Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) - Western

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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.

IMDB: 8.5
Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson
Length: 165 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 90 out of 646 found boring (13.93%)

One-line Reviews (395)

Beyond the stunning visual aspects of this film one should not lose sight of the high-quality acting that is going on all around.

This is a movie with all of the right ingredients that tries to do much, and takes way too long to do it.

Yet Leone like an artist, paints this moment with stunning detail.

He took everything that he ever felt about the West and made some of the most intriguing 3 hours of film ever produced.

The slow tempo might be offputting to some, but I myself enjoyed it.

There are a lot of scenes that dragged out for what seems like forever at times.

But the plot, storyline and general story-telling is so muddled and disjointed that I was left very unsatisfied.

The opening sequence, according to the viewer's taste, is either gripping, or a ludicrously slow-paced director's indulgence.

You can easily strip the film down to hard boiled men staring at each other for extended periods of time, but Leone has a way about him to where he can capture those long stares and make them intense, invigorating, and all too captivating.

Before sudden, ear-shattering gunshots ring out, Leone orchestrates masterful moments of long and intense waiting.

For starters, Sergio Leone's direction is breathtaking.

By the end of the film, however, it has turned into one of the most compelling story lines with some very complex characters.

Henry Fonda is great as the antagonist and Jason Robards adds so much to the movie, his character can be liked but also disliked at times, what makes it so enjoyable to watch.

Painfully slow and too long .

The pace of the movie is deliberately slow.

Good movie, but way too long...

One of the most horrifyingly boring films ever .

In "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" he managed to integrate his style into a compelling storyline, replete with clever plot twists, snappy dialog and excellent comic relief.

The production design is evocative and the set dressing impeccable.

The Good, the Bad and the Slow as Molasses .

Unfortunately, I found the music intrusive, the exaggerated grimacing of the characters merely comic, and the plot contrived, difficult to follow and arbitrarily bloody; I don't believe that even in the wildest west, six people would be killed outside a bar and everyone inside would just carry on drinking as if nothing had happened.

The entrance and interplay of each of these three characters result in one of the most thrilling films you will ever see.

These characters are extremely intense, entertaining even hilarious at times and most definitely great examples of fantastic characters in films.

However, this specific Western contains some slow and confusing sequences.

Pretentious and silly .

Of course, the opening credit sequence, an extremely tense scene in a bizarre roadhouse, Robards' exciting rescue of Bronson from a train, and the final Bronson/Fonda shootout, so protracted it puts The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly to shame.

We move from scene to scene, at the slowest pace imaginable, and look at successive groups of people dialoguing about various topics each taking their turn.

Whilst I admired the over-all production especially the art direction and the photography, I found the convoluted and quite bewildering story presentation tedious and ultimately irritating.

My only (small) complaint is the occasional self-indulgence displayed by Leone when he tends to give style precedence over narrative.

The film is delibrately slow paced, the characters are building and changing before our very own eyes.

Mostly, I can never last beyond the first 20 minutes, but last evening I managed up to about the last half an hour before falling asleep.

You know you're in trouble when the very last bit in the documentary extras is a quotation of Sergio Leone worriedly admitting to co-scripter Bernardo Bertolucci that he had set the pace far too slow when filming the opening sequences, and that the ensuing film would probably be five hours long as a result.

But Leone did humanize them through his melodrama, and the result is that all the characters became some of the most interesting and compelling characters ever!

The west was boring to live in; Hey!

a little disjointed for me .

It features complex characters and an engaging storyline -- not to mention a memorable soundtrack by Ennio Morricone.

Unfortunately for me, after spending big bucks for the DVD when it first came out, I found it more boring than fascinating.

It's about people with enough guts to start over again or fade out with breathtaking dignity.

The first scene where Leone combines everyday sounds to create music is inspired as well as being an amazing example of slowly building tension to an exciting climax.

It's long, drawn out, and operatic, and features a great score by Ennio Morricone.

Claudia Cardinale's beauty, the breathtaking panoramas, and hard bold close ups are difficult to forget.

From start to finish I was on the edge of my seat, everything about this film merging together to create a very atmospheric and gripping film.

Few directors can use long, slow scenes and successfully build up the tension rather than bore the audience.

The documentaries are valuable, but a bit repetitive in what is said.

Once Upon A Time In The West does have some nice touches, some good performances and some cool scenes, but to me it all just feels a bit half-hearted and lazy and I just found myself bored rigid by the largely uninteresting story.

Worse yet, despite elaborate sets & a cast of seemingly thousands, it's tedious.

What dragged it a bit down was that it dragged a bit out after that.

OutW really is too slow.

With his tight close ups and slow reactions of the character, I never felt if the movie was going slow.

It's a western of intense emotions and brilliant acting; of peerless photography and ground-breaking music.

With these references, Leone has taken the conventions of the Hollywood western and reversed them, giving birth to mind blowing authenticity.

