BLU-RAY REVIEW

Once Upon A Time In The West 4K Ultra HD

Picture4
Sound4
WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
(Studio/Distributor):
Paramount Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number):
14386
(MPAA Rating):
PG-13
(Rating Reason):
Western violence and brief sexuality
(Retail Price):
$39.99
(Disc Type):
Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
(Widescreen Edition):
Yes
(Full Screen Edition):
No
(Running Time In Minutes):
165
(Color Type):
Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access):
Yes
(Closed Captioned):
Yes
(Regional Coding):
ABC
(Theatrical Year):
1968
(Theatrical Release):
Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release):
No
(Disc Release Date):
5/14/2024
(THX® Digitally Mastered):
No
(Director):
Sergio Leone
(Screenplay/Written By):
(Story):
(Music):
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer):
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor):
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers):
(Co-Producers):
(Producers):
(Academy Awards):
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio):
(Measured Disc Aspect Ratio):
(Disc Soundtrack):
DTS HD Lossless 5.1
(Theatrical Sound):
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(DTS Bit Rate):
(Dolby Digital Bit Rate):
(Additional Languages):
(French Language):
(Spanish Language):
(Chinese Language):
(Subtitles):
(Cantonese Language):
(Mandarin Language):
(Japanese Language):
(Italian Language):
(German Language):
(Portuguese Language):

This is Sergio Leone's restored 4K Ultra HD original uncut version of "Once Upon A Time In The West", the 1968 monumental epic Western, which stars Henry Fonda as a ruthless murderous psychopath responsible for the cold-blooded killing of an entire family. Charles Bronson is the harmonica-playing stranger who stalks him, intent on revenge for his brother who was savagely tortured, and Jason Robards as the falsely accused escaped convict and half-breed. This restoration was made possible with support by The Film Foundation and The Rome Film Festival in association with Sergio Leone Productions and Paramount Pictures. (Gary Reber)

Special features include both the restored uncut and original theatrical versions; commentary with contributions by Directors John Carpenter, John Milius, and Alex Cox; film historians Sir Christopher Frayling and Dr. Sheldon Hall; and the cast and crew; four featurettes: An Opera Of Violence (SD 28:49), The Wages Of Sin (SD 19:36), Something To Do With Death (SD 18:16), and Railroad: Revolutionizing The West (SD 06:21); Locations Then & Now (SD 04:29); a production gallery; and the theatrical trailer.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photograph on film stock using the J-D-C camera system and sourced from a newly remastered 4K Digital Intermediate. The grain structure is smooth and light, and never objectionable. The color palette is strongly saturated in rich and warm earthy hues. The wide color gamut reveals nuanced hues throughout. Dirt browns are prevalent with red rock formations along the path of the railroad, and patches of green shrubs. The settings are spectacular. Flesh tones are natural with strong skin tanning. HDR contrast is excellent. Black levels are deep. Shadows are revealing. White levels are perfectly natural. Resolution is superb, especially in closeups, with fine sun-drenched facial features revealed in skin pores, sweat, lines, beards, sideburns and hair, as well as weathered clothes fabric detail and intricate wood set and metal object textures designed a rugged western motif. This is a wonderfully colorful picture that is a Western classic.(Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack features the incorporation of the stereo music score recording and some multichannel ambient effects. There is a rather nice rendering of atmosphere, consistent with the outdoor settings, and the music has a palpable, wide, panoramic spread across the screen and into the surrounds. Featured is Charles Bronson playing harmonica. The dated fidelity should not be particularly objectionable in the form of distortion or other artifacts, because overall, the fidelity and dynamics are satisfying. Foley sound effects are precise. Atmospherics, such as wind, sound realistic. Sound effects are often powerful such as loud gunfire and at times the sounds associated with the building of the railroad. One particular segment in Ennio Morricone's score, during a shoot-out in the town, is full of percussion, which sounds remarkably well recorded with a wide and deep soundstage presence and natural kettle, bass drum, and snare drum tonal reproduction. Deep bass is expectedly restrained. The dialogue is generally functional, with the studio ADR characteristic noticeable, for a forward-sounding presence with limited spatial integration. this is an enjoyable holosonic® soundtrack. (Gary Reber)