All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
Once Upon a Time in America
Crime, passion and lust for power - Sergio Leone's explosive saga of gangland America.
Though Sergio Leone is primarily known for his westerns, his final film is a sweeping gangster epic with meditations on friendship, loyalty, and the passage of time. Spanning decades, the film follows a group of Jewish gangsters from childhood into their glory years of prohibition, and their eventual reunion in later years.
The Greatest Gangster Film Ever. I’m Not Kidding. I Seriously Think This Is Far Superior To The Godfather.
I’ve been sitting at my keyboard for approximately an hour, and I haven’t been able to type a single letter until now. I have recently re-watched what I consider to be possibly my favourite film of all time, Once Upon a Time in America. I have assigned myself with the nearly impossible task of reviewing the film. How can I even begin to express the strange beauty of the film? The nostalgia? The sadness of Ennio Morricone’s theme? How can I begin to explain how genius the story is?
When I first saw Once Upon a Time in America my…
Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America, with no exaggeration, is one of the most moving and potent cinematic experiences that I have ever had. It's a combination of everything that made me love the cinema: Immaculate cinematography, wonderful direction, a tight and free-flowing screenplay, underlying themes woven throughout the film, pitch-perfect editing, incredible performances......
This film has EVERYTHING.
Simultaneously a gangster story, a coming-of-age fable, and an ode to aging; the film cuts between these three feelings and time-periods, all with the same characters but with each of them in different stages of development. Both physically and emotionally, the audience gets a grasp of their lives throughout the 3hr and 50 minute run-time. For most of the…
I kinda hate gangster films. This isn't a new idea to me, but this film more or less crystalized what I hate about them. In short, gangsters are not Robin Hood. They do not rob from the rich to give to the poor. They do not empower the poor; they feed off of them. They do not fight injustice disguised as law; they simply treat the law as coincidental. The closest argument you have is that they gave immigrant populations recourse to power in a system that hated them, and that is certainly true. But you rarely see them wield that power toward anything but assimilating into the system in a backward sort of way. While some gangster films have…
.... a Godfather parody from Sergio Leone?
This film tried so hard to be something great and turned into anything but. So many were terribly miscast, from Noodles Jr. to adult Deborah, and the intricate weaving of past & present did nothing to engage me. Certain setpieces and acts of violence were too heavy-handed. There wasn't nearly enough Joe Pesci. The characters themselves were uninteresting and often times laughable ('.... you're crazy'.... 'don't SAY THAT!!!' ). Only a few things kept me around for the long 230 minute runtime: the abundance of beautiful shots, the score from Morricone that was perfection when it worked (like the instrumental version of Yesterday), the presence of the great actors themselves, and a hope that…
Once Upon a Time in America manages to capture everything that is great about cinema. Everything about it is perfect.
Right from the start, Sergio Leone impresses technically, with many elegantly smooth transitions, like one of the very last shots in the movie, where the rear lights of a garbage truck driving away suddenly turns into the front lights of a car from the 30s (correct me on that if that's wrong) filled with men and women partying. Earlier in the movie, after Noodles returns to New York, he goes into the bathroom at Moe's place, and starts peeking through a hole in the wall. Suddenly we're in 1920s New York. A young Noodles…
I just watched the "Extended Director's Cut" of Sergio Leone's last film -- all 251 minutes of it -- and I must say I'm perplexed. If I think of it as a non-linear telling of a story about kids emerging from a Jewish ghetto in Manhattan to become successful mobsters during Prohibition and the fate that befalls them over the course of half a century, it's an overly ambitious failure and the studio was right in trying to untangle and "fix" it through severe editing. However, if I see this as one very long opium-induced dream made up of glimpses of a fragmented past and portents of an imagined future, which Leone himself indicated is a valid interpretation, it is…
Watched the 251 minute extended directors cut.
