Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.
Let's be realistic.
Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.
One of the worst ways to make a cult movie is to set out to make a cult movie.
Sergio Leone's most ambitious film took decades for the "Fistful of Dollars" director to make, and he endured many struggles, not the least of which was the terrible re-editing of the film for American audiences. Leone's director's cut with flashbacks galore, told with a kind of surrealism that may be difficult for audiences to watch, develops the action. For example, the opening section of the film shows our hero hiding out in a Chinese opium den while a mysterious telephone rings for what seems forever before it is answered. The initial American cut took the film's complex narrative and reorganized events so that the story unfolded in chronological order. This flawed version ran 139 minutes and lacks the epic quality of the European cut. Whereas Leone's much longer version--clocking in at 229 minutes--jumped around and exhibited little fidelity to chronological order. Basically, the film charts the rise and fall of a quartet of Jewish gangsters who grew up in New York City and got involved in the liquor trade during Prohibition. These kids developed a way to salvage barrels of booze that had to be dumped into the East River when the law descended upon the bootleggers. David "Noodles" Aaronson (Robert De Niro), Max Bercovicz (James Woods), Philip "Cockeye" Stein (William Forsythe) and Patrick "Patsy" Goldberg (James Hayden) rise to become major players in Prohibition. Sergio Leone wasn't interesting in simply making an urban version of "Once Upon a Time In the West." Indeed, he wanted to follow these characters across decades into the 1960s. Naturally, the film is beautiful, and the action adheres to the tropes of crime chronicles. Interestingly enough, the European cut opens with three gunmen--like those in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"--searching for Noodles because they have a contract on him. Essentially, the film defies synopsis, but it is a work of art to watch, despite lots of nudity. Hardcore Leone fans will feast on this sprawling yarn with its elegantly orchestrated gunfights.
I believe that this movie has a complicated story and everyone should watch it 2 times to understand it.
Harika bir mafya filmi.Binlerce defa izlesem doyamam.
This movie is huge. I've seen the massive 229 min cut. And surprisingly it did not feel that boring! The pace was slow but for this story it was absolutely necessary. Otherwise the story wouldn't fell the way it felt. I was tired but also satisfied when this ended.The acting was fitting. The child actors did an amazing job. In some cases I think even better than their adult counterparts.One might get confused at the way this movie is shown. The constant switching between present time and the past might seem weird but its a massive buildup for the last segment. Once a person sees it all, he/she would understand why it was shown that way and would for sure appreciate the making.The long shots and the enthralling musical score that shows and makes sure channels all the emotions into the viewers was expected from Sergio Leone. I always enjoyed his work and this didn't underperformed at all. It's sad that this was his last movie.This was an epic tale and one of the best crime dramas I've seen so far. Too bad that it was a commercial mess due to a trimmed version being released in theater. I would recommend the whole 229 min version to anyone anytime.