Almost a great film therein under the soapy bathos and mawkish score; a particular Italian sensibility perhaps, but it makes acceptable what could have been outstanding. Characterisation is often so thin as to simply populate the epic canvas rather than enlighten it. Nevertheless it’s assuredly scaled with complex plotting and detailing, but one cannot help feeling we’ve been here before. A stablemate, not a stud.
Seeing this movie is something that I had postponed for years. Somehow its impressive runtime scared me off. While viewing it however, all four hours flew by due to the immaculate direction by Leone. Everything from the mise-en-scene to the editing and the acting was close to flawless. The only letdown for me was the predictability of the plot, but nonetheless Once Upon a Time in America is an impressive project.
Epic storytelling trying to tell an entire life story in just under four hours. James Woods, Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro at their absolute best before becoming parodies on themselves and any film that "discovered" Jennifer Connelly should be applauded. Ennio Morricone's wonderful music score add tons of extra layers of emotion to the film too and it is a film I want to rediscover at least once a year.
A terrifying mobster epic featuring outstanding performances from Woods and De Niro. I found a few scenes before Intermission quite disturbing, and the treatment of women throughout is pretty disgusting. There are also noticable overdubbing which was distracting, and the baby-switching scenes felt out of place, but otherwise in awe of this iconic non-linear masterpiece and the direction it takes.
Essential cinema, thanks to the cinematography, performances, themes explored, and the unflinching look at just how nasty these gangsters were. Leone may not have made the very best gangster movie, from a simply entertaining standpoint, but he made the most complex and boldest of the epics in this subgenre.
Loved this! I watched it in three viewings with the first and third in flight. Two references I picked up on: Moriconi’s main theme (the first line of the melody) was used by the Pogues in Fairytale of NY and secondly, “are you dancing? Are you asking?..” which I knew as a school kid from The Liverbirds. Some of the still and lingering shots on the gang’s faces were so powerful. A great movie.
Quite simply a masterpiece in storytelling despite some sets looking staged, the acting being a bit wooden and the fake blood shining bright orange. Director Sergio Leone delivers the full brutality you would expect from a New York gangster movie but surprises you with delicate emotions of love, friendship and regret.
It would have been fantastic if I could actually watch the movie but once again (too often) MUBI fails to stream. I am beginning to take it personally... In terms of technical performance Netflix definitely has the edge. Unfortunately it doesn’t have the movies. All I want to do is watch a good film...
The final and most profound cooperation between Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. The narrative structure with its time leaps is fascinating, and there is hardly a more convincing flashback in cinema than the first memories of the past triggered by the glance through the hole in the wall (with a fine musical development of the friendship theme leading to this moment and opening it to "Amapola" as Deborah's theme).
At first, I thought this movie is like other gangster movies. I guess I was wrong about that. ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA is a solid gangster movie. It's a different kind. It tells about a group of Jewish gangster. Also, it has a non-linear storytelling. It kinda reminds me of THE GODFATHER: PART II. Somehow, this movie gave me a new perspective of American dream. One of the great movie from director Sergio Leone...