Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Movie Moments: #21

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Movie Quote:

Harmonica (Charles Bronson): "Did you bring a horse for me?"

Snaky (Jack Elam): (Turns to look at the horses the 3 men rode to the station, turns back and says) "Well, looks like we're shy one horse."

Harmonica: (Also slowly looks at the three horses, turns back and says) "No, you brought two too many."

Movie Trivia

The iconic opening sequence of Once Upon a Time In The West is lengthy, powerful and memorable that serves as a perfect introduction for the rest of the film. As with most Sergio Leone films, the harsh landscape is an integral part of the story, it shapes the people who live there and the events which take place in it. There is no soundtrack in the opening sequence, just the monotonous sound of the squeaking windmill, the wind, an annoying fly, and 3 men in dustcoats waiting to kill a man due to arrive on the train. That man, Charles Bronson., never has a name in the movie. He is called simply Harmonica from his playing a haunting harmonica riff  from time to time.

Al Mulock who played Knuckles, one of the three gunmen in the opening sequence, committed suicide by jumping from his hotel window after a day's shooting. He did so in full costume, including his dustcoat. Production manager Claudio Mancini and screenwriter Mickey Knox, who were sitting in a room in the hotel, witnessed Mulock's body pass by their window. Knox recalled in an interview that while Mancini put Mulock in his car to drive him to the hospital, director Sergio Leone said to Mancini, "Get the costume! We need the costume!"

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