Yes, some scenes run long with agonizingly lengthy close-ups, but I find it intriguing, and for those whose sensibilities are offended by it, I offer a gentle word of sympathy: tough.

From an "outsider" viewpoint like mine (I've seen a lot of westerns, but was born in 1985), "Once Upon A Time In The West" is neither exciting or even particularly artistic.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST's characters are uninteresting and their plights are pointless....

Brilliantly engaging and terrific performances from Fonda, Cardinale, Robards and Bronson.

Some of these intense scenes are absolutely memorable, while the opening shootout at the station remains one of the best sequences in movie history ever.

Okay the second funny moment is when the barkeeper at the saloon continues talking to the lady after the gun action is over as if nothing happened.

Beautiful photography, epic and engaging soundtrack and a great performance by the actors.

The intense opening scene where three of Frank's men (Jack Elam, Woody Strode, and Al Mulock)are patiently waiting for Harmonica to show up.

Claudia Cardinale plays Jill McBain, a stunning widower who refuses to bow down to those who murdered her husband and his family.

A small bit of slow motion (not needed normally in a movie where everything is slow already) makes clear this is the key moment in the film, the thing that made the rest of it, with all its confusing and violent layers, sensible.

Joining the instrument playing stranger is an unpredictable, half-breed, renegade, who is a notorious gunfighter called 'Cheyenne.

Jason Robard's character is beyond dull.

Or maybe the film was already WAY too long?

But it's slow.

It may be unfair to compare Leone to his other work, but I liked 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly' much more, because of Eastwood, a more compelling plot, and that extraordinary musical refrain.

For many youngsters today this movie may be too slow and I think that's a shame.


Honest confusion.

The bad part is, the plot is SO predictable, which doesn't help its three hour running time and extremely slow pace.

The shots of the western landscapes are beautiful and so are the intense facial up closes that he uses so often in his other films, particularly during the duels.

A perfect western to sit with on a sunny afternoon with a beer or two, totally alone, and be immersed in its slow waltz from beginning to end.

Hey, it's slow on purpose.

The music was noticeably repetitive; the sound-effects intrusive beyond the point of distraction; and the dialogue invariably too quiet.

The characters are all very interesting and well portrayed, especially the main character that posses a silent and intriguing personality.

He exerts a slow pace motion picture and lets you think about all the implications and explanations of what is being showed.

The story is very disjointed.

Too muddled and too confusing.

Very long and very boring.

All those characters make this incredible story with lots of unpredictable reversals.

Leone grabs every chance to innovate with both hands and this results in unexpected shock moments (the slaughter of the Irish family) and even completely unimaginable anti-castings (Henry Fonda as a relentless gangster?

I found "Once Upon a Time in the West" totally pretentious and often rather silly and "posing".

I did like this film, it is stylish and ambitious, with a good score, but it does become tedious at times, not to mention uncomfortable(Fonda's scenes with Cardinale, for instance...

Though the movie feels to be quite long in the middle portion but makes it up for some fantastic score and a riveting finale.

Even the short version, however, features long, slow scenes in which there is little dialogue and little action, with the action sequences themselves brief if violent.

girl needs saving from bad guy, mysterious good guy seems willing, mysterious good guy kills bad guy, end of story), but maybe that is just great storytelling: transcending a rather simple story to a compelling and moving epic.

This movie is WAY too long, almost 3 hours.

This is cheese and cliché.

Franks gang enter with a bloody slaughter, and a riveting cold stare from Henry Fonda's deep blue eyes striking uncertainty, menace and evil into the hearts of the audience.

Given this movie lacks the tongue-in-cheek humour of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", it can be a sometimes awkwardly tiresome affair.

So do yourself a favour, pour a whisky and settle in for a slow building masterpiece.

"Despite its extreme length, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is still a fascinating western epic after all these years.

Damn slow!

The writer seems to have made an effort for her to be a strong character, but she becomes a tedious damsel in distress and has a confusing relationship with Harmonica (who is at one minute trying to rape her then the next protecting her from Frank's thugs???

The love scene between Henry Fonda and Claudia is a bit too much and serves the only purpose of formulaic insertion in the narrative.

Long suspenseful shots, which create an unmistakable aura and tension, inhabit the story in droves and also cause it to last over 2,5 hours.

Robards delivers the film's best performance, as his characters takes an unexpected, dramatic turn near the end.

His music makes those intense moments even better.

However, if you think only the intro is going to be slow, to build up the suspense, and are hoping the remainder of the movie will movie will move at a quicker pace, you're in for a rude surprise.

He still delivers a gripping performance as this mysterious character and when his backstory is finally revealed it all pays off.

Speaking of cameras, the visuals are stunning.

This builds much tension, even if the outcome may seem predictable.

It takes you through a story like no other, and thrills you with fascinating performances by Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, and Jason Robards.

Worth watching simply because of the, once again, outstanding soundtrack made by Ennio Morricone wich kind of moves the storyline instead of the dialogue at many times.

