Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 2hr 47m
Perhaps the ultimate ‘spaghetti’ western, Sergio Leone’s horse opera is a truly magnificent film. From its bravura slow burn opening credit sequence to its climax – this is filmmaking on an epic scale.
The visual beauty of the film which makes the most of its widescreen composition, is matched by a stunning soundscape, featuring the music of Ennio Morricone, who had worked with Leone on his ‘Dollars’ trilogy.
Written in collaboration with Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento and starring Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale this elegiac film charts the passing of a way of life, as ruthless modernisation via the railway increasingly encroaches on the frontier of the ‘wild’ West.
Taking its time to tell its story, the film allows its spectators to revel in its drama, in its imagery and the aural universe that it gives them access to. The film stands as Leone’s homage to the Hollywood western and to the myth of the American frontier. As one critic has described it, ‘Once upon a Time in the West is as much a reflection of cinema past as it is of the historical frontier’.
The film will be introduced by Dr Paul Sutton, who will stay for the end of the film for a post-screening discussion in the front-tier of the downstairs seating area.