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Once Upon a Time in America
Sergio Leone's final film pays tribute to the American gangster movie in a big way; albeit with an interesting twist. Robert DeNiro and James Woods turn in remarkable performances as boyhood pals... View more >
Starring Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern... View more >
Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.
Jan 25, 2000
The last film of a great man.
Sergio Leone's Gangster crime masterpiece. As boys, they made a pact to share their fortunes, their loves, their lives. As men they made a dream to rise from povert to power. This is the epic story of four best friends with main Powerful performances by Robert Deniro and James Woods who portray two best friends called Max and Noodles whom together can do anything, even go up against Bugsy Seigel.
I am speechless to tell you about this film, all i can say is that thugs can be so ruthless and SEE NOW!
Jan 25, 2000
"Once Upon A Time In America" is one of the best american films ever made. At least, the 227 minute cut that has been issued onto video and a handful of theatrical prints. The long, winding story of a group of men in the era of prohibition has an equal length to "Lawrence of Arabia", and I am happy for it. This film took ten years to make, and you can feel, with every frame, that the work paid off.
Back in 1983, this film was released in the US in a 139 minute version, which I have not seen, but critic Roger Ebert hated it so much he gave it zero stars out of four. To Ebert, the film was thrown so quickly together that it lost all touches with credibility, acting and character. Scenes were tossed out by the handful, scenes made no sense. Now in this four hour version, we get director Sergio Leone's true meaning of the material.
And what a four hour movie it is. I swear there is not one moment that is false, cliched or in any way silly. Its all good. It tells an entire story spanning 60 years, opening this whole world and then shutting it down. Robert DeNiro plays the main character, Noodles, who is shown as a child, a young adult, and an aging 60+ man. He is the leader of the prohibition team, with his friends, played by William Forsythe, James Woods, among many others.
The film tells it all: how the boys who ran prohibition grew up, got into the business, fell in love, and there years later in life. The story is so intense and so huge it would take me forever to explain. "Once Upon A Time In America" is a classic film, and only a classic in its full uncut glory. See the film for yourself, and you will understand why this review is short.
Picture: 2 A muddy picture with poor colors, contrast and blacks. I have seen better picture quality in the time.
Sound: 2 The mono mix is clear, but a stereo soundtrack is screaming to get out.
Photography: 4 Leone's wide 1.85:1 photography is great, using stunning camera angles and shots.
Length: 227 minutes (with intermission). Warner/Ladd. firstname.lastname@example.org ICQ-4339199
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