Sunday, December 4, 2011

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Director: Sergio Leone

Starring: Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Gabriele Ferzetti, Paolo Stoppa, Woody Strode, Jack Elam, Keenan Wynn, Frank Wolff, Lionel Stander

More info: IMDb

Tagline: There were three men in her life. One to take her... one to love her... and one to kill her.

Plot: The sprawling railways are reaching the far-west, and somewhere along its way, in a small border town, the paths of the four main characters are going to cross and clash: a young woman looking for a fresh start; an outlaw on the run accused of a crime (this time) he didn't commit; a ruthless killer on the payroll of the railroad tycoon; and a mysterious man with no name who plays a harmonica.

My rating: 10/10

Will I watch it again? Double duh.

#46 on Project: Badass Charles Bronson

LEVEL OF BADASSICITY (10 being the highest): 10

This is my all-time favorite Western and there's some tough competition with UNFORGIVEN (1992) being a close second. ONCE is perfect. I can't imagine changing a single beat. The dialogue and the performances are top notch. There are tons of quotable lines from every major player. Leone's camera LOVES these actors and their environment. Every scene is a living, breathing work of art.

Morricone's music is masterful. It's lyrical, gorgeous, frightening and playful. I just love what he does with Cheyenne's theme each time it stops and then start back up. Brilliant. Henry Fonda is a badass and I love that Leone took an actor who was so lovable and innocent and turn him into a cold blooded killer. The scene with the kid when we first meet Fonda is amazing. That ever so slight smile he makes before...if you haven't seen it then stop now and do it.

You know how much I like Charles Bronson. He's one badass mother fucker in this flick. He doesn't speak much but when he does he gets your attention. He's hilarious and ruthless. His back story, which happens in the final minutes of the picture, is heartbreaking. WOW! He deserved what he spent the entire picture looking for.

Sergio Leone made some amazing pictures and this one stands above all of them. If you've never visited the American Southwest, this movie will have you buying plane tickets within minutes. It's really that amazing. The Blu-ray is nothing short of jaw-droppingingly beautiful.


  1. I agree. My all time favorite western. I don't know if it is by the same movie maker but "Once upon a time in America" is equally good. Nice blog. I just found it. Cheers from Los Angeles

  2. It's the same director and it's a great flick, too. Thanks!