Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)


One of the most visually and musically stimulating movies you will ever see.  This isn’t a movie really, it is more of an experience.  Epic, monumental, and memorable in every way.  This movie is the greatest western ever made, and I doubt it is even close.  This movie captivates you in a way very few movies can.

Sergio Leone solidifies his place in history as one of the most innovative directors.  The movie moves in “slow motion” such that you can experience every persons thought, their reactions, their premonitions, and their feelings.  This is one of the most expressive movies.

The camera has a purpose in this film and the musical score is one of the best in any movie.  To this day, some of the music and scenes easily come to mind.  The camera moves in a way that surprises you and allows you to experience the anticipation of “what might come next.”

The movie does a great job of developing the characters in the movie and surprises you by their motives.  Things are not always as they seem, and in the west sometimes money, greed, killing, and sex are more persuasive than laws and moral rules.

I don’t think this movie was made for financial gain, but for the method of telling a story.  Henry Fonda is ruthless, Charles Bronson is myterious, and Claudia Cardinale is a bombshell beauty and she knows it.

Everybody has secrets, and everybody has motives…trying to figure them out is what makes this movie intriguing.

This movie was built to last from its unique filming in Techniscope which provides a wide angle allowing for a much more visually stimulating experiences.  Then there is the music, at times beautiful, and at times haunting, and a frequent reminder on how powerful music can be at effecting our emotions.

Words cannot describe this movie adequately…It is STUNNING, MAGNIFICENT, and a MASTERPIECE that wasn’t appreciated in its time.  So many memorable performances and a script that leaves you aghast…2.5 hours flew by.  The ending scenes leave you much to ponder…who deserved what, and who got rewarded and why.

10 Stars–A Masterpiece!

Todd Morgan
About Todd Morgan 56 Articles
Todd is one of nation's top classic movie experts, with a passion and determination to help the younger generation discover some of the truly greatest movies ever made. Todd reviews 2-3 movies every week and also prepares classic movie trivia, lists, writes books, and develops games all on Classic Movies. Contact him at classicmovieguy.com@gmail.com.

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