Comfortable and Furious

Memorable Movie Scenes: Part One

Movie: Once Upon A Time In The West

This is it, folks. This is the HOLY GRAIL of Western Movie scenes. This is the face-off between Harmonica (Charles Bronson) and Frank (Henry Fonda) and is a scene that is surreal and almost supernatural in its drama. The brilliant musical score, the panoramic shots of the breathtaking landscape and the incredible use of close-ups draw the viewer into the scene to end all scenes.

Frank has come to find out, once and for all, just why Harmonica is stalking him, and Harmonica tells him that he will tell him “Only at the point of dying”. Before the shooting begins, with a revealing and chilling flashback, it is shown that a younger Frank and a much younger Harmonica, have met before.

The very essence of Frank’s depravity is shown as he approaches a bizarre and sinister man-made stone arch, symbolic of the very gateway to death and evil. Frank’s henchmen are nonchalantly lying around, their evil work done. Frank emanates evil as he crams a harmonica into the mouth of a sweating, crying boy, valiantly trying to support his older brother on his shoulders…a brother with hands bound and a noose around his neck. The musical score and drama reach a pitch as the boy inevitably falls to the ground and into the dust, ensuring the death of his brother.

This scene is replayed in the mind’s eye of Frank after Harmonica caps him right in the heart…. The Angel of Death….revenge consummated, and Frank finally realizes with his last dying breath…just who Harmonica is.