We also hear things like wind turbines spinning round and drops of water falling on heads etc. It all sounds rather poor when you put in all I writing, but when watching it on screen it is quite compelling (in an odd sort of way).

The buildup is just way too long and drawn out to allow this to be a great film.

But it's that "coming of age" and that "end of an era" feel that makes is so great.

Here it seems Leone wanted the next Blondie but Harmonica's character is boring, he sullenly fails to emote throughout the whole film even in scenes that should be of real emotion for the character (when he is facing off against the man who did so much to him at a younger age) he remains in his bored expression.

The Bad: Two and half hours is way too long.

Tarantino's Kill Bill comes close in terms of being an homage to past cinema (which this film was intended to be, to a certain degree), but the sharp dramatics and stunning originality are just impossible to imitate.

The thing in the screenplay and the execution which makes the film more exciting till the end is that I just pondered all the time about the characters.

cliché) since Edwin S.

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.

The pacing was way too slow, the scenes were unnecessarily long and dragged often, and the acting left much to be desired.

Some have said that "Once" is too slow.

Sharp and visually stunning western (as a great director like the late Sergio Leone could create with his screen-writers, Dario Argento and Brenando Bertilucci) that it's one of those movies that really treasure so much.

C'era Una Volta il West reveals Leone's view of American West in monumental and cinematically fascinating way emphasizing the themes of greed, revenge and maybe the slightly evolving matriarchity as the main elements of the whole film.

Spellbinding from the opening; a slow simmering build wrought by nothing more than Ennio Morricone's legendary score and some haunting shots from Leone, right the way to the close; a supremely satisfying conclusion, inevitable yet riveting none the less.

expect yourself to sit on the edge of your seat, exploring all the corners of the TV-screen as you want to make sure you're not missing a thing!

There are several magnificent set pieces in the film including (but not limited to): the excruciatingly slow, yet intriguing, opening sequence, the murder of the Irish family, the gunfight in town as Fonda is targeted and the final showdown between Bronson and Fonda.

And it proves that an exciting film can pluck the heart-strings just as any story of star crossed lovers can.

", gives you an suspenseful anticipation of what is to come next.

One of the worst movies I've ever seen .

Cardinale is unpredictable as the widow who's just trying to do what's right for herself and holds her own very well.

did I say it was also boring and very long.

The plot is also interesting and complex, it twists and turns as we attempt to decipher what the big game is that all these men are fighting over and yet the final twist (as to the nature of Harmonica and Frank's relationship) feels contrived and forced and comes too late in the movie for the animosity which has been present throughout to have meaning.

When Morricone's trancelike score is combined with slow, uninterrupted shots of stillness, West feels like a beautiful dream, or is it a nightmare?.

Ennio Morricone's music score is rightly considered his finest and the stunning photography is by Tonino Delli Colli.

The scenes, the composition of the cinematography and the music haunted me, the hair on my arms stood up just thinking about the evocative beauty of the film, and finally when I got the chance to see it for the third time: POW!

He goes about his business with a sublime touch of feral grandeur that makes him equally chilling and fascinating as 'Frank'.

Morricone's music provide the most beautiful - and enjoyable - background to the already poetic and emotional visuals.

Tedious, drawn out boredom.

I tried sitting through the movie twice and both times I fell asleep.

Once you accept this slow rhythm you are in for quite a good western.

Unfortunately, words like slow, painstaking, and violent term the film just as accurately.

Bronson's movie career was defined by this movie and Claudia Cardinale is absolutely stunning.

To bring all of this fantastic film-making together is Ennio Morricone, whose score is tense, exciting and beautiful all at once.

Simply put, this movie is the most visually stimulating and engrossing movie I have ever watched.

Sergio Leone, the master behind this fascinating film is undoubtedly one of the best directors in history.

Great acting/directing, boring at times .

The camera angles are simply breathtaking.

Separate story lines that only come together neatly in the end, after a series of fascinating sequences filled with suspense and dazzling action.

I guess all I can say is that it is an extremely absorbing tale which will have you thinking for weeks to come.

Henry Fonda's villain Frank is rather drab and one dimensional, especially in comparison to Gian Maria Volonté's romanticized villains Ramon and Indio in the first two "Dollars" films.

Beautiful to listen to, fascinating to watch.

While intriguing I did not think it could hold up to his justly praised Once Upon A Time In America.

It's gripping and thoughtful all at once.

But the film's pace is much too slow and not exactly enlivened by a lack of dialog.

The chemistry between the two is electric, and the reveal at the end why vengeance is so important for Harmonica is a stunning twist.

I still think that the main theme is one of the most breathtaking pieces of music I have ever heard.

One of the great classics : a riveting, wildly immersive Western set against the historical backdrop of the expansion of the railroads.

Damn slow .

It's probably the best "western" ever made, and definitely the best of the "Sphaghetti Westerns", it's beautiful, intense, and marvelously composed.

