Thursday, December 20, 2018


Today marks the 50th Anniversary of one of the greatest, not only Euro-westerns, but films of all-time. “Once Upon a Time in the West” was directed by Sergio Leone and starred Hnery Fonda, Charles Bronson, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale. Jill (Cardinale) is a new bride who arrives in the fictional town of Flagstone, Arizona, to find her new husband and his children murdered by a gunman named Frank (Fonda). Frank is in the employ of a railroad baron named Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti), who wants the land Jill has now inherited. Into this mix comes a man called Harmonica (Bronson), who says little but proves himself adept against gunmen sent by Frank to kill him. Harmonica is on a personal mission of revenge against Frank, who forced him to kill his own brother when he was a child. Another character involved in these power struggles is Cheyenne (Robards), an outlaw framed by Frank for various crimes. The complex relationships between these disparate individuals all become tied together in an intricate tale of lust, greed, and revenge.

Filmed on a budget of 5 million dollars it barely made a profit with an international gross of 5.5 million return. Yet with TV, revival showings, video, DVD and Blu-ray it’s made much much more and can be seen monthly on most cable networks. The film was written by Dario Argento, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Leone as a homage to the western genre with actual scenes and references to classic American westerns seen throughout the film. An all-star cast of American and Euopean actors adds to its popularity. The score is one of Morricone’s greatest feats and a 50th anniversary CD has recently been released. Today we celebrate a true gem in film history.

C’era un a volta il west – Italian title
Once Upon a Time in the West – U.S.A. title
Érase una vez en el Oeste – Argentinian title
Era uma vez no Oeste – Brazilain title
Hasta que llegó su hora – Columbian title
Vestens hårde hales – Danish title
Het gebeurde in het westen – Dutch title
Huuliharppukostaja – Finnish title
Harmonika - en hämnare – Finnish title
Il etait une fois dans l’Ouest – French title
Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod – German title
Kapote sti Dysi – Greek title
Volt egyszer egy vadnyugat – Hungarian title
C’era un a volta il west – Italian title
Uesutan – Japanese title
Erase una vez en el oeste – Mexican title
Ondt blod i Vesten – Norwegian title
Pewnego razu na Dzikim Zachodzie – Polish title
Aconteceu no Oeste – Portuguese title
Undeva, candva in Vest – Romanian title
Однажды на Диком Западе – Russian title
Hasta que llego su hora – Spanish title
Fins que li va arribar l'hora – Spanish title
Harmonica - En hämnare – Swedish title
Batida Kan Var – Turkish title
Bir Zamanlar Batida – Turkish title
Bilo jednom na divljem zapadu – Yugoslavian title
Play Me the Song of Death – English title
There Was Once the West – English title
Once Upon a Time in the West – English title

A 1968 Italian, U.S.A. co-production [Rafran Productions, San Marco Productions (Rome),
     Paramount (Hollywood)]
Producer: Fulvio Morsella
Director: Sergio Leone
Story: Dario Argento, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Leone
Screenplay: Sergio Donati, Sergio Leone
English Dialogue: Mickey Knox (Abraham Knox)
Cinematography: Tonino Delli Colli (Antonio Delli Colli) [Technicolor, Techniscope]
Music: Ennio Morricone
Running time: 171 minutes

Frank – Henry Fonda
Harmonica – Charles Bronson (Charles Buchinsky)
Jill McBain – Claudia Cardinale (Claud Cardinale)
Manuel ‘Cheyenne’ Gutierrez – Jason Robards (Jason Robards, Jr.)
Mr. Morton – Gabriele Ferzetti (Pasquale Ferzetti)
Sam – Paolo Stoppa
Stony – Woody Strode (Woodrow Strode)
Snaky – Jack Elam (William Elam)
Knuckles – Al Mulock (Alfred Rogers)
Sheriff of Flagstone – Keenan Wynn (Francis Wynn)
Sheriff’s deputy - Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia (Ivan Scratuglia)
Brett McBain – Frank Wolff (Frank Herman)
Maureen McBain – Simonetta Santaniello
Patrick McBain – Stefano Imparato
Timmy McBain – Enzo Santaniello
Wobbles – Marco Zuanelli
Barman – Lionel Stander
Flagstone Deputy Sheriff – Luigi Ciavarro
Jim – John Frederick (Frederick Stiffler, Jr.)
Neighbor – Conrado San Martin (Conrado Prieto)
Franks’ henchmen – Spartaco Conversi, Aldo Berti, Michael Harvey, Antonio Molino Rojo, Benito Stefanelli, Fabio Testi, Frank Braña (Francisco Pérez), Saturnino Cerra (Saturnino Pendás), Paolo Figlia
Cheyenne henchmen – Aldo Sambrell (Alfredo Brell), Salvo Basile (Salvatore Basile), Bruno Corazzari, Claudio Scarchilli
Harmonica’s brother – Claudio Mancini
Young Frank’s henchmen at arch – Don Galloway, Enrico Morsella, Umberto Morsella, Frank Leslie, Robert Hossein (Robert Hosseinoff)
Cattle Crossing station master – Ulrich Müller
Indian squaw – Luana Strode (Luukialuana Kalaeloa)
Carpenter – Tulio Palmieri
1st auction bidder – Renato Pinciroli
Engineer – Ricardo Palacios (Ricardo Diez)
Railroad foreman – Bill Crawley (William Crawley)
Construction yard owner – Robert Spafford
Girls at Flagstone station – Francesca Leone, Raffaella Leone
Posse member – John Landis
Women at McBain Funeral - Marilù Carteny, Sandra Salvatori
Men at way station - Dino Zamboni, Federico Boido
With: Livio Andronico, Luigi Magnani, Alessandro Alessandroni

No comments:

Post a Comment