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   167,318 votes »
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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
"Something To Do With Death" See more (526 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)
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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


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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:
Body count: 29See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: While preparing for the wedding feast, Brett's daughter sings a few lines of "Danny Boy". The words to this song were written in 1910.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:
References Ace in the Hole (1951)See more »
Soundtrack:
Danny BoySee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What are the differences between the International Version and the Restored International Version (2011)?
What is the sequence of events involving the ambush of Frank in Flagstone and Cheyenne's attack on Morton's train?
See more »
258 out of 310 people found the following review useful.
"Something To Do With Death", 4 January 2001
Author: Michael Coy (michael.coy@virgin.net) from London, England

Sergio goes Hollywood for this big-name, big-budget Spaghetti Western. Fonda, Bronson, Robards and Cardinale queue up and take Leone's choreographic direction in an epic tale of blood and revenge.

Frank is a bad guy who has killed a lot of people. He now works for a railroad entrepreneur whose ruthless sterile tracks are spreading ever westward. The time has come for the real Americans to confront both the railroad and Frank.

Leone sat down with film intellectuals Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento and watched dozens of Hollywood westerns. From this saturation-viewing emerged a 300-page treatment which was eventually distilled into the script, penned by Leone and Sergio Donati. There are conscious echoes of "Shane" and "High Noon" in the meticulously-plotted screenplay. Ennio Morricone apparently sat in on the planning stage and had composed the score in toto before shooting began, the reverese of the usual process of fitting music to existing footage. The result is a tight matching of soundtrack and visuals. Robards, Bronson and Cardinale each have musical 'signatures' which play whenever their characters are onscreen. Bronson's is an eerily-wailing harmonica, Robards has the plonking banjo and Cardinale the lush strings. So intricately was everything structured that the themes were available to be played on set, so that the actors could co-ordinate every nuance of gesture to fit with the score.

The film is a grandiose lament to the death of the Wild West. Decay is everywhere to be seen. Streets, bars, buildings and people all have a beat-up, grungy look. When Cheyenne (Robards) pauses beside a rough-hewn wooden post, there is little difference in texture between his face and the post. Morton the cripple is killing the romantic West of open spaces with his "snail trail" of railroad tracks, leaving the fine adventurous men (Cheyenne and Harmonica) nowhere to go.

There can be few opening scenes with the visual and aural brilliance of this one. Three bad guys stake out Flagstone's railroad depot in a High Noon pastiche. Jack Elam (who was actually in "High Noon") leads the villains. The only spoken words throughout this long (but totally gripping) scene are uttered by the old station clerk. Haunting rhythms raise the tension to an unbearable pitch ... the squeaking windmill, the chattering tickertape, the creaking bench. This wonderful crescendo climaxes with the appearance of Bronson, a sequence as stylised and choreographed as a Shinto ceremony, all the more effective for the absence of spontaneity.

Equal to and counterbalancing this scene is the very next one, the introduction of Frank. This time it is "Shane" that gets the treatment as the McBain boy spots five men in yellow duster topcoats. A growing sense of unease on the McBain homestead is beautifully conveyed (was the stopping of a cicada chirp ever so effective?) A cinematic multiple orgasm ensues, with the musical theme crashing in as the boy sees the devastation, and the camera swoops round to reveal the baddie to be none other than Henry Fonda as Morricone's trademark solitary tubular bell peals out.

Cheyenne's entrance is also a piece of impressive cinema. Inside Lionel Stander's strange labyrinthine tavern, quite unlike any saloon ever filmed before, the violence which hovers around Cheyenne like a dustcloud is heard but not seen, preparing us for his appearance in person. The sliding of the lamp towards Bronson works brilliantly, the film's two good men sharing the light of humour, the symbolic forging of a meaningful friendship.

By a slow accretion, the plot reveals itself. The leviathan of the railroad must be stopped, and there must be a reckoning with Frank. Gradually the fates of the main characters converge, and swim into sharp focus for the shoot-out.

It is not the story, excellent though that is, which lingers in the memory, but rather a hundred individual flashes of brilliance: Claudia Cardinale (are those eyes for real?) filmed on the bed, viewed vertically downward, through a lace canopy: Cheyenne's surprise method of concealing himself on the train: Morton ("when you're not on that train, you're like a turtle out of its shell") imprisoned by the armature that helps him walk: the 'heartbeat' of the train's engine during the cardgame: the tension of the ambush preparations against Frank: the eruption of guitar music as Bronson enters the frame: Bronson's stillness and self-possession, the emblem of his righteousness: Fonda's eyes flickering rapidly in his motionless head, denoting the waning of his self-confidence: the amazing super-close-ups of Bronson: and the weird brick arch, the only man-made intrusion into the entire terrain, and the focus of human depravity.

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