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Buy Once Upon a Time in the West 1968 Online (mkv, avi, flv, mp4) DVDRip
USA, Italy, Spain
IMDB rating:
Sergio Leone
Henry Fonda as Frank
Claudia Cardinale as Jill McBain
Jason Robards as Cheyenne
Charles Bronson as Harmonica
Gabriele Ferzetti as Morton (railroad baron)
Woody Strode as Stony - Member of Frank's Gang
Jack Elam as Snaky - Member of Frank's Gang
Keenan Wynn as Sheriff (auctioneer)
Frank Wolff as Brett McBain
Storyline: Story of a young woman, Mrs. McBain, who moves from New Orleans to frontier Utah, on the very edge of the American West. She arrives to find her new husband and family slaughtered, but by whom? The prime suspect, coffee-lover Cheyenne, befriends her and offers to go after the real killer, assassin gang leader Frank, in her honor. He is accompanied by Harmonica, a man already on a quest to get even.
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One of my top ten movies
In 1981, a few weeks after my 16 th birthday I had great luck, 'cause "Once a time in the west" (Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod in Germany - Play the song of death for me) this movie had been played in our local cinema. A waited a lot of years so that I was allowed to see this 16 rated movie. And I saw it 3 times in one week and than every time it was in cinema since then (and in the eighties it was every summer for a few days in our local cinema, and every time it was sold out). There are less movies I saw that often then "in the West". Every time it's a party for the eyes and the soul, even when it's in TV not as good than on cinema. As many people told before, Ennio Morricone made one of the best score ever. It's funny, that he wrote the score before Leone made the first picture of the movie. After Leone told him the story, Morricone wrote the music. And during the working on the movie Leone played the music for his actors. I hope they soon will publish a DVD.
Long, Thoughtful, and Beautiful
One of the best western's ever made, with fantastic directing, acting, and beautiful scenery, Once Upon a Time in the West is a true classic. The story has four characters coming together on a plot of land where a now dead owner was going to build a town around a rail station. From there, the violence ramps up toward a slow, wonderful conclusion.

It has pretty much all the classic staples of a western. Despite not being as action-packed as most movies these days, the long portions of quiet and beautiful scenery give us a sense of the west and leave us wanting more. It's rare that a director can make such a quiet, dream-like film that leaves the viewer wanting to be part of that world.

Beautiful, serene, and overall excellent, Once Upon a Time in the West is a grand film.
Cinematic paradise, made for the history books
"Here's looking at you" might be Humphrey Bogart's trademark slogan, but eyes in a Leone Spaghetti Western reveal much more emotions and even plot than Bogey ever could convey with his. Sergio Leone made extreme close-ups the dominant shots to explain character - and a look into Frank's eyes (played by Henry Fonda), who was deliberately cast against his usual character in "Once Upon a Time in the Wild West", makes it perfectly clear why. There's no need for lengthy dialog if a capable director can do so much more with style alone. And of all around brilliant visuals in Leone's Westerns there is no shortage, no doubt about that. If the widescreen scenery is as grand, deep and epic a director can even deliberately allow the weight of silence to descend on the viewer and let the image speak for itself.

Once sound effects are added to compositions like these they become more than nice enhancements or mere fillers, they turn into characters themselves of a total work of art. An art that reaches even higher levels if you take Ennio Morricone's melancholic score into account which rounds off this rare masterpiece. Morricone delves deep into the souls of characters, makes whole landscapes tangible, even develops plot of the powerful story. Add to that a flawless cast (aside from Fonda Jason Robards, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson and others star) and every lover of the moving picture is likely to be seriously moved. Or blown away if you haven't seen anything like this before. There are so many memorable shots in "Once Upon a Time in the Wild West" that one can stop counting them early on and take the whole thing as the ultimate template on how a great film should look like. Films like these are cinematic paradise, made for the history books, and every moment of it should be savored. Definitely one of the greatest.
The Best Western of All Time bar none!
The "fourth" and best of Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy, 'Once Upon A Time In The West' is a sprawling, operatic masterpiece of cinematography. The languid pacing only accentuates the meticulously presented scenes and the Ennio Morricone score is powerful, poignant and haunting. Each major character has his own musical theme. Henry Fonda's character has a menacing and jarring score which chills and thrills me every time I hear it (I bought the soundtrack too!). Fonda as Frank is the "coldest villain in screen history" as I have read in other reviews and was cast against type in this film. When the camera pans up into his passionless blue eyes early in the movie, one sees what a brilliant piece of casting it was to have him as the villain. This movie is a metaphor on the death of The Old West and the final word on how a (spaghetti) Western should be. Not to be missed!
The ultimate Western - Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
The movie opens. Three men are waiting at a deserted train stop appropriately located in the desert. They're hot, they're nasty, they're restless and bored. There's minimal action on the screen: one rocks a chair; another hunts a fly. For 15 minutes this continues: the tumbleweed rolls and they wait; the credits roll and you wait. Trying to imagine what will eventually happen, you look into the eyes on their hardened faces, trying to find some sign of a soul. Frustrated, you too become restless with anticipation, their anticipation.

Suddenly, in the distance, you hear a train. As it stops, you examine the screen for the reason they're waiting. Are you looking for something good or something bad? You don't know. Then the train starts to move. Silently you yell at the train "Wait, I haven't found it yet!

As the train exits stage right and out of view, you see a man on the other side of the tracks. He speaks to the three men:

"Did you bring a horse for me?"

"Err... looks like we're shy of one horse..." comes the reply.

Not at all surprised by the response, this kind and gentle man teaches the three some simple addition. "No. You brought two too many!"

Sounds like something Mr. Eastwood might say, doesn't it? ("Get three coffins ready.") It should since this film is directed by Sergio Leone, the man who gave us Clint in "A Fistful of Dollars", "For a Few Dollars More", and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" - the biggest hit film in the trilogy.

With such an impressive portfolio, why did "Once Upon a Time in the West" fail to attract the attention it deserved when it hit theaters? Can the studio be blamed for mutilating the masterpiece? (It is a masterpiece, but how good was it before it was hacked?) Did audiences pass like Clint passing up the lead? (What about the drawing power of the stars?) Was America too full of spaghetti already? Who knows? Who cares?

Sergio Leone created some of the most memorable westerns ever to hit the screen. He sparred us the whiskey drinkin', Injun killin', white-is-right sanitized version of the Duke's west (sans "The Shootist") and gave us the stubble and squint of Clint. Did he spend all his creativity on the opening scene? Had he taken the genre as far as it could go?

No way! Think about his casting decisions, the haunting, soulful notes of the harmonica, the dialogue:

* Henry Fonda playing the evil villain: "People scare easier when they're dyin'."

* Jason Robards playing the good villian: "You remind me of my mother. She was the biggest whore in Alameda."

* Charles Bronson as "The Man": "I saw three of these dusters today. Inside the dusters there were three men. Inside the men there were three bullets."

Let's face it, you either like this stuff or you don't. If you like it, you won't find anything better. This movie doesn't need to be discussed, it must be felt. Period.

If you feel the need to review something, review the reason it hasn't been released on DVD. There must be an original version hidden somewhere, and I want a copy. Don't you?

Remember: Don't trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders. The man can't even trust his own pants!
Music and symbolism
What's left to say about this incredible western? As usual, each character have his or her own musical theme, but--not as usual-- the themes combine in ways that indicate the interactions and symbolism of each character. Harmonica and Frank are emotionally and thematically joined at the hip. Their themes intertwine just as their life lines do. Cheyenne's theme, which can be, at different times, either comical or threatening, reflects his outmoded lifestyle, which we see being replaced by the lifestyle of the town folk. Jill is the whore who becomes the mother (or midwife) of the emerging civilization being born in the desert with the coming of the railroad. Her theme is also the theme of that civilization. Watch the scene where she leaves the railroad station, hires a driver and rides through the railroad town. This is not the archetypal western town of Hollywood with a saloon and a few horses tied up at the hitching post. It is a bustling, living entity, with shops, public transportation, respectable women and men going about their business. And Jill, although she comes from the "big city"--New Orleans--, is quite pleased by it all. By the end of the film, she will be the founder of the next town on the railroad's path. Relax, get to know each of the four major characters, listen to the music, and don't rush through it. This is an epic!
Excruciating Slow Or Fascinating: Your Choice
This was a unique western, one in which sometimes the action moves excruciatingly slow, which can either be fascinating or boring. Unfortunately for me, after spending big bucks for the DVD when it first came out, I found it more boring than fascinating. In my previous viewings, I always found it fascinating. Maybe I just had a bad day.

The movie is filled with gaps of silence while closeups of the main characters' faces are shown. That's director Sergio Leone's trademark, and I believe he does it more in this film than in any of his others. When you get closeups of chiseled faces like Henry Fonda's or Charles Bronson's, it quite interesting but most of the movie feels like slow motion. At 165 minutes, this movie takes a lot of patience. By the way, the closeups of Claudia Cardinale's face were with a soft lens, so the wrinkles didn't show. That's so typical of older films with the vain female stars. Cardinale looks cheap, anyway, with all that 1960s-type eye makeup.

At any rate, the action scenes are a decent and not bloody and the characters are quite real, meaning believable. I liked Fonda in here best even though I am not particularly a fan of his but his against-type villain role of "Frank" was excellent. I read where he said this was his favorite role. I'm glad to hear that. The best character in the film, though, was "Cheyenne," played by Jason Robards.

The opening credits - spaced out over 11 minutes (which was rare in "classic movie" days) - are considered by many as the most famous ever, in any genre. The music in this film is different, too. It's not as memorable as the score from "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly," however, done by the same composer, but it has its moments. Early in the film we see some shots of Monument Valley which are the prettiest I've ever seen. I wish there had been more of that.

Overall, this is a western in which patience is rewarded, I suppose. It certainly looks beautiful on DVD and the sound has been enhanced as well. Note: when this came out on disc, the rating of the film changed from PG to PG-13.
Some moments of pure brilliance alas not maintained.
I went into this movie hoping for great things. I had already seen and loved Once upon a time in America and the Dollars trilogy and was hoping for another superb Leone film. To some extent this is what I got. There are some scenes in this movie that are sublime. The opening scene as they wait for the train is close to perfection as the deadly quiet is only interrupted by the small quirks of the environment it leaves you on tenterhooks. The same is true of the later scene at the house when all seems well but occasionally we see McBain's uneasy glances when he hears small noises. The score is by Ennio Morricone so it goes without saying that it is superb.The plot is also interesting and complex, it twists and turns as we attempt to decipher what the big game is that all these men are fighting over and yet the final twist (as to the nature of Harmonica and Frank's relationship) feels contrived and forced and comes too late in the movie for the animosity which has been present throughout to have meaning. If we had understood their relationship earlier on it would have lent more weight to their interactions (particularly where Harmonica saves Frank's life). It would also have had the effect of making the characters less bland. Blondie worked in the fistful trilogy because although he displayed few emotions, he was able to be sarcastic and fun too. Here it seems Leone wanted the next Blondie but Harmonica's character is boring, he sullenly fails to emote throughout the whole film even in scenes that should be of real emotion for the character (when he is facing off against the man who did so much to him at a younger age) he remains in his bored expression. If he doesn't seem to care about anything why should we. The other characters are not much stronger, their motives seeming to change on a dime (as with Cheyenne who is at one moment intimidating and hostile and the next best friends with Harmonica and Claudia.) Claudia's character is the worst though. The writer seems to have made an effort for her to be a strong character, but she becomes a tedious damsel in distress and has a confusing relationship with Harmonica (who is at one minute trying to rape her then the next protecting her from Frank's thugs???) All this adds up to a film that could have been brilliant but squandered this through its characters and it's failure to make its big plot twist at the end count for anything by deploying it in a way that doesn't feel token and forced.
Once Upon A Time Is The Best
"My weapons might look simple to you, Mr. Morton, but they can still shoot holes big enough for our little problems."

