Once upon a time in the west music

There's the same eerie music; the same sweaty, ugly faces; the same rhythm of waiting and violence; the same attention to small details of Western life. There is also, unfortunately, Leone's inability to call it quits.

The movie stretches on for nearly three hours, with intermission, and provides two false alarms before it finally ends.

once upon a time in the west music

In between, we're given a plot complex enough for Antonioni, involving killers, land rights, railroads, long-delayed revenge, mistaken identity, love triangles, double-crosses and shoot-outs.

We're well into the second hour of the movie before the plot becomes quite clear. These difficulties notwithstanding, "Once Upon a Time in the West" is good fun, especially if you like Leone's way of savoring the last morsel of every scene.

A final shoot-out between Henry Fonda and Charles Bronsonfor example, takes at least 15 minutes. They walk. They wait. They circle each other. They stare at each other. They squint. They spit. They take off their jackets.

They wince. Just when they finally seem prepared to shoot after all, Leone uses a flashback. But why hurry a good shoot-out? His third, " The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ," was made with a few dollars more. But this one was bankrolled by Paramount and looks like it: There's a wealth of detail, a lot of extras, elaborate sets. There's a sense of the life of the West going on all around the action and that sense is impossible to obtain on small budgets.

Leone produces some interesting performances by casting against type. Henry Fonda is the bad guy for once in his career; Charles Bronson is impressively inscrutable as the mysterious good guy; and Jason Robards is a tough guy, believe it or not. Claudia Cardinale was a good choice for the woman, but Leone directs her too passively; in "Cartouche," she demonstrated a blood-and-thunder abandon that's lacking here.Has any piece of movie music more perfectly reflected the concept of 'nemesis' than Ennio Morricone 's stunning, ominous 'Man With A Harmonica' theme?

As Charles Bronson's vengeful loner pursues the murderous Frank in Sergio Leone's masterpiece Once Upon a Time in The West, the composer's explosive, powerful work conveys the solemn thrill of someone about to dispense bloody justice - and the creeping fear of a villain whose violent past is finally catching up with him.

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Fifty years on, Morricone's blistering, beautiful and spellbinding music for Once Upon a Time in The West has lost none of its potency. Most films have their composers put music to images far into post-production. These days, temp tracks are common right until the last possible moment. But such was Leone's faith in his collaboration with Morricone, which had already spawned the hit 'Dollars' trilogy, he had him compose the key themes before filming - and played the music during the shoot in order to inspire his cast.

Morricone's beautiful main theme for Once Upon a Time in the West, which first plays as Claudia Cardinale's Jill arrives alone at the train station, perfectly captures and drives home the bittersweet essence of Leone's film.

Edda Dell'Orso's haunting operatic vocals, accompanied by shudder-inducing chimes and strings, are mournful and heart-breaking. They evoke a sense of boundless loss and longing. But then the orchestra builds to a triumphant flourish as the camera rises to show us the expanding bustle of activity, and rise of civilisation, against the stunning, expansive backdrop of the Old West.

The marriage of music and visuals reflects the pioneer spirit of the shifting landscape, and Jill's hope for a better life, but also the brutality and despair that 'civilization' is bringing with it. The coming railroad literally sends death out into the frontier in the shape of Henry Fonda's ruthless enforcer, Frank, who guns down Jill's new husband and his family in a bid to secure their land.

Against this dichotomy, the music is unspeakably moving. As for the aforementioned harmonica piece, it's a visceral, exciting counterweight to the soaring main theme. It almost always accompanies impending bloodshed or - at the very least - the threat of it.

Cleverly integrating the character's own playing into the score, it blurs the lines between the sound of the film's reality, and our own as a viewing audience. And let's not forget the wonderful, unsung theme for Jason Robards' witty, resourceful bandit Cheyenne. Like the other compositions, it captures a range of emotions; when he is first introduced, there's an element of mystery and danger to befit his ambiguous entrance, but it also deftly sums up the character's playfulness and rogueish charm.

Later, slowed down and sombre, it strikes a regretful note too just as the main theme appears to shift to capture Jill's shrewd, courageous defiance. Almost all of the film's principal characters are tragic in some way, and Morricone's score reflects that. Through sorrowful music cues, it even finds room to make us feel some semblance of pity and empathy for corrupt railroad tycoon Morton - who dreamed of reaching the Ocean, but is left crawling helplessly towards a puddle with the sadistic Frank leering over him.

There's irony, of course, in the fact that no music whatsoever appears in the iconic, slow-burning opening sequence - save for Bronson's spine-tingling burst of harmonica. But the movie's use of tense, suspenseful silence at key moments only makes the arrival of Morricone's score more impactful.

