All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. 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…
.... 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…
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…
When I first saw Once Upon A Time in America I was at a stage in my life where gangster films were still unappealing to me. At a young age, I found the distinctly masculine overtones and confusing crime structures of classics like Goodfellas and The Godfather to be somewhat disengaging. Sergio Leone’s gangster epic stands out in my mind as the first time I felt genuinely drawn in on an emotional level by a film of this sort.
Despite the misleading title, Once Upon A Time in America’s emotional register is more comparable to the work of Italian filmmakers like Giuseppe Tornatore or Luchino Visconti than it is to the work of Coppola or Scorsese. It is made by…
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…
Truly epic movie, with great characters and writing and fantastic music and story.
Life, man. This movie is it and then some. It's Leone's masterpiece, and maybe the greatest movie ever made.
More on this some other time.
Is it long? of course. Is it overlong? I would say no... true it's long running time means I'm probably not going to watch it too many times in my life (I've watched it twice, one some 15 years and again very close after writing this in 2015) but once it gets going (you kind of wish some of the start would get a move on) it's rarely boring which is a surprise for a film this long
While I'll always say Once Upon A Time In The West is Leone's best movie (some of his other work is better too) I have no qualms in calling this a classic movie.
(Original review outdated, re-evaluation required at later date)
No film has left me more angered, confused, sadness, happiness, and pure boredom than Sergio Leone's Gangster epic. I try to crack the meanings of the film, but to no avail. There is walking symbolism in every shot. Hidden meanings to the inner mind of David 'Noodles' Aaronson. Sometimes I think it's a worthy competitor for a top 10 of all time spot. Other times, I think it's not deserving of a top 100 spot. But every time I think of this film, I get happy and I gotta look up every bit of information on this film. From feelings like that, I've determined what I think of this film:
It's the greatest film ever made. It just might be the greatest film.
I watched the extended 4-hr cut of this and I've got no idea how it compares to the theatrical cut. My biggest takeaway is that it just tries to do too many things. Its big reveals in the final hour are muddled. It tries to tie things up too neatly. It's uneven and ugly and misogynistic. It's hard to feel any kind of affection or even strong interest in characters as willfully amoral as the ones that populate the film. This does make an interesting companion piece to Once Upon A Time in the West a movie that I don't really get either. Give me The Good, The Bad and The Ugly any day.
Keep walking. Don't turn around.
Once Upon a Time in America... or A Fistful of Misogyny?
Alright. I didn't hate this film. Far from it. But I am massively disappointed so I reckon it'll sound like I hated it. Bare in mind it's my disappointment talking. Mostly.
Now, let's get down to business.
I love Sergio Leone. I love Once Upon a Time in the West. And I love The Godfather. So I probably should love this as well, right? Well I didn't. I think this is a film desperately trying to come off as epic, and what it might gain in grandeur it definitely loses in pacing. I have no problems with lengthy films as long as I don't feel the length. Here I…
This is a film I really should have seen before but this was my first time. What has always put me off has been the extremely long running time of nearly 4 hours!!! My attempts at watching Once Upon A Time in America go like this.
• 10th November – 16th November: Pick up the case, look at the front cover, remember how long it is and put it back down,
• 17th November: Put the disc in, find there is a really annoying phone ringing throughout the first 10 minutes of the film. Fall asleep after 25 minutes.
• 18th November: Payday, looked at the run time again.
• 19th & 20th November: Weekend after payday. Didn’t have…
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…