Once Upon A Time In The West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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Review of "Once Upon A Time In The West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)"
Once upon a time in the west is a film that Sergio Leonia almost never made. In fact he didn't even want to make it ,he was intent on making once upon a time in America. The problem of course was that people had fallen in love with his dollars trilogy. This greatly series of Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns were wildly successful and people wanted another western. So siciliani ended up making this film to satisfy his financiers and his fans.Of course, Sergio Leonia made sure that what he was going to do would be wildly different from the dollars trilogy but yet still possess his style. Once upon a time in the west follows 4 or 5 main characters as they witnessed the dying of the old west. With the coming of the transcontinental railroad,the frontier life is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Everyone in this movie is reacting to the dramatic changes in some way or another. Some of those who've lived all their lives on the frontier are grasping at the old ways in vain efforts to bring the past back. Others are part of the new arrivals people who've come to change the west into something that they can call home. One of these new pioneers is Jill McBain played by Claudia Cardinale . You could argue that she really is the main character in the film ,because she liked the audience walks into this film with no idea of what's going to happen and much the plot ends up revolving around her. Jill had recently married into the McBain family who set up a home on this frontier land. Brett McBain has ambitions that drive him almost crazy but before he could even begin to seal streams realized he and his children are killed in a cold blooded massacre near the beginning of the film. Meanwhile there's another big plot point introduced. A silent figure has come to this part of the west, playing what I can constantly call the most ghostly sounding harmonica that I've ever heard. This particular man with no name is eventually given that nickname Harmonica. And he's looking to make an appointment with a man called Frank. Though he never explains why. This particular Frankie is an aging gunslinger who fancies himself as a businessman in the making.A money bear named Mr. Morton is a lead figure on the construction of the railroad. Morton is a cold calculating man who defines social Darwinism in his attitude. But he does have one dream close to his heart. He got on the train gazing at the Atlantic Ocean and he wants so badly to see the waters of the Pacific before he dies. His sense of urgency is made clear when it's revealed that he's crippled with tuberculosis and is slowly dying even as he's driving the railroad forward. Frank meanwhile does Morton's dirty work in the hopes that he'll get away out of his old lifestyle. Just like the old western equivalent of stringer bell. Frank wants to send his criminal background and successfully transferred to the world business that Mr. Morton habits. The final main character in the group is Cheyenne . another old outlaw coping with his world collapsed. However he has a much different story arc been harmonica or shrank. Cheyenne is falsely accused of killing gill's family. He meets up with until later in the film and actually develops an interesting relationship with her. I won't give too much away except I'm happy to say that it's not cliche at all in its setup words payoffs. The movie at around 3 hours long takes its time with the story and its characters. The atmosphere is built up incredibly well, though some of the slower scenes in the movie will probably leave some viewers impatient.
Next,I'm talking about the opening of the film which includes over ten minutes of footage as three men stand around all stations, waiting to greet harmonica when he arrives. It should also be noted that the 4 introduction scenes that the 4 main characters get this film are among the greatest character actresses that I've ever seen in a movie. Claudia Cardinale they became an overnight star with this film. Sergio Leone's dollars trilogy had never even tried to make a complex female character and Jill really stands out as one of the most fascinating characters in Leone's filmography. She sensuous but isn't controlled by lust. She's proud but also has a sympathetic side to her. She's an experienced invulnerable, but she's also defiant and willing to put up a fight. Her character goes through the film influenced by the 3 main man in the story but never stops holding her own. Charles Bronson gives the most fascinating performance, considering how so many characters he played in his life for one dimensional tough guys ,this performance stands out as one of his genuinely fascinating characters, but actually do more than just kill bad guys next time. Opposite him,Henry Fonda plays a village for the first and only time in his long career and if you take into account how shocked most of his fans would have been at the time. Fonda did amazing job under Leona's direction. Rounding off the main cast, Jason Robards is witty and memorable as Cheyenne ,who gives sincere advice to Joe on how to cope with this new environment. Sergio Leone directed this movie with a screenplay written mostly by Bernardo Bertolucci, who went on to become another legendary Italian film maker. Sergio Leone wanted to pay homage to all the westerns he'd grown up watching.The film is littered with references to such classic westerns. The soundtrack by any Marconi's instantly classic and adds another layer to this great film. Once upon a time in the west is one of the great westerns ever made. It pays tribute to the classics but continues to progress and be its own film. It's certainly a must see if you are Sergio Leone fans.
Product Information : Once Upon A Time In The West [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Manufacturer's product description
Actor(s) (Last name, First name): Fonda, Henry
DVD Region: Blu-ray
Director(s) (Last name, First name): Leone, Sergio
Classification: 12 years and over
Production Year: 1968
Listed on Ciao since: 09/09/2011