Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

An Italian American crime drama directed by Sergio Leone, starring Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young and Treat Williams.
A group of boys in New York City start an organized crime gang. After a conflict with a rival gang, one of them goes to jail for many years. When he gets out, he finds that he has an aversion to this type of work.
I watched the super-long four hour version and liked it. The plot held my interest and the variety of characters was good. I thought that relatively few of them showed much depth or development. The phone ringing in the beginning was maddening. There must have been some other way to do that scene. I found the rape scene in the car disturbing to watch. The version that I got had some inconsistencies in the video for some reason. It could have been a bad copy, could have been intended that way or those could be the deleted scenes edited in without color correction. The video style and acting are what impressed me the most. Everything was shown so clearly with such convincing characters that it didn't feel like watching a staged movie. Overall, exceptional. For a four hour film to hold my attention attests to it's greatness. I rate this awesome.

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