Once Upon a Time in the West (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition)
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- 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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I HAVE WATCHED THIS MOVIE SEVERAL TIMES AND ALWAYS ENJOYED EVERY TIMEPublished 4 days ago by David B Eckelbarger
I had never seen this movie before. It was good and had interesting twists and photography. I don't know if I would recommend it to others or not. I still have to think about that.Published 5 days ago by clp
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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 AH-1Z | See all 2 posts