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Once upon a time in the West: why is this film at the origin of a falling out between Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone?


On the occasion of the broadcast of the cult film Once upon a time in the West on Sunday January 16, 2022, from 9:05 p.m. on W9, Télé Star reveals how this feature film led to a falling out between Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood.

Released in cinemas in 1969, the cult western Once upon a Time in the West, worn by Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda and Jason Robards, will be rebroadcast on Sunday January 16, 2022, from 9:05 p.m. on W9. Directed by Sergio Leone, this feature film takes place during the conquest of the American West. He evokes the fierce rivalry of interests for the appropriation of land that crosses the construction of the railway, and features various characters representative of classic westerns, to better deflect them.

The film depicts two conflicts taking place in Flagstone, a fictional town in the American West. On the one hand the fight around the arrival of the railroad in the city, and on the other hand the revenge of a man against a cold and bloodthirsty killer. Instantly cult, this feature film was a huge success in Italy and throughout Europe, but it is in France that Sergio Leone’s film had the most impact. It ranked number one at the box office that year, as well as for the decade as a whole. In total, it was seen by nearly 15 million spectators during its exploitation in the cinemas of the hexagon. This western was for many years the 3rd greatest success in the history of cinema in France, behind titanic and The big mop.

Once Upon a Time in the West: Clint Eastwood refuses to appear in the film

Also director of another cult western, The good, the bad and the ugly, Sergio Leone had asked the 3 stars of this film, namely Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef, to be the 3 killers waiting”the man with the harmonica” at the station at the beginning of this feature film. Of the 3 actors, only Clint Eastwood, due to his growing notoriety, refused the proposal of the filmmaker, as his character would die early in the film. This decision of the actor was at the origin of a very long estrangement with the director. They will finally see each other one last time 20 years later, shortly before the death of Sergio Leone.

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CHARLES BRONSON

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HENRY FONDA

© PARAMOUNT PICTURES / RAFAN CINEMATOGRAFICA

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C’ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST / ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
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CHARLES BRONSON

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ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
C’ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST / ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
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BY SERGIO LEONE
HENRY FONDA
CHARLES BRONSON

© PARAMOUNT / RAFRAN / SAN MARCO

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ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
C’ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
BY SERGIO LEONE
HENRY FONDA
CHARLES BRONSON
JASON ROBARDS
CLAUDIA CARDINAL
GABRIELE FERZETTI
KEENAN WYNN
FRANK WOLFF
PAOLO STOPPA
JACK ELAM

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C’ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
BY SERGIO LEONE
HENRY FONDA
CHARLES BRONSON
JASON ROBARDS
CLAUDIA CARDINAL
GABRIELE FERZETTI
KEENAN WYNN
FRANK WOLFF
PAOLO STOPPA
JACK ELAM

© PARAMOUNT / RAFRAN / SAN MARCO

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ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
C’ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
BY SERGIO LEONE
HENRY FONDA
CHARLES BRONSON
JASON ROBARDS
CLAUDIA CARDINAL
GABRIELE FERZETTI
KEENAN WYNN
FRANK WOLFF
PAOLO STOPPA
JACK ELAM

© PARAMOUNT / RAFRAN / SAN MARCO

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ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
C’ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
BY SERGIO LEONE
HENRY FONDA

© PARAMOUNT PICTURES / RAFAN CINEMATOGRAFICA

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ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
C’ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST / ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
BY SERGIO LEONE
CLAUDIA CARDINAL
JASON ROBARDS
CHARLES BRONSON

© PARAMOUNT / RAFRAN / SAN MARCO

12/12 –

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
C’ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
BY SERGIO LEONE
HENRY FONDA
CHARLES BRONSON
JASON ROBARDS
CLAUDIA CARDINAL
GABRIELE FERZETTI
KEENAN WYNN
FRANK WOLFF
PAOLO STOPPA
JACK ELAM



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