An anonymous, but deadly man rides into a town torn by war between two factions, the Baxters and the Rojo's. Instead of fleeing or dying, as most other would do, the man schemes to play the two sides off each other, getting rich in the bargain. Written by
Andrew Hyatt <email@example.com>
According to "Once Upon a Time in the Italian West" by Howard Hughes, Sergio Leone spotted a tree, while on location, that he thought would be perfect for the hanging tree at the beginning of the film, so the tree was dug up and relocated. See more »
In one scene showing the hills beyond the town, the ruins of Tabernas Castle can be seen on the hilltop, showing that it was filmed in Andalucia, Spain. The castle was used by Fernando and Isabella during their siege of Almeria in the 1480s. See more »
[Having said "get three coffins ready" earlier]
My mistake. Four coffins...
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Clint Eastwood was best known to American audiences for his role as Rowdy Yates in the series Rawhide. The series had ended and he was offered this strange new and challenging role in this movie of the American West that was made in Italy! Eastwood said his wife read that script and liked it. She said it was really "wild" because it was written in Western "slang" by Italians who really didn't understand English. He did this picture almost as a lark, and then read that it had become one of the biggest hits in Europe and then when it was released in America it outgrossed even the most popular current American films and made Clint Eastwood both a star and a phenomenon. Its strange to me that the best films ever made about the American west should have been made by Sergio Leone, an Italian who couldn't even speak English. Clint Eastwood said that all he knew in Italian was "arrevadershi" and all Leone knew in English was "goodbye" and yet these two combined to make an awesome film. As the poncho clad "Man With No Name", Eastwood created a role that hit us like a punch in the face and really re-defined the definition of the true Western hero. Eastwood tore out pages and pages of the dialogue and reduced his character to the bare bones to make him more mysterious. Leone said that he clad Eastwood in that sweat stained serepe to give him a cloak of mystery and put the cheroot in his mouth as a pendant between his two cold eyes and it worked like a charm. He broke all the rules and re-defined screen violence. I read that Leone wanted to make a blood and guts Western and show to the audience "I want them to feel what the hell it is like to get shot" and he does it! The scene where Clint is beaten to a pulp is one of the most graphic that you will ever see. It would have killed most other men!
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