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Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

C'era una volta il West (original title)
Trailer
3:02 | Trailer
A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director:

Sergio Leone

Writers:

Sergio Donati (screenplay by), Sergio Leone (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
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932 ( 79)
Top Rated Movies #36 | 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claudia Cardinale ... Jill McBain
Henry Fonda ... Frank
Jason Robards ... Manuel 'Cheyenne' Gutiérrez
Charles Bronson ... Harmonica
Gabriele Ferzetti ... Morton - Railroad Baron
Paolo Stoppa Paolo Stoppa ... Sam
Woody Strode ... Stony - Member of Frank's Gang
Jack Elam ... Snaky - Member of Frank's Gang
Keenan Wynn ... Sheriff - Auctioneer
Frank Wolff ... Brett McBain
Lionel Stander ... Barman
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Storyline

Story of a young woman, Mrs. McBain, who moves from New Orleans to frontier Utah, on the very edge of the American West. She arrives to find her new husband and family slaughtered, but by whom? The prime suspect, coffee-lover Cheyenne, befriends her and offers to go after the real killer, assassin gang leader Frank, in her honor. He is accompanied by Harmonica, a man already on a quest to get even. Written by DrGoodBeat / edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There were three men in her life. One to take her... one to love her... and one to kill her.

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

21 December 1968 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Het gebeurde in het westen See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,321,508, 22 June 1984
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (1970) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby (2003 DVD release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character name of "Brett McBain" was derived from two famous U.S. mystery writers, Brett Halliday and Ed McBain (Evan Hunter). See more »

Goofs

During the final flashback ("Keep your lovin' brother happy") from shot to shot the harmonica changes back and forth from clean and undamaged to dented and dirty. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cattle Corner Station Agent: Hey. Hey-hey-hey-hey, if you want any tickets, you'll have to go around, eh, to, eh, the front of, eh, eh... oooh, well, I s'pose it'll be all right. The hell am *I* doin' around here if they walk in and can do as they damn please?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sergio Leone's director credit swings down in an arc as if to stop the train. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original 1969 UK cinema release was rated 'A' (the equivalent of today's PG certificate) by the BBFC after editing the bed scene between Frank and Jill and removing his line "You also like feeling a man's hand all over your body, even if they're the hands of the man that killed your husband". The line was restored for all later releases. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

C'era una volta il West
Vocals: Edda (Edda Dell'Orso)
Choir :Cantori Moderni Di Alessandroni
Composed, Orchestrated and Conducted by Ennio Morricone
Published by RCA Italiana S.p.A., Universal Music Publishing Ricordi srl
(P) 1969 Sergio Leone Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Once Upon A Time...There Were Westerns!
14 August 2008 | by SandeepLoyalkaSee all my reviews

I first saw this film as a 20 year old in the late 80's on VHS & ended up thoroughly disappointed. Every scene seemed to stretch to near-infinity and the action was too sporadic for what I normally expected from a western. Now, however, things are different! I saw it again a few days ago after reading so many positive reviews & I must admit to pretty much being bowled over! 'Once Upon A Time In The West' is not your traditional shoot-em-up western. Its an acquired taste and I wouldn't be too far off the mark if I say that it resembles a dish with near-perfect proportions of ingredients, slow cooked over an intense fire. Director Leone doffs his hat to several classic westerns and ends up with a film thats greater than the sum of its parts. The lovely Jill McBain (Claudia Cardinale) arrives in the old west to join her new husband & family only to find them all brutally shot dead. Clues apparently point to the bandit Cheyenne (Jason Robards) though the dastardly deed has in fact been perpetrated by the magnificently evil Frank (Henry Fonda). Also in this lethal mix is a mysterious harmonica-playing stranger (Charles Bronson) with his own covert agenda. From the classic opening scene to the explosive climax, 'Once Upon A Time In The West' sucks the viewer into its vortex of emotions as layers upon layers are gradually peeled away revealing each characters true motivations. Featuring a stellar cast who have probably never been better, and a haunting, evocative score by maestro Ennio Morricone, 'Once Upon A Time In The West' is mandatory viewing for all film aficionado's. My only (small) complaint is the occasional self-indulgence displayed by Leone when he tends to give style precedence over narrative.


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