Once Upon a Time in the West ()

directed by Sergio Leone
featuring Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Jr., Gabriele Ferzetti

Show Synopsis

In Sergio Leone's epic Western, shot partly in Monument Valley, a revenge story becomes an epic contemplation of the Western past. To get his hands on prime railroad land in Sweetwater, crippled railroad baron Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti) hires killers, led by blue-eyed sadist Frank (Henry Fonda), who wipe out property owner Brett McBain (Frank Wolff) and his family. McBain's newly arrived bride, Jill (Claudia Cardinale), however, inherits it instead. Both outlaw Cheyenne (Jason Robards) and lethally mysterious Harmonica ...

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Sivvie

Aug 23, 2010

The perfect film.

From the first frame, the viewer's senses of sight and sound will be completely captivated. The sound is heightened so that every click, every drip of water, every movement is amplified to meet the absorbing visual imagery on the screen.
This is a morality tale of good and evil forces, with good not having an unqualified victory in the end. Henry Fonda is the all-out evil one, with Jason Robards and Charles Bronson in that grey area inbetween. Claudia Cardinale is the woman who arrives to marry a 'good man' and finds only his body and those of his family. And so this extraordinary film rolls forward into a faultless 'assault' of the senses.
The director, Sergio Leone, gets a satisfyingly perfect performance from each of his major players, with drawn-out close-ups on sunburnt, fleshy faces, while he uses music : (a wonderful main theme of eleven notes on a banjo is one memorable leitmotif), and the haunting harmonica of the character Harmonica (Charles Bronson) to give the feeling of a deserted wasteland where the law is absent.
Everything is geared to feel larger than life - a giant world of simmerintg violence, greed and retribution. This amazing film is truly perfection.

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