Once Upon a Time in America

1984

Action / Crime / Drama

171
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 94%
IMDb Rating 8.4 10 244570

Synopsis


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 121,991 times
January 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Director

Cast

Jennifer Connelly as Young Deborah
Robert De Niro as David 'Noodles' Aaronson
Joe Pesci as Frankie Manoldi
Elizabeth McGovern as Deborah Gelly
720p
1020.99 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
3hr 49 min
P/S 21 / 183

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by justincward 1 / 10

A bloated, self-indulgent epic fail

A few very rich people and a great many very talented people, not least Snr. Leone, invested a great deal of time, talent and moolah to bring this movie to completion. It shows, and the movie is a rich spectacle - but nothing more. No-one should waste their time watching this except to learn how to overspend on art direction. I just want four hours of my life back. Naively, I sat through endless period son-et-lumiére, gratuitous sex and violence, dubious ageing makeup jobs, unrealistic dialogue and nondescript music, hoping that the ending would tie it all together in a satisfying way. Epic fail. It's a bad B-movie plot dressed as The Sting.

*SPOILER* Noodles (De Niro, wasting his prime - the ridiculous name of the protagonist says it all) returns to New York after 30 years to find he has been advanced a million bucks for a hit, but why? It's Max, (James Woods) his boyhood gang chum that he thought he'd double-crossed and got killed, wanting Noodles to kill him before the real baddies get hold of him. What rubbish; after all, a million buys a lot of secret hideaway. It is so telling that the movie's premise considers a huge sum of money a good enough maguffin to hang a four-hour marathon melodrama on. Mild, ostentatious tedium follows - mystified, Noodles wanders from mausoleum to left luggage office to cold-cream besmeared dancer's dressing room, all the while flashing back to a squeaky-clean 1930's gangland, where we eventually learn that it is a bad idea to call Max 'crazy'. Because instantly he goes crazy, in a piece of character development that probably had the Scooby-Doo writers looking to their laurels. That was said of 'Bugs' Moran, actually - you didn't call him 'Bugs' to his face.

There's no chance of any such real-life wit or irony in this script. No chance of any reality at all, because the intention seems to have been to make grand opera, so it doesn't matter that a man can be forced to sit in a vat of gasoline (and drink it) yet jump out when rescued as though it were gameshow gunk. It doesn't matter that driving a car at speed into a quay with no-one wearing belts would result in a bloody mess, not male bonding. Grand opera requires grand passion to drive the plot; Noodles' only passion is for looking at length through one of the movies' two terribly unconvincing peepholes at a budding ballet dancer, whom he goes on to rape. As you do; another piece of meaningless quasi-characterisation. Grand opera requires grand symbolism to resonate with people; there is no symbolism in OUATIA, the whole thing is a completely pedestrian display of directorial indulgence. But then, in 1984 we all thought the money would last forever. This movie certainly feels like it.

Reviewed by A_Different_Drummer 10 / 10

Last, butchered, unappreciated, work from one of the greatest...

... Directors of all time. Let's start with a story. Many years ago, when your grandfather was still a boy, a failed, beaten-down actor named Clint Eastwood packed up his horse and saddle (speaking metaphorically here), left Hollywood forever (or so he thought) and headed out to Europe to pick up cash wherever he could. He ended up doing a film in Italy for an almost-unknown director named Sergio Leone and an almost-unknown sound guy named Ennio Morricone. The film was (as history would later record) an "Italian Western," that is, as the iconic western drama was all but disappearing in the US, it was being "re-imagined" by Italian writers and directors, and then filmed in Italy, using mainly Italian actors. On the set, Eastwood spoke in English and everyone else spoke in Italian. (Dubbing later fixed all that). Filming now over, Eastwood took his cash and left. Weeks later, in a bar in another part of Europe, he overheard mention that a certain film was the leading box office attraction on the continent. The name sounded familiar but, frankly, during production, a final name for the film he'd just done had not even been selected. He investigated. Yes, this was the film he had just completed, now titled A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. The rest is history. Sort of. Two sequels were done with Eastwood playing the same character. Monster hits.

By this point the critics began to acknowledge not only Clint, but also the man behind the camera, Leone, who was one of the most promising directors of the era. HE DID THINGS WITH THE CAMERA THAT NO ONE HAS DONE BEFORE OR SINCE, especially his use of closeups, especially his ability to match powerful emotional orchestrals to key scenes. The fourth film in the series, done by Leone but by this time lacking Eastwood, was ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. (Eastwood meanwhile had returned to America as a major celebrity, formed his own production company, Malpaso, and over time became a director as well as the #1 box office star. Over the course of his career, Eastwood subtly voiced his distaste for Leone's work by scrupulously avoiding all Leone's trademark camera angles, even in his westerns!)

Back to Leone. While he lent his name to a handful of oddball productions, the last passionate work he left behind as his legacy was this film. OMG. What a film. Showcasing not only Leone's talent behind the camera, but also his musical magic as well as his ability to tell a complex tale like no one before him. It was by and large produced in obscure locations in NA, and the performances of the players, especially James Woods, and also de Niro, could possibly rank even today as the best they have ever given. (Also a performance from a young and charismatic Jennifer Connolly that by itself is worth the price of the ticket)

The film is magical. But here is the catch. Very few people have ever seen it. Even people who "think" they have seen it, really have not. The studio behind the film went berserk when they saw the length and, fearful of losing dollars when they could be changing reels and selling more tickets, they brought in a butcher to shorten it. Now maybe the new editor was not a butcher by trade, but he was sure one by disposition. The late Roger Ebert said that, in his career, this was the most abusive re-edit he had ever seen. The actual film, the one that Leone left, was not seen until years later when the director's version surfaced. It is astounding. It is magical. It is one of the best films ever made. It is a must see.

Reviewed by sebwalrusfr 10 / 10

Best movie ever made?

Simply the best movie ever made. Dot.

Life. Love. Friendship. Nostalgia. Souvenirs. Childhood. Adulthood. Betrayal. Children's dreams. Psychology. Sex. Manhood. Womanhood. Romance. Illusions. Acting. Ambition. Glory. Fate. Masochism. Sadism. History. Death...

Some even say it's a movie on Italian Mafia...

This movie is to cinema what "A day in the life" is to modern music : an evocation of what life is, in a global approach, with its darker sides and its epic moments, and in the end everything is vain and you die. Magnified as always by the superb work of Ennio Morricone, and the perfect acting of De Niro and Woods, it was for Sergio Leone THE movie of his life, his long time cherished plan, his masterpiece to end with. Additionally, it has become THE movie of the 20th century.

Read more IMDb reviews

7 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment