Once Upon A Time In The West (1968) Review – IMDB Top 250 Challenge – Movie #20

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Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
Italian: C’era una volta il West

Directed by Sergio Leone

Story by:
Dario Argento
Bernardo Bertolucci
Sergio Leone

Starring:
Claudia Cardinale
Henry Fonda
Jason Robards
Charles Bronson

Music by: Ennio Morricone

Running time: 166 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
There are loads of cowboys and they shoot people and move their eyes from side to side a lot like those cool old cat clocks (I’ve always wanted one of those!). And Charles Bronson’s character is super cool & simply named “Harmonica” because he plays this groovy little tune over & over on his harmonica. And there’s a sexy prostitute all the cowboys want to either have sex with or kill so they can steal her land. I think. And the score was done by Ennio Morricone so the music is of course incredible.

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My Opinion:

This is the 20th movie I watched this year for my IMDB Top 250 Challenge. I’ve said it before but the thing I’m really not looking forward to is watching the loads of war movies & Westerns in the Top 250. So I decided to tackle a war movie first. And you know what? It was fantastic! (The Bridge On The River Kwai. Review HERE). So after that I decided to watch this, my first proper Western EVER. And…Okay, it was pretty good! It was no Kwai but it was still good.

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I’ll make this “review” very quick. I’m not going to pretend I know a thing about Westerns or Sergio Leone or any of that. I know nothing whatsoever about filmmaking. But I know this film was beautiful to look at. I know Ennio Morricone is a genius and the music stayed with me for days. I know the opening scene was brilliant. Okay – it consisted of these cowboys just standing around and moving their eyes like those cat clocks and looking all intense but it was super cool. And Charles Bronson was also super cool as the mysterious harmonica-playing cowboy. I admit I got a little confused on the plot and who was a “good guy” and who was a “bad guy” as this seemed to keep changing.

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Ultimately, this IS very much a “guy movie”. I think I like guy movies more than most girls do but war movies & Westerns are still not going to be all-time favorites of mine for the most part. The Bridge On The River Kwai might be – It was absolutely brilliant and I also enjoyed every second of it. Once Upon A Time In The West is also absolutely brilliant and its status as a classic is well deserved but, overall, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Kwai. But, yeah – it’s COOL. I can see why dudes like Sergio Leone films. It’s epic. It’s like Gone With The Wind for men! (But I actually prefer Once Upon A Time In The West).

My Rating: 8/10

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25 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time In The West (1968) Review – IMDB Top 250 Challenge – Movie #20

  1. One of my favourite movies and one of the longest titles sequence ever, clocking in at a hefty 10 minutes. A masterpiece of composition and editing.

    “People scare better when they’re dying.”
    —FRANK

    • Obviously I know nothing about filmmaking & composition & editing and all that but I know an excellent film when I see it. It was beautiful to look at. Definitely a classic, even if you’re not into cowboys (like I’m not!). 🙂

  2. This is one of my favourite films (it’s in my personal top 20), and it’s definitely one of those films i’d recommend watching more than once in order to truly appreciate. Partly because it’s simply gorgeous (no-one can shoot landscapes like Leone), but also because most of the details of the plot aren’t unveiled until the last half hour or so; rewatching with an understanding of the characters’ motivations improves the film in my opinion.

    • That’s true – it’s probably worth another watch with a bit of understanding of the characters. (Like, yeah – what was with the last half hour?! I got a little confused. Stupid girl). 😉 It’s certainly not put me off watching more Leone. The Good The Bad & The Ugly next, I think! Yeah?

    • I didn’t know who she was but I also happened to recently watch The Pink Panther for the first time ever. Agree – she was pretty sexy. 🙂 Maybe even sexier in The Pink Panther in a different sort of way.

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