MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 70 this week

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
"C'era una volta il West" (original title)

8.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.7/10 from 167,241 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 526 user | 159 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

Epic story of a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 05 Feb 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 26 Apr 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 24 Dec 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 09 Jul 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) on IMDb 8.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Once Upon a Time in the West.

User Polls

Top 250 #26 | 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions, team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima
Casablanca (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Rear Window (1954)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
12 Angry Men (1957)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne Koch
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his humour, but must use that same quality to protect his son in a Nazi death camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim
City Lights (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The Tramp struggles to help a blind flower girl he has fallen in love with.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Paolo Stoppa ...
Sam
...
...
...
Sheriff - Auctioneer
Frank Wolff ...
...
Barman
Edit

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 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 DrGoodBeat

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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for western violence and brief sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

21 December 1968 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Time in the West  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(international) | (1970)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sergio Leone made hundreds of references to films that influenced him. Some were quite obvious (like three men waiting for the train as in High Noon (1952)) and some were very subtle, like the choice of Woody Strode's sawed-off Winchester rifle, similar to the weapon Steve McQueen carried in the TV series Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958). McQueen referred to this unique weapon as a "Mare's Leg". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Station agent: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in A Man Called Blade (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Danny Boy
(1913) (uncredited)
Written by by Frederick Edward Weatherly
Hummed and Sung a cappella a bit by Simonetta Santaniello
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

pure cinematic paradise
26 July 1999 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Thank god that I'm a Bronson fan. This was my first Leone movie, and dumb kid that I was, I actually watched it thinking I was in for a typical Bronson "vehicle"! Looking back I'm thankful, because if it wasn't for his involvement, I would never have discovered the beauty and majesty that is Once Upon a Time in the West.

I absolutely love this movie. It's probably my all time favourite, certainly one of the few that I can watch OVER and OVER again without losing interest. I love the way Leone creates intrigue and mystery around what is a relatively thin plot. He can make even the smallest twist of fate seem like an epic turn of events, with that amazing sense of revelation that he generates out of old hackneyed situations (something Argento has since picked up). Leone proves in this film that he could seemingly take anyone, even peripheral characters, and give them screen charisma without using dialogue as a crutch.

OUATITW features the most tense two man stand-offs ever, with some serious deja-vu in the direction of his "Dollars" trilogy. In fact, it does feel like those three movies were warm ups, practice sessions in the build up to OUATITW. Here though, he perfected everything; despite the long running time, it's all focused, and without a single irrelevant scene. For me, the two hours plus just fly by, I wish it would never end. Leone was without question at his artistic peak when he made this, that's not to say that he went downhill from then on, but I honestly don't think he ever did another film where everything came together so perfectly.

The cast is flawless. Fonda eclipsed every good guy he ever did in one fell swoop, truly chilling. Robards is a great comic character, the lovable rogue with an edge. And Cardinale is more than just (incredible) window dressing; she switches between passionate, angry, delicate and sentimental at all the right moments.

Which leaves the hero; I'm a huge Eastwood fan, but I honestly don't believe he could have done the role justice. His "man with no name" was a cool, sly character with hidden complexities. Eastwood always does these layered personalities, with some kind of mental baggage. Bronson, on the other hand, mostly does himself; simple, uncomplicated figures with only one state of mind, that's why he's put in so many revenge flicks. Plus, he looks like he's been seriously wronged at some point in his life, Eastwood doesn't have that quality. Bronson is the genuine hard-as-nails article. You can readily imagine that, had he been born decades earlier and been put in the same situation, he would resolve the problem in much the same way as his character in the movie (sometimes I affectionately refer to this movie as Deathwish part 0- could Harmonica be the great granddaddy of Paul Kersey?).

Of course the other great contribution is the music. I still think that the main theme is one of the most breathtaking pieces of music I have ever heard. It affects me deeply whenever I hear it, regardless of the mood I'm in. Maybe I should listen to more opera or something, I don't know, but that's the way I feel. And the individual character themes are just so well integrated into the film, it's unbelievable. Leone replaces words with music, and it conveys so much more in return. Bronson just plays that melancholy tune on the harmonica instead of answering people back, it consistently cracks me up.

High Noon, Naked Spur, Shane, The Searchers, etc. are all classics of the genre, but I really don't think it's possible to compare those "traditional" westerns with OUATITW. For me, it exists on a plane of it's own, it's the kind of film experience that you let wash over you, a waking dream. I recommend this movie to anyone, if you're on the right wavelength you'll be greatly rewarded.


215 of 254 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Repetitive and boring nickcluxton
Just finished it... kevin-166-337466
Your favorite moment/scene? SeaHorseMafia
The Most Hated Movie among the IMDB Top 25 Movies hspraj
Why does Frank want Harmonica killed at the train station? luke-johnson598
When does this movie take place? DannyDee14
Discuss Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?