Once Upon a Time in America


D: Sergio Leone
Warner Bros./Embassy/Ladd (Arnon Milchan)
US 1984
228 mins
W: Leonardo Benvenuti, Piero de Bernardi, Enrico Medioli, Franco Arcalli, Franco Ferrini & Sergio Leone [based on the novel "The Hoods" by David Aaronson]
DP: Tonino Delli Colli
Ed: Nino Baragli
Mus: Ennio Morricone
Robert DeNiro (David 'Noodles' Aaronson), James Woods(Max), Elizabeth McGovern(Deborah), Treat Williams (Jimmy O'Donnell), Tuesday Weld (Carol), Burt Young (Joe)

A vast, sprawling gangster epic filmed in the operatic style its director is renowned for. Once Upon A Time In America tells the story of a group of gangster friends and their rags-to-riches and back again lives, from their humble beginnings and petty crimes during the Roaring Twenties through to their eventual demise in 1968.

Despite being filmed as a singular entity, it's a film which could be best enjoyed in two sittings, with a good point halfway through the film to call an intermission.

The cast are all fantastic and the period detail evokes a nostalgic feeling, despite the story often having dark & lurid moments. Ennio Morricone deserves a special mention for his excellent music score.

Despite being considered one of the best gangster movies of all time, the film was a box office failure in the US upon its release, although this was mostly due to the studio releasing a heavily edited version.


Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in America