Movie House Memories

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
C’era una volta il West (original title)

Episode #127

Paramount Pictures released Once Upon a Time in the West to theaters on December 20, 1968. Sergio Leone directed the film which starred Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, and Claudia Cardinale.

‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ Movie Summary

Sergio Leone‘s ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ begins at a train station, outside the fictional town of Flagstone, three men ambush a harmonica-playing man as he gets off the train. The mysterious cowboy shoots faster than the three, and he kills them all.

Meanwhile, a railroad tycoon, with crippling tuberculosis named Mr. Morton, hires a killer named Frank to intimidate Brett McBain off his land which plans to build the town of Sweetwater. on Instead, Frank just kills McBain and his three children. Frank then plants evidence that the outlaw Manuel “Cheyenne” Gutiérrez committed the crime.

At the same time, a woman named Jill arrives from New Orleans, and reveals to the town she secretly married Brett. She becomes the sole heir of Sweetwater.

At a roadhouse outside Flagstone, Cheyenne meets the mysterious harmonica-playing man, and names him Harmonica. Harmonica tells Cheyenne that he killed three men posing as Cheyenne’s cronies at the train station. While nobody knows it yet, Harmonica has a vendetta against Frank (as does Cheyenne), so the two men form a bit of a bond in earnest.

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Paramount Pictures released Once Upon a Time in the West to theaters on December 20, 1968. Sergio Leone directed the film which starred Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, and Claudia Cardinale.

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5 Comments

  1. FYI Romeo & Juliet did not win best picture that year, Oliver! did. romeo only won 2 technical awards, I did a double take as soon as you said that:)
    Fonda played another villain in 1968 – in the film Firecreek. He was played as a somewhat sympathetic villain until the end(the 60s were a time when they were trying to deconstruct western archetypes)
    The 2001 comments are blasphemy:)
    And Chris I don’t buy that you don’t like long movies. I’m eagerly anticipating the Greed podcast! 4 hour silent film!
    And as far as Roxanne goes I guess Bobby put it in his top 5. If Chris can put idiocracy at #1, that doesn’t seem all that odd.

    1. Some trivia – Leone wanted Clint Eastwood to play Harmonica. Also since we talked about extras on the criterion podcast, the special edition of this film is pretty impressive, with extras on par with criterion. Chris, what do you think of Once Upon a Time in America? Also, when is your oscar prediction podcast?

      1. Once Upon a Time in America I have only watched once a long time ago. I remember liking it, but could not tell you much about it now. I should re-watch it.

        I think we will be recording the Oscar prediction this week or next to be released ASAP.

        1. I’ve gone on record multiple times that I don’t like Mafia movies, but Once Upon a Time in America is my exception. I’ve watched it 4-5 times including last year. My favorite Mafia movie by far. 🙂 Leone’s movies are that much more amazing with Morricone’s score. Worth the nearly 4 hour timeline. It’s in my top-100.

    2. How can you not like 2001?! I will have Jonna on that podcast. She loves it.

      I do like longer movies, but I can’t sit and watch them in one viewing. Greed is great, but I break it into two nights when I watch it. If I remember correctly, the original cut of it was 13 hours long!

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