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1  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Best Westeern ever! on: January 17, 2014, 05:35:39 PM
... Dutch Movie Director Martin Koolhoven declared One Upon A Time In The West to be the best western ever....


its a shame this topic's not being expanding. Not because of the Dutch movie director or anybody else, but because of us; don't we love this film?

To be frank I still cant work out what the hell intrinsic charge is captured inside of this story to make it so enticing; I am suspicion that there is something  hey, more than that, more than a western.

I am tempted to believe that this film is not in fact a western; sure it applies the tools of a western, but the inner message and its depiction could match any kind of a genre.

What makes this film specific is its pace; the story it tells, if expressed in this pace by any other genre would probably fail; this western aspect keeps it up.

All the fortune came together creating a synergy effect of sreenplay, cast, music and Sergio's directory.

When wondering what the hell is radiating thus enticing on this movie performance, it reminds me of an air interview of a guitarist who said that even possesing the same guitar and equipment of his idol he would not generate the same sound, because he believes that the final point is in the fingers that touch the strings...and this may be the case of Sergio in OUATITW - his inner one and only views of what he wanted to tell us.
2  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Cheyenne's rail on: April 15, 2013, 01:32:23 PM
believe it or not a lot of hardware stores in mining country had rail for mine cars long before some railroads appeared ;-)

ok, I give up. Its not so important to overweigh this shiny jewel movie. I just thought I missed something, but I dont mind leaving it unexplained. From now on, I will consider this Cheyennes's banging on the rail as a bell ringing launching another marvelous slowly pacing scene filled with the catchy and disarming dialogs.  Smiley
3  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Happy birthday Claudia on: April 15, 2013, 01:14:48 PM
May she give us some fresh water from the well forever  Kiss
4  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Cheyenne's rail on: April 12, 2013, 05:11:58 PM
It came up before, I think the reason McBain knew that the Sweetwater site would be valuable was that he was a former railroad man, the contract required a "station", Maybe McBain was more advanced on that score than we think. He had a large order of lumber delivered for the town who's to say he didn't previously order a load of rr ties and mine car rail and build a short stretch of siding for the station to be built up against.

The other solution would be symbolic, Cheyenne is banging against the future rr grade appearing in sandy silhouette.

well...oh..well...ah..ah.. anyway, super suggestions, thank you, but still have a problem to absorb them; I dont mind film bugs; for example I read that the harmonica used by Harmonica could not give the sound of the real sound given in the soundtrack; or that the song sung by Maurin was composed later then actaully sung in this story time frame; damn it!. It cant spoil or distract my passion. However, and it may appear as a paradox, this Cheyenne's banging on a rail is a tricky deal even in a tough imagination of this "prospect silhouette"; Sergio would be too trusting to an average cinema visitor (including me) to get this complex message.

Also your first alternative is hard to grasp for the audience; if the railroad is the symbol of something new, of the fundamental change of what we saw in the film before, it would not make sense to show us, that Mc Bain was a pre-pioneer not only in buing this land, but also a person going deep into the detail and building the "welcome" railroad. The sense of this story in this respect for me is that the lumber is the right element I can imagine - whatever and however large subject will be built on. Lumber and rail uttered together make false notes to me; not mentioning the complexity of  constructing that Mc Bain's rail track, however short  it might be.

Taking into the account of Sergio's perfectionism, I do not beleive this rail banging being a film bug. I have to cite Cheyenne again, "What the hell is this?"
5  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Actor's Library? on: April 12, 2013, 03:49:42 PM
Im an ignorant in this field, so asking a basic question (but a minor one within:

In the OUATITW scene, when two Frank's guys Logan and Jim are to take of the woman, when they see that also Harmonica is involved, one of them takes a look of a hesitation at his companion before they go on. This same kind of look was presented in For a Few Dollars More, when the two guys prepared to protect their vilage stared at Clint shooting the apples off the tree and one of them expressed his hesitation to face Clint in the same "actor's look/glance" as in the OUATITW.

I do not think that that look/glance is a Sergios's special, I believe its a standard actor's expression taken from his library and all that needed to be done at the shooting place was to call out "hey, librery item X!".

Anayway, however that look may appear simple, Im not sure I could repeat it. The same holds for Maurin McBain's role.
6  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Cheyenne's rail on: April 12, 2013, 02:47:45 PM
don't want to spam this topic, but went through all the 24 pages titles, sorry if missed it...

I can't sleep for years not knowing what the hell is this: what is the rail Cheyenne is knocking on? (in the scene "They call it millions)

I always thought that Morton's action of building the railroad is a pioneering effort to link this territory with the rest of the country and that there was no railroad before; and on top of that, Cheyenne says "I noticed the rails gang's already behind those hills". That means they have not arrived yet.

So what the hell is the rail Cheyenne's knocking on?

