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Once Upon a Time in the West
Year:
1968
Country:
USA, Italy, Spain
Genre:
Western
IMDB rating:
8.6
Director:
Sergio Leone
Henry Fonda as Frank
Claudia Cardinale as Jill McBain
Jason Robards as Cheyenne
Charles Bronson as Harmonica
Gabriele Ferzetti as Morton (railroad baron)
Woody Strode as Stony - Member of Frank's Gang
Jack Elam as Snaky - Member of Frank's Gang
Keenan Wynn as Sheriff (auctioneer)
Frank Wolff as Brett McBain
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.
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Reviews
An epic western – with all the pros and cons that come with that
As the railroad spreads western, bringing with it progress and development, the west is a changing place. The rule of gunmen is ending with the new men of power being land owners and developers. A young woman arrives in one such small town to find her new husband and family murdered by gunman Frank under the lead of a railroad developer. Meanwhile a mysterious man arrives in the town looking for Frank for some reasons. Both he and convict Manuel Gutierrez join forces to try and hold onto what remains of `their' west and deal with Frank.

From the opening ten minutes you should be able to judge whether or not this film will frustrate you or not. The opening scene is one of the best of cinema but, on paper, very little actually happens. This is what you need to carry into the film – as it is so very long there is plenty of silence and pauses. If you feel that these are unnecessary then the running time of this film will feel even longer to you. On the other hand if you, as I do, feel that the silences in this film are just as important and telling as the dialogue or action, then this film should move quite quickly.

The plot is a mix of revenge western while also looking at the death of the West associated with the American movies – the strong gunman, the frontier town etc, they exist here but are being pushed out with every frame of the film. What Leone manages to do which confounds me is he fills the film with so much silence but yet little of it brings boredom, instead the film has it's steady pace and never lets it dip into flagging but just keeps enough happening to keep things moving. I must admit that some of the deeper meaning was lost on me but still felt that the central threads of the three or four main characters were more than enough to hold my interest on their own. Of course, bits did work better than other bits but that is to be expected – I know I got more from the cat and mouse between Harmonica and Frank than I did from the relationship between Gutierrez and Jill. However these minor problems are lost in the sheer scale of the film itself.

The acting is great and some of it could be considered the actors at their best. Certainly I can't think of another role where Charles Bronson was required to do so well. Here he has to have a stone face but still give over character – he manages it and pulls off an iconic type of cool that I'd usually associate with big stars. Fonda plays very naturally as a bad guy. When I first saw this film I was quite young and hadn't seen a lot of his more famous roles, now that I have it is very strange to see him as a bad guy, but the counter casting of him does work anyway. Cardinale is a strong role but I must confess that her character was lost to me a little – this was one of the threads I was weakest on and I'll watch the film again with more focus. Support cast are all pretty good and have a few famous western faces in there.

One of the strongest parts of the film is the score. From the first time you hear that scarring harmonica you know to associate it with bitterness, likewise other parts of the score are very strong and used well. Part of it did remind me of Steptoe & Son but it still worked in it's context! The plot all goes sort of where you expect it to but we are left with the wider picture of the West of Frank coming to an end and the West of Morton moving unstoppably to replace it – the film never suggests that one is better than the other, in fact it highlights that there may be no difference at all. Meanwhile the frontier men are pushed on into a shrinking horizon.

Overall this is an epic, which means it is sweeping in scope, resulting in the occasional stretch showing. The running time is sparsely filled with dialogue which may frustrate some, however Leone has made the silence as loud as the dialogue and the actors provide him with performances that deliver so much without words at times that the time is easily eaten up. Not the most accessible western he made (simply because others are more entertaining) but still an epic and well worth three hours of anyone's time.
2003-09-21
Twice Removed
Its odd how one comes to a film. I saw this one nearly 40 years ago in an edition that was chopped up. The sound and score was reprocessed and muted. It was terrible. I lumped it in with the Clint Eastwood trilogy. Those movies were fun in the manner of an then new extreme style. But the concept was thin and knowing that one was an exact copy of a Kurosawa samurai movie sort of took the American link out of them. (That specific film was remade again starring Bruce Willis and was superior.)

