One Of The Greatest Western Movies Is Finally Getting A Remastered 4K Release!

MOVIE NEWS – Paramount presents a new 4K edition to fans of Once Upon a Time in the West – and good movies in general…



Director Sergio Leone is the king of Spaghetti Westerns, having produced several masterpieces in the genre – pretty good considering he only directed seven films. His westerns with Clint Eastwood brought him international recognition; each movie in the Dollar trilogy brought more money and praise than the previous one. (It’s no coincidence that his films get their own renovated 4K edition one after the other…)

However, Leone did not want to make this film: he wanted to move away from Westerns and create the kind of cinema that eventually became the 1984 epic Once Upon a Time in America.

But Paramount only wanted Leone for his Westerns and the style he helped create. They convinced the filmmaker to finance his dream project in any way they could, with the stipulation that he first directed another western hit, this time for them. Leone agreed.

The result was Once Upon a Time in the West, which deconstructed this characteristic style in a new, fantastic way. It was a masterpiece, but it certainly wasn’t handled that way. The studios cut more than 20 minutes from the film, and it was a flop at the box office. Critics panned it. However, on the 55th anniversary and with the new edition, something debatable but controversial emerges: Once Upon a Time in the West is perhaps Leone’s most excellent film…



Volt egyszer egy Vadnyugat / Once Upon a Time in the West / 4K



Once Upon a Time in the West added depth and substance to the Spaghetti Western


Once Upon a Time in the West has a slightly more complicated plot than the director’s previous films. It has more complex characters, including a female lead, a first for Leone. In the movie, the socio-economic conditions and those historical and less action-packed subplots, which are not in most Westerns, also play a role. Examples include real estate, the role of railways, water, the development of cities and the like. This is an epic story of fate, sin, power and revenge. Once Upon a Time in the West is carefully constructed magnificence. The Italians were ready to make their “American” film (which was filmed in Utah, Rome, and Spain).

Leone created an epic tableau of the American West that is as much a study of history and the revolutionary technology of the railroad as it is of film culture itself.

The Wild West is featured in the films of Italian artists. They are not the only ones whose image of the “Old West” is almost entirely determined by the movies. But for all of us, this is primarily what distinguishes the film from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, which is traditionally tied to the narrative.



Volt egyszer egy Vadnyugat / Once Upon a Time in the West / 4K



The editing ruined the movie


Once Upon a Time in the West was released in its entirety in Europe. It was a resounding success in France and Germany, with nearly 28 million tickets sold. In America, however, Leone’s work met a different fate. The studios cut over 20 minutes from the film, eliminating critical context. They destroyed his masterful opening scene, which deeply hurt Leone. Not all of the characters who died in the entire movie did so in the American version, and so on.

That’s how they saw it, and that’s how they valued it. As such, it was not rated at the time, with even Roger Ebert giving it two and a half stars out of four, a better rating than most. (He will praise the film in the future.)

It didn’t fare so well with the audience either, who probably didn’t know what to do with the film just because Eastwood wasn’t in it.

Due to the film’s poor earnings, Paramount declined but did not cut ties with Leone. But he still couldn’t do Once Upon a Time in America. That didn’t happen for 15 years when Warner Bros. and Titanus released it. This occurred in 1984. Unfortunately, this movie fared similarly to Leone’s previous masterpiece. The legendary director made no more films until he died in 1989. The original cut of Once Upon a Time in the West was restored for the video version in the 1980s. Americans could finally see the director’s vision. Now, forty years later, we can see it in the best way we’ve ever seen it, in 4k UHD.



Volt egyszer egy Vadnyugat / Once Upon a Time in the West / 4K



What’s good in the new 4K edition?


The complete 166-minute remastered version of Once Upon a Time in the West was released in 4K Ultra HD in a new home edition on May 14. Now, to celebrate the film’s 55th anniversary this year. Once Upon a Time in the West has been restored from the original 35mm Techniscope camera negative by Paramount’s archive team, L’Immagine Ritrovata and The Film Foundation.

This restoration follows the film’s structure and colour palette in a manner worthy of the 2007 Film Foundation photochemical restoration overseen by legendary director Martin Scorsese.

A must-have for any cinema buff’s collection, it is presented in a limited edition two-disc 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray set. The set includes new and old bonus content, as well as access to a digital copy of the film. The film is presented with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, and English restored mono Dolby Digital sound. You can find the special functions and purchase options in the link below.

Source: Amazon

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