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Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

C'era una volta il West (original title)
PG-13 | | Western | 4 July 1969 (USA)
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A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director:

Sergio Leone

Writers:

Sergio Donati (screenplay by), Sergio Leone (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
726 ( 77)
Top Rated Movies #45 | 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claudia Cardinale ... Jill McBain
Henry Fonda ... Frank
Jason Robards ... Manuel 'Cheyenne' Gutiérrez
Charles Bronson ... Harmonica
Gabriele Ferzetti ... Morton - Railroad Baron
Paolo Stoppa 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
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Storyline

Story of a young woman, Mrs. McBain, who moves from New Orleans to frontier Utah, on the very edge of the American West. She arrives to find her new husband and family slaughtered, but by whom? The prime suspect, coffee-lover Cheyenne, befriends her and offers to go after the real killer, assassin gang leader Frank, in her honor. He is accompanied by Harmonica, a man already on a quest to get even. Written by DrGoodBeat / edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There were three men in her life. One to take her... one to love her... and one to kill her.

Genres:

Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for western violence and brief sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

4 July 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

There Was Once the West See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,321,508
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (1970) | (theatrical) | (U.S. theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby (2003 DVD release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The credits, concluding with Director Sergio Leone, last over ten minutes into the start of the film. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene Harmonica is involved in a gunfight with three of Frank's men at the Cattle Corner Train Station. During the gunfight Harmonica is shot by Stony. When Harmonica regains consciousness and sits up a bullet hole is visible in his coat where he was shot in the left shoulder. The bullet hole in Harmonica's coat becomes quite visible in the tavern when Cheyenne points to where Harmonica was shot with his gun and says; "And maybe faster than you." After that tavern scene the bullet hole disappears from his coat throughout the rest of the movie. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cattle Corner Station Agent: Hey. Hey-hey-hey-hey, if you want any tickets, you'll have to go around, eh, to, eh, the front of, eh, eh... oooh, well, I s'pose it'll be all right. The hell am *I* doin' around here if they walk in and can do as they damn please?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sergio Leone's director credit swings down in an arc as if to stop the train. See more »

Alternate Versions

Even the original Italian version was heavily edited, obviously for time reasons; though the scenes cut from it were relatively unimportant (Frank getting a shave before the Flagstone auction, Harmonica being beaten by three deputies) they would nonetheless explain numerous things such as Harmonica's scars that are apparent towards the end of the movie but are not present early on. See more »

Connections

References Ace in the Hole (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Danny Boy
(1913) (uncredited)
Written by by Frederick Edward Weatherly
Hummed and sung a cappella a bit by Simonetta Santaniello
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A bit slow n tedious but still one of the best western film. Fonda was terrific.
15 June 2017 | by Fella_shibbySee all my reviews

As a fan of Westerns, I saw this film many times in the early 90s. Saw this recently again on a DVD aft many years. The plot- Claudia Cardinale arrives at her ranch, to find that her husband has been murdered by hired gun Henry Fonda. Mysterious gunman Charles Bronson wants an appointment with Fonda. Bronson teams up with outlaw Jason Robards to help protect Cardinale n her ranch from Fondas evil intentions. There are long scenes where you get close shots of a person's face. Sergio Leone loves the stare-down, and you can see it in virtually all of his films. In this movie he allows the camera to linger longer than ever before. You get those quiet scoreless scenes where the natural sounds of the environment are greatly exaggerated. Leone's opponents take a long time to feel each other out before they act. One may find the long stretches of silence and inaction tedious n boring. Honestly, even i found some scenes boring, especially the opening scene. Henry Fonda is terrific. No one expected him to play such a ruthless and brutal killer. Bronson was decent but Jason Robards was much better with his tip on guys patting females bottom n the tip on don't get shot by a person who doesn't know to shoot. One of the best part bah the film was Ennio Morricone's score, especially the recurring harmonica music during the final closing fight. This is Morricone's best moment in a long, treasured career. I was surprised to know that the story was written by Dario Argento.


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