The cast is unbelievable, the story compelling, the (sparse) dialog gripping, and the music top-notch.

I just find it boring.

Despite the excessive running length and deliberately slow pace, 'Once Upon a Time in the West' is more captivating than it is boring, though patience is certainly a necessity, especially for the first hour or so, which is effectively one long intro.

Sergio Leone's epic 1968 (1969 USA release) western masterpiece `Once Upon A Time in the West' is a visually and emotionally stunning film from start to finish.

Just staring around was the greatest acting required..Making things go really slow, stare a lot, increase surrounding noises a lot and you have a western?

IAC, this film is unbearable.

It's slow as heck, without substance, totally banal narrative-wise and ultimately, majorly overrated.

The whole movie is boring with no speed of action, there hardly happens anything.

It's a beautiful-looking film that takes its sweet time in getting where it wants to go, but riveting all the same.

There's no doubting the high quality of the picture and the skill behind the camera that explodes on the screen, but I found it to be a rather empty experience.

Overlong, paceless, ultimately boring western about a heartless killer (the late Henry Fonda) fighting a man known only as Harmonica (the late Charles Bronson) over a beautiful widow's (Claudia Cardinale) land.

To be honest, I was pretty bored for the first half of the movie.

The cinematic equivalent of watching paint dry.

I know some consider this a classic, but I call it a pretentious piece of crap.

Cameos by Western veterans Jack Elam, Woody Strode, and Keenan Wynn (along with Lionel Stander) are enjoyable as well.

From its suspenseful beginning to its suiting ending, it reveals itself to be one of the greatest cinematic shows ever.

Slow as molasses.

The pace of the movie is quite slow for the most part, erupting into bursts of violence.

The action sequences are intense and the story is very well written.

If you like long, tedious pauses and head shots, you'll love it .

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

The first hour is exciting and the final half hour or so was a nice conclusion, but everything in the middle dragged on and on.

S: OUTW is an absorbing masterpiece; an absolute gem of a movie and a must watch for those who understand the true meaning of 'A Timeless Masterpiece', and are willing to indulge themselves completely through the whole length of the movie.

Assigning musical themes to each of the film's three main outlaws, he gives us something to truly remember the film by, something to cushion his intense close-ups and lengthy takes.

The haunting score by Morricone is good and Henry Fonda as the baddest cat in the west is also very intriguing.

The film's end after its magnificent, gripping climax drags on too long & descends into sappiness.

More so in the ponderous, wind-out feeling, than anything else.

Maybe even more than Leone's other Westerns, all visually stunning and brutal masterpieces, "Once Upon A Time in the West" shows the old West from in its most brutal and most beautiful side.

As other reviews mention, and in keeping with Christopher Frayling's comments on the expanded DVD which includes his documentary, this western is all about rhythm - what seems seemingly slow to the unappreciative is actually a thoughtful dance with time to produce even-paced scenes that draw you in.

The slow shots of peoples faces and their reactions to events is a nice touch.

The only spoken words throughout this long (but totally gripping) scene are uttered by the old station clerk.

Each tune had its own character and organic feel by finding its way into each shot and Harmonica's theme was simply breathtaking.

It creates BOREDOM, and if all the unnecessary scenes were removed, or chopped down at least, it would not only have been a much shorter film, it might have been a slightly more interesting one.

not very much dialogues, but intensive pictures......

Long, slow, boring, just plain bad.

For all of these 10 minutes, you're on the edge of your seat waiting for something to happen.

Aside from its remarkable opening scene, which became one of my all-time favorites, I found the first hour of unbearably tedious!

Tonino Delli Colli, director of photography, has caught the actor's faces, in particular Henry Fonda's and Charles Bronson's, but also the grand landscape and every important and non important detail in such an amazing way, it's totally stunning, and all the way.

However, the plot of The Good is compelling and clean in its simplicity.

"Once Upon a Time in the West", running nearly three hours long, is an extremely compelling movie that is full of artistic approaches and styles by Sergio Leone.


Composed in stunning, majestic style, "Jill's Theme" alludes to a resplendent utopia away from the violent filth of the frontier.

A mysterious and fascinating man called Harmonica wanders 'around and teams up with a local gang-force to save a beautiful widow from being assassinated by a gunman working for the railroad-company.

So it's definitely worth watching, but you have to be prepped for an epic, slow movie that's more of a piece of art than a piece of entertainment.

It is beautiful throughout and the plot is fascinating and developed superbly(as one should expect from Leone).

Dario Argnto's script was unexpected and quite simply remarkable.

The haunting harmonica theme is a particular standout; only Morricone could make a harmonica sound so sweeping, evocative and mystical.

Leone's direction in this film will doubtless divide opinion, with some decrying his slow-motion style as boring and others hailing it as evidence of the handiwork of a master.

Every scene, every close-up is an opportunity for the actors to ham it up and further slow down the film.

