Tuesday Movie Trivia - Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

CowboySpirit.TV - Once Upon a Time in the West is a classic tale of vengeance that ends on a positive note, with the characters Jill McBain and Harmonica triumphing over those motivated purely by greed. Starring Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, and Claudio Cardinale and directed by Sergio Leone, this is one of the classic western movies that no fan should miss.

Once Upon a Time in the West Little Known Facts

The original script called for Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach to play the gunmen laying in wait for Harmonica, but Eastwood’s hectic schedule led to other actors being cast.

Leone threatened to fire Jason Robards after he showed up drunk for the first day of filming; afterwards, Robards mostly kept his drinking under control.

The original theatrical cut, which was shown in European theaters, is a full twenty one minutes longer than the original American version. Most missing footage was restored for the video and DVD releases.

As commonly seen in western movies, the English title is actually mistranslated; a correct literal translation of Leone’s original title would be, “Once Upon a Time, the West.”

Once Upon a Time in the West Behind the Scenes Trivia

Henry Fonda turned down the role of Frank when it was first offered, but was convinced by Leone to take the villainous part for the shock value. Until this movie, Fonda had been typecast as a hero.

The role of Harmonica was initially offered to Terence Stamp, today known for being a villain but not for appearing in western movies. He turned it down.

The red dust in certain indoor shots was imported to Spain from Monument Valley.

Jason Robards was so distraught when news of Robert Kennedy’s assassination reached the set that he refused to continue filming for the rest of the day.

Careful viewers will notice that during the final confrontation, Frank’s horse mysteriously changes from white in color to spotted gray.

The contours of the bullet hole in Harmonica’s jacket continually changes during the post office scene, as does the amount of blood surrounding it. By the time he gets to Sweetwater, the bullet hole is completely gone.

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