Iconic Western Classic Gets Stunning Upgrade Fans Must Own

By TeeJay Small | Published

  • One of the most iconic Westerns of all time gets a restored release to celebrate its 55th Anniversary.
  • Once Upon a Time in the West receives a 4K release with bonus features.

Once Upon a Time in the West first premiered in 1968, touting some of the biggest names known to Hollywood at the time, and one of the best Western screenplays ever written. Today, the film is a bona fide classic, with fans still returning to the Western for a kick of old Hollywood nostalgia. To commemorate the film’s 55th anniversary, Paramount has issued a 4K physical release, complete with newly restored footage and a reimagined digital color palette.

The Collectors Edition

The new 4K release of Once Upon a Time in the West is set to release on May 14 of this year, with fans already rushing to retailers such as Amazon to pre-order the long-awaited remaster. The 55th anniversary edition in ultra HD is priced at $39.99, and is expected to contain plenty of special bonus features.

The film was previously remastered from its original 35 mm film stock to a digital release in 2007, in a project overseen by legendary filmmaker and cinema lover Martin Scorsese, though that edition saw a full 20 minutes of the movie’s original runtime removed from its final cut.

Bonus Features And Lost Footage

The latest edition of the film will restore the lost 20 minutes for the full and complete 165-minute experience, and offer a much cleaner look, in keeping with modern 4K television capabilities. The new issue of Once Upon a Time in the West is also slated to contain a commentary track from Spaghetti Western podcasters Tom Betts and Jay Jennings, as they discuss the film’s history, production, and impact on the modern cinema landscape.

Legendary filmmakers Alex Cove, John Milius, and John Carpenter have also recorded a commentary track, alongside a team of film historians and living cast and crew members who took part in bringing Once Upon a Time in the West to life.

Making The Classic

Once Upon a Time in the West was written and directed by legendary Spaghetti Western filmmaker Sergio Leone, and contains landmark performances by Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Gabriele Ferzetti, and Woody Strode.

Leone was approached by Paramount after he had decided to retire from Western filmmaking, and agreed to create the film as his final farewell to the genre. Leone previously wrote and directed the famed Dollars trilogy, starring Clint Eastwood, which each went on to become landmark Westerns in their own right.

Once Upon A Time In The West’s Legacy

Despite having some of the biggest acting talent in the world on board, Once Upon a Time in the West initially failed to bring audiences to the theater, resulting in the film being a box office bomb. However, in the years since its release, the movie has become a seminal influence on modern filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. In 2009, Once Upon a Time in the West was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress by the National Film Registry.

When Does The 4K Restoration Release?

If you haven’t yet had the chance to see the iconic film, or are just long overdue for a rewatch, be sure to pre-save your copy of the Once Upon a Time in the West 4K remaster today before its release May 14.

Source: Amazon