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Sergio Leone: Once Upon A Time Excerpt

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives

The following is an excerpt.

From TV Special

QUENTIN TARANTINO: "For film geeks, for all the directors and movies we can talk about, Sergio Leone is the one you can even talk about with your mom and dad because they know who he is. He's that famous.

He also created one of the biggest screen icons of cinema with Clint Eastwood. He essentially created a character to replace John Wayne with his films.

There was a degree of realism in his movies that other films didnt have. Even though they were seen as surrealistic really, they had a realism that was missing from the other films of the 50s and 60s.

One of the most crushing, incredibly crushing, weird things in all of cinema, is in The Good The Bad and The Ugly, its like, throughout the movie we fall in love with Eli Wallach and Clint Eastwood's characters okay, and you think after all the adventures in the movie, you think that he still might hang Tuco at the end (laughs) You dont know if he will or not, but its like, can't, can't you guys feel for one another? After all you've been through! (laughs).

I think a case can even be made that with Leone and Morricone that they are the best director-composer team in the history of film. Its like you cant even imagine Leone's movies without Morricone's music. It's even more important than Hitchcock and Herrmann or any other director composer relationship in history.

Once Upon A Time in The West, I always loved it. It was almost like a film school in a movie for me. I watched it on TV as a kid and it really was great because it was like learning a certain directing style, it was Sergio Leone's style (laughs) but you could see how he used the camera. You had Charles Bronson entering the frame here and a person leaving there at the same time. Then the camera shots panning over here...

With Once Upon A Time in The West its like he (Leone) said: This is your American Western, now I'm gonna subvert it, I'm gonna use your favorite good guy : Henry Fonda, and make him the bad guy."

Transcribed by Pete R -2003