Now after all this time, I come back to it and find it whole, a new thing. Its wonderful. Its as wonderful as advertised. There are all sorts of joys. One is the many references to ordinary, series westerns. Another is the meditative pace; a sort of an anti-action movie rooted in place and place-derived intents. These two things alone would place it as high as IMDb readers have chosen.

But there are two other things that matter more to me. The first is obvious: the sound design. Few filmmakers seem to want to leverage sound much. Malick is one, but the idea there is to make an independent layer over the images. Here, the sound saturates the images. In my experience, it is unique in its effectiveness. And that's one of the other shocks: I don't think I would have been able to appreciate it as much as a young man. I've been watching films more lucidly for only a few years now and though all the other components here are ordinary but perhaps extended, this strikes me as wholly new.

The other thing probably requires one to have gone through a couple stupid American wars. The second one makes all the difference, because the first was still based on the notion of doing good even if the means were bankrupt. Now, a world can look at westerns and not automatically make the John Ford connection: that Monument Valley and open spaces mean freedom. Frontier gunplay and violence automatically invoked populist justice.

It took this movie to break things. And it took this long for them to break. Westerns are a notation for America, a story about an accidental nation. A collection of simple notes for us to grasp. This movie is about westerns in precisely the same way. I study these constructions and nearly always say that the underlying or original goal is to increase the viewer's engagement. But this case is different: the layers provide a distance. It allows us to see the notation about the notation about what will always be a notation: national identity.

Of the sections, the opening is the best. At some point when the web grows to allow clips to be annotated online and ranked separate from the movie, that sequence will rate very high.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
2007-12-04
Flashbacks done right - Once Upon a Time in the West
I agree with the other reviewers about the superlatives of this film but I haven't noticed a discussion on the use of the flashback so capably offered here. I am referring to Bronson's Harmonica recalling the incident that brought about his revenge for Fonda's Frank character: I am sure I will be corrected if this is in error but there are four total flashbacks where we get more information each time through a blurry recollection until in the final instance Fonda has the crystal clear flashback and we see Frank much younger committing his unspeakable crime. This fourth and final flashback clarifies to the villain and the film audience the motivation for the payback just as he finally "bites the dust". If you like Bronson here seek out the hard to find Rider on the Rain - not a Western but I think filmed in the same time period by a different director: At this time we can see Bronson is becoming this multi-national everyman hero that exploded his popularity. Truly watchable film entertainment that holds up beautifully upon repeat viewings.
2011-07-04
Great movie, but overrated
I saw this movie as a youngster when it first came out and was enthralled by it. Subsequently, I re watched it over the years a number of times and it has always been one of my favorites.

However, recently I decided to begin a hobby of becoming an amateur critic of the Western genre. I have begun a multi-year project to review and rank all "A" Westerns ever released.

I understand why some fans may consider this one of the best Westerns of all time. It is a high psychedelic opera that can be mesmerizing. I am sad to say, however, that "OUTITW" if fairing very poorly in my rankings.

As much as I used to like it, when I take a harder look at "OUTITW" and compare it against other top Westerns, it comes up woefully short in a number to critical categories I use to rank the great Westerns.

I'll start with a list of positives:

- Of course, this movie is mostly about style and Leone gives this movie the full treatment. For me this is both a positive and a negative. A positive because style is what's great about a Leone Western. A negative, because in this case he overdoes it. Details in my negative list below

- The casting of Henry Fonda is a stroke of genius. Frank might be the most effective heavy in the history of Westerns. His blue eyes are perfect for the Leone close-ups

- The opening segment "High Noon" tribute is classic Leone

- Claudia Cardinale is one of the sexiest females to ever appear in a Western. She is also well characterized and her role is integral to plot developments i.e. she's not a gratuitous sex object.

- It's not often remarked on, but Morton, the railroad baron, is very well characterized. Nice touch to have him be a cripple, but the important thing is that he is not one-dimensionally evil. He is humanized not just by his infirmity, but also by the painting of the ocean on the wall of his train car.

- The soundtrack is very effective, as usual with Leone.

- It's a good looking film and Cardinale's carriage ride through Monument Valley is one of the most visually beautiful segments in the history of cinema, let along Westerns.

