Once upon a time movies that began with those four words were Disney fairytales. Then came Sergio Leone.
The Italian spaghetti western director slapped the Once Upon A Time right there in the title. And in his case these weren't stories of princesses and castles, but of brutal killers.
Still, that title gave these murderous criminals a certain mythic grandeur. This is not, those four words seemed to say, merely a cheap European knock-off of violent American movies. This is the myth of America itself.
And it worked. Leone's movies became revered classics and in the years since plenty of other directors have borrowed the same trick. Movies from martial arts actioners to kitchen sink dramas have been given the Once Upon A Time title treatment in the hope of imbuing their subject with a little of that iconic scope, that feeling of having the definitive last word on the genre. Some of them have been markedly more successful than others.
Here we take a trip around every place it's been Once Upon A Time In... at the cinema and see which did it best.
Note: For the purposes of this list "every movie" means every one to receive a theatrical or mainstream home media release internationally. There may be more local Once Upon A Times that don't get a mention here. The title is that common. And, as we're talking movies, this is the only mention we'll make of the ABC fairytale TV series of the same title.