Sergio Leone’s ultimate send-off for the Western genre is not only one of the most epic and sprawling films ever made for the screen, but it is the ultimate culmination of everything the genre had built up to be over the near 70 years of its existence at the time. This masterpiece of scale and ambition is more than just the final word on the Western genre, it is the Western genre, all rolled up into one sweeping epic that clashes in a ferocious finale of Western legends, signaling both the death of its mythic titans and the cultural trailing off of the genre as a whole. Once Upon a Time in the West draws on every influence imaginable to produce the most authentic and satisfying conclusion of one of the most celebrated and beloved of all genres. Our proclivity for cowboys and gunfights is no secret here, and Leone’s Western masterwork has already popped up several times before. Graham Austin has already provided a wonderful retrospective on the film for the site, with it also making the cut for one of The Ten Greatest Westerns in our list from David Punch. This week, we give it an even more in-depth look, as we treasure and analysis this most sacred of Western icons.
00:00 – 7:35: Friedkin & Refn, Tarantino preview
7:35 – 21:05: Existential dread of Cats, Jojo Rabbit, Top Gun
21:05 – : 39:37: Box office: Uncanny valley with The Lion King (2019) & Marvel preview
39:37 – : 43:37: Breaking!: Godzilla: Showa Era – Criterion Spine 1000… & Klute
43:37 – 1:22:23: Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)