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Once Upon a Time in the West

Once Upon a Time in the West

1968
Drama, Action
2h 45m
Sergio Leone's monumental epic is as big as its Monument Valley locations, as grand as its fine, distinguished cast, as tough and bawdy as every kid imagines the Old West.
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Once Upon a Time in the West

1968
Drama, Action
2h 45m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 79.54% from 6085 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(6085)
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Rated 14 Oct 2008
95
98th
Super movie for western-moviefreaks. The last 8 minutes are incredible good. Henry Fonda played here a, sadistic, ice-cold badguy. Claudia Cardinal was in this movie a very beautiful woman. The music was also super. Great movie !!!
Rated 25 Feb 2007
4
74th
Leone moves on from his quirkier, more rugged Dollars trilogy to film the Western as opera, an elegiac ode to a dying breed. The cinematography is vast and the characters are larger than life. Charles Bronson kicks ass as the archetypal gunslinger, Jason Robards turns in something unexpectedly emotional, and Claudia Cardinale does what she can with a role from a director who is not very good with women. But Henry Fonda, cast against-type, steals the show in the most vile role of his career.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
86
94th
An epic film that takes its time developing the story. I wish certain elements were fleshed out a bit more (e.g. Cheyenne during the end), while others could be trimmed; nevertheless, the movie is beautiful and magnificent, with gorgeous scenery and excellent performances (especially Fonda - what a great casting choice!), and the patience of the viewer is rewarded with some of the most iconic and brilliant scenes in the Western genre.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
96th
Pretty much "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly's" equal, this film is also both a deconstruction of the western myth and a homage to all of Leone's influences which shaped his short and magnificant career. Featuring another excellent Morricone score, this movie is as broad and epic as the old west itself, with a cast of characters covering all angles. If anything else this movie was the grand, awesome finale to Leone's western making although he would make one more western and assist with another.
Rated 29 Jan 2008
95
98th
Absolutely gorgeous cinematography. Brilliant and appropriate score. Fantastic dialogue. Incredible acting. Within the opening fifteen minutes you know you're in for a fucking treat. I'm not sure what else I can say about this movie without feeling like I'm not even coming close to scratching the surface. It's a fucking classic in the truest sense. See it.
Rated 24 Nov 2009
10
98th
Incredibly tense and gripping. The best way to describe this film is that it is badass. Everything is cool and it features one of the best opening scenes and endings I've seen. I loved the pace and the score was excellent. Excellent cast as well, Harmonica owns.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
99th
The complex nature of each character in the film is intimately explored through their interactions with one another. It is the perfect blend of the styles of both the classic and neo western genres. The massacre at Sweetwater is quite possibly the greatest scene I have ever witnessed.
Rated 06 Feb 2007
90
85th
I gave this a second chance, and I liked it much more the second time around. It lacks some of the energy of Leone's earlier work, but it makes up for that with a sort of maturity that's rare in the western genre. You have to immerse yourself in the story and accept that the movie is going to unfold extremely slowly -- almost Kubrick-slowly at times. If you can, it's very rewarding.
Rated 19 Jul 2007
95
96th
I'm sorry to say this, but Once Upon A Time In The West is a lot better than the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. I'm sorry. I just felt more of a spark with this film, and I am a sucker for Henry Fonda. The opening sequence is so well done, and all the way until the end, Leone works his magic and keeps all of his viewers so extremely captivated. I wasn't bored for one second, and Fonda is so menacing, I really loved him in this. Leone's best, a Masterpiece.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
94
98th
Less consistently entertaining than "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly"; it took me a few attempts to concentrate past the stunning opening sequence, but eventually the truely grand nature of the film's content becomes clear. Reclaim your attention span.
Rated 18 Apr 2008
95
99th
Genius. If you like Spaghetti Westerns and have the stamina for this epic, this one's very rewarding. Great moods and photography, some good performances without too much of the old "yada yada", outstanding score, gripping story arc with a memorable conclusion.
Rated 29 Aug 2008
99
95th
One of the best western film ever made. Only one word can describe it : Epic! gorgeous cinematography and a brilliant score boosts this up even higher! Highly recommended!