One may find the long stretches of silence and inaction tedious n boring.

When I first watched this movie on AMC late night during the '90s, I was impressed at the pace of the scenes by director Sergio Leone, the compelling score by Ennio Morricone, and performances of Jason Robards, Charles Bronson, and especially Henry Fonda.

OUTITW is pure crap, and drawn out, punishing crap at that.

It is slow and intense, the story is thrilling, and you capture the whole feeling of the old American ways.

Worth watching for a few great set pieces.

The framework Leone creates establishes: the mythic super hero/villains with clever dialogue and snappy editing (how many Hollywood directors would have NOT had the guts; to film Jason Robards entrance in a way that showed his arrival instead of hearing the chaos he creates outside the trading post - a very understated funny scene).

Too many of them want to see those fast paced action movies with cool car chases.

There were very few action scenes (not that a good western needs them), the characters were boring, unrelatable, unrealistic, clichés, and the dialogue was few, far between, and didn't even relate to what was happening on screen.

It has absolutely everything necessary to earn great ratings and prizes, it is unfair that it does not have the recognition it deserves, since it is fascinating for the soul of any lover of the movies.

Sergio Leone will one day, maybe fifty years from now, replace Mister Wood on every critic's list as the worst movie director of all time.

The scenes are way too long and most of them don't even create tension as better Leone films so greatly do.

after hearing so much about it my expectation was very high and it accomplished to capture me with its slow alluring magnetism.

The action sequences in the film are exciting and don't feel at all superfluous.

Once Upon a Time in the West (OUTW) is a piquant cocktail of style and substance in equal parts, potent enough to catapult the viewer into a whirlpool of incessant excitement transcending him beyond the usual realms of an adrenaline rush.

The director's signature moves are so excessive and drawn out that Once Upon A Time In The West proves hard to get through without dozing off at least once.

Fans of the film defend its slowness on the grounds that it's an allegory of death.

Honestly, even i found some scenes boring, especially the opening scene.

C'era Una Volta Il WestEven though these features are overlong and walks on familiar and usual tracks and characters, what works in it, is the gripping and finely detailed screenplay and amazing cinematography that brings out its own stunning methodology.

Haunting rhythms raise the tension to an unbearable pitch ...

I found many sequences of the film boring.

Just the first meeting of Cheyenne, Jill and Harmonica is the most thrilling moment I have experienced with a movie so far.

Due to the deliberate pacing of the movie there were a few times where I was on the edge of my seat.

It's very intense.

As trite as it sounds, it's true; they don't make them like this any more and the world is poorer for it, thank God we have these to enjoy.

Stunning visuals from 70's which are breathtaking, and music that will go easily through your soul and let you dream of life.

Sergio Leone loves to keep the mood on edge by having repetitive annoying sounds, like the wind mill or insects overly loud.

I concur with: "Simply put, this movie is the most visually stimulating and engrossing movie I have ever watched.

waste of my time!!

To slow for my taste.

After the first ten minutes I was already half asleep, due to poor writing and tedious acting.

It is one of the most pretentious movies I've ever seen, indicating that Sergio Leone had officially lost his mind and indulged in his own mania.

but oh, that slow pace really did get to me.

The slow pace of the film only serves to increase the amazement at the beautiful presented scenery.

Whether it's about the remarkable Harmonica, which attracts the most attention with the striking tune he plays, or about Cheyenne, which can be recognized by his own theme as well, all of them ensure that it's enjoyable from the beginning till the end because of their abstruse, unknown history.

It is clear that when these two masterminds come together in a almost unique way, the result has to be breathtaking.

A forever of nothing happening.

The film is complemented greatly by the magnificence of Ennio Morricone's music and Tonino Delli Colli's breathtaking widescreen photography.

As my preference of the slow and confusing sequences in the movie, it really kind of downfalls a little bit in my rating for this movie.

As my title blurb amusingly suggests, this movie is really slow.

There is that "coming of age" feel to it and that "way larger than life" feel.

(If they'd cut the eyeball intercourse by half, this boring film might have been half an hour shorter.

Jill(Claudia Cardinale) gives a great supporting effort and gives her character "Jill" is wonderful and compelling.. Frank(Henry Fonda) is a dark, and striving personality that wants everything that is deserving of his needs of greed and envy..Harmonica(Charles Bronson) Plays one of the most mysterious characters I ever witnessed on film.

Once Upon a Time in the West is more a work of Sergio Leone , the master of westerns , the film already shows in the beginning a great photograph, a great wardrobe , and a great cast , Henry Fonda this great Charles Bronson this great also , Frank Wolff , Gabriele Ferzetti , Woody Strode , Jack Elam , Lionel Stander , Keenan Wynn , and etc. , the action scenes are great , especially for the time, the more I thought very long film, are three hours of film , and found the only medium pace , the film could have 20 minutes only , I thought the script was very drags at times, and even with good dialogues , some are middle unnecessary , more Once Upon a time in the West is a very good movie , with An excellent photography , great cast, excellent direction of Western master, Sergio Leone .

