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Once Upon a Time in America (Extended Director's Cut)
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Sergio Leone's original vision comes to life in this fully restored Extended Director's Cut. Twenty-two minutes of never-before-seen footage have been returned to this chronicle of brutal and passionate underworld history, deepening the characters and enlarging the work of its astonishing cast. Robert De Niro and James Woods play lifelong pals whose rise as crime kingpins unravels in death and corruption. Tuesday Weld, Joe Pesci, Jennifer Connelly, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams and Louise Fletcher (the latter three showcased in recovered scenes) also star. The newly added 22 minutes of extended scenes bring us closer to Leone's original vision of the film, but due to the limited availability of 35mm work prints, the new inserts could not be restored to the same quality as the rest of the film.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
Despite what can seem like turgidness on first viewing, this film is likely to stick to your ribs and merit repeat screenings. DeNiro smolders throughout, while James Woods delivers a teriffic scenery-chewing performance. The story is friendship (and betrayal, of course)--or is it Romulus and Remus? Greek tragedy, perhaps? Godfather parts 1 and 2 rolled into one film? Yes, and more. And viewers familliar with Leone only through his spagetti westerns are in for a surprise: Leone is a world-class film-maker here, capable of stunning beauty and cruelty, often within the same frame.
Does it really need to be this slow? Does the flashback to childhood need to be almost and hour and a half long (don't worry--it's absorbing enough in its own right to keep you from noticing)? Does the the chronology need to be so screwy? Does that darn phone need to ring so long? Absolutely.
Fans of Woods, DeNiro, Leone, or gangster movies in general canot afford to pass this film up. The supporting cast, especially the young actors playing the gang members in thier childhood, is also consistently stellar. Best viewed on a cold wintry afternoon when you've got plenty of time. Opium not provided.
I remember when it first came out, I was mesmerized by it for three reasons. Firstly, when it was released there was possibly never a more violent film than this one, with the possible exception of Scarface. Thus, the action is first-rate. Secondly, the performances were all compelling. One performance that went overlooked, I think, was Tuesday Weld's volatile performance as the damaged and emotionally scarred girlfriend of the equally volatile Woods. DeNiro, of course, holds every scene he's in; there's a great sequence in the film involving crooked cop Danny Aiello and a sick practical joke played on him by the gangsters seeking to influence him; additionally, a young Jennifer Connelly gives a fine performance as the childhood sweetheart of one of the gang-members. Thirdly, the pacing of the film was deliberately extended in several sequences to allow for Ennio Morricone's haunting, melancholic, and most deeply felt musical score.Read more ›
Warner Brothers 2 disc set does have its drawbacks. First, the movie itself is spread over two discs and, there is no polite way to say it, the interruption is obtrusive. The break happens right in the middle of a crucial scene. Interruption aside, the DVD is marred by considerable film grain and a bit of digital grit that make most of the images digitally harsh instead of creamy smooth. Many scenes offer remarkable clarity and depth while others, mostly night time or dark scenes suffer from a loss of fine detail that disappears into a haze of undistinguished muddy blacks, browns and blues. Edge enhancement, pixelization, shimmering and aliasing are present throughout the transfer, sometimes distractingly so. The audio is remixed 5.1 and is strident and lacking in tonal bass.
Extras: Pretty much a retrospective and audio commentaries. Some toss away stuff. That's it, that's all!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good reenactment of the beginnings of la Cosa Nostra. A good rollicking story besides.Published 1 month ago by Bob Lewis
One of the best crime movies, embraced by a tender love story, of all time. Best acting & outstanding background music, especially Deborah's Theme, a classic.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This movie was way to long, very melodramatic, just not what I was expecting give the cast.Published 1 month ago by Renee M.
The best gangster movie ever made and that includes The Godfather.Published 1 month ago by Randal S.