Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: noodles_leone on May 09, 2016, 08:51:43 AM



Title: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on May 09, 2016, 08:51:43 AM
He specificaly says "OUATITW" but I think he mixed things up with "OUATIA", which is why I put it here:

Quote
"Yeah. The theory is that that's what killed Sergio Leone - when they recut Once Upon a Time in the West for the American market. They changed the whole movie around from this extremely beautiful, poetic story of epic proportions and made it into a 90-minute movie. The story is that that's what gave him his heart attack."
http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/interviews/a535364/nicolas-winding-refn-only-god-forgives-director-on-sex-violence-beckham/


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on May 09, 2016, 12:01:05 PM
He specificaly says "OUATITW" but I think he mixed things up with "OUATIA", which is why I put it here:
http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/interviews/a535364/nicolas-winding-refn-only-god-forgives-director-on-sex-violence-beckham/
Yeah, but the crappy US cut was made in 1984 and Leone didn't die until 1989. Who takes 5 years to have a heart attack?


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on May 09, 2016, 02:23:04 PM
Yeah, but the crappy US cut was made in 1984 and Leone didn't die until 1989. Who takes 5 years to have a heart attack?

Leone. He could live while having a heart attack for 5 years. Yes, he was THAT good.


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 09, 2016, 05:53:20 PM
James Woods said a similar thing at Cannes when they made the "restored" version a few years ago, that Sergio died of a broken heart.

Ya never know how much stress can contribute to health problems, and I am sure that having a movie he worked on for so long destroyed by the studio was heartbreaking. Nevertheless, Leone was a fat guy who liked to eat big meals and smoke Cubans; not great for the heart. And after the OUATIA disaster, he had thrown hinself into a new major project, the Leningrad movie. In fact, read the end of STDWD, the chapter after the one on OUATIA; it talks all about the preparations Leone had begun making for the Leningrad movie, and some other projects he was looking into. He sure as hell was not lying around in bed all day and mourning OUATIA for 5 years. So, to say he died of a broken heart sounds nice and poetic, but is it true? Maybe, maybe not.


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: stanton on May 10, 2016, 05:46:26 AM
And the uncut version was successful in Europe.

Actually I doubt that the uncut would have been a success in the USA. Leone's success was always based on the European market, for all of his films.


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on May 10, 2016, 05:55:01 AM
And the uncut version was successful in Europe.

Actually I doubt that the uncut would have been a success in the USA. Leone's success was always based on the European market, for all of his films.
I saw the uncut version in 1985 in The Biograph (appropriate, eh?) in Chicago, and it was doing good business. The Biograph at that point was an arthouse cinema, so we're not talking blockbuster success, but there was certainly an audience for the film. And arthouse films make money or no one would bother with them. So maybe the uncut OUATIA was never gonna do the kind of business that the Dollars films did in the US, but it certainly could have been considered a "success".


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: stanton on May 10, 2016, 01:24:09 PM
I saw the uncut version in 1985 in The Biograph (appropriate, eh?) in Chicago, and it was doing good business. The Biograph at that point was an arthouse cinema, so we're not talking blockbuster success, but there was certainly an audience for the film. And arthouse films make money or no one would bother with them. So maybe the uncut OUATIA was never gonna do the kind of business that the Dollars films did in the US, but it certainly could have been considered a "success".

Yeah, but not the big success which the release company wanted to make.

If the data I have are true not even the Dollar films were really big successes, but made still a lot of money for UA, because they bought the rights for all 3 in retrospective for a dogshit. But compared to other US westerns of those years they were only moderately successful.


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 10, 2016, 05:48:12 PM
The budgets on the Dollars films were very small. So even if the revenues were not very large, the profits may have been.


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: stanton on May 11, 2016, 02:26:02 AM
The budgets on the Dollars films were very small. So even if the revenues were not very large, the profits may have been.

The budgets were not that small compared to other SWs. GBU had surely one of the premium budgets of the genre, as had every other Leone film. Even FoD was not that cheap compared to most other SWs. But filming in Europe was generally much cheaper than working in Hollywood.

What I wrote above about being moderately successful was only about the USA. In Europe all of Leone's westerns were generally very successful, especially OUTW which went through the ceiling in some countries. MNIN was also a big hit in Europe.


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 11, 2016, 07:44:09 AM
On one of the interviews I saw years ago on the DVD bonus features (I forgot which movie), one of the people who worked on the film said that by working in Spain, they could pay salaries that were 25% what they'd have paid in Italy. Not certain if it was salaries or total costs, but Spain was much cheaper than Italy (which, itself, was presumably much cheaper than Hollywood).


Title: Re: Nicolas Winding Refn about Leone
Post by: Novecento on May 11, 2016, 11:43:04 AM
And the uncut version was successful in Europe.

...Leone's success was always based on the European market, for all of his films.

Yes - putting finances aside and just focusing on artistic appreciation, then I think Leone would have been more upset if the uncut version had flopped in Europe than with the whole debacle that went down in the United States. Nonetheless, he still must have been extremely upset. He wanted to be taken seriously as an auteur (in the European and American senses) so recognition in Hollywood would have mattered hugely to him even if his product catered more to a European sensibility to a certain degree - plus it was all about America after all.

Actually I doubt that the uncut would have been a success in the USA.

Given what was popular in the 80s and happening to the movie industry after the "Heaven's Gate" repercussions, you might well be right.