7  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Harmonica's bag on: April 12, 2013, 02:05:45 PM
  He arrives with that mysterious bag. What's in that? ...also at the end of movie there is no bag!!!!he left macbain's ranch without  that mysterious bag.he only gets small bag from the wall small bag for the horse.

It does not bother me what is in his bag; anyway, he came for a mission, I would leave it to Harmonica's discretion (or if you wish to Sergio's), what the hell is in his bag.

What bothers me, is the second part of this story: Harmonica leaves "our lifes" with a complete different sort of bag; seems to me that the original bag became unpractical through the dynamic evolvement of events he faced; so he might have just replaced it for a more practical one!

But, to be frank, it still bothers me... Sad
8  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: An ancient race on: April 05, 2013, 04:52:36 PM
... Harmonica despises Frank more than anyone in the world, Frank traumatized him when he killed his brother, he is walking around for all those years with the trauma, symbolized by the harmonica that he wears like a cross around his neck, (trauma which isn't relieved until he kills Frank, at which point he can finally tear the harmonica off his neck)....

Yes, this is the best explanation to keep the source of Harmonica's motivation within the frame of this opera.

I do not want to spoil this drama, but it comes to me an alternative. Its not inevitable that he has been carrying his cros all the time; he might as well been waiting for the right time and place to deliver the justice. His hate towards Frank might have been transformed to a postponed impersonal decision to exercise the justice in a fair way based on law. He comes to act as a Court, if you wish as the Supreme Court.

Although the legal institutions in them days might not be perfect, still there were rules and law punishing a criminal act (It was all in order. Seals, signatures, everything). And Harmonica does not want to be a criminal. Officially he has no evidence against Frank since That was always one of Frank's tricks. Faking evidence.

In fact the duel is initiated explicitly by Frank, only implicitly by Harmonica. Thus killing him in the duel from the legal point is a selfdefence for him and the revenge on his brother.

I this respect, the impressive sound of harmonica would not represent the deep long lasting Harmonica's trauma, but a robust and unanmbiguous announcement that the Judgement Day has come.

What contradicts the above alternative is the long row of more dead men starting with Dave Jenkins, which had been growing probably continually through some time and Harmonica had been following it with a rising tension that reirritated his old aching wounds; another moment breaking my alternative is the "IF situation" if Frank had come to the Cattle Corner to make the appointment and Harmonica killed him - what the hell of legal thoughts came through Harmonica's mind to keep him clean!

Anayway, as I perceive it, Harmonica acts as a judge without emotions bringing the justice, while Frank acts as a villain wanting to kill Harmonica since he spoiled something that belongs to him and posing himself as a MAN is his decision to act as a MAN only in the decisive  moment of his existence.
9  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Longest version of OUATITW ? on: April 05, 2013, 02:36:21 PM
We can always dream, just like Noodles in OUATIA  Smiley

yes, exactly, as Claudia C. told it in the OUATITW bonus DVD, people like to dream and a film is about the dreaming  Cry   but can't help and still dreaming  that 10 hour dream of mine  Wink
10  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: An ancient race on: April 05, 2013, 02:11:08 PM
Interesting point, Well. The only clue Harmonica gives is that "Man" is a race that will be killed off by Mortons. Frank is, at lest literally, killed of by Harmonica (is Harmonica a man?).

But what I really want to know is, what is it about Morton that he is not a Man? Is it that he relies so heavily on money, paper, and machine to live? In that sense he is not fully a man, but don't all men have man-made crutches of some kind? Frank sets up the analogy nicely when he compares Morton's desk to his gun ("only much more powerful"). I think Frank realizes he a man of the gun, not of the desk, and if he was right that the desk is mightier than the gun, then perhaps it is right to say that he is killed off by the desk wielding Mortons. After all, Morton shot Cheyenne, right?

The beauty of this discussion (not this film since this is a general phenomenon) is that each gesture and word can be interpreted in hundreds of ways; and it does not matter how Sergio L. meant this or that, how deep or extensive he was on this or that, there is still a space for anyone to make his/her own positive progress; I hope that a OUATITW message is a positive one.

Back to your "what I really want to know" (who does not want to know?); grand_chum and Beeps gave nice suggestions in previous posts. My wording is, that "MAN" stands for "FAIR" within this framework; and this would be the answer to your question "what is it about Morton that he is not a Man?" - because Morton does not play fair. Frank told us clearly that Morton in fact hired him to remove small obstacles from the track and there were a few. Morton cannot make excuses that he did not know what went on starting with Dave Jenkins; he bore all the responsibility for his desire to see the blue of the Pasific.  (and by the way to make money)

In this respect Harmonica is probably the "MAN", while Frank grasped this title only for this ultimate fatal moment to express to Harmonica that he will play fair with his gun regardless of the outcome.

(I will be happy if someone tells me Im wrong and gives me his tru story  Wink

11  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: An ancient race on: April 01, 2013, 12:07:50 PM
No! It's more than "important to the movie", this IS the movie. These two guys, they are "ancient race" and that's when they meet they talk about philosophy...

