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Once Upon a Time in the West (Bilingual)

Henry Fonda , Charles Bronson , Sergio Leone    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 40.40
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Once Upon a Time in the West (Bilingual) + Once Upon a Time in America: Special Edition (Bilingual)
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Product Details

Product Description


The so-called spaghetti Western achieved its apotheosis in Sergio Leone's magnificently mythic (and utterly outlandish) Once upon a Time in the West. After a series of international hits starring Clint Eastwood (from A Fistful of Dollars to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), Leone outdid himself with this spectacular, larger-than-life, horse-operatic epic about how the West was won. (And make no mistake: this is the wide, wide West, folks--so it should be seen in widescreen.) The unholy trinity of Italian cinema--Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Dario Argento--concocted the story about a woman (Claudia Cardinale) hanging onto her land in hopes that the transcontinental railroad would reach her before a steely-eyed, black-hearted killer (Fonda) does. (The film's advertising slogan was: "There were three men in her life. One to take her ... one to love her ... and one to kill her.") Meanwhile, Leone shoots his stars' faces as if they were expansive Western landscapes, and their towering bodies as if they were looming rock formations in John Ford's Monument Valley. --Jim Emerson

Special Features

The powers behind the DVD of this Western masterpiece pay due respect to filmmaker Sergio Leone's style right down to the DVD menus: calm, slow building, and pierced by a gun blast. The location gallery is a wonderful and unique extra consisting of images of filming locations then and 30 some years later, scored by Ennio Morricone's haunting music. The new hour-long documentary (uselessly cut into three parts) is packed with new interviews from surviving members of the cast and crew (including star Claudia Cardinale and co-writer Bernardo Bertolucci) along with insight from a trio of modern film directors and Leone fans: John Carpenter, Alex Cox, and John Milius. Leone biographer Sir Christopher Frayling has the lion's share of the commentary track, and although he knows Leone cold, he often just narrates the action. Other voices are more engaging. The widescreen print (2.35:1) is immaculate with true colors we haven't seen in prints on TV or second-run theaters. Of course you'll miss the big screen of a movie theater, so we recommend you watch the film while sitting real close to your television. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It doesn't get any better than this" Jan. 1 2004
My title is a cliche but in this case it's the only phrase to use. The version of this movie available now, with its extra disc full of great bonus material, is an example of how to bring DVD format to its highest potential. First of course there's the movie, and its director Sergio Leone. Every Leone movie I've seen--Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good Bad and Ugly, Once Upon a Time in America--is wonderful, but this tops them all. Imagine the year 1969: what a great time to be a western film lover. You had this, and Sam Peckinpah's Wild Bunch in the same year. Incredible. Anyway, it's impossible to list all the great scenes, so I'll stick with the first. If you love the credit sequence you'll love the movie; it's not for everybody, however. So those credits, mostly silent except for a windmill creaking, which Leone somehow makes sinister, and one of the minimal details he uses to establish authentic mood, are the litmus test. You'll either love the movie or hate it. The scene is built on a genius contradiction: it's so tense that you want it to end, but it's so beautifully done, so built on image and gesture and glance, that you also hope it never ends. The whole movie is that delicious. And the cast--wow. Everyone is at top form, but check out Henry Fonda as the leanest meanest bastard imaginable, but also someone you can't avoid enjoying because it is the GREAT Mr. Fonda, with Leone getting maximum mileage out of close ups of Fonda's ice-blue eyes, as unforgiving as a western sky, generally acting like the amiable stalwart figure he always plays, until he shoots little kids and fat lackeys whom he doesn't trust because they wear both suspenders and belts: and as Fonda says, how can you trust a man who can't even trust his own pants? Read more ›
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Henry Fonda is a scary dude July 12 2004
By J. Toro
If you have never been scared of Henry Fonda, this is the movie that will do it for you. The scene in the beginning, right after the whole family is killed is so eerie as the gunmen just appear silently from the brush. Henry Fonda's cold, killer eyes staring down the little child before he shoots him. Wow.

This is a very well made film, nothing like is has been made in years. Every scene takes its time to build up the right mood. This is a movie to watch when you have alot of time and nobody is around to bother you. The DVD transfer is nothing short of amazing, the color and quality of this 35 year old film will leave you speechless.

Claudia Cardinale is an absolutely stunning beauty, Charles Bronson is perfect as the vengeful quiet loner. I didnt expect Jason Robards to work well but he is very effective.

