Thoughts while watching Once Upon a Time in the West


OK, 2 hours and 45 minutes to go.

Yes, Jack Elam can trap a fly by catching it in his gun barrel. But when is that necessary? When you’re out of flypaper?

Is it still considered the opening credits when they continue 40 minutes into the picture?

Two hours, 20 minutes. I’m never gonna make it.

Looking at a knife for a long time means you want to use it as a weapon.

The sound of footsteps on top of a moving train is louder than the engine.

Hmmm, Jason Robards has nice boots….hey,what the?

Charles Bronson really needs to learn how to play the harmonica. Those two dissonant notes he constantly blows are like nails on a blackboard.

There are moments in Ennio Morricone’s score that will drive a sane man crazy. It’s so over the top in a movie filled with natural sound that it actually brings you right out of the flick a few times. There’s absolutely no sense of irony in it, which is jarring to a modern viewer.

Claudia Cardinale is lovely to look at, but when she shares a love scene with an aging Henry Fonda, I can’t help but feel a bit queasy. Henry Fonda, sex symbol? I kept expecting Kate Hepburn to bust in and give him a nitroglycerin pill. “Put it under your tongue, Norman!”

Good God, there’s a lot of staring in this film. I got a lot of practice filling in my own dialogue. Bergman and Leone have got to be the masters of the meaningful stare.
Oh no, Bronson is whittlin’. When he stops, something gonna happen. Freakin’ finally.

Monument Valley looks great no matter who films there.

My God, the last 10 minutes of this film could have been accomplished in 30 seconds.

What an endurance test. Finally, 2 hours and 45 minutes later, it’s finally over. I’ll be nice and give it a 3.5 out of 5.0.


Posted on November 20, 2007, in Film log and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. How big was the TV you watched it on? OUaTitW is definitely a wide canvas-kinda movie, although I admit to loving it from the beginning, when I saw a pan-and-scan copy on a 20″.

  2. 32″ screen, until my DVD started skipping all over the place. Then on my 17″ laptop. So, I probably couldn’t drink it in as required.

    However, there are 3 hour movies that fly by, and there are those that make you feel like you’ve run a marathon. The opening 20-30 minutes are fantastic, but I feel like I limped on from there.

    The only other Leone I’ve seen is Good, Bad and Ugly, which impressed me more. I’m willing to watch more, but maybe I wait till the 50″ plasma makes its appearance.

  1. Pingback: Thoughts while watching Funny Games (1997) « Red Herrings

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