Once Upon a Time in the West
Collector's Edition, Special Collector's Edition
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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."
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 EmersonSee all Editorial Reviews
- 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
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Top customer reviews
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.
This was Sergio Leone's attempt at using big stars in a spaghetti Western, and I thought it worked. Some good cameos, and Claudia Cardinale is (was?) a stunner. There was more off-screen violence than in some of his earlier efforts (such as the Clint Eastwood films), but the story was good.
I really liked Charles Bronson and Jason Robards in their roles, and the scenery was terrific.
Man is the most dangerous beast & man cannot rule him, these men take the law into their own hands. I'm a sucker for Bronson movies, if you like Bronson, you'll love this. A timeless movie. Enjoy!
The story of this movie is deep and somber with true villains and "not so heroic," heroes. I was always a Charles Bronson fan and he fits the role of Harmonica perfectly. Henry Fonda is truly an all time great villain in this film, somber, merciless, and narcissistic. As is the case with all Leone movies, the music is excellent and appropriate.
Like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly this movie is filled with little "cool" nuances and great one liners. It makes you understand the ruthlessness and lack of fear that existed in Leone's vision of the old west. In my opinion this is just a smidge below Good, Bad, and Ugly but still a wonderful movie.
Oh and one last thing. One of the hottest women in movie history is in Once Upon A Time. Claudia Cardinale is striking.
This is a must watch.