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This seminal masterpiece stars Franco Nero (Die Hard 2, Django) as Keoma, a gunslinger, who on his return to his hometown finds it is now ruled by Caldwell, a sadistic local villain. To make matters worse, Keoma discovers his half brothers have joined Caldwell s evil gang. Intent on restoring law and order, Keoma, aided by his childhood friend, the banjo-playing drunk (Woody Strode), has to fight this horde of ruthless killers to the bitter deadly end.
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Top Customer Reviews
I really loved the story, which is simple but very dramatic with many details, that make this movie great. I love that it is pointed out, that after the war the blacks were freed, but the native Americans still remain (to this day) the victims of oppression. Also, not all blacks were able to make something out of their freedom (brilliantly shown by Woody Strode).
The score takes some getting used to. Personally I think once you've gotten used to it, it is quite well done and adds to the mood of the film, which is quite depressing at times.
Great Peckinpah-like slow-motion shoot-outs (with very little blood shown) made me feel right at home as a Peckinpah fan.
Now for the bad news, and its a real bummer! The music is simply atrocious! It has the most horrible songs youve ever heard singing through it, sung by some of the worst singers youve ever heard. Why oh why they ever decided to do this is beyond me. It completely ruins a great film. The man responsible for the music in this film should simply have been shot! I hope he was never allowed to work on another film again. Its that bad! I would rather listen to a whole CD of Yoko Ono than that again. I am not one for films to be messed around with. However, in this case I most certainly wish they would. At least maybe give us a Blu Ray copy of this with a new score as well as the original so we can have a choice. There are some films that would certainly benefit from this. This is probably the best example. A new score could turn this movie into something truly exceptional. Also, the shoot-out at the end between Keoma and his brothers was ruined by the sound of a woman giving birth. There was no gun shots heard at all. This weakened the ending of the film in my opinion. That should be re-done too.
All in all, I would of given this film 5 stars if not for the music, as the film itself is one of the best in the genre. However, with the music I can only give it 3 Stars at best. The music (and by that I mean the singing, not the instrumental music which is OK and should have been used throughout) is that bad it turns a film that could of been a true classic into a bit of a turkey!
This is an above average and very good looking, late addition to the spaghetti western cycle (made in 1976). It is well cast, Director Enzo Castellari makes great use of the scope screen with some inventive compositions, and the dubbing is not overly intrusive.
Now for the bad news.
Argent's video transfer is somewhat underwhelming. It says 'restored and remastered' on the back cover of the case. You could have fooled me. Sharpness is all over the place, varying from scene to scene and sometimes from shot to shot within a scene, although it improves and becomes more consistent in the last quarter of the film. There are bursts of heavy grain, particularly in night scenes and several instances of heavy edge enhancement, with objects exhibiting greenish halos on occasion.
So buy with caution.
I have never been a great fan of the Spaghetti western, whose manic excesses have sometimes left me cold, but there are always exceptions. “Once Upon a Time in the West” cannot be ignored, and I also found myself liking this one. The story concerns the mixed race “Keoma”, who returns home after the Civil war to find a tyrant aided by his own three half brothers ruling the town with an iron fist, much against their own father’s wishes. Keoma incurs their wrath when he rescues a pregnant woman from a sort of concentration camp that has been set up for plague victims. The violence, predictably in a Spaghetti, begins to escalate.
The film clearly benefits from a budget that must have had Castellari rubbing his hands with joy. The high production values smack you in the face at every turn. The ghost town is a joy to behold! Most eye catching is the wonderful location cinematography at Campo Imperatore, Abruzzo, Italy, the high wide plains being used to stunning effect. What a pleasant change to the much used Almeria in Spain! It was also used to fine effect more recently in George Clooney’s excellent “The American”!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this film is very much a confusing thing
Great action and should have been a brilliant end to the spaghetti western legend
However,it's almost unwatchable due to the... Read more
classic spaghetti western, Music is awful, ennio morricone where were you?Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Often a film has one or two side issues that might distract you, this film has some honking great big issues front and centre. Read morePublished 15 months ago by tallmanbaby
Excellent film and haunting music.
A classic story and lots of action.
Go buy it. First saw it in Germany years ago.