Once Upon A Time In America
Today, I wanted to talk about one of my absolute favourite films of all time…Sergio Leone’s, Once Upon A Time In America!! An unbelievable film, everything about it is perfection from the story to the performances and the camerawork to the incredible score by Ennio Morricone…one of his best!! The story is phenomenal…split into 3 time periods, the early 1920’s, the early 1930’s and 1968…we see Noodles, the main character (Robert De Niro) as a child in a gang that includes Max (James Woods) Patsy (James Hayden) and Cockeye (William Forsythe) and who stay together despite Noodles 12 years in prison and become quite wealthy in adult life in the 30’s!!
The entire cast gives fantastic performances including some I haven’t mentioned being Elizabeth McGovern as Deborah (this character is notable for giving Jennifer Connelly her first film role as Young Deborah) as well as Tuesday Weld as Carol, Treat Williams as Jimmy O’Donnell and Danny Aiello as Police Chief Aiello. The film is at its most entertaining for me during the period of the 1920’s when the gang are boys who both get into danger with big time gangsters as well as being sexually minded with characters like Peggy, the boys friend who sells herself in exchange for cakes and Deborah, who Noodles takes a shine to.
The film is a rather graphic one…especially in a sexual way however, the scenes of rape are not shot to shock an audience…they are shot like any other sex scene in any other film which seems odd to me as rape scenes can be brutal to watch…the two examples in this film however are in no way hard to watch albeit one is rather saddening!! Violence and Language are also huge parts of the film as is crime and bootlegging…this film is definitely not recommended for younger viewers however a mature 15 year old would be able to handle it!! It is undoubtable that Once Upon A Time In America is a masterpiece by a master…well worth the substantial 249min run time to sit through and take it in…you will not regret it
Tell me what your thoughts are on Once Upon A Time In America as well as your views on the story and characters and which parts you enjoy best or personally think are worth talking about 🙂