Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson, Gabriele Ferzetti, Paolo Stoppa, Woody Strode
At nearly three hours long, Once Upon a Time in the West is certainly time-consuming, and, even worse, it's mostly a sausage fest. But director Sergio Leone and sole female lead Claudia Cardinale quickly make you forget about those shallow qualms, and, by the epic movie's satisfying conclusion, Once Upon a Time in the West earns its distinction as one of the greatest westerns ever made.
Of course, seeing Leone's name attached to a cowboy picture is as foolproof as reading Kanye West's producer credit in an album's liner notes. The king of gunslinging cinema, the iconic Italian filmmaker deftly mixes action with fleshed-out characters in this tale of an outlaw (Jason Robards) and a badass who loves playing the harmonica (Charles Bronson) who team up to protect a beautiful heiress (Cardinale) from a contract killer (Henry Fonda).