Leone gets a budget that's proportional to his expertise, and now we want to complain about length. Shoot, the more the merrier, in my case. It could be speculated that Al Mulock would have postponed his unfortunate suicide for a chance to survive the first showdown. But at 164 minutes, this is hardly overkill.

"Get the costume! We need the costume!"

Dario Argento, one of my personal favorites, takes writing credit alongside the usual suspects; Bernardo Bertolucci and Sergio Leone. Call it the good, bad, and ugly of Italian screenwriters. Ennio Morriccone returns for the soundtrack, and once again composes a masterpiece. The cinematographer was the man who masterminded the spinning graveyard scene that enthralled us at the end of "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly", so expect this one to up the ante. The actors, though, is where the credibility of Leone's previous work is really evident. Henry Fonda plays a villain named Frank, need I say more? Well, yes I need, because that tasty, zesty widow is quite easily one of my top picks for hottest women to lead a role in a film, Claudia Cardinale. So hot, in fact, that I have to admit I didn't know whether to cheer or cry for her during the softcore sex scene. I mean, for real, John Landis of all people has credits in the film. As a stunt double.

Well enough credit-talk, let's get to the plot. If money is indeed the root of all evil, it must have been intentional that for once, after the "Fistful Of Dollars" series, that the green bill doesn't enter much into the scene of the film. These guys are just plain bad. Most of the fighting goes on over an empty, unwanted plot of land. Prospects can be almost as important as respect, the story seems to tell us. No, really. We see money only a handful of times in the duration of the film. It's probably used most effectively here, when it's refused. But as the body count rises, and rises, and rises, it reminds us that where there is a serious power struggle, emotions fly just as often as bullets. Revenge, it must be, yet we don't ever truly know why.

So, if we accept that Frank is indeed one of the toughest sons of a gun in film making history, which he is, then it only leads to reason that lone gunners won't stand a chance. Enter Jason Robarbs, and the resulting factor of breaking typecast will bring a smile to your face. It sure better. Because the heroic Harmonica, played by Charles Bronson, couldn't play a harmonica to save his life. But who is going to deny a protagonist who doesn't stop smiling while being tied to a train and smacked around by an angry, angry man with a gun.

In another turn of events, Leone finally writes a piece where the ending will leave you reeling back when you see who the final profiteer is. Well I suppose that's the way these types of triangles work.

If you don't like westerns in general, don't expect that this will change your mind that much. It probably will, anyway, because the epic proportions of the storyline are undeniable. But as usual in Sergio Leone's films, you might have no idea why there are so many people getting shot until about midway through the film. Remember, this is an intelligent western from an intelligent man. It's his prerogative to create something sort of like a good Italian spaghetti bowl; lots of long strands, that when twisted around each other just right, make for a delicious bite.

"He not only plays. He can shoot too."

"Once Upon A Time In The West" (1968) 10/10
Unforgettable movie!
This is the certainly the best of Leone,at least to me(while the others being "The Good The Bad & The Ugly", "A FistFul of Dollars" and "For a Few Dollars More". Actually i watched the movie after i watched the dollar series and this is also my second movie of Bronson and buoy what an actor he was!! He could not only kill someone with his power but silence Morricone is just like a God here with his presence in terms of music and Bronson the ultimate 'Harmonica'. Look at him in the first glance and one will find the reality in his character as portrayed by Bronson since his presence and throughout. This movie really touches heart with story, awesome direction, of course the heavenly music ( by Morricone), super negative role by Fonda and the silence of Bronson. O God! if we had him (Charles Bronson) now he would have certainly created havoc. Just unforgettable!!
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