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Lee and C'Era Una Volta il West
Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:28am

I remember that interview very well--the Cox interview from May 1978. I agree that Lee probably wanted to avoid reverting back to the minor supporting parts he'd been doing since he started in the early 50s with HIGH NOON. One other observation: one would never guess what a kind and easy-going man Lee was offscreen; my feeling is that Lee crafted his words in such a way as to not insult Sergio Leone as he was the man responsible for giving Lee his breakout role with The Colonel in PER QUALCHE DOLLARO IN PIU in 1965.

That being said, if the rumors are true: if, in fact, Leone offered Lee (along with Eastwood and Wallach) one of the three gunmen parts at the Battle Creek station at the opening of C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST then Lee made the right call. You don't go back to bit parts after more than holding your own in an Epic Western--and then following up with a bevy of cult Spaghetti Westerns that you quarterback. Lee did the right thing, and as a result, we got:


The above four films are Lee's own Spaghettis without Leone or Eastwood--and all four are excellent. After these films is when things get a tad shaky--I was never fond of the SABATA films, and while I can appreciate Lee wanting to branch out, NO ONE did tough but elegant pistoleers (white hat or black hat) like Lee--but Lee carved out quite a career in the 70s.


P.S.--If anything, Lee would have been perfect as Cheyenne in C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST.

  • In Lee's interview...Bob 0, Mon Feb 5 9:46pm
    the funny thing was Lee said he couldn't remember why he turned down the role in Once Upon A Time. Then added possibly he didn't like the way it was written. I wondered if he may have wanted to avoid ... more
    • Lee and C'Era Una Volta il West — TheBad7, Sat Feb 10 1:28am
      • If Leone.....Bob 0, Sat Feb 10 3:43am
        If Leone had gotten Bob Wilke and Sheb Wooley instead of Jack Elam and Woody Strode, I think Lee would have done it. Either Leone lied about offering it to Clint, Eli & Lee or it was a second offer... more
    • Of course, bobO...DCG, Tue Feb 6 9:16am
      ...after I logged off, I remembered the line from Lee's interview with Alex Cox in 1978. Guess I had a Senior Moment, there! ;) By the way, anybody reading this who hasn't read the "essential"... more
    • PartBob 0, Mon Feb 5 9:52pm
      But to me likely he was didn't want to say the part was too small. It's reasonable to guess it was that part because Lee was in the High Noon scene. Lee did say in the interview he would work for... more
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