Unit 5: Once Upon a Time in The West

Once upon a Time in the West


At the beginning of the first scene, there is a constant creak of the windmill turning, which continues through to the end. It’s a high pitched noise, which gives an eerie affect to the scene. Because it continues till the end of the scene, you could suggest that it shows that nothing has changed despite the four deaths, or that the deaths are insignificant in the big picture, or non-impacting.


The loud footsteps aid to the aesthetic of the western landscape, those creaking footsteps due to the wooden structures.


The water sound effects make the small, seemingly insignificant activities more engaging. Like the simple dripping on the mans hat becomes a defining moment to the character, because he ends up drinking what he collects. The sounds define each hitman character, unlike the man struggling with the fly, he is very calm and collected, he isn’t irritated by the water dripping on his head. This could represent his character trait in the sense that he is very calm and collected in the face of what is to come. It’s the specific sounds that define each character. Each of the three are unique from each other – this is achieved through the sound effects used to associate with each of them. One of the men is easily irritated it seems. First with the telegram machine, which he unplugs due to the noise that it is making. Then next is his battle with the fly buzzing around him with, again , the very distinctive sound which is the buzzing.






Horse screech




The harmonica is played by the character that gets off the train. The harmonica is signature to wild western films. This is a simple tune that is played, again very high pitched. It is repeated for a while, which builds anticipation and tension. The harmonica is also played to introduce the character, which means you associate the introduction of the character with the music being played.



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