Rated 13 Apr 2009
96
96th
Not as much fun as GBU since it moves as fast as a snail crawling in the desert, but it's more emotionally moving (both in the sense of "you might cry!" and "your feelings for the characters will shift"). My confusion hindered me the first time through, but it became much more meaningful on a 2nd viewing. The music is something I'll never get tired of.
Rated 23 May 2009
10
97th
Sergio Leone must of finished "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and thought to himself, how can I possibly top that? He than realized he is a genius and can do anything. The man could probably fly for all I know.
Rated 09 May 2010
100
99th
The ultimate western. Sound, camera work, editing and maybe the ultimate western plot melt perfectly together in one of cinema history's most beautiful acomplishments. This film is one of the few must-sees out there.
Rated 26 Apr 2011
90
95th
The cause for revenge revealed at the end is sooooo fucking intense that it makes the whole film work after the fact. Just when you feel like you're being subjected to too much time killing, it all resolves itself in the best way possible.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
74
50th
Tremendous disappointment after Good Bad Ugly. Bloated and boring, with little of GBU's flair or humor. Jason Robards is no Eli Wallach, Henry Fonda is no Lee Van Cleef, and Charles Bronson is no Clint Eastwood. The characters aren't as fun and the story isn't as compelling. The slow shots that in GBU built tension here only test my patience. Even the music pales in comparison. Really a major letdown.
Rated 31 Dec 2008
10
98th
A timeless Western masterpiece, that stands as Sergio Leone's best film. Wonderful performances that create memorable characters, amongst a classic score and amazing scenery make this a classic that all western and film fans need to see.
Rated 09 Jan 2010
90
97th
Modern audiences, myself included, miss out on the real impact of casting Henry Fonda as a child-killing villain. I watched this coming off the back of the spaghetti western trilogy and at the time thought the pacing was glacial. Now that I've digested it, I can appreciate just how much depth there is to everything, from the desert to the sky to the tension that permeates the screen. Claudia Cardinale is a goddess.
Rated 07 Nov 2012
95
99th
This movie, I think, is largely fueled by in fact being the exact opposite of "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" - being binary where the other was complex, and complex where the other was simplistic, claustrophobic where the other was epic and vice versa. But most importantly this movie is a a sombre finale to the genre that Leone helped popularize and legitimize. And I say sombre, not bleak, because for all its purported nihilism I actually read the ending on a satisfied note. Thus ever after.
Rated 18 Jan 2007
100
99th
I don't care what people think, this is Sergio Leone's masterpiece, a better film by far than The Good The Bad and The Ugly (though TGTBATU is a great movie). Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale in a massive, epic Western that weaves 3 or 4 different stories into a 3 hour feast for your eyes. A huge production with hundreds of extras, giant sets and incredible location shots in Monument Valley. #9 in my all time top 10.
Rated 03 Mar 2007
5
91st
Lacks the playful humor of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but damned if it isn't a rousing epic. Leone and Morricone were never better, and Fonda gives perhaps the most memorable performance of his career.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
97th
One of the finest films ever made. Sergio Leone proves once again that he was the undisputed king of westerns. Charles Bronson steals the show, even from Henry Fonda. Could very well be in the running for the most beautiful film ever.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
8
93rd
A gritty but still highly romanticized version of the Old West - it's the dusty, gunslinging Old West of legend, where civilization is bleeding in but men in cowboy hats still duke it out with only their pistols and their wits. It builds up crazy, simmering tension, has beautiful photography, and of course Henry Fonda's brilliant casting as the baby-blue-eyed sadistic sociopath, Frank. The quintessential classic slow-paced Western.
Rated 12 Jul 2008
4
38th
Really fucking boring.
Rated 04 Oct 2008
100
99th
Every time I watch this, it leaves me with the feeling of never having seen a movie before. Easily one of the ten best movies of all time.
Rated 26 Oct 2008
100
98th
No better western, GBU is bullshit compared to this movie.