Technically, it has an enjoyable, whistling-worthy soundtrack along with a lot of authentic looking settings and trains, and even bathing and coffee making.

The Ennio Morricone music is rousing, the scenery is jaw-dropping and the various characters spring to colourful life.

Along with a great vision comes other great people to work with, like Ennio Morricone, who has another score that's so evocative and in tune with Leone's mind-set it was created before filming even began.

Whenever I watch a Leone movie, I am prepared for a slow pace - and am surprised that it is actually steady.

he and Fonda make an intriguing pair of adversaries.

Perhaps this has some sort of literary value, but its just too slow for me.

Many scenes added little or dragged the story down, and should have been cut.

The close up of his eyes is stunning.

this is well worth about three hours of your time!

The script, with input from Italian film legends Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci & Dario Argento, is evocative and well plotted.

The performances are adequate, the plot is routine and there are entire sections where absolutely nothing happens.

Three hours of epicosity later, I'm not impressed.

It's damn slow.

The images of the railroad progressing are themselves thematically powerful and visually stunning.

Which I won't give away, but the pace is ..as many have said, slow.

How can the plot be, at the same time, both predictable and disjointed?


Long and VERY boring!

long before the end of this grindingly dull movie.

Yet this film is more entertaining and well made than 99% of westerns.

The characterization in the actual film is a bit more realistic and intriguing than a mere killing machine would be.

There are many absolutely gloriously spectacular scenes both in Utah and with the train; the created sets/houses/town etc are genuinely visually fascinating and stunning to enjoy and make you reach further into the movie.

Just listen to the use of sound, check the camera angles and the intense plot.

The beautiful locations are expertly framed with breathtaking clarity.

So, by all means, as part of a class, and with the historical context firmly in your grasp so you can stay awake looking for the right stuff, watch it.

And having to watch Gabriele Ferzetti move at a snail's pace due to his crippled condition.

The 9/10 is also for the confusing and slow sequences.

It is extremely slow and the characters suck.

Violent and intense start of the movie promised a great things and fulfilled every one of it.

What some people might find boring is what makes Once upon a time in the west filled with more tension than most suspense films.

Though I have already seen 'THE DOLLARS TRILOGY' & 'ONCE UPON A TIME IN America' by the same legendary director SERGIO LEONE I find this "…WEST" much more engaging and attractive.

Just like the tagline says, this is Leone's epic western, and it's every bit as exciting as it sounds.

Some people think its slow, it's not, it's paced beautifully.

Harmonica's observation that man is a vanishing race being replaced by soulless machines and corporations is an apt eulogy for the men living on the edge of the law.

Employing his signature style, director Sergio Leone uses the wide screen format with the skill of a master painter, alternating breath-taking vistas with stunning close-ups against the magnificent score by Ennio Morricone.

This is no masterpiece, but it is a film worth watching.

Besides, with a film that is this entertaining and this beautiful, there's no burden whatsoever in having to watch it over and over…

The close-ups so intense that an opthamologist could provide diagnoses.

Gritty, sharp, and intense are all words that adequately describe Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West.

Jill, Harmonica, Frank and Cheyenne are myths made flesh in front of our eyes, thanks to four stunning and contrasting performances, each of which is a study in old-fashioned acting skill.

I can see why some hail it as an artistic masterpiece, but I can also see why others think it's repetitive and boring.

"Once Upon a Time in the West" has the humor, craft, thrills, and compelling storyline as "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly".

But that's Sergio Leone: although he has a very slow style, his movies are so entertaining that you adore them.

The next scene, the viewer sees a family being massacred by Frank (Henry Fonda, with a stunning performance).

This movie has so much---stunning scenery, a great cast, tight writing, economic plot, and haunting music---and it takes its time to unfold its tale of stark vengeance and redemption.


Yes, its slow.

As fantastic as these three brilliant actors are, there is one person who steals the show: In over a century of cinema, there have been countless beautiful, sexy, ravishing actresses in seductive, charming, fascinating roles.

Gripping from the opening scene till the last shot, it's a thrilling ride for sure!

This is also the movie that got me heavily into movies so I highly recommend it to all movie enthusiasts.

Now this is a long and intense movie which requires attentive viewing, meaning that it is a good idea to create an intermission and watch it in two parts.

Atmospheric and engaging.

But whereas the typical American western might include John Wayne or some other such hard bodied American taking on a role of 'honest as they come guy' who gets caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time, Once Upon a Time in the West is a slower and less-obvious film that somewhat ignores these conventions.

It's entertaining, adventurous and all truly original as well, as far as the genre is concerned.

Extrmely long and boring .

In fact, I know a lot of guys who like only action packed block-busters and still were amazed by this movie.

As great as Leone is at crafting individual sequences, the film became rather tiresome once it tried to actually start doing something with it's characters and narrative.

