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Once Upon a Time in the West

New this month Factual error: Cheyenne says his mother was "a whore in Alameda..." Alameda was founded in 1853 and incorporated 1854. The story takes place in the 1870's. Jason Robards was 46 in 1968. His character could have been not much older than 20.

Continuity mistake: During the last flashback that reveals Harmonica's issue with Frank and the significance of the harmonica, the harmonica in the boy's mouth is sometimes dented, sometimes not.

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: At the end of the movie when Cheyenne is shaving, while Harmonica and Frank are having their shoot-out, he cuts himself at the sound of the gunshots. When Jill tells him that he is a handsome man the cut is gone.

Other mistake: In the scene in Morton's Special Waggon where Wobbles gets pinned by Frank ("A man who can't trust his own pants") Harmonica lies on the roof, not so unseen as he hopes to be. When the train leaves Flagstone Station you see a shot of Flagstone on the track's right. But on the left you see some far more modern housing. That is when see along the top of the train over Harmonica.

Factual error: It seems unlikely that the bullet hole in Harmonica's jacket should have burned edges - he was shot at a distance of more than ten metres.

Other mistake: When Jill tries to leave Sweetwater in the morning after Cheyenne's visit, she runs into Harmonica. He has a very nasty, coarsely stitched injury in his cheek that is not accounted for, and for which there was no time to be received, stitched, and the stitches removed again. (Special Edition DVD has a deleted scene in which Harmonica is beaten up, which explains the injury, but it is a continuity mistake within the regular movie.)

NancyFelix

Revealing mistake: When Jill get's off the cart at the post station look how the light falls on the cart with the luggage and the rock in the background. It obviously comes from opposite directions.

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: In the final shootout, Frank slumps to the ground and Harmonica approaches him. Harmonica has the instrument in his left breast pocket attached to a cord around his neck. He pulls the instrument from the cord quite forcibly causing the cord to whiplash back and lie on his left shoulder. The camera then switches to Frank having the instrument forced into his mouth and then Harmonica comes back into view. The cord is now missing.

Continuity mistake: After Jill's arrival at the train station she leaves by cart. The way the luggage is piled on back changes totally when they go through Monument Valley. There are reasons to believe that it's a different cart as also the horses seem to change (check the mane which changes colors and sometimes falls to the left, sometimes to the right).

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: When Harmonica shows up at Sweetwater, the bullet hole in his jacket that he received at the station is gone (gone, not mended.).

NancyFelix

Character mistake: In the saloon on the way to Sweetwater, where Harmonica meets Cheyenne and his gang for the first time, Harmonica grabs one of the men's coats and looks at it, saying "I saw three of these dusters a short time ago. Inside the dusters there were three men. Inside the men there were three bullets." Actually, while the movie starts off with the three men at the train station wearing dusters, in the shootout scene, the black cowboy is no longer wearing a duster. Harmonica would have only seen two dusters.

Steve Beckle

Factual error: If the movie takes place in the 1870's, then the hanging of Harmonica's brother had to have occurred at least 20 years before. Frank and his crew wear gunbelts with cartridges, an item not generally utilized until 1871.

Factual error: When Harmonica climbs down the ladder, only to meet Frank at the other end of a '45, we see that the ladder is electro-welded to the wagon and the steps are also electro-welded to the legs of the ladder - rather lousy welding seams, too! The movie takes place around 1870. Electro-welding started during the '90s, but the method got practicable only in the 1920s – and began to be commonly used in the late '30s when the great navies (except for the Royal Navy) started to use the method for their first-line ships. The great leap forward came during WW2, when Liberty ships and many other vessels were electro-welded.

Continuity mistake: During the shoot-out between Harmonica and Frank lengths and directions of both opponents' shadows keep changing, e.g. when Frank drops his jacket.

NancyFelix

Revealing mistake: Jack Elam gets bothered by a fly crawling over his face (nice stunt, actually). When the fly moves over the bench, just before he catches it with the muzzle of his gun, look at the hind legs. You'll notice that the fly is dead.

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: The bullet hole in Harmonica's jacket changes size, shape, and degree of bloodiness during the scene at the post station.

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Cheyenne shoots a man through his boot the curtains at the top the window are happily moving in the wind, but when we see them from outside they are almost still.

NancyFelix

Revealing mistake: In the morning after Cheyenne's visit Jill attempts to leave Sweetwater for the second time. She carries a lot of luggage to the stable, and it's very obvious that it's all empty.

NancyFelix

Revealing mistake: When Jill offers herself to Cheyenne she puts down the kettle on the table so hard that the lid falls off. If you look closely (slow motion helps) you see the lid dangling by the knob between her fingers before she puts the kettle down.

NancyFelix

Continuity mistake: On the way to Sweetwater the cart goes through Monument Valley. There, the very long shadows of the cart and the rocks don't match the time Jill has left the station (some time after 10). A bit later, when they pass the construction site, the shadows are short and more fitting for the time of the day again.

NancyFelix

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