The Music That Made Ennio Morricone

English: Ennio Morricone at the Cannes film fe...

Source: HITC.

In the extended title sequence of Sergio Leone’s epic 1968 western Once Upon a Time in the West, three vengeful-looking gunslingers await the arrival of the next train at the remote Cattle Corner Station. Not a word is shared between them. Instead, caught in vivid closeup like the lines ingrained on the weathered skin of their faces, it’s the sounds that tell a story: chalk screeches across a blackboard; water drips on to the brim of a hat and, in the dead stillness of the desert outside, a windpump gently squeaks. Even before knuckles are cracked, pistols are cocked and the man they’ve been waiting to kill announces his arrival with three mournful notes on a harmonica, it’s clear that things are about to turn ugly.