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 »
When the Rojo gang ambush the Mexican army unit the gun Ramon uses to kill all the troops is a Mitrailleuse volley gun. Each barrel had to be laboriously loaded by hand before all barrels were fired together in a single volley. However, the film shows the volley gun being used as a form of machine gun. The only machine gun around at the time was the hand-cranked Gatling gun which the soundtrack also seems to depict. See more »
[Having said "get three coffins ready" earlier]
My mistake. Four coffins...
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A classic. The first, or one of the first, films to introduce the concept of the Western antihero. Sergio Leone pioneered a lot of things here. The brightness, the oppressive sunlight. The ugly brutality of Western gunfights, that had always been cleaned up in Hollywood. I understand that Leone's occasional framing of the shooter and his victims in the same shot was not allowed at the time in American films. I thought, upon seeing this film years ago, that some characters (Eastwood) spoke in English, and other characters in Italian. Who knows, maybe some spoke Spanish or German. Must make for an interesting acting job. I rarely notice a movie's music, but the original score by Ennio Morricone was so fitting. Probably the best match of film and music up to that time, and only bested by Hugh Montenegro(?) in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". A very good movie. Grade: A
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