The Keith & the Movies Valhalla is a place of tribute for those movies that I hold in the highest regard. These are films that embody everything that is great about motion pictures. These are the best of the best – movies that I truly love and that stand above the rest. There are many great movies that won’t find their way into these sacred halls. But here you will find those films that I believe personify brilliance in filmmaking, storytelling, and entertainment. These glorious 5 star accomplishments are worthy of special recognition as the very best. Ok, enough of the high drama! In other words, these are my favorite movies of all time, ok?
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1968) – I’ve always been picky when it comes to westerns. I grew up around them but I never latched onto them. That was before Sergio Leone showed me what a western could be. His monumental work “Once Upon a Time in the West” from 1968 is hands down my favorite western. Everything from Leone’s gritty signature style and brilliant camerawork to Ennio Morricone’s entrancing score works to perfection.
There are so many memorable scenes in “Once Upon a Time in the West”. From the masterfully conceived train station opening to the intense and anticipated final showdown, the film is filled with one fantastic scene after another. And of course how can I talk about this movie and not mention the cast. A young Charles Bronson plays the mysterious stranger who everybody is trying to figure out. Jason Robards gives the best performance of his career as a scruffy bandit ringleader. Then there’s the breathtakingly beautiful Claudia Cardinale who holds her own with all the tough guys. But it’s Henry Fonda who steals the movie as one of the most detestable villains you’ll find. It’s a role unlike anything Fonda had played at the time which made his performance all the more spectacular. If you haven’t seen this film you should. If you don’t like westerns, it doesn’t matter. A great movie is a great movie and this is a great movie.
“Once Upon a Time in the West” is the fifth inductee into the Keith & the Movies Valhalla. But there are more amazing movies to come in the near future so stay tuned. What are your thoughts on this Sergio Leone classic? Is it worth the accolades it’s received or is it an overrated picture? You now know my opinion. I’d love to hear yours. Take time to share your comments below.