. Bronson was decent but Jason Robards was much better with his tip on guys patting females bottom n the tip on don't get shot by a person who doesn't know to shoot. One of the best part bah the film was Ennio Morricone's score, especially the recurring harmonica music during the final closing fight. This is Morricone's best moment in a long, treasured career. I was surprised to know that the story was written by Dario Argento.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first feature to involve Sergio Leone's newly formed company, Rafran, which was named after his two daughters, Raffaella and Francesca. The two young girls appear, uncredited, at the Flagstone station.


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

Sergio Leone's director credit swings down in an arc as if to stop the train.


Alternate Versions

Even the original Italian version was heavily edited, obviously for time reasons; though the scenes cut from it were relatively unimportant (Frank getting a shave before the Flagstone auction, Harmonica being beaten by three deputies) they would nonetheless explain numerous things such as Harmonica's scars that are apparent towards the end of the movie but are not present early on.


Soundtracks

L'Uomo Dell'Armonica
Harmonica:
Franco De Gemini
Choir : Cantori Moderni Di Alessandroni
Composed By, Orchestrated and Conducted by Ennio Morricone
Published by RCA Italiana S.p.A., Universal Music Publishing Ricordi srl
(P) 1969 Sergio Leone Productions

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