“Once Upon A Time In The West: Top 10 Quotes”
Once Upon a Time in the West (next to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) is often regarded as one of the best westerns of all time. The gritty depiction of the old west filled with anti-heroes with questionable motives makes it one of Sergio Leone’s best works. On top of all of this is a beautifully orchestrated score, the harmonica solo alone is so iconic rock band Muse used it as an intro to their hit song “Knight’s of Cydonia” when played live.
But, in the context of the movie, it brought to life some of the most memorable characters seen from the west along with some timeless quotes. With that, here are the top 10 quotes from Once Upon A Time in The West.
10 “How can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders, a man who can’t even trust his pants?”
One of the more comical quotes on this list but still memorable. Wobbles can’t keep his mouth shut and is often beaten up for it. When Frank and Morton cut ties with him, he tries his best to win their trust back. Frank’s simple line goes to show Wobbles can’t be trusted because he can’t even trust himself. You can tell a lot about it a person based on their music, but Frank proved that clothes reveal just as much if not more.
9 “But I’m not the right man, and neither is he.”
8 “Instead of talking, he plays. And, when he better play, he talks.”
Comical, but significant, considering Harmonica is a man of few words, but he plays for a reason. As the movie progresses fans learn of the history of the harmonica, and the story it holds involving Harmonica himself and Frank. Fun fact, this is reminiscent of something Tuco says from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, another one of Sergio Leone’s films. Tuco says, “when you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.” Whether it’s an homage or not is unknown, but, seeing as these two are from the same director, it’s likely that it was.
7 “People scare better when they’re dyin’.”
Frank is someone who rules by fear and motivates with his gun. His wicked nature and lust for killing have taught him a thing or two. The construction of a railroad isn’t simple, and in the context of the film, it wasn’t pretty for Frank.
Viewers are only given a brief glimpse into Frank’s past but can imagine quite a bit when he utters this line. What’s even better is Henry Fonda’s beautiful blue eyes and a creepy grin that accompanies it all. Frank is the physical manifestation of death; cold, remorseless and dressed in black.
6 “People like that have something inside… something to do with death.”
Frank and Harmonica are opposites, but they have one thing in common: death looms over them throughout the entire movie. Frank is an obvious candidate whose job revolves around killing those who stand in the way. Harmonica cares little for his own life, and his revenge is justified. Cheyenne caught on quickly despite the lack of background information on Harmonica. Characters like these will always remain in the west, death will always follow them.
5 “There are many things you’ll never understand.”
Frank understands and abides by one thing: his gun. Money may be something that motivates him, but he never understood the superiority of it. Money can buy and do anything, which is why Morton was able to control him.
Frank wanted to be more than a gunslinger but learns he’ll always be one. Money as a motivator is different than money as power, and Frank could understand the latter.
4 “An ancient race. Other Mortons will be along, and they’ll kill it off.”
Like everything else, the wild west was just a period in American history, but old habits die hard. Frank and Harmonica are a dying breed of gunslingers whose knowledge of the world revolves around survival and weaponry. People like Morton will always be around, but the likes of Frank and Harmonica will die off with no history, and only the railroad will be remembered. Harmonica said it best: they’re an ancient race, one that’ll only be remembered by those who knew them.
3 “You make good coffee, at least?”
Get ready, coffee and tea lovers, as Cheyenne is just as much a caffeine addict as you are. His ignorance towards Jill is laughable at times, especially when she goes on about her troubles only to have Cheyenne ask if there’s coffee in response.
He may be an outlaw, but he likes simple things like a good cup of coffee to kick off the morning. This line was said in the beginning and the end with Frank and Morton defeated, and Cheyenne wanting one more cup before he dies.
2 “He’s whittlin’ on a piece of wood. I’ve got a feeling when he stops whittlin’… Somethin’s gonna happen.”
Harmonica talks with his instrument, and, when he stops playing, something certainly is about to happen. Cheyenne only pokes the bear in the bar scene when Harmonica is seen sitting in the corner.
1 “Make your ever-lovin’ brother happy.”
This line, spoken by Frank to Harmonica, is cruel when given context. Harmonica was left dangling, his brother above him, while his neck lay in a noose while the harmonica itself was left in his mouth. Every breath he drew would blow into the harmonica until his legs gave out.
This goes to show the remorseless nature of Frank, whose disregard for women, children, and men paint him as one of the most sinister people in town. Every time Harmonica played he remembered each breath he took until his brothers fall, reminding Frank what he did to him.
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