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Old 03-04-2019, 07:34 PM
 
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I just watched the entire 3 hour 49th minute movie, but I am a little confused about the beginning of the Movie.

The beginning scene shows some men looking for "Noodles" played by Robert De Niro. These men beat up "Fat Moe" and shoot the girlfriend of "Noodles"

Who were these men? They seemed very angry.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:33 PM
 
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It's a story about young Jewish gangsters. They were criminals, so they had enemies.

Sorry I can't remember the specifics. I haven't seen this movie in a while.
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobisinthehouse View Post
I just watched the entire 3 hour 49th minute movie, but I am a little confused about the beginning of the Movie.

The beginning scene shows some men looking for "Noodles" played by Robert De Niro. These men beat up "Fat Moe" and shoot the girlfriend of "Noodles"

Who were these men? They seemed very angry.
One of my top-10 favorite movies. You have to watch the long version, not the shortened ones made for the American audience.

The beginning scene sets one of the themes of the movie, that once upon a time in America, there was crime, cruelty, and evil, and it wasn't only the criminals who were responsible.

The men with the tweed coats in the opening scene were police detectives.

The scene starts when somebody comes into a dark room, “God Bless America” is playing on the radio.

This person then turns on the lamp and we see that it is Eve, a beautiful femme fatale, complete with a pearl necklace.

She then pulls back the bed cover and sees on an outline of a body on the sheets – it's the same kind of outline that the police use.

She then notices three men in the room with their “police detective” tweed coats. When she can't give them the answer they want about Noodle's whereabouts, they shoot here dead without even flinching, as if it's all in a day's work. Getting the job done in any way they choose.

The police were just as cruel and corrupt as the criminals.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:20 PM
 
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It is one of my top 10 favorites as well.

The director - Sergio Leone - did not speak a word of English - except for the word "goodbye." He used a translator to communicate with the English speaking actors and staff.

I recall an interview with a music composer Leone had contacted regarding music for Once Upon A Time In America - the composer was instructed to write 6 seconds of a specific type of music. He asked why 6 seconds - and Leone replied "because that is how long actor A will take to walk the room to get to actor B."

That, by itself, isn't interesting -- but what IS interesting (at least to me) is this conversation took place 5 or 6 years before production commenced. Segio Leone had planned the movie in his head to this level of specificity.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by karlsch View Post
One of my top-10 favorite movies. You have to watch the long version, not the shortened ones made for the American audience.
Yes, the shortened one sucks and the long version is the best one released but no one has ever seen Leone's true vision...the movie he wanted to release was SIX HOURS long. He made a feeble attempt to try to have it split into 2 three hour movies but the studio balked as expected. He then cut it down to 4.5 hrs but it was still too long for a studio movie - he then cut it down to the 3 hr 49 min version which originally only shown in Europe and then they butchered THAT down 90 mins more for a US release.

More info:

13 Epic Facts About 'Once Upon a Time in America' | Mental Floss

"8. Nobody has ever seen Leone's complete version.
After the nine-month shoot, Leone had eight to 10 hours' worth of material. He trimmed it down to six hours, hoping to release it in two three-hour parts, but the producers were having none of that. So he reduced it to 269 minutes—four and a half hours—but it still wasn't enough. He chopped out another 40 minutes, and this 229-minute version is what premiered at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival and subsequently played in European theaters.

American distributors butchered the film even more, cutting out another 90 minutes and rearranging the scenes into chronological order (no more flashbacks), which rendered the movie incomprehensible. The American version flopped, of course, and Leone was devastated. A Martin Scorsese-led effort to restore Leone's original version resulted in a 251-minute cut playing at Cannes in 2012, but some 18 minutes were still missing due to legal issues over who owned the missing scenes. The 251-minute version is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Someday, perhaps the complete version will be restored."


I'm a fan of the movie but not the ambiguous ending....it is ridiculous to think someone could willingly throw themselves into a garbage truck shredder. Obviously it's left up to the viewer to decide whether he did that or not but I think it was a sloppy way to end it (although memorable) and it's always bothered me that in such a great study of the human condition/psyche they'd go with this convoluted ending....and if in fact a body was hurled into such a device there would be remnants of blood, etc on the blades as it would not be cleaned off so quickly. Perhaps this would indicate that Max didn't commit suicide but I just think they went for a kind of shock value for the ending without thinking it through.

That ending has always seem misplaced in such a well done film and I wish they had come up with something better....even something like Max stepping over a bridge/river railing and Noodles going to look and not seeing him would have been much better than what they went with.

Last edited by luckyram; 03-05-2019 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:27 AM
 
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I watched it again after about 20 years. I had first seen it as a youth when they used to show it on cable, like HBO, over and over. I loved it still. But there was one scene that was more shocking than I remembered. Without giving it away, it involves one of the men taking advantage of someone else.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:53 PM
 
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So the Police were looking for Noodles? And wanted to Kill him? Did MAX tell the police to do this?

The whole movie is available on Netflix,
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Old Today, 07:00 AM
BMI
 
Location: Ontario
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I have the complete restored version on DVD.
It includes the two controversial rape scenes that were cut for north american audiences back in 84.

The jewelry heist one, where one guy says “put a cork in her” (she was screaming),
probably meaning gag her to stop screaming but proceeds to rape her from behind.

And the other even more controversial rape scene in the back of the car.

I’m a big DeNiro fan, he’s always good. Good that they managed to film it then before
he would look to old for the role, he was already about 40 then but could still pull off looking younger.
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Old Today, 09:19 AM
 
9,670 posts, read 12,336,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMI View Post
I have the complete restored version on DVD.
It includes the two controversial rape scenes that were cut for north american audiences back in 84.

The jewelry heist one, where one guy says put a cork in her (she was screaming),
probably meaning gag her to stop screaming but proceeds to rape her from behind.

And the other even more controversial rape scene in the back of the car.

Im a big DeNiro fan, hes always good. Good that they managed to film it then before
he would look to old for the role, he was already about 40 then but could still pull off looking younger.
They should have left them out. Because all I remember from watching it a few years ago was how disturbing it was. Before that it was just another great film to me.
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