All supported by the magnificent, wonderful, stunning, marvelous, fantastic soundtrack of Ennio Morricone.

Caludia Cardinale looks stunning as Jill McBain and shows she can act too.

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.

The films flaws are many: its pacing is too slow, which place increased stress over the viewer's patience.

the pacing, though very likely slow for some, drew me in and delivered nail-biting vicarious suspense for any character at play on the screen at the moment.

Excruciating Slow Or Fascinating: Your Choice .

He's too self-indulgent.

"C'era una volta il West" is maybe the most stunning film I have ever seen.

Henry Fonda plays the darkest meanest character in his career and Charles Bronson, as his foil and opposite, is stunning to watch.

The way he uses breathtaking landscapes with a complete absence of dialogue is simply awe inspiring.

And, although I generally hated the long, slow pace, the opening scene was worth the very long wait.

The characters are deep an unpredictable (the plot will keep you guessing).

The direction by Sergio Leone is excellent,masterful and powerful,with Leone always moving the camera,using great angles and intense close-ups bringing a unique visual style to the film.

The story is rich and compelling and the dialogue is thought provoking and beautifully written.

Groundbreaking, riveting, exquisite.

By a slow accretion, the plot reveals itself.

It had plot developments that either didn't make sense or weren't explained (the widow sleeping with her husband's self-admitted murderer and enjoying it), the pacing was slow (to me this doesn't affect a good movie but makes a bad one worse), and the moods and atmospheres being set in many scenes seemed contrived rather than natural.

Oh sure, there were those late night TV airings where I saw the first excruciatingly exquisite scene and dug the music and the mood and then fell asleep.

The background music keeps you on the edge of your seat feeling each emotion with each actor; the acting is superb from both villain and hero and the emotions of each and every scene is portrait by Leone to perfection, the scenery and the cinematography are captivating from the drop of sweat which falls into the desert sand to horses chasing into the sunset.

The tension is high and the gun fights are more exciting.

Of course the long shots of Sergio Leone are backed up by the stunning music of the great composer Ennio Moricone.

This was the most tedious, dull and pretentious western I have ever seen.

Leone maintained the thrilling atmosphere for its entire runtime and the final showdown is rewarding.

The expressions on the character's faces and the intense silences between them add to the mysterious air of the movie.

But when Paramount tabled an offer he couldn't refuse, he went on to make this poetic, utterly compelling tale that still stands out as one of the most elaborate movies the genre has derived.

The biggest problem is the terribly slow pacing.

The long focus, keeping it all in view is stunning to behold, as are the sweeping shots from above.

As mentioned above, "Once Upon a Time in the West" is a film that overwhelms in all aspects, be it Leone's unique talent to build up tension, the phenomenal photography and rough beauty of the landscapes, the incredibly compelling story, the brilliantly drawn characters or the incredible score by Ennio Morricone – there simply isn't the tiniest aspect about "Once Upon a Time in the West" that is not absolutely brilliant.

But the impression I came away with was, I'm sorry to say, that the director put his self-indulgence firmly above the audience's entertainment.

We were only five minutes into this scene,with no dialogue and just some strange music, with our beers forgotten and sitting on the edge of our chairs leaning forward in order to miss nothing on the screen.

All of them flawed and fascinating.

I found myself many times throughout the movie just wanting it to reach some sort of climax and end because it was boring me.

I almost fell asleep, I really thought it was boring.

It is a breathtaking single shot with Claudia's character music blaring out.

Still, three hours is too long to tell a story that's much less complicated than the movie would have you believe.


Compare to "TGTBTU" where Eli Wallach created one of the most fascinating comic villains in the history of cinema.

Still with the mellow words of Bronson mixed with the brazen and incorrigible manner and threat of Frank make it eventually a very engrossing film - even though you know who wins, it's the mental subjectivity of his prey that orchestrates the mood and then brings the cause to creedence with answers...

Boring .

Everything else was so drab and bland.

The slow pacing, Monument Valley setting, typical Morricone score and all star cast are testament to how memorable he wants this film to be.

Every scene in "C'era una volta il West" has the highest intense, with some of the coolest quotes ever.

The slow build ups were nearly as taut as they were in the dollars trilogy, but the intense explosions of violence came too soon and too fast.

Long and Drawn out...

Add the powerful music and you have one of the most gripping and emotive sequences ever committed to film and it's a sequence that can still raise a chill.

I would have liked a little more from Claudia Carnivale than a fixed stare, which she seems to substitute for an intense overall performance.

As with all Sergio Leone movies, this is best seen on the big screen as the wide screen vistas and stunning artistry ensure that the full impact of the movie pays off dividends when seen in its original format.

It's filled with great performances, gripping tension, and completely justifies its long running time.

Even the first film Leone directed, The Colossus of Rhodes, is much more enjoyable than the usual Cinecitta fare.