Rated 27 May 2009
90
96th
My favorite soundtrack in any movie. Memorable characters and story, despite the slow pacing. I'm not a huge fan of Fonda as a villain, but that's a small thing in the face of the rest of the movie's brilliance.
Rated 31 Jul 2009
92
98th
Visually astounding Western, with mega performances and a great score. This film is full of tension, atmosphere and cold-hearted viciousness.
Rated 12 Dec 2009
100
98th
While its pacing is certainly slower than other Westerns, it has a unique sense of tension and unease. The combination of Morricone's score and some superb cinematography produces some of the best scenes I have ever seen. The plot appears confusing at first but slowly comes together and makes perfect sense. Honestly, it's a true masterpiece within its genre.
Rated 26 Jan 2010
88
78th
Bigger than life. A real epic. I'm not crazy about the Leone-Eastwood westerns--too much machismo posturing. But this is something better.
Rated 22 May 2011
91
87th
It is much deeper in psychology that the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly but for me personally it is less entertaining. The score is magnificent as well as script and cinematography. Fonda as a main villain looks unusual but just demonstrates his great talent as actor of different roles.
Rated 06 Jul 2011
94
99th
Pure, unrestrained joy. That's what this movie rewarded me with. I was stimulated in all the right ways: transfixed to the screen because of the gorgeous vistas, I was giggling with glee when hearing the badass dialogue, and became hypnotized by the classic soundtrack. The story is always interesting (I loved the sense of this period being the end of an era) and the entire cast is flawless. I'm still tingly all-over. Pure, unrestrained joy.
Rated 06 Jun 2013
4
1st
Useful if you are trying to fall asleep. Other than that, this is overlong to say the least, and moves at a snails pace. The harmonica playing the same tune over and over will grate on you like nails on a chalkboard, and the rest of the music is also relentlessly repetitive. Half the shots are unnecessary, the other half are five times longer than they should be.
Rated 16 Jul 2013
5
73rd
(SPOILER ALERT) civilisation's railroad is creeping up over the hills, and the old west totters on the brink of extinction. once upon a time... is the dream of one final, glorious swansong, where mythical anti-heroes fight it out across a sweeping backdrop, in a world where those who think with their heads are about to stop losing. left alive is a lady of civilisation, basking in the benefits of progress, and a hero of the old school, purpose extinguished, about to fade into obscurity forever.
Rated 12 May 2015
10
97th
Much of what makes this film a masterpiece is present from the opening scene: the masterful use of scenery and slow-burning atmosphere, the patient pace, the familiar while ambiguous characters (aided by the brilliant casting decisions)...this is one of the genre's finest.
Rated 01 Mar 2022
50
47th
Bana bir allahın kulu bu filmin amacının ne olduğunu açıklasın "aksiyon" dışında. Böyle hiçbir amaca hizmet etmeyen, anlamsız bir filmin imdbde en üst sıralarda işi ne. 90 ve üzeri puanlar ne alaka?
Rated 12 Dec 2006
90
94th
In some ways this is even better than The Good The Bad and The Ugly, as Leone focuses even more on the tone and visuals. Sure, the pace can be too slow at times, but it's worth it for the amazing characters and beautiful vistas we get, not to mention Claudia Cardinale.
Rated 03 Mar 2007
70
82nd
Classic.
Rated 16 Mar 2007
92
99th
One of the best movie ever made... Chronlogical how story goes movie get better and better... Really movie that remember all life....
Rated 18 Mar 2007
96
95th
One hell of a movie. Great acting, directing, action, storytelling, music, writing, editing, and everything else, it's just one of the best movies I've ever seen.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
73rd
Great performances and good story told in classic Leone style.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
96th
Probably the single best non-American western with the possible exception of Leone's own "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", and among the greatest movie westerns of all time.
Rated 08 Feb 2008
97
99th
The best ever made Western! Excellenct acting, directing, editing. Written by Dario Argento (!) and Bernardo Bertolucci. Unforgettabe music by Ennio Morricone. And I do not fancy Westerns!
