Once Upon a Time in the West
It has been many years now since I last watched this film. I brought this copy in a sale in HMV in Canada earlier this year and had not got around to watching it until now. To my surprise, I think that I much prefer it now than I did several years ago.
This really is an epic western from Sergio Leone in every sense. The surroundings are gorgeous, the music (from Ennio Morricone) is haunting and the four lead actors mesmerising. I would say that it is probably my favourite western, although I am yet to see For a Few Dollars More and The Good the Bad and the Ugly (these films are on my Birthday/Christmas list as part of the Spaghetti Western boxset, so hopefully I’ll be able to watch these soonish).
This is also a film that runs at it’s own pace, at close to three hours long this is quite a length for a western and at times it does drag a little, but generally you’re too taken in by the absolute beauty of the film to notice. It really has to be one of the most cinematic films out there, every scene is a picture postcard which is only enhanced by the fantastic score.
I could go on endlessly about how amazing Charles Bronson (yes that’s right), Peter Fonda, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale are in the film, but I won’t. I will however, mention that Claudia Cardinale is simply drop dead gorgeous as Mrs McBain. A sexy and strong woman, something rarely seen in westerns.
I must also add that one of my absolute favourite films of all time Once Upon a Time in America was the last film directed by Sergio Leone and style wise follows this film very closely (hence the similar title). Also the music whilst different is very similar o Once Upon a Time in the West. Together they form a beautiful picture of two strikingly different periods of American history and complement each other perfectly.
On thing that I did notice during the film was that the lip synching was slightly out at certain times. This is something that I notice on a few other occasions whilst watching films or even occasionally TV. At first I thought that this was a problem with my plasma screen. I have since come to the conclusion that this isn’t my plasma, it’s just that this is significantly more noticeable on a 50” screen than it would be on a 28” or 32” set.
Just one of the minor downsides of owning a bloody big TV. It make all the imperfections of a film, be they audio or visual, that more apparent.