From the Visual Research Dept.: It is a near scientific fact that every German male would rather be a cowboy, so it’s easy to understand the strong fascination I felt growing up for one of the records my mom owned. It was the brilliant Ennio Morricone soundtrack for “Once Upon a Time in the West”, Sergio Leone’s Western masterpiece. The album cover was just incredibly striking, the music was strange and mesmerizing and I always wondered what the movie was like.
Unfortunately my mom never allowed me to watch it because she thought I was much too young for the stunning violence and brutality of that movie (a fair point as I found out later). I was probably around 12 when I finally snuck into a rerun at a local theatre and, man, did it not disappoint. The violence was stunning (right, mom), the rhythm of the movie was amazingly slow, the characters ambiguous, and everybody was dirty and sweaty in a good way.
While the film had great set ups with stunning vistas,
romance (kind of, and not a lot),
and good old-fashioned gun fights,
the thing that still impresses and influences me the most after many years and viewings are the beautiful portraits of the actors Charles Bronson,
and Henry Fonda,
that Sergio Leone and his cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli created throughout the film.
There is also this pretty cool but mildly depressing video about how the films locations have changed in the 40+ years since it was shot.