Rated 23 Feb 2008
97
96th
Film making 101- Sergio Leone took his "spaghetti western" concept to art house levels with this operatic western epic, famous for casting Henry Fonda in the villian's role & Charles Bronson in the "hero's" role. Jason Robards, Claudia Cardinale, Frank Wolfe, Keenan Wynn & Leone's film acting regulars perform to Ennio Morricone's awe inspiring theme. The killing of Frank Wolfe's character's family & the introduction of Henry Fonda's character is one of the single greatest scenes ever filmed.
Rated 09 May 2008
87
86th
It's not as exciting as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but it has the better characterization and is likely prettier.
Rated 06 Jun 2008
55
25th
Fairly entertaining story, but the characters aren't that like-able which makes it tougher to associate with them. Maybe I'm just not a 'western' fan.
Rated 20 Oct 2008
94
98th
CHARLES BRONSON IS GREAT AND I THINK THE MUSIC WAS GREAT FOR THIS MOVIE.WESTERN CLASSIC.
Rated 12 Jan 2009
99
92nd
best spaghetti dish from maestro Leone. After the last bullet the book is closed .... there's no more western cinema
Rated 18 Jan 2009
100
96th
Times when men were real men... women were real women... the music is EPIC
Rated 06 Mar 2009
86
97th
Amazing cinematography, souns editing, colour scene and most of all music. The plot wasn't half bad either. Once Upon a Time in the West combines all the great things from Sergio Leone's movies and turns them into an epic masterpiece, a king of the western genre.
Rated 26 Apr 2009
100
99th
this is not just the greatest western
Rated 26 Apr 2009
52
15th
It looks beautiful, but some of my problems with Leone persist here. It's far too slow paced, I always felt detached from the characters and Morricone's score drifts between irritating and fantastical.
Rated 13 May 2009
100
99th
just about perfect, in all departments. claudia cardinale was one hot piece back then yo
Rated 03 Jun 2009
85
94th
Man, talk about a movie that grows on you.
Rated 16 Jul 2009
86
91st
Oldie but goodie! The pace is way slower than in films nowadays, but actually, that didn't bother me at all, actually I really liked it. It's a great way of building the tension that isn't used anymore today. Also what I especially like are those little details which make this movie a classic. The characters are powerful on screen and the dialogues are worth remembering. Great!
Rated 22 Aug 2009
95
97th
I'd complain about the pacing and run-time, but the brilliant cinematography, and performances by Bronson, Robards, and Fonda makes it a non-issue. Also, Claudia Cardinale is stunningly gorgeous.
Rated 07 Sep 2009
100
99th
A masterpiece. The first time I saw this, I didn't think it was very well-paced, but I now realize just how good Leone is at developing a scene and fully fleshing it out...and it's because he takes his time. Take, for instance, his frequent contrast of close-ups - gritty, dark, and emotional, with his long shots - majestic and contributing to a sense of grandeur. Or the eerie sound design. Or how characters can be developed not just by dialog, but by using Leone's masterful techniques alone.
Rated 27 Dec 2009
73
85th
I feel all warm and fuzzy. I've chosen the medium to be obsessed with wisely.
Rated 16 Feb 2010
2
33rd
I always feel like the emperor wears no clothes when it comes to Leone. I must be missing the part of my brain which allows me to enjoy the sight of several grown men trudging through squalor and squinting at each other for three hours.
Rated 08 Jul 2010
95
95th
It's the least fun of Leone's westerns, but it's his most heartfelt. The amazing caricatures of his opening trilogy are gone, but they're replaced by flesh-and-blood human beings. If that wasn't enough, it might be the best scored movie in history.
Rated 29 Jul 2010
92
92nd
Sergio Leone created the greatest Westerns ever made and this film stands right beside the 'Man with No Name Trilogy' at the very top of the genre. The music, scenery, cinematography; it's all legendary. Charles Bronson is badass, Henry Fonda is ice-cold, and Claudia Cardinale sets the screen on fire with her smoldering good looks. It'll make you want to be a gun-slinger and play a harmonica for the rest of your life.