I was a bit slow on the uptake, what Harmonica means by "an ancient race", thanks for the clue. I agree that "MAN" is meant in the level of philosophy. However, in my view, it is not necessary that Harmonica includes Frank into this category; he just responds when hearing "MAN". Frank stylizes himself into the role of the "MAN" just in this moment.
12  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Longest version of OUATITW ? on: March 29, 2013, 04:59:46 PM
You all are out of the range  Smiley since I had the following 10 hour version dream:

Coming along a shopping street a Friday evening, a winndow shop poster cought my attention; it said: a 10 hour so far unreleased version of OUATITW now available! If you buy today you pay only $30! I thought it was a trick, but couldnt resist and brought it to my "sweetwater" house. Just checked it by inserting into the DVD player and it really showed the 10 hour playing time. So I did planning for the Saturday's schedule.

Getting up on Saturday earlier than obviously and preparing for the launch of this performance, I felt a desire for a coffee; my wife does not drink it, so I make it by myself; now I asked her "did you make coffee?" and she, knowing that "something's gonna happen", answered "this time I did".

I started watching the film at about 9 AM; had been staring for 5 hours, home theatre loudness squeezed up, had to make a break for a light lunch. Had finished watching at about 9 PM, completely relaxed and anxious to dissipate this ultimate experience to anybody interesting.

The last sound I remember was the laugh of my wife "the 10 hour version? ha ha, an ancient dream"!; then I woke up into the reality of the 159 min version (my DVD)

P.S.1

would appreciate if anybody possesing any version longer than 160min or so (3 to 10 hours), be so kind sharing it  Smiley

P.S.2

this is not a fun, but a real tribute to the pace of this flm and its strive to capture the time; this to be extended in other thread
13  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: the fly? on: March 29, 2013, 02:42:20 PM
Probably the fly crawling up the wall was fake. Looks like it's magnetized.

Not probably, but for sure, the crawling fly was a fake; Cusser is right. Its confirmed by Tonino Colli, the director of photography, in his interview on the OUATITW bonus DVD. What is interesting for me is that magnetized fly had not crossed my mind how to resolve it despite I am magnetized by this masterpiece film. By the way, Tonino Colli mentioned, that they tried a fake fly for the shot in which there is the real fly now, but it did not work.

Anyway, there is another fly I have noticed. During the scene in the saloon, when Frank strives to pay back Harmonica 5k bucks, in one moment a fly appears on Frank's elbow; there are 3 versions of mine why the fly entered the history:

1. nobody noticed it
2. they noticed it, but the concrete shot was so highly appreciated that they sacrificed the fly
3. they noticed it, but did not pay attention considering it as a natural occurence

Be it as it may, I think that that unfamous fly was just a natural part of the environment where the shooting took place  Smiley
14  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: the fly? on: March 22, 2013, 04:44:44 PM
The prop man painted Jack Elam's face with either honey or marmalade (depending on who you ask) which attracted the fly.  Basically the released a whole jar of flies hoping that one would stick around.

But  fortunately instinctively behaving fly met intellectually prepared Jack Elams's face and both could open a genial inter play; looks like you play it each day on a hot summer day, but forget repeating this concert
15  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: An ancient race on: March 22, 2013, 04:05:16 PM

Frank: Just a man.

Harmonica: An ancient race. Other Mortons will be along, and they'll kill it off.


My take on what I consider the greatest of all quotes/dialogue from any movie-

To me it's really about 3 things... First there is the whole western movie idea, they are a dying breed, JUST MEN who go out and do what they believe to be right no matter what others say nor how much money they throw at them. Everything that, I believe, Leone loved about the west, in the movie anyway, was being killed off by mortons, oportunists out for the big bucks who will sweep out anything in their way. I also think the fact that he says that "morton's will come along and they'll kill IT off" instead of them is important in understanding what he said(probably your point of discretion). I personally think IT  are those things that don't have a price, things which real men like harmonica and McBain did in the old west before "morton's'" came along and killed it off. Harmonica, frank(at the end anyhow), and McBain were men of an ancient race, men that didn't live by the money they made, but just did what they had to do, what they thought was right, whether people thought it was right or wrong.... Instead all the MEN disapear and are replaced by businessmen doing what they had to do to get more money....

wow, an excelent analysis; would just add that this is not an issue of a "western" or even of a time frame of this western, but a general human position lived on until today. Now it comes to me there were discussions on whether ther is a politics in Sergio's films or not; and thats it - depends on how is it defined; where is the border line between the life and politics.

Off topic, but may be interesting and QUESTION: Im not an English native speaker and have a problem with the meaning of "ancient" in the context "man - an ancient race"  ; when I went trough some dictionaries all stated what I thought before - that its something that hapenned a long time ago; however, a local dubbing expressed it as a "dying off race" e.g. something that still goes on.
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