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May 22, 2019, 04:35:26 AM
621400 Posts in 48066 Topics by 6490 Members
Latest Member: ThomasImpak Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Once Upon A Time In The West « previous next »
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Author Topic: Once Upon A Time In The West  (Read 3600 times)
Mofo Rising
« on: March 06, 2001, 02:47:09 AM »

Now this was a damn good movie.  Doesn't really belong in this forum, but I figured a spaghetti western was fair game so I'm bringing it on in.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is of course a Sergio Leone film, and he's in full force on this one.  The movie is 165 moments, and not a moment is wasted.  No small feat considering the first ten minutes is just ambient frontier noise.  Refreshing from the many movies you see nowadays that feel padded at 90 minutes, or big name directors who think they're too good for a good editing job.  And unlike many directors of the MTV generation, Leone actually utilizes his stylistic tendencies to make a good film, as opposed to wallowing in his excesses.

The film stars Henry Fonda as a cold-blooded bastard.  You will hate this guy.  Charles Bronson plays an unnamed character with a chipped hat and a mean harmonica.  He has quite an interesting back story that the blurb on the box stupidly gives away.  Jason Robards is here as Cheyenne, a half breed Indian.  Claudia Cardinale is the woman they all revolve around.  Excellent acting all around.  I even felt for the train guy, even though he was an evil bastard.

And lets not forget the score by Ennio Morricone, which is one of the best I've ever heard.  Every major character has their own theme song, and the music rises and swells and keeps perfect time with the movie.  He even makes use of the silences.  I'm seriously considering buying this soundtrack.

Too bad the version I saw was full-frame.  How do you justify butchering a movie made for widescreen so badly?  You know it's bad when a tight close up on someone's eyes is actually a tight close up of the bridge of their nose.  I'm hoping someone releases a quality DVD of this soon.  Why the wait?

Last small detail, some of the writing credit on this one goes to Dario Argento.
peter johnson
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2001, 11:44:20 AM »

A brilliant film, of course.  It's always amazing to me just how well all the Leone films hold up over time.  'Just had occasion to see "For a Few Dollars More" again & marvel at just what a perfectly realized little minor story it is.  It doesn't seem like much at all until you compare it with other padded films, as you say.
Another good one from this time period is "My Name is Trinity", which I believe also has Henry Fonda as a gunslinger -- more sympathetic part than Once Upon . . . .
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2001, 12:46:37 PM »

I HATED westerns until I saw this movie, then I saw what could be done with the genre.  Brilliant movie, and somebody (that'd be YOU Paramount) letterbox this!
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2001, 03:53:53 PM »

The Harmonica....utter classic opening.Look how many screen heavys bite the big one in the first 6 minutes! Bronson be short,but he be bad! And, then there is Clint...I liked "For a few dollars more" when he got to play off Van Cleef. Pocketwatch music,anyone? Fun to watch with kids..They just hate to wait,but Leone makes them wait,hehehe. And,"For a"Fist Full of Dollars" i just had to get into Kurasawa. Thanks for that alone,Leone!
Ken Begg
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2001, 11:37:40 PM »

I've read that this is being readied for a DVD release.  As for when it's due to come out, though, I don't know.

BTW, MGM supposedly will eventually be releasing Zulu on DVD, too.  (I'd think next year some time.)  A recent net chat indicated that they're now working on a decent transfer.
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