IMDb > Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
C'era una volta il West
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Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) More at IMDbPro »C'era una volta il West (original title)

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Once Upon a Time in the West -- UK Trailer
Once Upon a Time in the West -- Clip: Opening Scene

Overview

User Rating:
8.7/10   170,673 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Sergio Leone (screenplay) &
Sergio Donati (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Once Upon a Time in the West on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 December 1968 (Italy) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
There were three men in her life. One to take her... one to love her... and one to kill her.
Plot:
Epic story of a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
5 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
pure cinematic paradise See more (529 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Claudia Cardinale ... Jill McBain

Henry Fonda ... Frank

Jason Robards ... Cheyenne

Charles Bronson ... Harmonica

Gabriele Ferzetti ... Morton - Railroad Baron
Paolo Stoppa ... Sam

Woody Strode ... Stony - Member of Frank's Gang

Jack Elam ... Snaky - Member of Frank's Gang

Keenan Wynn ... Sheriff - Auctioneer
Frank Wolff ... Brett McBain

Lionel Stander ... Barman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Livio Andronico ... Bit part (uncredited)
Salvatore Basile ... Member of Cheyenne's Gang (uncredited)
Aldo Berti ... Member of Frank's Gang Playing Poker (uncredited)
Frank Braña ... Member of Frank's Gang Smoking Pipe at Auction (uncredited)
Marilù Carteny ... Extra (uncredited)
Saturno Cerra ... Hired Gun on Train (uncredited)
Luigi Ciavarro ... Older Sheriff's Deputy (uncredited)
Spartaco Conversi ... Member of Frank's Gang Shot Through Boot (uncredited)
Bruno Corazzari ... 3rd Member of Cheyenne's Gang (uncredited)
Paolo Figlia ... (uncredited)
John Frederick ... Jim - Member of Frank's Gang (uncredited)
Don Galloway ... Member of Frank's Gang in Flashback (uncredited)
Michael Harvey ... Frank's Lieutenant (uncredited)
Robert Hossein ... Member of Frank's Gang in Flashback (uncredited)
Stefano Imparato ... (uncredited)
Francesca Leone ... Girl at Flagstone Station (uncredited)
Raffaella Leone ... Girl at Flagstone Station (uncredited)
Frank Leslie ... Member of Frank's Gang in Flashback (uncredited)
Luigi Magnani ... (uncredited)
Claudio Mancini ... Harmonica's Brother (uncredited)
Dino Mele ... Harmonica as a Boy (uncredited)
Antonio Molino Rojo ... Member of Frank's Gang at Auction (uncredited)
Enrico Morsella ... (uncredited)
Umberto Morsella ... (uncredited)
Al Mulock ... Knuckles - Member of Frank's Gang (uncredited)
Ricardo Palacios ... Morton's Train Conductor (uncredited)
Tullio Palmieri ... Flagstone Carpenter (uncredited)
Antonio Palombi ... Station agent (uncredited)
Renato Pinciroli ... First Bidder at Auction (uncredited)
Lorenzo Robledo ... 2nd Member of Cheyenne's Gang (uncredited)
Sandra Salvatori ... (uncredited)

Aldo Sambrell ... Cheyenne's Lieutenant (uncredited)
Conrado San Martín ... Vecino (uncredited)
Enzo Santaniello ... Timmy McBain (uncredited)
Simonetta Santaniello ... Maureen McBain (uncredited)
Claudio Scarchilli ... Member of Frank's Gang (uncredited)
Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia ... (uncredited)
Robert Spafford ... Construction Yard Owner (uncredited)
Benito Stefanelli ... Small Role (uncredited)
Luana Strode ... Indian Woman (uncredited)

Fabio Testi ... Member of Frank's Gang with Black Hat at Auction (uncredited)
Dino Zamboni ... (uncredited)
Marco Zuanelli ... Wobbles (uncredited)

Directed by
Sergio Leone 
 
Writing credits
Sergio Leone (screenplay) &
Sergio Donati (screenplay)

Dario Argento (from a story by) &
Bernardo Bertolucci (from a story by) &
Sergio Leone (from a story by)

Mickey Knox (dialogue: English version)

Produced by
Bino Cicogna .... executive producer
Fulvio Morsella .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ennio Morricone (music composed by)
 
Cinematography by
Tonino Delli Colli (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Nino Baragli (edited by)
 
Art Direction by
Carlo Simi (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Carlo Simi (sets by)
Rafael Ferri (uncredited)
Carlo Leva (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Carlo Simi (costumes by)
Antonella Pompei (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Alberto De Rossi .... makeup supervision
Giannetto De Rossi .... makeup
Grazia De Rossi .... hairdresser
 
Production Management
Claudio Mancini .... production manager
Ugo Tucci .... production supervisor
Camillo Teti .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Giancarlo Santi .... first assistant director
Adolfo Aristarain .... assistant director (uncredited)
Salvatore Basile .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Antonio Palombi .... assistant production designer (uncredited)
Enrico Simi .... assistant set decorator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Fausto Ancillai .... sound engineer
Luciano Anzellotti .... sound effects (as Luciano Anzilotti)
Roberto Arcangeli .... sound effects
Italo Cameracanna .... sound effects
Claudio Maielli .... sound engineer
Elio Pacella .... sound engineer
 
Special Effects by
Eros Bacciucchi .... special effects (as Bacciucchi)
 
