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Railroad: Revolutionising the West (2003)

A documentary about the realism of the railroad company in Sergio Leone's C'era una volta il West.




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Cast overview:
Narrator (voice)
Alex Cox ...
Christopher Frayling ...
Himself, author of 'Sergio Leone: Something To Do with Death' (as Sir Christopher Frayling)


Because railroads became an important part of American history, logically the train became an important part in westerns. Many cowboy films feature a train robbery. You almost could call it a cliché. That was not in the case in C'era una volta il West, according to this documentary. The documentary compares the railroad world of this film by Sergio Leone to the actual past world of fiercely competing railroad companies. Written by Arnoud Tiele (zelva@tiele.n)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short





Release Date:

October 2003 (UK)  »


Box Office


£5,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Not unlike a solitary jigsaw piece

I'll try to explain my perhaps enigmatic choice of one line summary. You see, this is nice enough to look at, but it feels like it's a fraction of something bigger, and on its own, when you don't get to see the whole that this is a part of, you mainly feel like you're missing out, regardless of how nice it is to look at. I don't know if this was a tiny portion of a history lesson as concise as this is on its own, but just these six minutes hardly make an impression. If this is indeed the only one made, if there is no series, then this was clearly made to explain what actually happened around the time the film is set, and as kind a motive as that is, it isn't something you can construct much of anything around, and it shows. This is the shortest of the four featurettes on the Special Collector's Edition 2-Disc DVD of Once Upon a Time in the West, with a running time of a mere six minutes. It consists of clips of it, archive footage, narration and interviews. The political content of the movie is gone into(note that this documentary spoils the picture itself), and we get a brief run-down of Westerns and cinema, as well as their relationship with the railroad in the US, and that's it. Relatively informative, although it goes by so fast that you won't catch half of it. There is no offensive material in this. I recommend it to those who are extremely interested in the subjects(well, you can do better elsewhere, I'm sure). 5/10

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