Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Leone, Once upon a time in the West

This was a great disappointment. Considered by some to be one of the best movies of all time and the best Western, I consider it neither. Mind you, it has very high ratings on all sorts of sites, a cult following and it has influenced a number of filmmakers.

Looking for a clip to feature on this post, I became bored all over again when I started to watch the above, a part of the opening sequence. I loved Leone's Dollars trilogy, especially The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and I love Westerns, but I didn't like this at all.

Too long. Over two and a half hours. Too slow. Too confused. Did not care about characters. Plot not compelling. Excessive and gratuitous violence.

Strange that a movie with so much talent (and so much money from Paramount), with the direction of Sergio Leone, story by Leone, Bertolucci and Dario Argento, cinematography by Tonino Delli Colli, and major actors such as Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson and Claudia Cardinale, did nothing for me. I didn't even particularly like the score by Morricone. Anyone who has seen High Noon or Shane and then says this is the best Western ever makes no sense at all.

But check it out for yourself; it is now available on streaming through Netflix.