Friday, January 1, 2010

Capsule Review: Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)

Sergio Leone packs so many memorable sequences and set pieces into his epic tribute to the end of the wild west that it's nearly impossible to list them all. The opening scene with three outlaws (including Jack Elam and Woody Strode) killing time while waiting for the arrival of Charles Bronson (aka Harmonica), the first reveal of Henry Fonda's blue eyes after the massacre of the McBain family, the entrance of Jill (Claudia Cardinale) through the train station into the expansive, under construction town (ably lifted by Ennio Morricone's amazing score), the climactic gunfight between Fonda and Harmonica. It goes on and on. Throw in Leone's trademark shooting style (expect many close-ups of eyes), and a script which contains references to almost every major American Western, and you have the accumulation of everything a Spaghetti Western could be. Perhaps slightly bloated, but completely unforgettable.

No comments: