Once upon a time in America


I’m a bit of a sucker for nostalgia and I’ve seen many movies and listened to music portraying it. I think this movie takes it to a whole different level though. Set in three different times during the twentieth century, this epic movie describes the life and times of two friends in New York.

Noodles and Max meet in 1918 and build a criminal empire helping with the smuggling of booze. After a falling out, Noodles decides to flee the city and live under a different name in Bufalo. In the years that follow, Max takes everything from Noodles, including the woman he loves. When the two meet in the Sixties, Max is in trouble and asks his old friend to shoot him.

This is the last movie Sergio Leone made, and the enormous project stopped him from directing The Godfather. The movie turned out to be almost six hours, and Leone wanted to create two films out of the footage. He was stopped by the producers, and had to shorten it to four and a half hour. That version however never made it to the theatre. It was shortened to 229 minutes when it reached the filmfestival of Cannes, and then for the US version even more. The US version was a disaster though, because the cutting was done too ambitious, and the order of the scenes was changed completely.

The soundtrack of the movie was recorded in Rome, and was composed by Ennio Morricone, who also worked with Leone on his famous spaghetti westerns.

Some years ago I have been to the location of the picture on the cover. It is a famous scene from the movie, and appeared on the posters. Much to my surprise I was not the only one there. I never found out if people were going there because it is a beautiful view, or if they actually knew the movie and the scene, but it was quite crowded.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *