A Few Words About A few words about...™ Once Upon a Time in the West -- in Blu-ray

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
47,647
Reaction score
23,774
Points
9,110
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
I'm not a fan of Italian Westerns but I am a fan of Claudia Cardinale. She's the reason I saw this film when it first came and she's the reason I bought the DVD. I haven't upgraded because I don't think the film's much good.
Well, this movie came out a couple of years after "The Professionals" so I am a fan of Claudia Cardinale too. Also, I too, actually saw this movie when it first came out during its theatrical run. I was maybe 13 years old at that time. It's nowhere in the class of "The Professionals" which I consider to be one of the best western/action films ever made, but, it's not a bad film in my opinion. I agree, it's a little too long.
 

Keith Cobby

Cinematographer
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
2,631
Reaction score
1,630
Points
4,110
Location
Kent "The Garden of England", UK
Real Name
Keith Cobby
I couldn't stop thinking about The Professionals while watching this film. Starting at the beginning with Woody Strode's scene, and then every time Claudia appeared. The Professionals is just a great film as well as a great western, and one i never tire of watching.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
47,647
Reaction score
23,774
Points
9,110
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
I couldn't stop thinking about The Professionals while watching this film. Starting at the beginning with Woody Strode's scene, and then every time Claudia appeared. The Professionals is just a great film as well as a great western, and one i never tire of watching.
It's a personal favorite of mine. I try to watch it once every year. I always thought it was the best written western ever made with delicious dialogue.
 

Lord Dalek

Producer
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
4,635
Reaction score
1,612
Points
4,110
Age
34
Real Name
Joel Henderson
I wonder what that guy who hasn't posted here in like a decade did with his goofy German box-o-junk edition.
 

haineshisway

Producer
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
4,597
Reaction score
5,398
Points
4,110
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
Bruce
Why did I never see or contribute to this thread??? There is a lot of conjecture here so let me help out if I may. I happened to be living in Brooklyn for a year when this came out and was, in fact, working part-time at the Albermarle Theater on Flatbush Ave. where this film played. I saw it three times a day for an entire week. There was no Harmonica rising scene in that original US version. I'm not sure when it was added but it wasn't in the film as released. The music at the end - I do remember the Cheyenne theme at the end, but not whether it was edited in early or played over black, which WAS done occasionally back then - in The First Nudie Musical, the final thirty seconds of music plays over black. And I remember coming into work during the second week of its run and voila, cut down to 144 minutes or whatever that thing ran. I couldn't believe it - it was terrible.

I'm not sure I was thrilled with the Blu-ray back in 2011 but I took it out tonight and have watched the first seventy minutes, and while I'm sure a fresh transfer in 4K or 2K with 2020 technology would yield something better, it's really pretty good, especially the color. To the person who said it blown out with only white skies, I'd say get a new projector or viewing device - plenty of beautiful blue skies. And after watching the first seventy minutes, I then watched the first seventy of the Italian cut. The discrepancy from the start of the film to that point is exactly ninety seconds, most of those seconds occurring in the opening scene and the train station scene and some of the watering hole scene. The seventy seconds everyone thinks is missing from the opening scene were never there - only in the Italian print and the rhythm of the scene in that print just seems off to me. There were a handful of shots removed for the cut-down version of 144, but those are back in. I'm just really curious about the Cheyenne rising scene and when it was reinstated. Someone on some board thought it was ADDED to the cut-down version and I suppose that's possible because everyone in the theater was a little baffled that Charles Bronson was seemingly shot to death and it wasn't until the watering hole sequence where we find that he wasn't.

But most of the commenters about the various cuts never saw this in a theater.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ahollis and usrunnr

Randy Korstick

Producer
Joined
Feb 24, 2000
Messages
4,955
Reaction score
3,316
Points
4,110
I really wanted to like this movie and was disappointed to have had such a negative response to it. Oh well, that’s how it goes sometimes. I recognize that it’s very well done for what it is, just not for me.
Its funny my reaction the 1st time was similar as yours. I am a huge fan of the Dollars trilogy but I was disappointed in this movie when I 1st watched it in the 80's but something made want to try it again. I liked it better the 2nd time but still didn't love it. Something compelled me to watch again after really getting into and collecting Ennio Morricone's soundtracks in the 80's. Something clicked on the 3rd viewing and I now went from thinking it was just ok to loving it. When I watched it the 4th time it became my favorite movie of all time and still is. I have never had that type of experience with a movie before. Sometimes I like a movie better the 2nd time but never have I gone from ok to loving it from a 1st to 3rd viewing. I became obsessed with the movie and watched it a dozen more times between 1990 and 2002. It such a dark and deep movie with many layers that I feel it takes 3 viewings to really appreciate it. I do like Italian westerns but think Leones westerns are far different and superior to most Italian westerns.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Josh Steinberg

ManW_TheUncool

Producer
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
6,490
Reaction score
244
Points
9,110
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
You know... I'm actually not sure if I've ever watched this movie in its entirety all in one sitting... and I probably still haven't opened my copy (after nearly 9 years! :eek:) yet...

I seem to vaguely recall loving what I saw of it on TV (w/ my Mom, who loved spaghetti westerns) back when I was a kid... but don't recall much of any details -- could even be mixing it up w/ a different Bronson-starring western I guess...

And now, I should have plenty of time for it (amongst many others)... if only my youngest don't still require so much of my attention w/ her schoolwork, especially now w/ the messy, remote situation brought on by this Covid-19 pandemic...

_Man_
 

johnmcmasters

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
90
Reaction score
87
Points
10
Real Name
John McMasters
This remains my favorite film. Probably because it is linked in my memory with some wonderful times when I was at University. My academic advisor was Stuart Kaminsky, and his office was in the then-dingy Film Annex building. Whenever I'd have weekly meetings with him, it was in his hole-in-the-wall office. He'd always be typing when I entered (said he was working on a "detective" story), and looming behind his desk was a huge ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST poster that was unframed and just tacked to the wall. I'd not seen the film at that point, and one of our first conversations was my asking why he had the poster on his wall - and receiving a dazzingly instructive overview of the film, its versions, and his love for it. When it was shown on a Chicago TV station, I remember that he gave me an overview of what version they aired -- and when the Film Society ran a 16mm print, he again told me what to expect. I was also friends with a graduate student in English who had seen the film during its original engagement in NYC -- and he loved the film and would often mourn the cut version. My epiphany occurred during the 16mm showing of the film which was not the cut version -- it was what was considered at that point the "original" version. I was sitting probably far too close to the screen so the image seemed huge -- and they had really pumped up the audio. I was transfixed and really overwhelmed from first to last -- and actually teared up at the end. It remains one of the most powerful viewing experiences I've ever had -- along with PSYCHO, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, A ROOM WITH A VIEW, VERTIGO, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and WOODSTOCK. All very different experiences of course.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lark144

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
343,738
Messages
4,688,559
Members
141,024
Latest member
ViciousKing