Now for the negatives:

- Leone's strength is his style. In "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" he managed to integrate his style into a compelling storyline, replete with clever plot twists, snappy dialog and excellent comic relief. "OUTITW" has none of these things. To make matters worse, he slows the pace down to a crawl and adds an hour of running time.

- This might have worked if he had created another compelling character except Frank. The fact is that we don't care about anybody in this movie. The only sympathetic character is Harmonica, but we don't have any reason to feel for him until the movie's final scene.

- There is virtually no comic relief, outside of Harmonica's "two horses too many" line at the beginning and Cheyenne's antics on top of the train. Compare to "TGTBTU" where Eli Wallach created one of the most fascinating comic villains in the history of cinema. Not only that, but you actually CARED about Tuco more than you do anybody in "OUTITW". What an achievement!

- Leone even messed up the landscape. After Cardinale's stunning buggy ride through Monument Valley, we are immediately aware that the movie is really being filmed in Spain or somewhere, certainly not in Monument Valley. The film then gets stuck in the ugly town they built and stays there.

- Jason Robard's character is beyond dull. The movie would have been much better if they had just deleted this character, who really serves no purpose. And Cardinale can't act her way out of a paper bag. First billing over Fonda too. Go figure that.

- The fundamental plot is too thin to support a three hour film.

- Finally, Leone seems to think that all Indians had been fully exterminated from the region in the 1880's Arizona. I didn't see one. In fact, Leone deserves some kind of career Razzie award for making five Westerns without a single Indian. I don't mean no Indian characters, I mean not even the presence of a single Indian. Some "student" of Westerns.
2010-08-08
Who cares that Clint Eastwood isn't in this film?
It has been said many times that the role of "Harmonica" was intended for Clint Eastwood. But I think it's enormously unfair to Charles Bronson to endlessly speculate on what Eastwood may or may not had done. Who cares? Eastwood had his chance and turned it down. Bronson seized it and made the most of it. Not only do I think that "West" is Bronson's best movie, I think Bronson does a better job in this film than Eastwood in the "spaghetti trilogy".

If you think about it, all three leads in this film are cast against type. Charles Bronson is not the type of actor you'd think of for a lead as a hero (although he did a great job in "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape.") The average person thinks of Jason Robards as a crotchety grandfather, certainly not a cunning outlaw a la "Tuco" in "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." And was there ever a more unlikely villain in screen history than Henry Fonda, who build a career on playing sincere, kind protagonists? (By the way, Fonda's role was originally intended for John Wayne, who turned it down.) And yet all of these great actors make you forget their other personnas and suck you into Sergio Leone's world...
1999-01-08
Once Upon A Time.......................There was Sergio Leone
No other films in the world have produced such sharp, raw, gritty and atmospheric yet absolutely beautiful cinematography as those directed by the Italian director, the great Sergio Leone. Audiences around the world saw first hand the power and influence "A Fistful Of Dollars" bought to the world. It made a director famous, a young Clint Eastwood a household name and the Western more popular than it had ever hoped to be since the master works of John Ford. However, Sergio Leone bought with him a whole new sub-genre - a whole new style - and the Western had never looked darker and grittier. 'The Man With No Name' bought with it a whole new meaning to a heroic protagonist. There was no more good guy/bad guy, but only a survivalist type - ignorant and self indulgent, yet still moral and fair, tough and smart and damn good with a gun. The world fell in love with him and anticipated its sequels which only became more violent, atmospheric and realistic and gave the authentic true feeling of the West.

It is why I consider 'Once Upon A Time In The West' to be Sergio's definitive masterpiece. He took everything that he ever felt about the West and made some of the most intriguing 3 hours of film ever produced. The budget had never been bigger. The plot had never been more riveting. The music and setting had never been more epic and the cinematography had never been more powerful. This film is perfect, start to finish!

This time our premise intersects the stories of five people - yes five people - and it is brilliantly crafted. And this time it isn't a chain smoking son of a gun without a name that carries the film, but rather a female prostitute. This isn't the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show', so please continue reading. The plot revolves around a certain family and its moist establishment in the middle of a desert with hopes for it to one day be a thriving town with a railway station. It is this future town that brings our five protagonists into relation. The family is murdered by a gang led by Frank (Henry Fonda) who works the hit-man for a corrupt railway boss who wants the town out of the way so he can reach the coast and view the sea before he dies. However, unaware of her arrival, Jill (Claudia Cardinale) - the family's patriarch's fiancée - comes to claim her property and therefore possesses a threat to the railway boss. Meanwhile a man with no name nicknamed 'Harmonica' (he always plays a Harmonica before making a kill) has come to town looking for Frank for personal reasons. Charles Bronson nails the role with extreme prejudice. Also a fugitive going by the name of Cheyenne (Jason Robards) assists in his journey to prove his innocence regarding being the wrongly accused murderer.

