Monday, March 9, 2009

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

I listen to Ennio Morricone's music recently and one song, C'era una volta il West, is one of the most beautiful. I wondered what the movie was like. The reviews were positive, I liked Claudia Cardinale, and the price of the DVD was very good (it's the 2 disc collector's edition), so I thought: why not? I have seen 2 of the Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy. I know one thing: one should not watch his movies when in a hurry.

The beginning of this movie is very very slow: three killers waiting for their prey, a mysterious man whom will be associated with a harmonica for the rest of the movie, played by Charles Bronson. In the early 80's, I knew him because of the Mandom commercial, which often shown on TV. We here used to pronounce it 'mendem', which means 'drunken'.

The story in Once Upon a Time in the West centers around a woman called Jill (played by the beautiful Claudia Cardinale) who comes to Flagstone to follow her new husband and his three children, but when she arrives, they have been murdered. The rumour says that the murderer is Cheyenne (Jason Robards), a fugitive who just escaped, but Harmonica tells Jill that it is Frank (Henry Fonda), hired by a railroad baron (Gabriele Ferzetti) because of the land.

Apart from the hauntingly beautiful music, I like the landscapes in this movie. The DVD contains the photos of locations - then and now, which I find very interesting. I even find the Stills Gallery very moving: those are the portraits of old times, of people who were beautiful then and those who are now dead.

The scale of this movie is very big. I love particularly the construction of the railroads.

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