Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In The West => Topic started by: jouissance on December 23, 2002, 02:04:15 PM

Title: leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: jouissance on December 23, 2002, 02:04:15 PM
i watched OUTW this weekend. i noticed something i've never seen (at least not that i recall). during the train station/gunfight, Harmonica kills the three gunfighter but not before one of them hits him. apparently this is more than a flesh wound because harmonica falls to the ground and passes out.
again, leone plays, bends and in this case, breaks, a paramount genre's 'rule'-the good guy is IMMORTAL. right from the beginning, the hero (or anti-hero) falls and is made mortal. it is very refreshing and gives life to what some critics have said is a dead genre. just wanted to know if you guys thought.
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: cigar joe on December 23, 2002, 03:51:27 PM
I have noticed it before I was always torn between two interpretations, one being the obvious as you stated the other being the supernatural, what if Harmonica was literally an avenging angel, a spirit who cannot be killed, or who does not remain dead for long, remember during the lead up to the final duel he tells Frank the names of all the men that Frank has killed, just food for thought...
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: Cusser on December 27, 2002, 04:59:29 PM
When this film was first shown in USA (Arizona) in 1969, the print didn't show Harmonica getting wounded, only referenced with newly-escaped Cheyenne seeing the bullet hole at Stander's saloon.
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: jouissance on December 27, 2002, 09:44:51 PM
curious... i personally like that he gets shot. it breaks the myth of the untouchable gunfighter and makes things so much more intense.  
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: Jupa on January 06, 2003, 12:53:49 PM
The version Cusser refers to is the infamous shorter version that was cut because the big bosses thought the film was too long.I've seen the beginning of the shorter version.
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: visitor on January 06, 2003, 02:59:48 PM
When I first saw this (NY drive-in) we didn't see the sequence with Harmonica getting shot, or the sequence with Jill and driver stopping at bar/livery stable or the death of Cheyenne-the first time I saw these was when ABC showed the film a couple years later. What a different movie. I've still never seen the full version on the big screen.
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: cigar joe on January 06, 2003, 04:03:53 PM
An interesting aside to this was that I had become a Leone fanatic and had talked up Leone to my friends and was anticipating OUTIW and then the short version hit the screens in NYC, and one of those that I had talked up Leone to went to see it before I did and he told me that it did not make any sence, it was a let down.
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: cigar joe on January 07, 2003, 04:39:06 PM
PS. You know this gives me a bit of an insite (light bulb above my head, lol) into why there may be differing views on GBU and OUTITW. If a majority of us in the US saw the butchered version first or the later pan and scans on the TV its no wonder we may have differences.

I've not yet to this day seen OUTITW or DUS on the wide screen.
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: Jupa on January 20, 2003, 04:52:35 AM
Neither have I,nor have I seen any other Leone movie on the wide screen.I would especially want to see OUATITW in a movie theatre,because that movie,if any,is at its best on the wide screen.
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: SquareTex on January 21, 2003, 08:38:31 AM
And this is why I'm going crazy over wanting DVD releases of those two movies, "...West" in particular. I've never had the misfortune of seeing the cut version, and since I found the restored pan&scan quite palatable, the letterboxed version would be wonderful!

Paramount, what's keeping you?!?  :'(
Title: Re:leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: Cusser on January 22, 2003, 11:47:36 AM
A few years ago the Autry Western Museum in L.A. showed Once/West and with Christopher Frayling there giving a talk about it.  Once/West is shown widescreen on TCM without commercials about once a year (last time in November), along with the other Spaghettis.  It is also widescreen on the old Videodisc format, a friend recorded it for me from that.  Luckily, I was able to see all these first run in the real theaters, including Once West original and 1985 restored, and intact Once/America, also 1985.  I have to admit, theater surrounding is still the best.
Title: Re: leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: Man with no dame on June 12, 2007, 07:58:03 AM
That whole opening broke all the rules. It was a great collaborative effort between director and composer to create what amounted to a silent movie accented with sound effects. I thought Bronson's initial shooting was to establish that he was both dead inside and out, and create a vengeful spirit come to rain retribution down on Frank.
Title: Re: leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 12, 2007, 02:35:40 PM
Not trying to rain on the parade but the whole concept of killing the hero or showing the hero as vulnerable had already been done most dramatically the year prior in Chang Cheh's ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN and THE ASSASSIN.
Title: Re: leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: Man with no dame on June 13, 2007, 06:46:14 AM
Not trying to rain on the parade but the whole concept of killing the hero or showing the hero as vulnerable had already been done most dramatically the year prior in Chang Cheh's ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN and THE ASSASSIN.
  I guess you could also say that a precursor to that would be killing Janet Leigh off 45 minutes into Psycho.
Title: Re: leone breaks a classic western rule...
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 13, 2007, 01:24:21 PM
Well, she would be a heroine then and not a hero, yes?