No spoilers, but just an assurance that this film will blow you away. It is impossible to comprehend the overwhelming powerful epic experience in one sitting. This is what motion pictures are meant to be. Masterful storytelling, a larger than life score by the brilliant Ennio Morricone, cinematography yet unmatched and a cast made in heaven. Performances from all the actors are some of the best you will ever see.

It is films like these that redefine genres and that honorable of all words, a 'classic'. Prove me wrong. For those who experienced it, I hope it has impacted you in much the same way it has me. Upon its release, this film was unsuccessful, because the world wanted another Clint Eastwood picture. But they couldn't see for a mile what was coming. Sergio Leone is platinum. May the force be with him...........always!
2004-11-28
No western has ever come close to this one....and no western ever will.
I can't quite find the words to even come close to describing the pure brilliance of this movie. When this movie was made, the western genre was dominated by the big hollywood studios. The western was taken by these studios and transformed into an opportunity to portray classic superheroes like John Wayne and Burt Lancaster in their fight against all sorts of smalltime crooks and outlaws in smalltime stories and smalltime towns. It was a genuine effort to portray 'Americanism', the American Way, along with a romanticised view of the west as 'Frontier country' where good always triumphed over bad and where the life was hard but honest. It was the American Way.

And then came this film. The title, 'Once Upon A Time In The West' must have seemed to mean nothing more than 'just another western' to the unexpecting viewers at the time. Oh boy were they wrong. With this movie, Sergio Leone singlehandedly redefined the western genre and no American western would ever match the brilliant spirit in which it was made. While the story is basically the same as in any other western, it is the WAY in which it is presented that so clearly distances this western from others. Whereas other westerns are simply stories that are designed to entertain, this movie is an emotional masterpiece that will move your heart. Sergio Leone takes the ordinary western and replaces words with looks, and conversations with feelings and emotions. With his brutal but honest portrayal of the sheer hardness of life and death in those times he thoroughly destroys the old romantic idea of the west as a 'generally-hunky-dory-kind-of-scene with the occasional bad guy and indian' and replaces it with an eerie, dark, hot and dry place where life is cheap and only the strongest will survive.

I cannot adequately convey in words the way in which Sergio Leone deepens and defines the characters by pure means of visual persuasion. It starts with the three gunman in the beginning of the movie, waiting for some reason at a train station for someone or something that obviously is going to be on the next train. No explanation, no conversation; not a word is said. Even the stationmaster is ushered into captivity without a single audible threat. Then comes the waiting... Any other director would have skipped directly to the moment of arrival, but Sergio Leone takes minutes of boredom and translates it into a visual feast, deepening the characters that are portrayed and making them more human, more real to the viewer, while at the same time encompassing us with a deep dark sense of foreboding. This way in which the story is not just augmented but in times completely replaced by the sheer visual drama, is perfected by the absolute fantastic music, directed by Ennio Morricone. Who needs words and explanations when the combined forces of cinematic mastery and heart-tearing music are not just able to carry the story, but pick it up and push it up to such heights of excellence that it has no equal in it's genre?

Another great feat that adds to the power of this movie is the minimalistic way of portrayal of the characters as real, emotional people. Not a single word is said that isn't required for the understanding of the story, yet the characters feel more true than those in movies where whole conversations are added merely to explain their motives. Instead of words, the camera focuses on the characters...so that you can simply read the emotion off their faces. Often no explanation is given other than than a mere facial expression. No superheroes or supercriminals, just real, desire-laden, traumatised, obsessed people that act upon motives inherently understood by the viewer.

All in all this is without a single doubt in my mind the greatest western of all times, and even though Sergio Leone has made many more mindblowing, heart-shattering westerns like this one, like 'A Fistful of Dynamite', 'The Good The Bad and The Ugly', and 'For a Few Dollars More', none could equal 'Once Upon A Time In The West' in sheer magnitude of perfection. Western has never been the same since....

