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'Once Upon A Time In America' is director Sergio Leone's astonishing gangster melodrama, an epic exploration of the dark side of the American dream. Ten years in the planning, Leone's film is the work of a master storyteller - grandly conceived, rich in detail and thrilling in the depth and originality of its vision.
- 229-minute version of the film
- Feature-length commentary by Film Critic/Historian Richard Schickel
- Revealing Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone documentary
- Photo gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
Production Year: 1984
Languages French, English - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Subtitles English ; English for the hearing impaired ; Italian ;
The word 'epic' is banded about quite freely when it comes to movies, but this film really does deserve to be associated with the word. Not only does this Sergio Leone classic span the best part of four hours in length, but it covers pretty much the entire lives of the multitude of colourful characters involved.
Set in Prohibition-era New York, Once Upon A Time In America revolves around Robert DeNiro's character of Noodles and his friends, a bunch of crooks and bootleggers. Without wanting to give the plot away, I'd rather just say that this is simply a piece of cinematic history. At times stark, shocking, poetic and spellbinding, Once Upon A Time In America captures your interest throughout the frequent jumps forward and backwards through the characters' timelines, slowly piecing together the plot like a jigsaw, culminating in its sudden (and controversial) ending.
I can't heap enough praise on this film, and would recommend everyone to set aside the time to watch it at least once. In fact, it's well worth watching it multiple times to pick up on the bits you may've missed first time around.