Once Upon a Time in the West


Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2:00pm
St. Louis Public Library

Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West” — a Western-to-end-all-Westerns — brings SLIFF Golden Anniversaries: 1968 retrospective to an appropriately rousing conclusion. Rail baron Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti) angles to claim the single piece of land around Flagstone with water on it, knowing the new railroad will have to stop there. He sends his henchman Frank (Henry Fonda) to scare the land’s owner, McBain (Frank Wolff), but the blue-eyed killer guns him down instead, pinning the death on a known bandit, Cheyenne (Jason Robards). Meanwhile, a harmonica-playing gunslinger with a score to settle (Charles Bronson), and McBain's new wife, Jill (Claudia Cardinale), arrive in town. The Observer writes: “The Everest of the spaghetti western is a violent, poetic elegy that links a revenge story (Charles Bronson as a Mexican peon searching for his brother's killer) to the epic of the building of the transcontinental railroads. It's a Marxist saga of capitalist exploitation and the battle over natural resources in the west (from the great pre-credit sequence to the final shot, water is the dominant motif).”

175 min.

Directed by

Sergio Leone


Italy U.S.

Film Category

Archival Presentations Golden Anniversaries: 1968 J. Kim & Sharon Tucci Italian Focus




With an intro and post-film discussion by We Are Movie Geeks editor/creative director Tom Stockman.