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An Opera of Violence (2003)

Part one of the making of Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West.


Lancelot Narayan


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Cast overview:
Christopher Frayling Christopher Frayling ... Himself, author of 'Sergio Leone: Something To Do with Death'
Tonino Delli Colli Tonino Delli Colli ... Himself
Gabriele Ferzetti ... Himself
Bernardo Bertolucci ... Himself
John Carpenter ... Himself
John Milius ... Himself
Alex Cox ... Himself
Sergio Leone ... Himself (archive footage)
Claudia Cardinale ... Herself
Henry Fonda ... Himself (archive footage)


Part one in a documentary trilogy about the making of C'era una volta il West. An Opera of Violence begins with a biography of director Sergio Leone. A part about the difficult path Leone had to take to make this film, follows. Part one concludes with the decisions about casting. Who was asked to act in this film, why did Leone choose these actors? Written by Arnoud Tiele (zelva@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short






English | Italian

Release Date:

18 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Väkivallan ooppera See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lipsync Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This documentary is featured on the 2-Disc Special Collector's Edition for Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (Once Upon a Time in the West). See more »


References The Grim Reaper (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Sweet Justice!
14 April 2004 | by Hancock_the_SuperbSee all my reviews

Finally, the greatest film of all time - "Once Upon A Time In The West" (yep, my mind's changed again) - is out on DVD!

Of the three documentaries, this my favorite. I love Christopher Frayling, he's an excellent writer (he does make a few factual errors here and there, but his style is exceptionally intelligent, witty, and analytical), and his comments on the film are probably the best of those offered (the commentary he does for the film itself is simply excellent). Also marvelous are Bernardo Bertolucci and Tonino Del Conti, the story writer and cinematographer for the film, respectively (it's a great shame that they couldn't get Ennio Morricone, or Mickey Knox, who did the film's English dialogue and has given a very in-depth interview on the film before), who add very interesting backstory as well as some hilarious anecdotes into the mix. "An Opera of Violence" offers a very interesting insight into the career and life of Sergio Leone, how this film came to be, and a cast overview (including interviews with Claudia Cardinale and Gabrielle Ferzetti) which in of itself is worth watching for. Additional commentary by Alex Cox, John Carpenter, and John Millius is also worth a look. And Henry Fonda and Sergio Leone appear all too briefly in archived discussions from old television interviews.

Though again I would've liked to have seen Morricone and maybe a few others involved with the film here, the documentary itself is wonderful. All three of them are, so I'm not going to comment on every single one.

Ten stars for all of these documentaries.

R.I.P. to Charles Bronson (Harmonica) and Jack Elam (Snaky).

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