Leone’s epic Western sees the return of the ‘Man With No Name’, this time, he teams up with two gunslingers in pursuit of a cache of gold. Their hunt is aided by horse opera, a bullfight arena, and the blackest of black humor.
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I hadn't watched this since high school, so I was eager to revisit it to see if it was more than just an exercise in movie cool. At first, I found it crueler than I remembered, a work of violent aestheticism without reflection. But as this epic goes on, the way that the nihilistic swagger of its gold-crazy trio bounces off scenes of men ruined by war achieves a peculiar rhyme. Hell, the finale is almost heartwarming.
It's like Psycho but in reverse. The second half is off the charts amazing and had it been just that, it would have been one of the greatest thing ever. But then I consider the fact that it literally takes 90 minutes before the main macguffin actually gets introduced. No wonder this is Tarantino's favorite film, it's padded worse that any of his own work. Thankfully, there's always ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.
This is it. Leone's masterpiece. Just rewatched it for the nth billionth time and it never ceases to amaze me. It's technically perfect, huge and epic in scale, and arguably the most entertaining movie ever made. The score by Morrcione is my favorite score ever written and the visuals are just astounding. All three leads are just electric onscreen. This will always be one of my favorite films ever made. End of story.
Doesn't have the poignancy of "Once Upon A Time in the West" or the character and humor of "For A Few Dollars More." But "Seven Samurai" is the only other movie I can think of that matches the intensity of the last hour of this one.
The richest of the trilogy in terms of historical context and character-development. The grand, episodic narrative does come at the cost of a bloated run-time; but who would dare argue this film's status as a landmark western?
Leone does an incredible job of balancing his characters so none of them ever come across as overmatched by the other. Mix in a legendary score and equally legendary cinematography, great dialogue and some amazingly well-staged gunfights and you get a damn good nominee for what Quentin Tarantino said is the best directed film of all time.
In the context of what has become the perception of film as entertainment, this in my opinion is one of the most important works to ever come out. To this day, it is one of if not the most enjoyable films on repeat viewings.
It also strikes me to this day how successfully Leone made a Western Civil War atmosphere so surreal and worldly...