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: Sergio Leone in full force: His story of the dying days of the Wild West.  ( 8326 )
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« : August 20, 2007, 11:13:33 AM »

In a key and memorable scene, Frank (Henry Fonda) tells Harmonica (Charles Bronson) that he's not a businessman after all; that he's "Just a man", to which Harmonica responds with "An ancient race. Other Mortons will be along, and they'll kill it off." With this scene, Sergio Leone and his team of writers summed up the dying end of the Wild West in this exchange of duologue, a scene we will never forget. A new era was upon them, and there was no room for their kind any longer. This is the definitive Western Film. It sum's up this era perfectly. Only Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch" rivals it in it's message. Funny, the both were released in the same year.

This was not only Sergio Leone's way of telling us the dying days of the West, but also closing out an era of great Western Films. A genre that since has died out as a whole. Sadly there hasn't been many great Western Films since. Sergio put everything he ever thought about the Western Genre in this one film. We witness first hand his personal love for the Western, a genre he fell in love with as a little boy in Italy, with dreams and aspirations in becoming a filmmaker. It's shocking in it's violence, but operatic and poetic. It's filled with gorgeous landscapes and camera work. In the few moments Sergio shows us Monument Valley, he did it with such care and detail. These sequences are not only breathtaking but seem surreal. You gotta ask yourself, "How is it possible that such a beautiful place exists here on earth?" These scenes are almost heaven like. There are countless sequences throughout this MASTERFUL film that have this effect on all of you. All this with the backdrop of Ennio Morricone's poignant and beautiful opera like score that is filled with multiple brilliant themes. You hear one theme and you think that's it, then comes another, and again another and so on. How can one film contain such multiple brilliant themes?"

The casting for this film could never have been so right. It's rich in great characters. The story revolves around "whore with the heart of gold" in Jill McBain, played to perfection by Claudia Cardinale. Has an actress ever looked so beautiful on screen? The halfbreed, always on the run and in and out of jail Cheyenne, played by Jason Robards. Has Jason Robards ever been better? The psychotic, cold, sociopath, murderer outlaw Frank, shockingly played by Henry Fonda. How can Henry Fonda play such a role you ask? Who would have ever thought he had such a performance in him. After all, he has always been known for playing the good guy. He was absolutely brilliant here. Arguably the greatest villain ever to grace the silver screen. And last but not least we have Harmonica, the mysterious stranger played by Charles Bronson. He shows up with no explanation of why he's there, or what his intentions are. Has Charles Bronson ever been so cool?

How did Sergio Leone do it? One film after another better than his previous effort. Over and over again he thrilled us with his unique story telling and his equally unique direction. He has made some of the greatest films ever made in such a short period of time. He takes us on a tour de france with "Once Upon a Time in the West", a sort of opera like Western that's possibly the greatest Western Film ever made. It's so great, it can contend with greatest film ever made status.

In it's initial release in the states, this film was drastically edited. Yes, this is a recurring theme with Sergio's Films. Europe was treated to the version Sergio wanted and it was only in recent years we all had the chance to see the version that should have been showed all over the world back in 1969. The film has since grown a fanbase, and it's getting the respect it so rightfully deserves. If you haven't seen "Once Upon a Time in the West", please by all means, treat yourself. You're about to witness greatness. Enjoy.

« : November 10, 2007, 05:51:30 PM TucumcariBound »



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« #1 : August 20, 2007, 12:08:37 PM »

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Europe was treated to the version Sergio wanted

As far as Italy is concerned, it wasn't. The director's cut was released theatrically in the '80's.


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« #2 : August 20, 2007, 01:29:50 PM »

As far as Italy is concerned, it wasn't. The director's cut was released theatrically in the '80's.

True, but most of Europe seen it from what I've read.




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« #3 : August 20, 2007, 03:00:07 PM »

You mean has seen it before at the time of the first release? I have no idea about it. Let's ask the european contributors.


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« #4 : August 20, 2007, 03:02:49 PM »

You mean has seen it before at the time of the first release? I have no idea about it. Let's ask the european contributors.

Yeah at the time of it's release in 1969. It's not a big deal. If the european members want to chime in, by all means let us know.




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« #5 : August 21, 2007, 05:10:41 AM »

Yeah at the time of it's release in 1969. It's not a big deal. If the european members want to chime in, by all means let us know.
The movie was released in Italy on December 21st 1968. I saw it on the 24th of december in a theater in Genoa. It was packed.
It was the normal version, certainly not the one shown in the States. It did not include however the famous scenes that were cut, like Bronson's beating by the sheriff, Frank at the barber shop etc., but the rest was there.
I remember reading a review by a critic called Claudio G. Fava, who wrote something like: "No, no, no: Mr Leone you cannot keep spectators waiting for over 2 hours to know why Bronson wants his revenge." In short, he bashed the movie.
Recently however, he must have realized that he made a mistake and he changed his mind about OUTITW. Easy, now that it is a cult movie.
For this reason, whenever I see him on italian TV, I change channel.

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« #6 : August 21, 2007, 05:33:23 AM »

I saw it in 1969, springtime, probably. But, Leonardo, never knew about this review, but my way of referring to this critic when he introduced movies on TV in the '80's was to Claudio "non capisce una" G. Fava.


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« #7 : August 21, 2007, 07:10:07 AM »

I saw it in 1969, springtime, probably. But, Leonardo, never knew about this review, but my way of referring to this critic when he introduced movies on TV in the '80's was to Claudio "non capisce una" G. Fava.
O0

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« #8 : August 21, 2007, 12:06:26 PM »

"non capisce una" = "doesn't understand anything, or dosen't understand shit" for those who don't capisce Italiano O0


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« #9 : August 21, 2007, 02:27:45 PM »

"fava" is actually a synonym of something else, not "s..t".
I remember that was missing Harmonica getting up after the duel at Cattle Corner. The scene was added just in the '90es.


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« #10 : August 30, 2007, 10:17:35 AM »

Did my thread turn into an Italian Language class?   ;)




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« #11 : August 30, 2007, 11:17:34 AM »

Does anyone know where I can find English reviews by Fava? I need a good laugh. :D.

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« #12 : September 03, 2007, 09:02:33 AM »

Does anyone know where I can find English reviews by Fava? I need a good laugh. :D.

NOOOO! :)




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This time I did


« #13 : October 06, 2007, 08:57:18 AM »

Just watched again... this time with audio-commentary. Very interesting. I like Frayling  ;)

I start to cry by every watching by the shot when Cheyenne dies and the train arrives. It's a beautiful symbol.

Oh my God, how can be a movie so perceft?  :'(


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« #14 : November 10, 2007, 05:52:36 PM »

Just watched again... this time with audio-commentary. Very interesting. I like Frayling  ;)

I start to cry by every watching by the shot when Cheyenne dies and the train arrives. It's a beautiful symbol.

Oh my God, how can be a movie so perceft?  :'(

It's not explained why this film is so perfect Jill, it just is. haha




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