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 who? 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 on his quest to get even. Get-rich-quick subplots and intricate character histories intertwine with such artistic flair that this could in fact be the movie-to-end-all-movies. Written by
The original script called for Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach (in their roles from The Man With No Name trilogy) to be the trio gunned down at the train station. Eastwood, whose star was rising in Hollywood, did not want to be seen as a villain and objected. When he did, Wallach backed out as well. Leone had to pull Jack Elam and Strode from later in the script. Though they got paid handsomely, they lost almost 30 minutes of screen time. In the original script, they would have killed Harmonica to fulfill Jason Robards' prediction that those who live by the sword die by it as well. With Elam and Strode changed, Harmonica was allowed to survive. See more »
Near the beginning, Brett McBain is shooting birds, and Timmy (Brett's son) collects the birds and shows them to his sister Maureen. The birds are chukkar partridge, which were introduced into the United States by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the 1920s and were not present before then. See more »
Hey - hey hey hey hey, if you want any tickets, you'll have to go around to, eh, to, eh, the front of the, eh... oooh, well, I s'pose it'll be all right.
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Lionel Stander receives on screen credit in the original U.S. theatre release prints even though his part was completely cut out of this shortened version. See more »
It doesn't get any better than this: this is movie history
This one only gets better with each viewing. Leone's masterful storytelling and Morricone's crazy, beautiful, epic soundtrack; desperate, haunted faces which look like the barren landscapes the story is set in and a plot that unfolds with impeccable pacing to culminate in THE ultimate western finale.
As in Leone's previous films, music isn't just used to add to the atmosphere but is essential to the story, or perhaps even more: Morricone's main musical theme plays the actual role of a (or rather: the) protagonist in the film.
Anyone who thought that the so called "Spaghetti westerns" were nothing but cheap, violent B-movies had to reconsider after seeing this film. It doesn't get any better than this: this is movie history; iconic, classic, unforgettable, epic. For this film, I just run out of superlatives.