Top positive review
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Sergio Leone's epic western fairytale looks & sounds incredible on this hi-def Blu-ray. A true 5 STAR Classic!
on December 23, 2013
BOTTOM LINE: One of my favorite spaghetti westerns, right behind THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY. For my money, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is one of, if not THE crown jewel of that sub-genre; a smart, stylish and stunning take on America's sagebrush & sixguns genre. You owe it to yourself to have this terrific film in your collection. 5 STARS
THOUGHTS: Some of the reviews here for this film truly baffle me. Boring? Ho-hum? Really!? Geez, did we actually watch the same movie? Obviously, this slow-paced revenge western won't offer much appeal to younger, A.D.D.-type viewers who rate the awesomeness of their movies by the number of boobs, blood & blowed-up stuff. And I'll grant that this film isn't for everyone, since director Sergio Leone is as much (or more) about style than story. But in that area, he is King. Legendary actor Henry Fonda smashes all expectations in his role as Frank Black, one of THE coldest villains in screen history. Here, Fonda proves he really could play any part, and be masterful in it. A younger Charles Bronson is perfect as "Harmonica" the (anti)hero of the piece, and rounding out the cast is prolific character actor Jason Robards, delightfully wicked as rogue outlaw, Cheyenne. A typically memorable musical score by iconic composer, (and frequent Leone collaborator), Ennio Moricone adds additional layers to the rough western textures that Leone's visuals provide.
THE BLU-RAY: This is a spectacular upgrade from the previous DVD format release; well worth the double-dip if you own that version. Focus on this restored hi-def remaster is razor sharp, the colors rich & vibrant, and both the soundtrack & dialogue are strong, clear and distortion free. A wealth of solid bonus material, (including an excellent commentary track & 6 featurettes), simply cements this Paramount release of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST as an absolute must-own for fans of sixgun shoot 'em ups.