C'era una Volta il West ... 'Different versions'-question

Hi folks!
How many different versions of Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West has been released on DVD?
The reason for asking is because I’ve noticed that the Italian Mondo Home Entertainment DVD-Libro-release runs 160:43, while the Danish- and the German-release runs 158:33 and the Italian CVC re-release runs 170:04…
Can anyone explain the 2:10’s difference between the Danish/German-release and the Italian ‘Libro’-release?

158:33 R2 PAL:

160:43 R2 PAL

170:04 R2 PAL


Welcome to the forum Diabolik, nice website! I don’t know anything about aspect ratios though :-[…

We have been discussing the different versions (or better : cuts) of the movie, on the film’s thread
These links will lead you to all useful info:

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:106, topic:322”]Here you can check what is exactly in the Italian edit:


It’s true that the image is a bit softer on the Italian CVC, but the sound, on the other hand, is better (this is not mentioned by the guys from DVDBeaver): especially Morricone’s score sounds stronger and more dynamic.

Personally I prefer the shorter international (MGM) edit
Recently Mondo Home has released two new Italian DVDs (one Blu-ray) : those are the shorter international versions. I haven’t seen them, but an Italian friend told me to stick to my CVC disc[/quote]

Stanton has written out some of the info you were linked to (and gives an additional link):

[quote=“Stanton, post:109, topic:322”]The additional footage as listed via Scherpschutter’s link:

Waiting for the train:

  • Little bit more dialogue (in Italian) from Station Agent to Elam before he’s locked up.
  • More Murdock shots with the birdcage.
  • More Strode with hat filling up
  • Elam sitting playing with fly seemed same as always.
  • More Murdock cracking fingers (close-up)

When train arrives/three gunmen walk together:

  • Tracking Elam P.O.V. shot inspecting down the length of the train while he taps his fingers on his side holster, right before he signals his men to turn away and leave.

Harmonica ‘rising from the dead’ after getting shot is included.

The McBain killings seem the same.

When Jill’s train arrives:

  • Longer tracking shot of train passengers leaving and passing cases and bags out the windows until the camera stops and we see Jill’s head pop out of the doorway.

Cheyenne’s first appearance:

  • More reaction shots (2 or 3) of people looking at him while he walks in looking at them after the gunfire outside.
  • Shot of Cheyenne looking over at Jill and the wagon driver after taking a drink revealing his handcuffs, he starts to take a second drink and the harmonica is heard.
  • 1 shot of Cheyene looking straight at Harmonica after he’s revealed, before he walks up to him.
  • More reaction shots from people when Cheyenne forces the man to shoot his cuffs off.
  • 1 shot of Cheyenne’s gang stepping in further.

When Jill and Wagon Driver come up on the slain McBains.

  • 1 shot of Wagon Driver looking confused along with Jill as they encounter the group at the McBain homestead.

Washing Station:

  • When Cheyenne sees that Harmonica is now protecting Jill from the hills with his men his music extends into the following scene where Wobbles is in the wash station and ends when Jill opens the door to confront him about Frank.
  • 1 shot of Harmonica watching Woobles walk out of the wash station while Wobbles looks back to see where Jill went right after Jill walks passed Harmonica.

Wooble’s Death:

  • When he’s kicked out of the train by Frank quiet music begins to play and when he sees Cheyenne under the train a guitar plucks the notes of his ‘theme’

Cheyenne’s train surprise attack:

  • Morton noticing the metal Jester chess piece of his desk shaking from the train’s movement, it falls over and he quickly grabs it upright so as not to wake Frank’s men.

Jill and Harmonica at the bar:

  • When Frank enters his music ends before he sits down and taps his heel down, the music ends right when he taps it down in the International Cut.

Harmonica waits for Frank:

  • 1 more shot of the railroad workers placing logs down
  • When Harmonica sees Cheyenne approach he twists his gun on the pole towards the camera.

The Duel:

  • When we see the young Frank walking towards the camera we can much clearly see who it is from the beginning, instead of him being darkened until he gets right up on the camera.
  • A jarring cut in the music as Frank is looking at the young Harmonica
  • When Frank is stumbling forward from being shot with the blue sky above him, the broken harmonica ‘Death Rattle’ plays throughout, instead of just when the harmonica is placed in his mouth and falling over stone dead.

I’ve viewed the International Cut numerous times and the extensions/alternations stuck out with a sore thumb. These aren’t all of them but the more glaring examples just to give you and if you include it in comparsion your visitors a good idea about just how much is included.

I haven’t compared it with the above mentioned detailed and illustrated Schnittberichte.com link, but you could do:

Judging to the screenshots, the Paramount version looks much better.[/quote]

There are basically 2 versions.

  1. The theatrical version with a runtime of 165 min (158 min on a Pal DVD). I still think this is the director’s cut, the cut which was approved by Leone. I have seen it a dozen times at cinema, but in exactly this version it was never released on DVD.

  2. A longer cut of 177 min (170 Pal) which was released on DVD in Italy only and was at first restored or compiled or whatever in the early 90s. I’m still not sure where this long version was “found” and what Leone had to do with it.

The Paramount DVD is basically #1 with a superfluous extra scene showing Harmonica nursing his wounds on the railway station. Basically cause it was compiled from the English master which suffers from several minor cuts. There is about 1 min missing alone in the first 13 min just before the Harmonica nursing scene.

The 2nd Italian DVD (160 min Pal) is also #1, but now here is also the nursing scene included (which damages the film a bit imo, but only a very small bit).

So these 2 DVDs should have the same length, but haven’t, cause of the slightly different English master, and it seems that the differences are summing up to over 2 min.

It seems we will never again get rid of this stupid nursing scene.

Thanks for clearing this out… I knew that you lot were the right ones to ask!!! :wink:

Diabolik, could you check how long the first scene is on the Mondo Home DVD up to the nursing scene?

Paramount: 12’14 min (without the Paramount logo)

CVC long version: 13’59 min

That’s a 1’45 difference.

And which runtime had your old Danish VHS. Was the nursing scene in it?

No Paramount logo in the MHE-release… After 12’32 mins. it cuts from Woody Strode hitting the deck to close-up on windmill
Difference MHE- and CVC-release: 1’27 mins.

Danish ex-rental (without including the Paramount logo)… 155’21 mins + 0’44 secs (only black screen and music) = 156’05 mins.
If you by ‘nursing scene’ means the scene where Bronson wakes up after the shootout and uses the jacket as a sling for supporting his arm, then yes, it’s also in the danish vhs release!

Tsk, then things are more complicated than I thought, as there are much more deviating versions around.

In my copy (taped from TV) of the German theatrical version the 1st scene lasts for 13’20 min. 26 sec shorter than the CVC and 66 sec longer than the Paramount. And obviously also different from the MHE.

What the hell …

Anyway it’s a masterpiece in any of all these versions.