Cinema: Tedium in the Tumbleweed

The fun is over. When the first Italian westerns washed up on American shores, audiences were delighted with their frenzied hyperbole, their melodramatic distortions of American cinematic folklore. Everyone assumed they were great satire and that Director Sergio Leone was either a big put-on or a superb con man. Leone's newest effort, Once Upon a Time in the West, with a major cast and a lot of big studio money behind it, proves that he is simply a serious bore.

A director like John Ford, if he thought this tedious two-hour tale worth the telling, could have done it in a tight...

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