Watch Once Upon a Time in America For Free
Once Upon a Time in America
A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.
|Studio :||Warner Bros., The Ladd Company,|
|Crew :||Production Design, Camera Operator,|
|Cast :||Robert De Niro James Russo Danny Aiello Richard Bright James Woods|
|Genre :||Drama Crime|
It's fun, it's light, [but] it has a hard time when its tries to get heavy.
This is a coming of age storyline that you've seen in one form or another for decades. It takes a truly unique voice to make yet another one worth watching.
Is the film too long? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that it takes real concentration to understand Leone's story construction, in which everything may or may not be an opium dream, a nightmare, a memory, or a flashback, and that we have to keep track of characters and relationships over fifty years. No, in the sense that the movie is compulsively and continuously watchable and that the audience did not stir or grow restless as the epic unfolded."
Sergio Leone's most ambitious film took decades for the "Fistful of Dollars" director to make, and he endured many struggles, not the least of which was the terrible re-editing of the film for American audiences. Leone's director's cut with flashbacks galore, told with a kind of surrealism that may be difficult for audiences to watch, develops the action. For example, the opening section of the film shows our hero hiding out in a Chinese opium den while a mysterious telephone rings for what seems forever before it is answered. The initial American cut took the film's complex narrative and reorganized events so that the story unfolded in chronological order. This flawed version ran 139 minutes and lacks the epic quality of the European cut. Whereas Leone's much longer version--clocking in at 229 minutes--jumped around and exhibited little fidelity to chronological order. Basically, the film charts the rise and fall of a quartet of Jewish gangsters who grew up in New York City and got involved in the liquor trade during Prohibition. These kids developed a way to salvage barrels of booze that had to be dumped into the East River when the law descended upon the bootleggers. David "Noodles" Aaronson (Robert De Niro), Max Bercovicz (James Woods), Philip "Cockeye" Stein (William Forsythe) and Patrick "Patsy" Goldberg (James Hayden) rise to become major players in Prohibition. Sergio Leone wasn't interesting in simply making an urban version of "Once Upon a Time In the West." Indeed, he wanted to follow these characters across decades into the 1960s. Naturally, the film is beautiful, and the action adheres to the tropes of crime chronicles. Interestingly enough, the European cut opens with three gunmen--like those in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"--searching for Noodles because they have a contract on him. Essentially, the film defies synopsis, but it is a work of art to watch, despite lots of nudity. Hardcore Leone fans will feast on this sprawling yarn with its elegantly orchestrated gunfights.
I believe that this movie has a complicated story and everyone should watch it 2 times to understand it.
Why am I seeing 10 stars for this film? They must be from men (and I am one) who have no respect for women. This insane POS does not offer one positive interaction with a person of the female sex. They are all reduced to sex objects, willing or otherwise. I am trying to wrap my mind around how Elizabeth McGovern (later of "Downton Abbey" fame) could have allowed herself to participate in a virtual on-screen rape by Robert DeNiro. And I love Bobby, but I lost all respect for him after this. Yes, it was the "character" -- but didn't Bobby pull back and say... uh... wait a minute, guys, we're not making torture porn here, are we?Other women were prostitutes or nymphs. Even the woman who gave birth to Danny Aiello's child was treated like a sex slave. She gives birth to a boy and all of the sudden she, and her young daughters, are supposed to kowtow to Danny and the new boy king in his arms. And Tuesday Weld!!! She allowed herself to be brutally raped on screen... for whose benefit? Was this going to advance her career? I watched with my mouth open for the whole thing. I was disgusted, appalled, nauseated. The four pigs at the center of this should have been subjected to the same sickening, vicious, cruel treatment they subjected every woman in this film to. I feel sorriest for Ennio Morricone, whose beautiful music was wasted on this sub-par "soft" torture porn trash heap. Did working on this film give anybody a sense of joy? Did people burst into applause when they saw it in a theater? Did the women just laugh to themselves and say, "Well, all in a day's work?" Or did they cry themselves to sleep because they needed the money and this was a chance to further their careers? I have no doubt that the horrible excuses for men portrayed in this film did exactly what they did. But... of what benefit was it to the viewing audience? In what way did this cruel insult offer an edifying experience? Or even an enjoyable one? What a tragic comment on our beloved entertainment industry.