Rated 03 Aug 2010
95
98th
This movie is great for so many reasons. Leone has an impeccable eye for shot compositions. His lens tells his stories. His perfect shots build amazing sequences - the near-silent opening is so intense and awesome, and the movie is filled with these. The music compliments the mood perfectly, and the casting is spot on. Fonda and Bronson are simply iconic and at the top of their game here. This is Leone's best movie and probably my favorite western. This is near perfect film making.
Rated 09 Aug 2010
10
97th
(2nd viewing) Awesome, the tension is so ubiquitous it's almost tangible. One issue I can seem to work past is, even though McBain wasn't a cold hearted bastard, his motivations, altough culturally vialiable and for the good of the region, are still monetary driven. A masterpiece nonetheless, full of classic, heartstopping scenes and Bronson in the role of a lifetime.
Rated 25 Sep 2010
97
99th
An amazing western and an amazing drama. Sit back and enjoy cause this film won't be rushed. It does seem long at times but I for one was glad because I didn't want it to end. Loved Fonda as a baddie, loved Robards and Bronson as well.
Rated 07 Dec 2010
95
98th
Just barely edging out Sergio Leone's other western masterpiece, this film is the culmination of what the great director learned as he created the Dollar's trilogy or at least that is how it appears to me. Starting with Henry Fonda in a rare villain role, this film is remarkable through and through. Jason Robards and Charles Bronson are great, the later doing well in a very familiar role. It is, however, Claudia Cardinale who adds something many westerns seemingly don't have.. heart.
Rated 25 May 2011
80
82nd
I'll probably have to re-watch this in a while as it didn't really engage me at all. I highly prefer The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.. The ending was pretty awesome, although that was expected, but I guess the pacing through me off quite a bit. Maybe my expectations were set too high.
Rated 19 Jun 2011
100
99th
Staggering western; represents pinnacle of Leone's impressive filmography. Startling cinematography and editing enhance mixture of homage and loving tribute to the westerns of Ford, Hawks etc. Atypical use of Fonda as villian pays off in spades, delivering one of the most chilling, gleefully nasty characters of all time. Bronson, Robards and Cardinale are all superb, but special mention must also go to Ferzetti as Fonda's crippled offsider, and Morricone's wonderful score. An awesome film.
Rated 31 Oct 2011
91
93rd
Leone takes suspense and pares it down to the basest level -- ambient sound, an actor's expression, the dusty desert. In this more than the Dollars films, he uses these elements to breed curiosity in the viewer, ratchets up the tension to an unbelievable level, then blows you away. What he does here is only capable in the medium of film.
Rated 23 May 2012
75
66th
A masterclass in pace, suspense and faces. Shows Leone's experience in the genre but also a drive to do something bigger and different. Subtlety and moral ambiguity and end-of-an-era romanticism. Mmmm.
Rated 04 Jul 2012
94
99th
This is one of my all time favorite westerns. Better than the Man with No Name films, better than any John Wayne offering, hell better than any other western I've ever seen aside from Unforgiven "1992"
Rated 12 Jul 2012
90
93rd
There are two things I don't understand. First, I've not quite figured out why Charles Bronson had to rip open Claudia Cadinale's blouse at one point (not complaining, but the reasoning escaped me). Second, and this really has little to do with the film, at the end of the movie a train is delivering things to the end of the line, but since the line is still being built there isn't one of those places to turn the engine around and face it the other way. In real life, how did they deal with that?
Rated 05 Dec 2012
90
97th
One of the finest westerns of all time. Claudia Cardinale.... no words.
Rated 23 Feb 2013
90
91st
A cool and impressive western, but I just don't agree that it stacks up to the Dollars Trilogy.
Rated 07 Jun 2013
95
95th
7 Haziran 2013 & en muthis olan ise, 20 saniye de olsa gordugumuz her karakterin nasil biri oldugunu, niyetini vs. anlayabiliyoruz. Butun bunlari da diyalog ya da ses ile degil, ince detaylar ile planlanmis goruntunun, kadrajin sayesinde anliyoruz. (Peki ya bunun tersi olabilir mi?) Muthis bir yonetmenlik ornegi.
