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Once Upon a Time in the West

"There were three men in her life. One to take her… one to love her —and one to kill her."

PG-13 1968-12-21 Drama 2hr 46m

As the railroad builders advance unstoppably through the Arizona desert on their way to the sea, Jill arrives in the small town of Flagstone with the intention of starting a new life.

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Once Upon a Time in the West
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Storyline

As the railroad builders advance unstoppably through the Arizona desert on their way to the sea, Jill arrives in the small town of Flagstone with the intention of starting a new life.

  • Released
    1968-12-21
  • Revenue
    $5,380,118
  • Budget
    $5,000,000
  • Runtime
    2hr 46m
  • Genre
    Drama, Western
  • Status
    Released
  • Language
    English
  • imdb-logo
    8.5
  • Production
    Paramount, Rafran Cinematografica, San Marco

Crew

Sergio Leone
Director
Sergio Leone
Screenplay
Fulvio Morsella
Producer

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Cast

Jason Robards

Jason Robards

'Cheyenne'
Charles Bronson

Charles Bronson

'Harmonica'
Woody Strode

Woody Strode

Frank's Gunman
Jack Elam

Jack Elam

Frank's Gunman
Frank Wolff

Frank Wolff

Brett McBain
Frank Braña

Frank Braña

Frank's Gunman (uncredited)
Stefano Imparato

Stefano Imparato

Patrick McBain (uncredited)
Claudio Mancini

Claudio Mancini

Hanged Man (uncredited)
Al Mulock

Al Mulock

Frank's Gunman (uncredited)
Antonio Palombi

Antonio Palombi

Station Agent (uncredited)
Renato Pinciroli

Renato Pinciroli

Bidder (uncredited)
Aldo Sambrell

Aldo Sambrell

Cheyenne's Gunman (uncredited)
Conrado San Martín

Conrado San Martín

McBain's Neighbor (uncredited)
Enzo Santaniello

Enzo Santaniello

Timmy McBain (uncredited)
Simonetta Santaniello

Simonetta Santaniello

Maureen McBain (uncredited)
Luana Strode

Luana Strode

Cattle Corner Woman (uncredited)
Fabio Testi

Fabio Testi

Frank's Gunman (uncredited)
Marco Zuanelli

Marco Zuanelli

'Wobbles' (uncredited)
Antonio Molino Rojo

Antonio Molino Rojo

Frank's Gunman (uncredited)
Román Ariznavarreta

Román Ariznavarreta

Logan (uncredited)
John Frederick

John Frederick

Jim (uncredited)
Aldo Berti

Aldo Berti

Frank's Gunman (uncredited)
Spartaco Conversi

Spartaco Conversi

Frank's Gunman (uncredited)
Saturno Cerra

Saturno Cerra

Frank's Gunman (uncredited)
Paolo Figlia

Paolo Figlia

Frank's Gunman (uncredited)

Videos and Photos

Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West

Movie Reviews

Reviews for Once Upon a Time in the West
reviewer avatar

A Review by tanty 10

Written by tanty on 2012-10-28

All what you can expect from a western.... read more

All what you can expect from a western.

reviewer avatar

A Review by narrator56 10

Written by narrator56 on 2020-04-04

With apologies (not really) to fans who disagree, this is truly a classic western. I read a criticism that some scenes run long with agonizi... read more

With apologies (not really) to fans who disagree, this is truly a classic western. I read a criticism that some scenes run long with agonizingly lengthy close-ups, but I found the cinematography intriguing. Those shots divulge nearly as much into the characters' personalities as a wad of dialogue from older traditional westerns. Sometimes in a spaghetti western I find myself thinking, aw, why did that innocent person have to die, but innocents did die in the old west, I imagine. I am sure there was a lot of senseless violence then, just as there is now. And Bronson seemed like an odd choice as hero to me, though who can question a director who had the instinct to make perennial good guy Henry Fonda the ultimate villain? He didn't suck in this role, did he? And at least we get some back story with the harmonica playing Bronson character, unlike with old Blondie from Leone's The Good The Bad and the Ugly. And if you like the soundtrack, check out a YouTube video by The Danish National Symphony Orchestra And watch how they recreated the various parts of the music. It is pretty neat and just eight minutes long. So yeah, I think Once Upon a Time in the West is a western classic, a Greek tragedy with spurs. So shoot me (at ten paces).

reviewer avatar

A Review by badelf 9

Written by badelf on 2022-07-17

I can't say that this script doesn't play on Clint Eastwood's "Man with No Name" (which Sergio Leone also directed), but it's not important.... read more

I can't say that this script doesn't play on Clint Eastwood's "Man with No Name" (which Sergio Leone also directed), but it's not important. If you're a spaghetti western fan, this film is a step up. The idea of putting Fonda in a bad guy role, and casting Bronson as anti-hero was a little shocking at first. At the end, I see how it worked to film's advantage by making all the characters more complex, ambiguous and real. If you were a Clint Eastwood, you'll love this film.

reviewer avatar

A Review by drystyx 1

Written by drystyx on 2023-04-18

The worst of the worst Leone Westerns. Leone destroyed the Westerns with his garbage, but the blame goes on to the critics who praised his ... read more