Stunts
John Landis .... stunt performer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Franco Di Giacomo .... camera operator (uncredited)
Roberto Forges Davanzati .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Giuseppe Lanci .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marilù Carteny .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Andreina Casini .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Carlo Reali .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Ennio Morricone .... music conducted by
Alessandro Alessandroni .... musician: whistle (uncredited)
Cantori Moderni .... music performers (uncredited)
Franco De Gemini .... musician: harmonica solo (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Manuel Amigo .... second production supervisor (uncredited)
Serena Canevari .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Roberto Chevalier .... voice dubbing (uncredited)
Corrado Gaipa .... voice dubbing: Frank Wolff (uncredited)
Lauro Gazzolo .... voice dubbing: Josef Egger (uncredited)
Nando Gazzolo .... voice dubbing: Henry Fonda (uncredited)
Anna Rita Pasanisi .... voice dubbing: Simonetta Santaniello (uncredited)
Bruno Persa .... voice dubbing: Jack Elam (uncredited)
Cesare Polacco .... voice dubbing: Lionel Stander (uncredited)
Giuseppe Rinaldi .... voice dubbing: Charles Bronson (uncredited)
Carlo Romano .... voice dubbing: Jason Robards (uncredited)
Rita Savagnone .... voice dubbing: Claudia Cardinale (uncredited)
Stefano Sibaldi .... voice dubbing: Keenan Wynn (uncredited)
Benito Stefanelli .... master of arms (uncredited)
Glauco Teti .... production secretary (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"C'era una volta il West" - Italy (original title)
"There Was Once the West" - USA (literal English title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for western violence and brief sensuality (Mpaa re-rating) (2003)
Runtime:
Italy:175 min | 165 min (international version) | Finland:137 min (1970)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:PA (Manitoba) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) (original rating) | Canada:G (Quebec) (re-rating) (2004) | Finland:K-15 (uncut) (2003) | Finland:K-16 (heavily cut) (1969) | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:12 | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Spain:12 (2010) | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (re-rating) (2000) | UK:15 (video rating) (1989) | UK:A (1969) (cut) | USA:M (original rating) | USA:PG-13 (Mpaa re-rating) (2003) | USA:PG (re-rating) (1969) | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Robert Ryan was offered the role of the Sheriff played by Keenan Wynn. Ryan initially accepted but backed out after being given a larger role in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969).See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Spanish railways have a broader gauge (1,674 mm) than the American railways, which are mostly built in standard gauge (1,435 mm). In some scenes of the film it can be clearly seen, that the "Morton Railroad" has been erected in the broad Spanish gauge.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Station agent:Hey - hey hey hey hey, if you want any tickets, you'll have to go around to, eh, to, eh, the front of the, eh... oooh, well, I s'pose it'll be all right.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone (2001) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Danny BoySee more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the International DVD Version and the Italian Version?
What is the sequence of events involving the ambush of Frank in Flagstone and Cheyenne's attack on Morton's train?
Is this movie based on a book?
See more »
217 out of 257 people found the following review useful.
pure cinematic paradise, 26 July 1999
Author: Saracen from England

Thank god that I'm a Bronson fan. This was my first Leone movie, and dumb kid that I was, I actually watched it thinking I was in for a typical Bronson "vehicle"! Looking back I'm thankful, because if it wasn't for his involvement, I would never have discovered the beauty and majesty that is Once Upon a Time in the West.

I absolutely love this movie. It's probably my all time favourite, certainly one of the few that I can watch OVER and OVER again without losing interest. I love the way Leone creates intrigue and mystery around what is a relatively thin plot. He can make even the smallest twist of fate seem like an epic turn of events, with that amazing sense of revelation that he generates out of old hackneyed situations (something Argento has since picked up). Leone proves in this film that he could seemingly take anyone, even peripheral characters, and give them screen charisma without using dialogue as a crutch.

OUATITW features the most tense two man stand-offs ever, with some serious deja-vu in the direction of his "Dollars" trilogy. In fact, it does feel like those three movies were warm ups, practice sessions in the build up to OUATITW. Here though, he perfected everything; despite the long running time, it's all focused, and without a single irrelevant scene. For me, the two hours plus just fly by, I wish it would never end. Leone was without question at his artistic peak when he made this, that's not to say that he went downhill from then on, but I honestly don't think he ever did another film where everything came together so perfectly.

The cast is flawless. Fonda eclipsed every good guy he ever did in one fell swoop, truly chilling. Robards is a great comic character, the lovable rogue with an edge. And Cardinale is more than just (incredible) window dressing; she switches between passionate, angry, delicate and sentimental at all the right moments.

Which leaves the hero; I'm a huge Eastwood fan, but I honestly don't believe he could have done the role justice. His "man with no name" was a cool, sly character with hidden complexities. Eastwood always does these layered personalities, with some kind of mental baggage. Bronson, on the other hand, mostly does himself; simple, uncomplicated figures with only one state of mind, that's why he's put in so many revenge flicks. Plus, he looks like he's been seriously wronged at some point in his life, Eastwood doesn't have that quality. Bronson is the genuine hard-as-nails article. You can readily imagine that, had he been born decades earlier and been put in the same situation, he would resolve the problem in much the same way as his character in the movie (sometimes I affectionately refer to this movie as Deathwish part 0- could Harmonica be the great granddaddy of Paul Kersey?).

Of course the other great contribution is the music. I still think that the main theme is one of the most breathtaking pieces of music I have ever heard. It affects me deeply whenever I hear it, regardless of the mood I'm in. Maybe I should listen to more opera or something, I don't know, but that's the way I feel. And the individual character themes are just so well integrated into the film, it's unbelievable. Leone replaces words with music, and it conveys so much more in return. Bronson just plays that melancholy tune on the harmonica instead of answering people back, it consistently cracks me up.

High Noon, Naked Spur, Shane, The Searchers, etc. are all classics of the genre, but I really don't think it's possible to compare those "traditional" westerns with OUATITW. For me, it exists on a plane of it's own, it's the kind of film experience that you let wash over you, a waking dream. I recommend this movie to anyone, if you're on the right wavelength you'll be greatly rewarded.

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