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Once Upon a Time in the West (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition) (1969)

Henry Fonda , Charles Bronson , Sergio Leone  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (796 customer reviews)


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Once Upon a Time in the West (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition) + The Wild Bunch + The Professionals (Special Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Gabriele Ferzetti
  • Directors: Sergio Leone
  • Writers: Sergio Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, Dario Argento, Mickey Knox, Sergio Donati
  • Producers: Bino Cicogna, Fulvio Morsella
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (796 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AUHPG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,462 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Once Upon a Time in the West (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary track with contributions from directors John Carpenter, John Milius, Alex Cox, film historian (& Leone biographer) Sir Chirstopher Frayling, Dr. Sheldon Hall, and comments from cast and crew members
  • 3 new making-of documentaries:
  • "An Opera of Violence"
  • "The Wages of Sin"
  • "Something To Do With Death"
  • "Railroad: Revoultionizing the West" featurette
  • Location & production galleries
  • Cast profiles

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Now, for the first time, Sergio Leone's original uncut version of this monumental epic can be seen. The picture itself is as big as its Monument Valley locations, as grand as its fine, distinguished cast, as tough and bawdy as every kid imagines the Old West. Henry Fonda plays the blackest character of his long career, and he's utterly convincing as Frank, the ruthless murderous psychopath who suffers no conscience pangs after annihilating an entire family. Jason Robards is the half-breed falsely accused of the terrible slaughter. Charles Bronson plays The Man, who remembers how his brother was savagely tortured. Brilliantly directed by Sergio Leone, this glorious picture re-established the Western'' significance to cinema art."

Amazon.com

The so-called spaghetti Western achieved its apotheosis inSergio Leone's magnificently mythic (and utterly outlandish) Once upon a Time in the West. After a series of international hits starring Clint Eastwood (from A Fistful of Dollars to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), Leone outdid himself with this spectacular, larger-than-life, horse-operatic epic about how the West was won. (And make no mistake: this is the wide, wide West, folks--so the widescreen/letterboxed version is strongly recommended.) The unholy trinity of Italian cinema--Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Dario Argento--concocted the story about a woman (Claudia Cardinale) hanging onto her land in hopes that the transcontinental railroad would reach her before a steely-eyed, black-hearted killer (Fonda) does. (The film's advertising slogan was: "There were three men in her life. One to take her ... one to love her ... and one to kill her.") Meanwhile, Leone shoots his stars' faces as if they were expansive Western landscapes, and their towering bodies as if they were looming rock formations in John Ford's Monument Valley. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
285 of 302 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It doesn't get any better than this" January 1, 2004
Format:DVD
My title is a cliche but in this case it's the only phrase to use. The version of this movie available now, with its extra disc full of great bonus material, is an example of how to bring DVD format to its highest potential. First of course there's the movie, and its director Sergio Leone. Every Leone movie I've seen--Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good Bad and Ugly, Once Upon a Time in America--is wonderful, but this tops them all. Imagine the year 1969: what a great time to be a western film lover. You had this, and Sam Peckinpah's Wild Bunch in the same year. Incredible. Anyway, it's impossible to list all the great scenes, so I'll stick with the first. If you love the credit sequence you'll love the movie; it's not for everybody, however. So those credits, mostly silent except for a windmill creaking, which Leone somehow makes sinister, and one of the minimal details he uses to establish authentic mood, are the litmus test. You'll either love the movie or hate it. The scene is built on a genius contradiction: it's so tense that you want it to end, but it's so beautifully done, so built on image and gesture and glance, that you also hope it never ends. The whole movie is that delicious. And the cast--wow. Everyone is at top form, but check out Henry Fonda as the leanest meanest bastard imaginable, but also someone you can't avoid enjoying because it is the GREAT Mr. Fonda, with Leone getting maximum mileage out of close ups of Fonda's ice-blue eyes, as unforgiving as a western sky, generally acting like the amiable stalwart figure he always plays, until he shoots little kids and fat lackeys whom he doesn't trust because they wear both suspenders and belts: and as Fonda says, how can you trust a man who can't even trust his own pants? Read more ›
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103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leone's masterpiece August 16, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
After having established himself as the Master of the Spaghetti Western, Italian director Sergio Leone set out to make a western epic of very stylish proportions. ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST was the result. Like Sam Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH, which was also released in 1969, O-U-A-T-I-T-W did not receive a particularly warm welcome from either the critics or the audiences. But like Peckinpah's film, it has now come to be seen as a masterpiece among the rise and eventual fall of the West (and maybe the way Hollywood thought of the West).
Claudia Cardinale is the widow of a businessman whose land is being sought out by a ruthless railroad magnate (Gabrielle Ferzetti). The land is well sought because it is the only known place in the desert within a 50-mile radius where there is any water. Defending Cardinale are a cold, calculating gunslinger (Charles Bronson) and an amiable outlaw (Jason Robards). But standing in their way is a ruthless hired gunman named Frank, played by (are you ready for this?) Henry Fonda!
At 165 minutes in the director's original cut, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST marks a change for Leone. Although part of this film was shot in Spain, where he had shot his previous films, a good deal of it was filmed in John Ford's beloved Monument Valley. Leone gets solid performances by Bronson, Cardinale, and Robards, as well as a stunning fifteen minute opening credit sequence featuring Bronson and two of Fonda's hired hands (Jack Elam, Woody Strode). But Leone scored a real coup by casting Fonda, the man known for playing good guys most of the time, as one of the coldest and meanest villains in screen history; it is he who kills Cardinale's family, and it is he who is being sought out by Bronson for reasons we do not know until the famous confrontation at the end.
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138 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very finest Westerns ever made June 5, 2003
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is arguably Sergio Leone's greatest Western, although Clint Eastwood's three films with him remain among my favorites. Actually, Leone had hoped to have Eastwood in this film as Harmonica, but they were unable to work things out. As it is, I think having Charles Bronson in the role is more effective. It was central to Eastwood's persona in those three films that he be both a man with no name and with no past, but Harmonica's character is entirely driven by the past and his need for revenge.
The beginning of this film are among my favorite in the history of film. Leone is arguably the most patient director in the history of film, and is willing to take fifteen minutes for something another director would be loathe to take two. The two great instances of Leone's patience are the scene in the uncut version of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, where he allows a phone to ring thirty or forty times, and here at the beginning, where he takes fourteen minutes to show three men waiting to men a train.
As a whole, this is a far more ambitious project than Leone's other Westerns. The plot is a bit more epic, the sweep of the film a bit grander, the relations between the characters more complex. Like most of his other films, it was filmed primarily in Europe, but unlike the others, a couple of scenes were actually shot in the United States, in particular in Monument Valley, the signature area of John Ford, the director most associated with Westerns. He handles characters a bit differently in this than in his earlier films. For instance, Leone ties a musical theme to each of the major characters in the film, much as did Prokofiev with "Peter and the Wolf."
One aspect of the film that is simultaneously a strength and a weakness is the casting.
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Where is the Blu-Ray edition? I have to have it!
yes, where isit? I've been waiting too long.
Feb 23, 2011 by James H. Obert |  See all 2 posts
Petition to release MGM owned spaghetti westerns on the dvd format
Unless you can get thousands and thousands of signatures, an online petition doesn't carry much weight. It may be a moot point though, since MGM is now in so much financial trouble (they've actually had to suspend work on their one remaining cash cow, the next James Bond film), there may not be... Read More
Apr 21, 2010 by Amazon Customer |  See all 2 posts
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