Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Pax and Michael bring noodles and meatballs to the campfire with the podcast's first Spaghetti Western. It's the Sergio Leone classic, How the West... no, wait... Once Upon a Time in the West. Keep getting those confused. This is the one with Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, and Charles Bronson.

Pax also shares Western reads To Hell on a Fast Horse and the two Rawhide Kid mini-series, Slap Leather and The Sensational Seven. Then Michael discusses the weirdness of the Shirley Temple short, Pie-Covered Wagon.

1 comment:

  1. There is a lot that can be said about "Once Upon A Time in the West".

    The value of the water and station rights should not be played down. The railroad was probably receiving property rights on both sides of the track simply for building through there.* (*- Reference what the Union Pacific got for simply building track for the Transcontinental Railroad.)

    So having the rights to a station and probable future town in that location would be quite valuable to McBain. Both financially, and as a legacy as well. McBain and "Mr Choo Choo" both had dreams connected to the railroad. McBain's was crushed early in the movie, and Mr Choo Choo's by the end.
    The relationships between the main characters was complex and changing. Different goals and methods, with Cardinale's character essentially caught in the middle of a situation that she did not create. And pulled in different directions as the movie progressed - which did lead to her growing and it appears opting to change her life.
    Finally, the opening sets up a lot. In addition to setting a pace and building tension it is a wonderful character study with very little dialog. And the events at the station come up repeatedly in later exchanges: Cheyenne/Harmonica discussing the dusters; Frank/Harmonica about men making appointments; and Frank's men disguising themselves as Cheyenne's gang is one of the factors that draws Cheyenne into being interested in what is going on.