Two of my heroes Leone and Morricone. As an aside it's worth noting two things (if you are an anorak like me) Firstly the music was played 'live' in Once Upon A Time In The West, so the actors were coreographed by Leone to fit the music. It was quite brilliant, although the edge has been diluted for me with the scene in Family Guy where Peter Griffin gets his own theme music! Secondly Henry Fonda turned up for the first day of shooting with a moustache and beard and Leone went mad. Fonda thought he needed to look like a Clint Eastwood type of man with no name but Leone wanted Fonda to play against type - the close-up near the end with Fonda's piercing blue eyes realising the game is up was Leone finally deconstructing Fonda as all American good guy.
Totally agree re Leone as well. The beauty of this film is the music and the almost trudging slowness as everything builds up. The different 'theme music' for each of the 4 main characters is what make sit stand out.Apparently Fonda had brown contacts in too! (Wiki) Ironic:"Leone originally offered the role of Harmonica to Clint Eastwood; when he turned it down, Leone hired Charles Bronson who had originally been offered and turned down the part of The Man with No Name in A Fistful of Dollars."
P.S. Forgot to mention the great 'scenes' and details i.e. the squeaky windmill in the opening scene at the train station...and one of the lines I love and have always wanted to be able to say...or something similar at least: "You brought two too many"
Paul you have to watch this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHI6Hl7FUqAOnly about 2 minutes but it's the interview with Henry Fonda re exactly what you said. Classic
That's a brilliant clip, I'd not seen it before just read Christopher Frayling's excellent book which recounts the same. Incidentally Leone's film on the siege of Stalingrad is one of the great unmade films, his idea for a single long tracking shot across the roof of the city would have been amazing.
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