Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

While this shares a similar style as the dollar movies, it feels harsher and doesn’t have the same vibe of glorious gunslinger myths that pervaded the movies of the dollar trilogy. It’s also the first western by Leone where a woman is a main character, and a strong one too. The harshness stems from the brutal killing at the beginning of the movies, as the viewer is forced to share the viewpoints of mundane characters that had only been secondary characters in the dollar movies.

Still, once the movies gets going, the gunslingers take center again, but the whole seem more like a requiem for the whole western epics Leone had perfected so well earlier on. There’s an element of de-glorification of western gunslingers and where their violence leads, something that made Eastwoods Unforgiven famous years later. Still, unlike Unforgiven, which I never liked, I really appreciate OUaTitW, maybe because the movie never completely sheds its roots and despite the difference in tone still feels like a western epic.