The worst of the worst Leone Westerns. Leone destroyed the Westerns with his garbage, but the blame goes on to the critics who praised his lack of motivation, lack of inspiration, lack of credibility, lack of entertainment value, lack of strategy, just a total lack. This is the worst of his stupid Westerns. It's the most contrived of his contrived Westerns. It's another "classical Greek hero" story of gods, demigods, and cannon fodder. The more of a homicidal maniac you are, the more of a god you are. Great message. Here, we have a traditional Greek demigod hero who is out for revenge, the usual Hollywood formula. He wants to kill Frank, whose only motivation is sadistic killing, because Fank killed his brother. So, what does our traditional hero do? He kills everyone else but Frank, including men who are trying to kill Frank (Henry Fonda). I told you it was stupid, and that there was no way to buy into the motivation for the characters. This one is the dumbest of the dumb Westerns. What's more, it's also worse because of all the waste. Why waste actors like Fonda, Robards, Bronson, Elam, and Strode on this stupid screenplay?

reviewer avatar

A Review by FilipeManuelNeto 8

Written by FilipeManuelNeto on 2023-06-22

**One of the great western movies.** Western movies made in co-production by Italians and Americans (called "spaghetti-western") have bee... read more

**One of the great western movies.** Western movies made in co-production by Italians and Americans (called "spaghetti-western") have been considered among the best that emerged within their genre, cleverly combining the tough action of Wild West gunslingers with the taste for raw realism and detail of the Italian filmmakers. I believe that such a thing may displease North Americans, who consider the cowboy a figure that is "true USA". I therefore invite them to visit the Brazilian city of Barretos, or the rural areas of Goiás, Mato Grosso or Tocantins in Brazil. There are plenty of cowboys there… they just lack the guns. Sergio Leone is an unavoidable figure here, having been responsible for the greatest “spaghetti” ever made. In this film, he gives us again a remarkable job, full of qualities. I don't consider it the best of his career or the best "spaghetti western" ever made, but it definitely has a place on the podium. The film begins very well, with the massacre of an Irish immigrant and his family, which leaves in the hands of a second wife – yes, the man was secretly a bigamist – a few acres of uninteresting desert... but there are people willing to kill for it. It happens that the smart Irishman had bought the only viable land for the railroad, and had even acquired the right to build a station and a new settlement! In the middle, we still have a gunslinger in search of personal revenge and another, in the pay of the railroad itself. Let's face things frankly: the movie is good. It's a classic in its own right, almost mandatory for any movie lover, which doesn't mean that it's mandatory to like it! It is not a perfect film, it has problems that we will talk about, but it is equally endowed with characteristics and qualities that deserve to be valued. The cinematography is very elegant, with good light and color. The sets and costumes are beautiful, even if it is frankly difficult to set a date to the film. In addition to the fact that the script does not establish a rigorous chronology, it's clear that the concern of the production designer and costume designers was aesthetics rather than historical rigor because there is a mixture of props, clothing and objects from the 1870s, 1880s and 1860. Is it a minor problem? Yes, but it is still a problem and a sign of the carelessness with which many productions are still facing historical rigor nowadays. The visual and special effects are put to good use and the soundtrack, atmospheric and truly impactful, is one of Ennio Morricone's most powerful works. Unfortunately, the film's editing was not the best, with cuts so abrupt and violent that it almost leads one to believe that the film was cut "a posteriori" for some reason. And perhaps the biggest problem turns out to be its excessively slow and annoying construction, with each scene lasting three minutes longer than necessary and the general length reaching three hours unnecessarily. We can only say good things about the cast: among a vast succession of unknown and unimportant Italians, there are some outstanding actors who do not disappoint us and give us magnificent interpretations. Charles Bronson is a good-hearted tough guy with a monstrous charisma that steals our attention whenever he appears. Henry Fonda is effective as a villain, showing the actor's enormous versatility. Claudia Cardinale, one of the muses of cinema at the time, combines an impressive resilience of spirit, a high dose of charisma and a beauty that is still remembered today. Jason Robards has the difficult task of being the helpful good guy who ends badly to glorify the hero, but he takes the opportunity to show all his value as an actor.

Read Full Review (The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the reviewer.)
A Review by Andres Gomez

All what you can expect from a western....

reviewer avatar

A Review by tanty 10

Written by tanty on 2012-10-28

All what you can expect from a western....

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by narrator56 10

Written by narrator56 on 2020-04-04

With apologies (not really) to fans who disagree, this is truly a classic western. I read a criticism that some scenes run long with agonizingly lengthy close-ups, but I found the cinematography intri...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by badelf 9

Written by badelf on 2022-07-17

I can't say that this script doesn't play on Clint Eastwood's "Man with No Name" (which Sergio Leone also directed), but it's not important. If you're a spaghetti western fan, this film is a step up. ...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by drystyx 1

Written by drystyx on 2023-04-18

The worst of the worst Leone Westerns. Leone destroyed the Westerns with his garbage, but the blame goes on to the critics who praised his lack of motivation, lack of inspiration, lack of credibility...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by FilipeManuelNeto 8

Written by FilipeManuelNeto on 2023-06-22

**One of the great western movies.** Western movies made in co-production by Italians and Americans (called "spaghetti-western") have been considered among the best that emerged within their genre,...

read more