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Once Upon a Time in America [DVD] [Import]

4.3 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Language: English, French, Italian
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0000C2IS9
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #182,987 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Yes, the film is four hours long, and yes, there is an hour and a half flashback sequence. But don't let this ward you way from what is truly a masterpiece of a gangster flick. The flashback itself is engrossing and endearing. If you love movies, if you love great acting, if you love history, this is the epic for you.
'Once Upon a Time in America' is a film about a group of four friends who have grown up together in New York City since the turn of the century. They grew up around crime and took part in it themselves. 'America' doesn't focus on the truly criminal aspects of the tale, though; nor does it glorify violence in any way. In a genius move, director Sergio Leone portrays how crime influences this tough, beautiful, but delicate friendship.
This brings me to the famously long flashback. Anyone who tells you it is boring, unimportant and relentless was obviously not paying attention. They must also have a short attention span, for the portrayel of the four main characters' childhood is at times beautiful, elegiac and hilarious. It tells a timeless tale of the central character in the film, Noodles (later played by Robert DeNiro), and his obsession with the local beauty (a young Jennifer Conally, later played by Elizabeth McGovern) who refuses to love him because he'll "always be a two-bit punk." It reminisces on the constant loss of virginities to the town prostitute who makes love for the price of one pastry (what accompanies this story line is a legendary scene where a young teenager succumbs to the temptation of his pastry gift). And it ends in one of the film's most emotional moments that proves you must have a strong stomach to really pay attention and/or appreciate the film to full extent.
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Format: DVD
Against the setting of the roots of organized crime in New York, Sergio Leone has given us an unforgettable epic, about lost opportunities, the price of dreams, the cost of power and success, and the nature of damnation. The story, based on an obscure novel, The Hoods, evolves around the rivalry/friendship of two childhood friends (DeNiro and Woods), and the empire which evolves around this increasing center of tension.
Although I have issues with the credibility of a few of the performances which creates a certain uneveness (Sergio L was rumored at the time to be in agreement) and what come off as seeming contrivances of plot (which are to an extent, I believe, in some ways due to the cuts and the editing), the film includes what I consider to be Tuesday Weld's last great moments on the screen, and DeNiro's performance is understated and spectacular (this is the film with which he followed up Raging Bull).
I was fortunate to see the original cut (225 min+) on the big screen, when it opened at the Plitt in L.A. in early summer of 1984 (i.e., before its release to the general public . I have not seen the restored cut on DVD. However, as I remember, the film is a thing of beauty as cinema (the EYE-talian visual magic) and you won't forget how it ends.
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Format: DVD
'Once Upon a Time in America', simply put, is the best gangster movie I've ever seen and is one of the greatest movies ever made. The entire film seems like long, beautiful, and scary dream. By the end of the story, I felt like I witnessed the entrie lives of the characters. I felt like I understood their every feeling and emotion, their joys and sadness. Moviemaking is rarely this magical or this tragic.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
“It’s a known fact that you can’t please everyone” especially when I see what other people has writhen
here about movies with there review,and I got to say Mr. bliggick”if that’s your name,you have nail it,
it’s everything I wanted to say, when I see the negative voting on some reviews that I read,I can’t help
but voice my opinion,it’s like people forget what they see,they give away five stars like it make no sense to them,
what they’ve seen,this movie was so muddle,I couldn’t ascertain middle from start to finish,or back to the start,
so what happen to the guys that killed Noodles girlfriend,they just disappear of the planet,what we get here,
from the Ten-hours that he originally filmed,is a sweeping love story with some Gangster thrown in,
I enjoyed most of the movie.so don’t get me wrong now,I can live with it this way,it’s sad to see the old time long
frame shooting style gone that Sergio Leone” capture so well,like the “Good the Bad and the Ugly”
“Once Upon a Time in the West” Respectively,
Not That Bad A Movie.
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Format: DVD
Sergio Leone's final sprawling epic is finally presented in all it's restored glory on this 2-disc DVD. Once Upon a Time in America tells the story of four childhood friends who find their way into the world of organized crime; specifically from the viewpoint of Noodles (Robert De Niro) as he reminisces as an old man. At 229 minutes, this is the longest cut of the film to ever see the light of day, and while some may see Once Upon a Time in America as an exercise in indulgence (and let's face it, it can be at some points) one can't deny the lasting power of Leone's final film. It may not achieve the same type of greatness as The Godfather, Goodfellas, etc.; but Once Upon a Time in America was in it's day, just like Gangs of New York is today, an underrated masterpiece. The DVD itself is poorly constructed however. The film is split into two parts, mostly because of the feature length commentary by film historian Richard Schickel, but Warner Bros. could have done a much better job. We get an excerpt of a documentary about Leone, but why wasn't the whole thing included on here? Just like they did with their earlier 2-disc re-releases of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, True Romance, and Unforgiven; Warner Bros. has crafted another disappointing DVD set.
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