Jeez, there's so much to this film that I kind of want to keep my review short. This is certainly a film that deserves a spot beside all of the classic mafia films. It's a massive epic of a tale, spanning 3 time periods. The cinematography is beautiful, especially during the childhood time period. Lots of memorable moments throughout, and really good performances. Also the young actors they got to represent the older character were pretty damn perfect and it makes the transition to years later really smooth.
I will say the length of the film did start to get to me during the last hour or so. Some scenes are nice but…
Until I looked over Sergio Leone's filmography on imdb about a month ago I don't think i ever even heard of this film. It was released on DVD here last week and my local rental house had it and even though i knew this cut was just about four hours it was time I knew I had to endure.
Apparently the cut in this film was Leone's original cut, but studios shredded it for its initial release - leading to bad reviews. The DVD has a great little doco which I recommend people watch, I won't go into details here.
The film was made in 1984 but like CHINATOWN, is one of those films that never gives away the time…
Extended Director's Cut
An occasionally uneasy mix of pure cinematic dream and the popular American gangster genre, Once Upon a Time in America still maintains an eerie power to suck you in, both into this world and the story - which together manage to create a hauntingly human tale of capitalism on a personal level.
Still, for everything it gets right, upon this re-watch (my first time with the newly restored DC) I realized I didn't know any of the supporting characters half as much as I did De Niro's Noodles. I'm not sure the film needs to create more connections with its supporting characters, but I'm curious to see how this holds up again after a fresh watch. Not sure when I'll find another 4+ hours to do that though.
The ultimate anti gangster movie, Sheds almost any idea that the characters will be shown to have any loyalty or shred of humanity very early on as it depicts the timeline of murderers, rapists, thieves and conmen. Leone presents the world of gangsters as unpleasant, aggressive and full of pettiness.
Leone evolves from his western films into what I feel is his most Italian of movies in which comparisons with Fellini would not be entirely ludicrous. His style is still there intact, but it feels like the iconography of his previous films is either gone or in the very far background somewhere.
The performances from De Niro and Woods are full of all the things, which this world requires the…
Sergio Leone's last film is a masterpiece in many ways. It's a fantastic look on America changing over decades and how money and power can corrupt a person and ruin long friendships. Robert De Niro and James Woods, among others, give fantastic performances but their characters grow to be so unlikable that I find it a little off-putting. Also, the runtime of almost four hours is too excessive for my taste, when I'm not completely into what I'm watching. The film's classic status in the gangster genre is unquestionable and I appreciate it a lot, but as a rewatch experience this wasn't quite as excellent as I hoped.
After finally getting around to clearing several hours to make room for a full viewing of Once Upon a Time in America I'm frankly devastated to find the film as massively disappointing as it was. So much so that I think 2.5 stars is still overrating it a tad to take in my denial. I had heard that Sergio Leone's epic final film was an intimate portrait of America in the infancy of the 20th century, following a group of kids who fall into the bootlegging business and then age through several decades. And on one hand that's partially true save but after 4 hours of being with these characters I had hoped I would feel something. Instead I watched…
The film opens well and concludes extremely well but in between there are patches which work while some parts were questionable especially when the length becomes almost 4 hours. It shouldn't be this underrated though.
A beautifully confusing movie about America, loss of innoence, regret, and the passage of time. Once Upon a Time in America for me is a perfect counter balance to the great mafia masterpieces of the 20th century.
The life of a jewish mobster.
I know, that isn't much of a synopsis. But it's really not much of a movie.
There are supposedly 3 versions of this movie. I watched the 229 minute version. The theatrical release, I think, is maybe 140+ minutes and they have an even newer release that is 251 minutes. Supposedly the super long version fills in all of the gaps that the 229 minute version was unable to. That's my first problem. If you're unable to tell a succinct story in 3 hours and 49 minutes, you shouldn't be allowed to make movies. Period!
I can't understand why people actually like this movie. I think it's one of those movies that people say…
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
most recent update - Friday, November 22, 2014
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