I only wish I'd have been there in 1969 when the movie was new and see it, for the first time with fresh innocent eyes and an unexpecting mind..just like 2001: A Space Odyssey (also of 1969, a year of legends).

A tip for those who have never seen this movie: Bribe, beg, borrow, or steal yourself into possession of a Videobeam and Hifi-audio equipment if you can't find a cinema that is showing this movie. Turn the audio up WAY HIGH (never mind the neighbors) and prepare never to be the same again.........

I (obviously) gave this movie a 10 because no matter how hard I try I can't find anything less than perfect about it.
2002-06-23
pure cinematic paradise
Thank god that I'm a Bronson fan. This was my first Leone movie, and dumb kid that I was, I actually watched it thinking I was in for a typical Bronson "vehicle"! Looking back I'm thankful, because if it wasn't for his involvement, I would never have discovered the beauty and majesty that is Once Upon a Time in the West.

I absolutely love this movie. It's probably my all time favourite, certainly one of the few that I can watch OVER and OVER again without losing interest. I love the way Leone creates intrigue and mystery around what is a relatively thin plot. He can make even the smallest twist of fate seem like an epic turn of events, with that amazing sense of revelation that he generates out of old hackneyed situations (something Argento has since picked up). Leone proves in this film that he could seemingly take anyone, even peripheral characters, and give them screen charisma without using dialogue as a crutch.

OUATITW features the most tense two man stand-offs ever, with some serious deja-vu in the direction of his "Dollars" trilogy. In fact, it does feel like those three movies were warm ups, practice sessions in the build up to OUATITW. Here though, he perfected everything; despite the long running time, it's all focused, and without a single irrelevant scene. For me, the two hours plus just fly by, I wish it would never end. Leone was without question at his artistic peak when he made this, that's not to say that he went downhill from then on, but I honestly don't think he ever did another film where everything came together so perfectly.

The cast is flawless. Fonda eclipsed every good guy he ever did in one fell swoop, truly chilling. Robards is a great comic character, the lovable rogue with an edge. And Cardinale is more than just (incredible) window dressing; she switches between passionate, angry, delicate and sentimental at all the right moments.

Which leaves the hero; I'm a huge Eastwood fan, but I honestly don't believe he could have done the role justice. His "man with no name" was a cool, sly character with hidden complexities. Eastwood always does these layered personalities, with some kind of mental baggage. Bronson, on the other hand, mostly does himself; simple, uncomplicated figures with only one state of mind, that's why he's put in so many revenge flicks. Plus, he looks like he's been seriously wronged at some point in his life, Eastwood doesn't have that quality. Bronson is the genuine hard-as-nails article. You can readily imagine that, had he been born decades earlier and been put in the same situation, he would resolve the problem in much the same way as his character in the movie (sometimes I affectionately refer to this movie as Deathwish part 0- could Harmonica be the great granddaddy of Paul Kersey?).

Of course the other great contribution is the music. I still think that the main theme is one of the most breathtaking pieces of music I have ever heard. It affects me deeply whenever I hear it, regardless of the mood I'm in. Maybe I should listen to more opera or something, I don't know, but that's the way I feel. And the individual character themes are just so well integrated into the film, it's unbelievable. Leone replaces words with music, and it conveys so much more in return. Bronson just plays that melancholy tune on the harmonica instead of answering people back, it consistently cracks me up.

High Noon, Naked Spur, Shane, The Searchers, etc. are all classics of the genre, but I really don't think it's possible to compare those "traditional" westerns with OUATITW. For me, it exists on a plane of it's own, it's the kind of film experience that you let wash over you, a waking dream. I recommend this movie to anyone, if you're on the right wavelength you'll be greatly rewarded.
1999-07-26
Leone's film unfolds across the screen in time and space with all the mellowness and majesty of such great Westerns as "Shane," "The Searchers," and "The Magnificent Seven."
"Once upon a Time in the West" is Leone's masterpiece and certainly one of the best Westerns of all time... It is beautifully shot, perfectly cast, ambitious, erotic, humorous and wonderfully scored by Leone's regular composer Ennio Morricone, whose haunting melodies are just as important as the widely separated dialog occurring on the action..

