What is wrong with the Rising scene?
Well, it destroys some of the narrative brilliance of the beginning, which consists of 3 very long scenes which introduces us to the 4 main characters.
Imagine you see the film for the first time, and even better see it for the first time in 1969, when Bronson was only a less known actor in smaller roles, not much better known than Strode and Elam.
The film starts with 3 men waiting for more than 10 min at a railway station for a train. With the train comes a 4th man who shoots these 3 down, but is himself gunned down in a way that we must assume all 4 are dead. This is followed directly by another long scene which introduces McBain and his 3 children, who all got killed at the end of the scene. And the only thing that connects these 2 scenes is a name.
Then another rough cut and another long scene starts which introduces CC and later in the desert store Cheyenne, and then now nearly 25 min after the first shoot-out it is revealed in a magnificent way that Harmonica is still alive.
I always liked this way of telling a story very much, and some of the power of this moment at the desert store is destroyed when we directly after shoot-out see Harmonica waking up and nursing himself.
That’s like having 2001 without the so called match cut from the falling bone to the spaceship. Or let’s say having a bridging scene in-between or an insert which tells us that the film now switches in the year 2001.
It doesn’t damage the film, but it destroys one magic idea.
OK, unlike a missing scene, I can simply skip it while watching the DVD, but still the film is better without this short scene.