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Part of the seriesSPAGHETTI WESTERNS

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C’era una volta il West

(1968, Sergio Leone) Charles Bronson stalks kidblasting villain Henry Fonda (!) with the aid of good-bad-man Jason Robards, as the railroad marches relentlessly westward. Restored 35mm print courtesy Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation.
Music by Ennio Morricone



“An opera in which the arias are not sung, they are stared.”
– Richard Schickel

“Leone is here at the peak of his epic powers.”
– Andrew Sarris

“The characters’ compelling dance of death is made all the more riveting by Leone’s stylish bravura: the final confrontation between Fonda and Bronson is all eyes and ritual; the astonishing opening; and perhaps most telling of all Leone’s co-option of the American Western through quotation and even the annexation of John Ford’s Monument Valley.”
– Phil Hardy

“A masterpiece that expands Leone’s baroque, cartoonish style into genuine grandeur, weaving dozens of thematic variations and narrative arabesques around a classical western foundation myth. It's very much a foreigner's film, drawing its elements not from historical reality but from the mythic base made universal by the movies. Moments of intense realism flow into passages of operatic extravagance; lowbrow burlesque exists side by side with the expression of the most refined shades of feeling.”
– Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

“If only the first 10 minutes of Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West still existed, this most hyperbolic of oat operas would still be acknowledged as one of the genre's greatest exhumations.”
– Chuck Stephens, Village Voice

“The movie is as mysterious and mesmeric as ever, with its grandiloquent panoramas and mad, melodramatic closeups on sweaty and malevolent faces… A landmark.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Trailers From Hell: John Landis on ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST