Once Upon A Time In The West

Another essential western from Sergio Leone, O.U.A.T.I.T.W. is problematically overlong but presents style, suspense, and a classic Morricone score. 8/10.

Discovering land in Flagstone with water on it, rail baron Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti) decides he must have it, knowing the newest railroad will likely stop there. He sends his henchman Frank (Henry Fonda) to scare off the land’s owner McBain (Frank Wolff), but Frank kills him and pins it on bandit Cheyenne (Jason Robards). Meanwhile, a mysterious man (Charles Bronson) and McBain’s wife Jill (Cardinale), arrive in town.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

Pros: Unbelievable suspenseful opening scene showing the toughness of prototypical western villains, stunning western cinematography, strong character design and writing, masterful direction and defining spaghetti western from Sergio Leone- the king of westerns, classic and all-time great Morricone scoring, a eulogy to the end of the Western, standing the test of time, the same motifs of eerie sounds, ugly faces zoomed in on, and violence waiting to happen as Leone is known for, a lovingly-crafted operatic elegy to the dying genre of westerns – essential in understanding the genre for sure,

Cons: Leone’s inability to call it quits – extremely overlong at nearly 3 hours, scenes very drawn out where they don’t need to be – especially in the beginning with inconsequential focuses like flies & watching water drip, takes about an hour to really get started, too many characters juggled at once – with a complex plot make it hard to follow at times,

Overall Rating: 8/10

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