"The Wages of Sin", "Something to Do With Death" and "An Opera of Violence" are a three-part documentary for the Sergio Leone film "Once Upon a Time in the West". However, I have no idea why the films were broken into three distinct parts. After all, there is no logical reasoning separating the three portions and they all tell about the making of and the significance of the feature film. I suspect, and I could EASILY be wrong, that it is because it looks more impressive to increase the actual number of special features! So, instead of a disk saying it has one documentary about this, the one for disk two of "Once Upon a Time in the West" says it has three (plus one additional one that, frankly, was just terrible---but it was not part of this trilogy). Because the three short documentaries make up a whole and they all cover the broad topic, I am not going to try to separately review all three--it just doesn't make any sense.
As far as the documentary as a whole goes, it is very good because it achieves something that is of the utmost importance--it instills excitement and appreciation within the viewer for the feature. While I must admit that I like "Once Upon a Time", I also have always thought it over-long and in need of a better editing (shortening a few scenes and not cutting out subplots like they did on its American release). But, given the commentaries by so many learned people it makes me want to go back and reevaluate the film--perhaps they have a point. Additionally, lots of great background material is given as well as film clips and production stills. It's a shame that the director, Leone, died so young. They only included a couple short clips from hi and couldn't really let him speak for himself about this film or his thinking that went into the creative process.
If you love "Once Upon a Time in the West" or love films about film making or are a film student, then this multi-part documentary is for you. Well written, coherent and filled with insight and enthusiasm--see this DVD extra and not just the feature film.
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