Once upon a time in the West


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The screenplay was written by Sergio Leone together with the young Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento; when they left, Leone called Sergio Donati back.

The village of Sweetwater takes its name from an Arizona village in the Monument Valley where Leone shot some scenes of the movie.

At this point in time Leone no longer had any budget problems; he finally managed to have Henry Fonda; the role of ‘Harmonica’ was offered to Clint Eastwood who refused; then Charles Bronson was engaged.

During the making of the movie the actor Al Mulock, who appears in the initial sequences, committed suicide in Guadix by throwing himself from the window of his hotel room wearing the stage costume.

The film was released in the Italian cinemas on December 21, 1968; in the USA on May 28, 1969.

The original version was 165 minutes long, the one released in America 145 minutes. In the 1990s the film was restored for a total duration of 175 minutes; I own this one.


The locations

La Calahorra, Tabernas – Western Leone


The actors

Salvo Basile, Aldo BertiJoseph BradleyFrank BranaCharles Bronson, Claudia CardinaleSaturno CerraLuigi CiavarroSpartaco ConversiBruno CorazzariJack ElamGabriele FerzettiPaolo FigliaHenry Fonda, John FrederickDon GallowayMichael HarveyStefano Imparato, Francesca LeoneRaffaella LeoneClaudio ManciniDino Mele, Antonio Molino RojoAl MulockTullio PalmieriRenato Pinciroli, Jason RobardsLorenzo RobledoAldo SambrellConrado SanmartinEnzo Santaniello, Simonetta Santaniello, Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia, Robert SpaffordLionel StanderBenito StefanelliPaolo Stoppa, Luana Strode, Woody Strode, Fabio Testi, Frank Wolff, Keenan WynnDino ZamboniMarco Zuanelli