Ennio Morricone contributes possibly one of the best scores of his career, and great use is made of sound effects (especially unnatural silence) as well as the breathtaking images of deserts and mountains.

I saw this when it first came out and a recent viewing hasn't changed anything: I walked out then - one of the very few times when I did - and I almost didn't make it through the restored blu-ray reissue.

Overall I found this film very tedious and I had to watch it in short increments or I'd never have got through it at all.

Brilliant, breath-taking, mind-blowing, minimalist dialog, creative camera angles, closeups that speak volumes without a word, gritty, suspenseful, dangerous, brutal, sadistic, sad and cathartic period masterpiece by cinematic geniuses with an outstanding score, great cast, plot, screenplay and scenes.

The viewer gasps as much at the unexpected perpetrator as at the brutality itself.

Fonda takes a stunning turn as a pure evil gunslinger leader.

The movie is too long and should have been cut down in length.

In my previous viewings, I always found it fascinating.

Disjointed, horribly directed waste of time .

And among them is Claudia Cardinale-top billed among the cast and the only other role I'd seen her in other than the "Pink Panther" movies-who provides quite a luminous presence as the only truly compelling female character in the movie.

Like his other films it doesn't glorify its actions, but its hard not to be taken by the visionary that's on show, despite the slow moving pace, flawed story (seems rushed and convoluted towards the end with some continuity shifts) and the way it milks out its scenes.

Stunning photography and landscapes abound in this retro western.

The unlikely quartet of buxom beauty Cardinale, legendary everyman Fonda, Mount Rushmore-esque Bronson and Method actor Robards blends surprisingly well and results in a fascinating melange of acting talent.

This movie is slow paced and is for "intelligent" viewers who want more than non-stop, mindless action and violence.

The director's wide frame, captured in Techniscope, is like a freshly-painted canvas, its watercolours glistening under the intense Western sun, and style dripping from every shot.

From there, the violence ramps up toward a slow, wonderful conclusion.

Cardinale is *stunning*, and, as goes for the others(not merely the leads), an excellent actor.

He takes his time to let the action unfold but thanks to the beautiful cinematography and the gripping score I was never bored for a minute.

The music's inane, the choral bits downright mawkish, the dialog consistently bizarre & the acting stilted, with far too many long - way too long - significant looks exchanged by all concerned.

The small details, the slowness of pace, the lazy movement of people, the sun, the heat the dust all add up the canvas being painted BIG.

Excellent cinematography, an intriguing story, and memorable characterizations .

Henry Fonda is brilliant and intense as Frank,one of the greatest villains in film history.

every scene filled with extended pauses and unnecessary camera angles, if you want boring to death between the paucity of action (ridiculous and totally without suspense) then this is surely the film for you!

This might have worked if he had created another compelling character except Frank.

Sergio's slow-moving western has some unforgettable moments...

It seems anything beyond 2 hours now just drag out far too long.

In this she has two unexpected allies.

All the characters in the movie are western archetypes, they all have there own Morricone background music and they speak in lines from previous westerns, and they move in slow, stylized sequences through a conspicuous cinematic landscape.

A fascinating story about a man who wants revenge for the past .

It is fascinating to look back in this DB to some of the first posts ( "over-rated", "boring" etc. ) and contrast them with the most recent.

Without music nor dialog, Leone creates one of the most suspenseful thrilling first few minutes of a movie whilst still rolling the opening credits.

After Cardinale's stunning buggy ride through Monument Valley, we are immediately aware that the movie is really being filmed in Spain or somewhere, certainly not in Monument Valley.

This was a unique western, one in which sometimes the action moves excruciatingly slow, which can either be fascinating or boring.

To compare this movie to "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly", which was slow itself, is a joke.

The echoing harmonica really got on my nerves after a while, and the whole approach struck me as long, boring and with pointless characters.

The way this revenge-story develops into a moving showdown between the old and the new west, and how it leads to the most gripping show-down in the history of movies gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

But during the last 30 minutes they were on the edge of their seats, shouting at the screen and clapping when it ended.

It is very long and it drags out every scene possible, squeezing every drop of sincerity and intensity out of the story.

The Good The Bad and The Ugly stands the test of time because it engages the audience with it's memorable performances and scenes, and a simple plot.. "Film buffs" claim this pretentious, three hour bore-fest a better film than TGTBATU.

Doubtlessly one of the most ravishing women who ever blessed the screen, Cardinale plays Jill, who is angel, femme fatale and hooker with a heart of gold all in one, and who brings out the most lovable, most intriguing and most erotic side of either of these traditional female roles.

Not the most accessible western he made (simply because others are more entertaining) but still an epic and well worth three hours of anyone's time.

So, if you've not seen this one yet, then I highly recommend it; if you have seen it, why not have another look?

While the storyline itself isn't complex, it's characters are compelling, rich and intriguing as Sergio Leone delivers what most western's do without, suspense.

First, the main characters are presented in a breathtaking way.