Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: 4stars on February 18, 2005, 07:30:32 PM



Title: Bobby D as Noodles
Post by: 4stars on February 18, 2005, 07:30:32 PM
    Who here thinks this is De Niro's best performance ever?  (For everyone who thinks this was not his best performance, then what was his best?)  I honestly can't tell.  De Niro is brilliant as Noodles, but at the same time, he's playing a character who is overall emotionless.   Did he deserve an Oscar nomination for this role?  I think he should have received one.  (Unfortunately he got screwed due to the edited version.)  Please give me your opinions....


Title: Re: Bobby D as Noodles
Post by: dave jenkins on February 18, 2005, 10:04:09 PM
This is a tough call. I really like De Niro as Rupert Pupkin in The King of Comedy, but maybe his Noodles performance is best. I particularly like the way he plays the *older* Noodles. Noodles was never all that bright, but the younger man had a certain drive. The older version doesn't even have that. He's actually quite pathetic, a character who has wasted his life and has nothing to look forward to. He has his memories, but even those are centered around a misunderstanding. Noodles is a loser, but the impressive thing is that De Niro actually *plays* him as one (this is unlike the way he plays characters for Scorcese, where all the losers are also "beautiful" at the same time). It was a star turn never since matched.


Title: Re: Bobby D as Noodles
Post by: Poggle on February 19, 2005, 04:31:35 PM
I agree. I also think his Vito Corleone in The Godfather II is very great, but then again it was Marlon Brando in the first one that made the young Vito more interesting.


Title: Re: Bobby D as Noodles
Post by: David Aaronson on February 23, 2005, 01:13:37 PM
This is a tough call. I really like De Niro as Rupert Pupkin in The King of Comedy, but maybe his Noodles performance is best. I particularly like the way he plays the *older* Noodles. Noodles was never all that bright, but the younger man had a certain drive. The older version doesn't even have that. He's actually quite pathetic, a character who has wasted his life and has nothing to look forward to. He has his memories, but even those are centered around a misunderstanding. Noodles is a loser, but the impressive thing is that De Niro actually *plays* him as one (this is unlike the way he plays characters for Scorcese, where all the losers are also "beautiful" at the same time). It was a star turn never since matched.
I can't see the 'beauty' in Travis Bickle or Jake La Motta... his best performances in my opinion.


Title: Re: Bobby D as Noodles
Post by: dave jenkins on February 23, 2005, 09:42:38 PM
I can't see the 'beauty' in Travis Bickle or Jake La Motta... his best performances in my opinion.
There is great beauty in the way Travis blows the baddies away, the way Jake beats on his opponents. Actions that are morally objectionable in life can be made aesthetically appealing on film. This allows the viewer to *identify* with the star, as per Hollywood SOP.

I'm not saying that this never happens in Leone, just that, somewhat uniquely, it doesn't happen with Noodles at the end of OUATIA. In fact, we feel something like pity for the character, an emotion worthy of Sophocles.


Title: Re: Bobby D as Noodles
Post by: David Aaronson on February 24, 2005, 04:58:59 PM
There is great beauty in the way Travis blows the baddies away, the way Jake beats on his opponents. Actions that are morally objectionable in life can be made aesthetically appealing on film. This allows the viewer to *identify* with the star, as per Hollywood SOP.

I'm not saying that this never happens in Leone, just that, somewhat uniquely, it doesn't happen with Noodles at the end of OUATIA. In fact, we feel something like pity for the character, an emotion worthy of Sophocles.
So, you pity Noodles, but not Jake or Travis?


Title: Re: Bobby D as Noodles
Post by: dave jenkins on February 27, 2005, 06:38:46 PM
There is pity and then there is pity. The one I feel for Noodles is the more profound. Travis and Jake provide me a certain amount of gratification that tempers my pity for them.