When the aforementioned harmonica breaks the air of stillness, it induces an eerie, foreboding thrill; as surprising for us as it is for Frank's doomed henchmen.Skip to main content. You have exceeded the maximum number of MP3 items in your MP3 cart. Please click here to manage your MP3 cart content. The White Buffalo. February 28, To enable Prime Music, you must have JavaScript turned on in your browser.

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once upon a time in the west music

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Learn more. Total Length: Genres: Folk. Customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness.Jill played by Claudia Cardinale is a mail-order bride who arrives in the fictional town of Flagstone, Arizonato find her new husband and his children murdered by a gunman named Frank Fonda.

Frank is in the employ of a railroad baron named Morton Gabriele Ferzettiwho wants the land Jill has now inherited. Into this mix comes a man called Harmonica Charles Bronsonwho says little but proves himself adept against gunmen sent by Frank to kill him. Harmonica is on a personal mission of revenge against Frank, who forced him to kill his own brother when he was a child.

Another character involved in these power struggles is Cheyenne Jason Robardsan outlaw framed by Frank for various crimes. The complex relationships between these disparate individuals all become tied together in an intricate tale of lust, greed, and revenge. The shortened version was a critical and commercial disappointment. However, the deleted scenes of this revisionist western were later restored, and the film developed an appreciative following.

Once upon a Time in the West. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Introduction Production notes and credits Cast.

Once Upon a Time in the West [Original Soundtrack]

Once upon a Time in the West film by Leone []. Written By: Lee Pfeiffer. See Article History.

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Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Robards later earned two consecutive Academy Awards for his subtle, well-modulated performances as The Washington Post …. Westerna genre of novels and short stories, motion pictures, and television and radio shows that are set in the American West, usually in the period from the s to the end of the 19th century.

Though basically an American creation, the western had its counterparts in the gaucho literature…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! Email address.

Once Upon a Time in the West

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About.Keep kids learning with daily schedules and activities. Go to Wide Open School. Skip to Content. These characters are killers, sometimes rapists, and opportunists, none of whom care much about anyone else except themselves. Not much blood, but plenty of guns, shooting, and killing.

Children killed. Dead bodies. Hanged man. Gunshot wound. Brief gunshot through eye. A scene of implied rape, or sexual threat a man lies on top of a woman; she's scared, and he's persuasive. A man rips the top of a woman's dress. Hunting birds with rifles. A man slaps a boy. A man lies in bed with a woman, kissing, touching with hands, etc.

It possibly could be construed as rape, but the movie doesn't show anything brutal or violent. A character is an ex-prostitute. A woman's cleavage, naked back, shown. A man grabs a woman's bottom. A woman bathing nothing sensitive shown. Set limits for violence and more with Plus. There are plenty of guns and shooting and dead bodies, even if blood spurts are rare. Children are killed and dead bodies are shown.

once upon a time in the west music

In one scene, a man lies with a woman in bed, kisses and caresses her, although she's an unwilling participant; this could be construed somewhat as rape, but also could be called "sexual threat. Language is sporadic and includes a couple uses of "s--t," "bastard," and "whore. Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus.Add Genre.

Add Styles. Add Moods. Add Themes. AllMusic relies heavily on JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use the site fully. Blues Classical Country. Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic.

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Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Composed by Ennio Morricone.

Release Year incorrect year? Song Genres. All Genres. Song Styles. All Styles. Original Score 8 Soundtracks 8 Film Music 7. Song Moods. All Moods. Song Themes. All Themes. Ennio Morricone. Takeoff: Film Hits. Ennio Morricone: Film Music, Vol. Time of Adventure. Once Upon a Time in the Cinema. Film Music By Ennio Morricone.Arguably a milestone for both director Sergio Leone and his musical cohort Ennio Morricone.

For his part, Morricone framed Leone 's meditative camerawork and mythic narrative with a mix of hauntingly spacious pieces and reconfigured snatches of old-timey tunes. Just within the stretch of the first four pieces here, Morricone evokes the endless expanse of the West with a Copland-esque aria the main title themeweaves some twisted grit into the showdown theme with loads of guitar fuzz "As a Judgment"ingeniously combines whistling and a clippity-clop rhythm for a respite piece "Farewell to Cheyenne"and conjures the surreal end of the cowboy mythos via a wonderfully disjointed serial-style number "The Transgression".

And whether sounding upbeat or stark, Morricone informs it all with the dry and windswept vacancy of the West. Beautiful and stunning. AllMusic relies heavily on JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use the site fully.

Once upon a Time in the West

Blues Classical Country. Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods.

Once Upon a Time in the West at 50: how Ennio Morricone's music powered a classic

Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Stream or buy on:. Track Listing. Once Upon a Time in the West. Ennio Morricone. As a Judgment. Farewell to Cheyenne. The Transgression.


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