The film opens with an extreme close-ups of Jack Elam, Woody Strode and Lionel Stander waiting at a station for Charles Bronson... Henry Fonda has sent them to kill him...

The railroad wants a property for its water well belonging to the newly widowed Claudia Cardinale, a fancy lady from New Orleans who just arrived in Flagstone and learns about the tragedy... We would come to understand, much later, Claudia Cardinale's role as the bearer of water, life, and continuity to the civilization of the New West...

Fonda, a despicable hired gun, kills her husband and orders, without a twinge of guilt, the slaughter of the entire family, innocents women and children...

Henry Fonda, in a chilling performance, plays the cold-blooded murderer, the most vicious villain in Westerns history to ever ride the big country... the blue ice-eyed child killer, gunning down a 9-year old boy...

Bronson as 'The Man' is like Clint Eastwood 'The Man With No Name,' with only one thing in common: they are the most ruthless heroes in Westerns history sharing the same character in their quality 'not' to say much in their need of emotions, in their fast draw, in their disinterest in women, in their air of mystery and in their macabre sense of humor...

Their differences are also very clear: 'The Man With No Name' has no past whatsoever, and 'The Man' is motivated by revenge to settle an old personal score...

Claudia Cardinale plays Jill, the well-proportioned, husky-voiced beauty, the lady, the businesswoman, the maker of coffee involved with Fonda in an incredible perverse erotic sequence...

The blood, the violence, the humor, the several gunfights and the final showdown have been constants in Leone's Westerns since "A Fistful of Dollars"...

The highlights of his movie are so many: Leone's overwhelming shot when he raises his camera over the Flagstone train station office revealing the sprawling town; when he replaces a shot of a smoking gun with a shot of a smoking train; when he uses close-ups instead of dialog to reveal what a character is thinking; and the striking use of his extreme close-up in the final shootout... Leone builds up tension by slowly circling his two characters, focusing with his camera on their eyes, hands and guns while the level of the music is raised to evoke the action...

Leone's film is a brave epic Western, extremely violent, immensely powerful... It's above all fable and fantasy, as the desire for revenge is childish and fruitless... It is the essence of a great filmmaker...
2000-01-29
Trans-genre, highly influenced and influential, vengeance narrative
Normally I'm suspicious of Westerns, mostly because I really don't like the Cowboys and Indians sub-genre and I'm not very keen on the expansionist themes inherent in most Westerns, stated or otherwise. Like any genre, however, there are exceptions, and of course Once Upon a Time in the West is one of them. Sergio Leone creates a methodical, tension-rising piece of vengeance narrative set in the hard-grit reality of the West, featuring gorgeous vistas, compellingly brown-faced gunslingers, and a surprisingly unique rocking score by Ennio Morricone.

Four people arrive in a small town in one day. The first is a mysterious stranger later dubbed "Harmonica" because of his token entrance cue and prominent instrument playing, a man searching for a one "Frank." The other is Frank himself, psychotic yet conniving muscle-man of a railroad emperor, out to gain his own business prospects and kill a few men, women, and children in the process. The third is handsome Cheyenne, rascal bandit of the old-school type who has his honor but also his history. And the fourth, and most important, is Jill McBain, ex-prostitute from New Orleans come to a wedding destroyed by cause of death of the groom, who has to learn how to protect her own interests in an outlaw world of grit and steel as the three men connive over the various things they want from her.

Leone takes his time, building relationships like Kurosawa and allowing the camera to just soak in the imagery like his contemporary and script-writer, Dario Argento. Leone is famous for his "spaghetti westerns", Italian takes on what is quintessentially an American-themed genre, but he shows an awareness, respect, and even joy for the type of imagery and action that the genre creates. Furthermore, he sees the isolation as key--this vengeance narrative could not exist in the vigilante-style of a city, nor in a much more temperate climate, much less could the characters really grasp and engage with each other the same way had they closer connections. In a way, heck, one could consider this film something of a horror film, as the unknown (the motivations of Harmonica) drives anxiety and tension to an ultimate moment of revelation that stabs right for the gut. So fine, compare Leone to Hitchcock, too.

--PolarisDiB
2008-01-10
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