Definitly a movie to buy, not just rent. Something to give to someone who really appreciates epic movies the way they used to make them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First movie of the second trilogy July 8 2004
By A Customer
Leone went to America and started his second trilogy with this Western. Then came A fithful of dynamite and finally Once upon a time in America. The title for the second movie in France was Once upon a time the Revolution. This second trilogy had this in common, titles started with the same words. Leone was once again majestious choosing the right characters, Fonda for an unusual role in a depictable character and Bronson as the guy who doesn't talk much, like Eastwood in previous movies. The music accompanies the image in a beautiful way like when Cardinale arrived at the train station and the camera goes up to reveal the entire city with the music taking off with the choirs. The dust, the shootings, the rocks of Monument vallee, everything reminds of the wild west. The first scene is perfect with these 3 men with their own story, the fly, the water drop etc...Leone wanted Eastwood, Wallach and Van Cleef to play these 3 guys. It would be have a nice cameo after the Good the bad and the ugly. Eastwood didn't want to be remember in Leone's movie as a guy who gets killed. This shows how much characters are important, how much actors got involved in these movies. Bronson plays perfectly the guy who remembers how his brother was killed. Almost all violent scenes are not shown, just suggested, like the massacre, we only see dead bodies. This movies was made like a Greek drama, very slowly, without a lot of dialogues, and in a very theatratical and solennal way. This is a must see for western lovers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Keep your lovin' brother happy!" June 28 2006
This review is done from a psychological/mythological perspective and highlights symbolic material in the tradition of Jungian research into the collective unconscious.

The opening shot of the film shows a rickety shambles of a door which slowly creaks open. An elderly man turns to look at the door and sees a tall, lean, hollow-faced gunman--the gun and bullets are framed first in the shot and as the camera pans up to the gunman's face a ghostly rush of wind is heard. The elderly man turns to look and sees two other men framed in the other two doors. This opening moment sets the symbolic tone for the film, which is about the moment when someone transcends their normal life and becomes someone exceptional. In this film the exceptional usually means an exceptional killer.

The multiple doorways in this opening scene foreshadow the unholy gateway pictured toward the end of the film, where we learn the story behind the creation of the deadly character, Harmonica, played by Charles Bronson. This gateway to horror is like a demonic mandala with a suffering, agonized man and child in the middle, two ominous guards standing at the sides and the Monument Valley in the background.

Once a man has gone through that gateway of sublime disregard for human life and feeling, he becomes the gunslinger as visualized by Sergio Leone--a ghost of a man with eyes of ice and no human feeling. Satisfaction for this man is in death and brutality; moments of ecstasy are emphasized in the mysterious soundtrack which swells to a crescendo of fulfillment and joy at the moment of confrontation with death. Of particular note is Henry Fonda's performance. He plays an evil man with eerie sensitivity and achieves expressions of sadistic intimacy at the moment of supreme cruelty.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
A good storyline and the DVD is of good quality.
Published 11 days ago by Kenneth D. Stonehouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by ti-lain
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great spaghetti western, with A-list actors.
Published 2 months ago by M. L. Cote
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Stéphane
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm impressed by the Stars that appear in that movie
It's a very good movie,lots of action and for fans of western movie this one hits the spot in many ways.
Henry Fonda is the main attraction
Published 4 months ago by Franz Weinhandl
5.0 out of 5 stars A great lip-synced, shoot-em-up western fable from a Master.
The first time I saw this film a film buddy hyped it up and when I saw it I was...meh. But on the 2nd viewing a year later I got what he meant and it keeps getting better every... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Joker-scar
5.0 out of 5 stars l'image est restorer
enfin le jaune pisse des année ''70''
n'est plus apparent comme il était
le grain est beau la définition est supérieur
contient la... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Benoit
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie depicting the raw, hard, cold blooded times and a struggle to...
This is a classic western from the late '60's as only Sergio Leone could possibly direct.
Henry Fonda at his best as a hardened hired gun who out draws his targets & also... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ditch
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!
This is a classic in the westerns! I just don`t get tired of watching it. Definitely a good buy. 5 stars!
Published 16 months ago by Laurent Cyr
1.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time in the West
Terrible movie. Full of long( very long) meaningful glances between people, both men and women. So many and so long I fast forwarded each time and still got the story line..... Read more
Published 17 months ago by harnden03
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