Sergio Leone / UK 1971 – 157 mins
Rod Steiger, James Coburn, Romolo Valli, Jean Michel Antoine, Vivienne Chandler, David Warbeck
Also known as ‘Once Upon a Time in the Revolution’, this rarely seen second film in the Sergio Leone ‘Once Upon a Time trilogy’ is set during the Mexican revolution of the 1910s and is one of his most overlooked films. At the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1913, greedy bandit Juan Miranda (Rod Steiger) and idealist John H. Mallory (James Coburn), an Irish Republican Army explosives expert on the lam from the British, fall in with a band of revolutionaries plotting to strike a national bank. When it turns out that the government has been using the bank as a hiding place for illegally detained political prisoners, who are freed by the blast, Miranda becomes a revolutionary hero against his will.
The film will be introduced by our series co-curator Malcolm Garrett.