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Author Topic: Is my reaction to the film normal for a first timer?  (Read 10610 times)
sinisterplague
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« on: June 06, 2009, 12:57:30 PM »

I just watched this film for the first time last night. And it was well...different. The "dollars" trilogy and "once upon a time in america" I just understood the first time I saw them. And I knew exactly where they stood on my ranking of Sergio Leone films. when I first saw "Duck, You Sucker," I thought it was Leone's weakest. But after a second viewing I actually liked it even more than the first two "dollars" films.
But Once Upon a Time in the West..I just simply don't know what to think of it. Did I like it? Yes. It was an interesting film with the best soundtrack since TGTBATU and had a lot of emotion to it. But it was just so different, I don't know if I like it better or less than TGTBATU or OUATIA. I feel like I'm missing something from it. Maybe because it was so slow I wasn't paying as much attention during certain parts?  Possibly. Also I didn't catch on to the idea of Harmonica being a supernatural character. When he got up after being shot, I thought he was just wearing body armor or something like Clint in "Fistful of Dollars."
I plan on watching it again in a few days and may have more of an opinion after I sit on it for a while.

But what was your guys' initial reaction to the film after you first watched it?

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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2009, 02:21:35 PM »

But what was your guys' initial reaction to the film after you first watched it?

The same reaction as every time I watch it: I feel as something great just happened.

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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2009, 01:59:21 AM »

When I first saw it as a kid I was bored and disappointed, cause I had expected to see the biggest action western ever (remember the effective but wrong German title was Play Me the Song of Death and it was a huge cult hit).

I few years later I saw a scene on TV, and suddenly I thought that this was a great film. Next time it run in a local cinema I rewatched it and was fascinated.


The "supernatural" aspect of Hamonica is only a vague possibility to interpret it. Most people don't see anything supernatural in OuTW.

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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2009, 03:43:11 AM »

Quote
The "supernatural" aspect of Hamonica is only a vague possibility to interpret it. Most people don't see anything supernatural in OuTW. 


Yea but then most people also accepted the new 3:10 to YUMA scenario of Peter Fonda's character getting shot point blank in the guts having a bullet removed that should have passed clean through his body like it was a splinter and then getting on a horse no worse for wear, lol.

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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2009, 03:59:25 AM »

In films people had and have never much trouble with bullet wounds ("it's only a scratch").

In reality many (most?) people who only got wounded died in these times by blood poisoning. Not only that parts of the clothing was pressed into the wound, also most bullets were greased to be protected against dampness. At least that's what I have read in a book.

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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2009, 06:14:05 AM »

I just watched this film for the first time last night. And it was well...different. The "dollars" trilogy and "once upon a time in america" I just understood the first time I saw them. And I knew exactly where they stood on my ranking of Sergio Leone films. when I first saw "Duck, You Sucker," I thought it was Leone's weakest. But after a second viewing I actually liked it even more than the first two "dollars" films.
But Once Upon a Time in the West..I just simply don't know what to think of it. Did I like it? Yes. It was an interesting film with the best soundtrack since TGTBATU and had a lot of emotion to it. But it was just so different, I don't know if I like it better or less than TGTBATU or OUATIA. I feel like I'm missing something from it. Maybe because it was so slow I wasn't paying as much attention during certain parts?  Possibly. Also I didn't catch on to the idea of Harmonica being a supernatural character. When he got up after being shot, I thought he was just wearing body armor or something like Clint in "Fistful of Dollars."
I plan on watching it again in a few days and may have more of an opinion after I sit on it for a while.




perfectly normal reaction and similar to my own.
Stanton's own experience is the same as mine.
As I knew what to expect the second time around it played much better.

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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2009, 08:23:30 AM »

I tried to watch it on TCM back in 2001-ish and couldn't even get through the whole thing. The opening scene bored the crap out of me, and I spent the rest of the night channel-surfing and occasionally coming back to it (I did like Cheyenne's rescue of Harmonica and the ambush of Frank). A few months later I got it on VHS and loved it.

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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2009, 08:35:06 AM »

But what was your guys' initial reaction to the film after you first watched it?

I actually loved it from the get go. I remember it coming on TV once and me remarking to my Dad that it was so cool how no-one spoke and how it was filmed.  My dad simply responded that it was the Sergio Leone style.

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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2009, 01:46:45 PM »

I was about 16 when I first saw it, and I found it beautiful. And liked it better with every re-watching. It's like good wine.  Afro

I don't mind the slowness. It's so calming. I never liked movies in which someone's shot or something explodes in every two minutes.

That "slow" opening scene is just adorable. Those faces, that fly, that dropping water...

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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2009, 02:37:59 PM »

Nope, I loved OUATITW the first time I saw it.  Its OUATIA that I had problems with.  The first two hours and the last 20 minutes are beyond brilliant but the middle (from Noodles getting out of prison to Noodles finally meeting Secretary Bailey) is hit and miss.  But OUATITW is genius from beginning to end.   Grin

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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2009, 04:44:10 AM »

I saw Once-West in 1969 at a small theater, but it only played third-tier theaters here in Arizona, maybe something to do with Parmaount.  By then I had seen the three Eastwood spaghettis (GBU first), and to me the film was "OK", but my older brother loved it.  I saw it on ABC-TV about 1974, hard to watch with commercials and small screen.  1985 it was restored and released to specialty theaters, and I saw it and restored Once-America (first time) within a few months, really liked it.  By 1986 saw it again as cult films selection at Scottsdale Center for the Arts.  By late 1990s a Leone board member made me a copy of his wide-screen version from laserdisc.  Of course, finally 2-disc DVD came out.  This film gets better on each viewing, as does Once-America.  I even have been to the arch remnants in Utah, and have a Once-West poster (along with other Leone) in my family room, and of course the 2000-era European soundtrack CDs.

It took me until the mid-to-late 1970s to figure out how strong an anti-war film GBU was.  So there are many levels to these films.

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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2009, 06:06:18 AM »

Nope, I loved OUATITW the first time I saw it.  Its OUATIA that I had problems with.  The first two hours and the last 20 minutes are beyond brilliant but the middle (from Noodles getting out of prison to Noodles finally meeting Secretary Bailey) is hit and miss.  But OUATITW is genius from beginning to end.   Grin

Yeah, it took me at least three viewings to fully absorb OUATIA. I love it now, but I found it damned near incomprehensible after my first viewing.

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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2009, 03:44:25 PM »

WEST is one of those rare films where the THEMES become richer and more resonant as one grows older. And thus it gets BETTER!
for me at least.

AMERICA will always be a seriously flawed film Cry

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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2009, 04:39:10 PM »

AMERICA will always be a seriously flawed film Cry

Well for one thing, I hate how Elizabeth McGovern pronounces "Noodles."  I remember that one critic said it was too bad that Leone couldn't wait for Jennifer Connelly to mature before filming the 30s and 60s scenes.

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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2009, 05:53:51 PM »

AMERICA will always be a seriously flawed film Cry

Why do you say that?

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