Once Upon a Time in America

Once Upon a Time in America ★★★★½

initially rated as 6 /10 but re-rated as 9.5 /10

I saw this movie @ Valhalla Cinema in Richmond when it was first released & the 251 minute restored version I saw tonight @ Melb Cinematheque Opening Night was completely different to my initial experience & viewing- so unsurprisingly, my thoughts & memories include an inevitable comparison.

Most importantly, because in 1984, after the 2+ hour screening , 3 movie-loving types all walked out of the Valhalla & loudly questioned each other about what the f**k that story was about & what was happening when ... etc etc.
I remember it as being shambolic to watch but beautifully photographed. And then duly forgot all about it except for the occasional mention of it being a waste of great acting, & the historical significance of it being created between The Godfather series in the 70s & Scorcese's wonderful '90s movies.

None of us knew the movie's production history then, but it explains a heck of a lot now, just as it being made in 1984 (that's 35 years ago) when times, morals & movies were very different to 2019, as were audience expectations & standards.

I noticed & loved the musical score tonight, & I especially noticed a group of support actors who now have historical significance status (including Jennifer Connolly, as 1 of the Jnrs!) .

And perhaps the highlight was overhearing a cluster of about 6 Movie Fanatics during the Intermission who also remembered seeing it when released in '84 & were simply loving every minute of it.


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