Once Upon a Time in America – 30 years

Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by QLRformer, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. QLRformer

    QLRformer Seeker

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    June 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, Sergio Leone’s last film. The film may be considered one of the most unique ones ever made, because it combines a whole lot of genres over four hours into one “autobiographical” experience.

    It tells the life story of Noodles, a Jewish gangster who started out in the 1910s slums with his best friend Max. They went from being the big-time kingpins of 1930s New York, to disagreeing and falling out. Max later dies in a bank raid, which Noodles had tipped the police off about (in order to ensure Max was captured alive, since the bank raid was suicide); a guilt-ridden Noodles leaves New York, never to return. Then in the 1960s, he gets to do one last job, and finds out much of what he thought was true was not...

    The film is unlike most other gangster films, in that it’s told mainly from Noodles’s perspective. And because Noodles has been on opium his whole life (not to mention have bias towards specific people), it’s bound to have had some events skewed and definitely falsified. It’s like THE GODFATHER meets INCEPTION: what is fact and what is fiction? It’s taken a lot of viewers a lot of debate over 30 years to work it out, and nobody knows. Not even the cast and crew themselves, except Leone (and he wouldn’t tell).

    But that’s perhaps besides the point. It’s a fairytale, as the film title states. Beyond the existential quandary, the story itself is both epic and saddening, showing how two friends rose and fell from frame as fast as a meteor. It’s an epic tale as only Sergio Leone could deliver: long takes, brutal and emotional scenes, and some fascinating plot twists and turns. A fascinating film, three decades on.

    Once Upon a Time in America (scene) - YouTube
     
  2. Max Rawhide

    Max Rawhide Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' ... uh, never mind

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    I have the DVD and have had it for years, but I still haven't seen it.

    I honestly know/knew nothing to very little about the movie. I only bought it because I love(d) the first part of the 'trilogy', "Once Upon a Time in the West"; one of the best if not the best western ever made. (Used to quote whole scenes with a former colleague.)

    But seeing your post reminded me that I really need to see it and talking with my GF we've decided to watch it a sort of series: not all in one sitting, but divided over a couple of days. With four hours of runtime it's just too long.
     
  3. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Cosign. It's not only the greatest western ever made, but it's one of my top-10 movies ever made of ANY genre.

    Duck, You Sucker (Once Upon a Time the Revolution) is not as well put together (still great, though), but I do love Steiger's "F the revolution" speech that he gives to Coburn. That's something I like to quote.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAxJb1v-SnU

    You really should watch Once Upon a Time in America. It took me a long time to watch it, too, because I am really not a big fan of the Mafia movie genre. It's just not my thing. But Leone's movie has a lot to love in it.
     
  4. QLRformer

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    I'm surprised but happy people know this film. I knew it was special if not especially popular like THE GODFATHER and GOODFELLAS. It's one of those films you either can enjoy or not.

    I think and hope you will be able to enjoy it.