Rated 23 Oct 2014
90
97th
Wonderful storytelling mixed with great acting cinematography and music. Also, Claudia Cardinale and Fonda's blue eyes.
Rated 23 May 2016
90
89th
At first I thought the Italian-ness of it would be a problem for me, as I've often struggled with other Italian films of the era (why did they persist with that consistently awful dubbing? It's like nails on a chalkboard). But I was surprised at how much it sucked me in, and by the second act I was pretty thoroughly hooked. There are some extraordinary sequences (that denouement!), some wonderfully nuanced shifting alliances, and a languid pace that actually works to its advantage. Great stuff.
Rated 25 Mar 2017
85
97th
Leone's style has become more sacred as the scarcity principle for old fashioned ornate epics has firmly taken hold. His work now carries a heavy burden of nostalgia, which is fitting for O.U.A.T.I.A as its subtext addresses the passing of an old mode of life supplanted by technological advancement. It's a simple revenge plot masterfully told featuring characters of unexpected depth and an atmospheric slow burn narrative that ratches up the intensity for the final classic showdown.
Rated 10 Jan 2007
98
99th
Leone's most beautiful western, or at least my favorite. An amazingly haunting Morricone score with an excellent performance by Henry Fonda and others.
Rated 22 Mar 2007
100
95th
Leone's best by a country mile
Rated 22 Mar 2007
85
79th
Felt a bit on the long side, but definitely worth seeing.
Rated 17 Apr 2007
91
93rd
# 87
Rated 03 Aug 2007
99
98th
Possibly the best Western ever.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
99th
Leone's epic goodbye to the old west.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
99
99th
A director, cast and crew at the peak of their considerable talents create a moving and unforgettable epic. Quite simply one of the greatest films ever made. The title translates more accurately to 'Once Upon a Time there was The West', well, once upon a time they made films like this. Watch Leone's 'America, too, which is almost as good.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
91
96th
Unbeatable.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
93
92nd
Claudia Cardinale may be the hottest woman to ever live, at least in my opinion, and what this movie and just try to watch this movie and tell me different. It also happens to have a great story, and is Sergio Leone's best movie. The scoring is also classic.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
98
97th
Some of the cinematography is a bit too over the top for me (albeit beautiful), but otherwise the power of the characters alone could carry any movie.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
44th
too long in the beginning but really great in the second half
Rated 14 Aug 2007
85
94th
Henry Fonda is great as a nasty, heartless killer.
Rated 16 Sep 2007
80
89th
The pace is odd at times, and there are moments that just aren't that interesting, but still...the story is more focused than The Good,The Bad, and The Ugly, and there are some terrific scenes. Bronson is better at being Eastwood and Eastwood even was at the time.
Rated 13 Oct 2007
70
33rd
Beautiful and slow -- why does everybody love it? I'll have to watch it again when I'm not sleepy.
Rated 19 Oct 2007
97
89th
The greatest Leone film. Good to keep Eastwood out of the movie
Rated 14 Jan 2008
95
85th
some o this has never been equaled
Rated 25 Feb 2008
85
74th
sergio leone at his best, although not his best movie. but notheless a classic movie.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
96
93rd
# 80
Rated 17 Mar 2008
100
99th
One of the best westerns of all time by one of the best directors of all time, a fantastic cast with an amazing soundtrack.
Rated 28 Apr 2008
94
98th
Great acting, beautiful cinematography, brilliant directing and superb score. The pacing is a bit too slow at times, but that's about the only flaw I can think of.
Rated 31 May 2008
85
82nd
Brilliant and complex Leone Western. Huge depth of character expressed through close-ups and reaction shots. And Henry Fonda's eyes!
Rated 17 Jun 2008
97
96th
An epic western with Leone and Morricone in top form. It's perfectly paced: slow but constantly intriguing, and Bronson, Fonda, and Robards all give memorable performances. The more I think about it, the more I adore the hell out of it. You must leave all perceptions of a conventional western at the door before you embark on one of Leone's adventures.

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