Sergio Leone's film 'Once Upon a Time in the West' set out to be the ultimate Western-a celebration of the power of classic Hollywood cinema, a meditation on the making of America and a lament for the decline of one of the most cherished film genres in the form of a "dance of death." With this film, Leone said a fond farewell to the noisy and flamboyant world of the Italian Western, which he had created with A Fistful of Dollars and sequels , and aimed for something much more ambitious-an exploration of the relationship between myth ("Once Upon a Time..."), history ("...in the West") and his own autobiography as an avid film-goer. This would be a horse opera in which the arias aren't sung, they are stared. Once Upon a Time has since inspired several generations of filmmakers worldwide. Its combination of "film about film" with an angry historical epic, told with great style, has resonated for half a century, and its reputation has steadily grown. This book, by the world-renowned authority on Sergio Leone, Christopher Frayling, includes revealing personal interviews with all the key players involved in the movie (in front of the camera and behind it) a wealth of never-before-published documents, designs and photographs, and the latest research into the making of a masterpiece, shot by shot. It is introduced with a foreword by Quentin Tarantino. This year is the 50th anniversary of 'Once Upon a Time in the West' and this richly illustrated book is a suitably spectacular birthday tribute.
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