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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Once Upon A Time In The West
Genre: Western

Reviewed In Issue 80 (Jan 2004) Of Widescreen Review®


WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 3
DD Sound Rating: 3.5
DTS Sound Rating: NA
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 5
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Special Features
Paramount and the bonus material team have assembled a nice collection of extras for this two-disc Special Collector's Edition release of Sergio Leone's classic western. In addition to the film, Disc One includes a group commentary track (culled from separate recordings) featuring film directors John Carpenter, John Milius, and Alex Cox, film historians Sir Christopher Frayling and Dr. Sheldon Hall, plus additional comments from various members of the cast and crew . Disc Two offers a variety of items sure to please fans of the film. First, the documentaries, An Opera Of Violence, The Wages Of Sin, and Something To Do With Death feature an assortment of film clips and cast, crew, historian, and filmmaker observations. The documentaries run between 18 and 29 minutes. The six-minute featurette, Railroad: Revolutionising The West puts the film into an interesting historical context. Two real-time (not still-step) still galleries focus on separate aspects of the film: Locations and Production. Each runs about five minutes. And rounding out the collection are cast profiles and an original trailer.

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Paramount Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 06830
(MPAA Rating): PG13
(Rating Reason):

Western violence and brief sensuality
(Retail Price): $19.99
(DVD Type): Two-Disc: DVD-9 & DVD-5
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 165
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 1968
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 11/18/03
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Sergio Leone
(Screenplay/Written By): Subscribe Now!
(Story): Subscribe Now!
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(Director Of Photography): Subscribe Now!
(Production Designer): Subscribe Now!
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(Costume Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Editor): Subscribe Now!
(Supervising Sound Editors): Subscribe Now!
(Re-Recording Mixers): Subscribe Now!
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  DVD Picture Information

(Principal Photography): Subscribe Now!
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(Measured DVD Letterbox Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Sound Information

(DVD Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
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(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
This is Sergio Leone

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enhanced DVD -- presented in its original 2.35:1 Techniscope aspect ratio -- exhibits a picture that is nicely textured and sharp, with generally satisfying contrast and shadow delineation. The picture certainly has a dated appearance, but the color scheme, with its abundance of brownish hues, is complementary to the western genre. There is some smearing or loss of finer details that suggest an overuse of digital video noise reduction. There is also some minor pixel breakup. Edge enhancement is unacceptable, with annoying white halos separating objects from their backgrounds. However, the picture can look very good at times, and it is likely that this is the best the movie has ever looked. (Suzanne Hodges)

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