“Once Upon a Time in the West Harmonica Scene”
This scene has the Sergio Leone’s signature written all over it. Here’s more from a great website devoted to this great director (Fistful-of Leone):
Once Upon A Time In The West
After finishing The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Leone planned to work on a film titled Once Upon A Time in America. He wanted to do something different than the western that had brought him fame. Yet the studios knew that another western would be very popular, since the Dollars trilogy did quite well, especially for how little money was put into making them. So, Leone agreed to do another one, titled Once Upon a Time in the West.
The first treatment came from Bernardo Bertolucci, cult-favorite Italian Horror director Dario Agento, and Leone, but was significantly reworked by Sergio Leone and Sergio Donati. Before the film was shot, Ennio Morricone had already written the music, which included a prominent harmonica which Leone decided to add to the film. Thus the plot was completed. But the plot in this movie hardly matters much. The plot keeps the movie going, but it is not what makes the movie special.
The story concerns, once again, a man with no name (Charles Bronson). He’s out for revenge, targeting Frank (Henry Fonda), a ruthless killer hired by a railroad boss. The railroad boss Mr. Morton wants the land of Jill McBain (Claudia Cardinale), and the man with no name and his newfound ally Cheyenne (James Robards) team up to defeat the railroad boss and Frank.
The plot is admittedly lifted from Johnny Guitar, starring Sterling Hayden. Well, that’s what they tell you, at least. To some extent, it is true. But anyone who has seen Johnny Guitar knows that only a few elements of the film were borrowed. Namely, the presence of a loner, a bandit and his men, and the defense of a beautiful woman’s land. Many other specifics, such as Frank, the railroad tycoon, the quest for revenge, and in fact most of the latter part of the plot is different. However, it is not original, intentionally. Leone combined elements of many famous westerns to create the perfect one for this movie. At any rate, Johnny Guitar is certainly not to Once Upon a Time in the West what Yojimbo was to A Fistful of Dollars…..Read More
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