Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Critic Consensus: Sergio Leone's epic crime drama is visually stunning, stylistically bold, and emotionally haunting, and filled with great performances from the likes of Robert De Niro and James Woods.
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as David "Noodles" Aaronson
as Jimmy O'Donnell
as Police Chief Aiello
as Fat Moe
as Van Linden
as Chicken Joe
as Woman in the Puppet Theater
as Mrs. Aiello
as Willie the Ape
as Young Noodles
as Young Max/David
as Young Patsy
as Young Cockeye
as Young Fat Moe
as Young Deborah
as Bugsy's Gang
as Bugsy's Gang
as Al Capuano
as Fred Capuano
as Johnny Capuano
as Young Peggy
as Irving Gold
as Girl in Coffin
as Adorable Old Man
as Nurse Thompson
as Cemetery Caretaker
as Max's Mother
as Peggy's Mother
as Ticket Agent
as Newstand Man
as Mounted Policeman
as 2nd Mounted Policeman
as Sgt. P. Halloran
as Street Singer
as Friend of Young Deborah
as Young Macrò
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Critic Reviews for Once Upon a Time in America
Adding 22 minutes only enhances Leone's brilliant saga of guilt and betrayal
Sergio Leone's languid, lovely and lengthy ode to Lower East Side mobsters (more specifically, mobster films) ...
Leone is less interested in arousing an audience's easier emotions than in presenting, at a dispassionate distance, the horror of two men warily walking toward each other on a tightrope suspended above the snake pit of their , deepest compulsions.
While Leone's vision still has a magnificent sweep, the film finally subsides to an emotional core that is sombre, even elegiac, and which centres on a man who is bent and broken by time, and finally left with nothing but an impotent sadness.
Audience Reviews for Once Upon a Time in America
Available now in its four-hour director's cut, Leone's supreme masterpiece is a magnificent epic - superbly directed, full of fantastic performances and with a beautiful story of friendship and betrayal that culminates in a profoundly moving, achingly sad ending.
It's hard to judge this masterpiece when thinking about Coppola and Scorsese's more well known gangster flicks or even to compare it to Leone's earlier westerns. It's unlike any other of his films as far pacing, energy etc. On the other hand, it is a truly epic, amazing look at the life of two individuals. The detail and deepness to the story is great.
"Once Upon a Time in America" is a stunning, lengthy, and novel-esque narration of three pivotal years (1922, 1933, and 1967) in the lives of two Jewish New York Gang members, Noodles and Max. The non-linear depiction of events, the brilliant imagery, the soundtrack, and amazing acting on behalf of Robert De Niro and James Woods make this film perfect, and it honestly defies categorization. "Once.." is not merely a gangster tale, but is more like a Dickens' novel in the vein of David Copperfield or Great Expectations. Every minute of its nearly 5 hours of duration is worth it, and one feels disappointed that the tale is told when the credits role. I could not possibly more highly rate a film, and I believe that it is as rewarding, entertaining, and fulfilling as any novel can be, and it should be elevated to a much higher regard. 89 percent simply doesn't cut it. 100 percent does. Find 5 hours during a dark night to ABSORB this masterpiece and don't you dare miss as single minute of it.
Once Upon a Time in America Quotes
|Max:||Secretary Bailey: (checking his pocket watch) It's 10:25. And I've got nothing left to lose. When you've been betrayed by a friend, you hit back. Do it.|
|David "Noodles" Aaronson:||You see, Mr Secretary... I have a story also, a little simpler than yours. Many years ago, I had a friend, a dear friend. I turned him in to save his life, but he was killed. But he wanted it that way. It was a great friendship. But it went bad for him, and it went bad for me too. Good night, Mr Bailey.|
|David "Noodles" Aaronson:||I hope the investigation turns out to be nothing. It'd be a shame to see a lifetime of work go to waste.|
|David "Noodles" Aaronson:||Today they asked us to get rid of Joe, tomorrow they ask me to get rid of you. Is that okay with you? 'Cause it's not okay with me!|
|Deborah:||Age can wither me, Noodles. We're both getting old. All that we have left now are our memories. If you go to that party on Saturday night, you won't have those anymore. Tear up that invitation.|
|Sharkey:||You ever think of setting yourselves up in business? All those trucks used to haul liquor, soon be selling them for nothing. I'm talking about hundreds of vehicles controlled by a national organization. And supported by a powerful union headed by Jimmy. Whatever you ask, there's no way he can turn you down.|
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