Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: geoman-1 on April 28, 2007, 05:14:30 PM



Title: Ageless?
Post by: geoman-1 on April 28, 2007, 05:14:30 PM
Why did Elizabeth McGovern's character age very little
over the 30+ years? Anyone else notice this ???


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: Tuco the ugly on April 28, 2007, 05:18:36 PM
Why did Elizabeth McGovern's character age very little
over the 30+ years? Anyone else notice this ???


Yeah,it's kinda strange.I wanted to ask about that too...


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: cigar joe on April 28, 2007, 07:26:59 PM
I think what we see is the way noodles sees her.


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on April 28, 2007, 07:52:55 PM
I think what we see is the way noodles sees her.
Most definitely.  When I first saw the film when it came out on VHS, I had difficulty with the scene and Deborah's non-aging as well.  Even with the tip off Leone provided in Noodles' reading from the Cleopatra theater poster that age has not withered Deborah and as a result the play was written for her.  I had considered that maybe Elizabeth McGovern was a poor casting choice.  After more viewings, you realize Sergio's intent with the scene.   The viewer sees Deborah as Noodles sees her.  The more you think about it....it's actually an important signifier in the film.  Noodles sees Deborah as unchanged because he's loved her all his life.  It's also important in foreshadowing the response by Noodles in the next scene with Bailey/Max and in defining the psychology of Noodles.  When Noodles meets Bailey/Max in his study, he chooses not to acknowledge Max as Max.  When Noodles doesn't acknowledge Max or allow himself to be manipulated by Max to respond to his betrayal with violence, Max asks him whether this is his way of getting revenge. If he does this to thwart Max or gain some kind of satisfaction it would be to a very small degree.   Noodles responds,  it's not revenge....it's how he "sees" things.  Noodles is stuck in the past with his memories.  He compartmentalizes in his mind.....separating Bailey from Max so he can go on living in the past with his past memories in tact exactly as before.


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: The Firecracker on April 28, 2007, 10:58:50 PM
At Bailey's party Deborah looks much older to Noodles. He sees her as she really is because he has become dis-enchanted with her.


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: geoman-1 on May 01, 2007, 02:16:26 PM
At Bailey's party Deborah looks much older to Noodles. He sees her as she really is because he has become dis-enchanted with her.
Interesting insight. Makes sense. Thanks.


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: PowerRR on May 01, 2007, 08:12:51 PM
MAJOR FLAW IN THE MOVIE AGING MUST OCCUR I NOW HATE SERGIO LEONE.


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: tucumcari bound on May 15, 2007, 11:39:48 AM
MAJOR FLAW IN THE MOVIE AGING MUST OCCUR I NOW HATE SERGIO LEONE.

You now hate Sergio Leone? Well that doesn't make much sense. Come on rrpower, take that back now! >:(


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: marmota-b on September 13, 2007, 06:57:58 AM
At Bailey's party Deborah looks much older to Noodles. He sees her as she really is because he has become dis-enchanted with her.

To me she did look so as well, which supports the theory that we see her as he sees her. ;D


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: PowerRR on September 13, 2007, 01:58:43 PM
Orrr she doesn't look older because Noodles was dreaming it all and envisioned her as beautiful as she was the night she left him!


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: marmota-b on September 13, 2007, 03:15:47 PM
Seriously, I don't like the dream theory... well, maybe like the idea how it could explain all, but somehow it doesn't make sense to me as I watched the film... why would the dream contain all those details from 60s?


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: Silenzio on September 13, 2007, 03:23:22 PM
Orrr she doesn't look older because Noodles was dreaming it all and envisioned her as beautiful as she was the night she left him!

That's my dawg!


I always found the complaint about the 60s being too accurate to be annoying.  How else would Sergio have depicted it?


And as for Sergio's attention to detail, check out the Chinese Theatre across the street from Bailey's mansion. Usmev!


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: Mw/NNrules on September 13, 2007, 03:26:52 PM
That's my dawg!


I always found the complaint about the 60s being too accurate to be annoying.  How else would Sergio have depicted it?


And as for Sergio's attention to detail, check out the Chinese Theatre across the street from Bailey's mansion. Usmev!
I know. If he'd made the sixties different, the dream theory wouldn't exactly be a theory, so much as a fact.


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: Silenzio on September 13, 2007, 03:28:31 PM
I know. If he'd made the sixties different, the dream theory wouldn't exactly be a theory, so much as a fact.

I agree.

And what's the fun in that?


Title: Re: Ageless?
Post by: Noodles_SlowStir on September 15, 2007, 01:07:20 AM
For me, I just don't subscribe to the dream theory.  At the same time, I appreciate that OUATIA can be interpreted differently by each viewer.  I think it's just another characteristic of the film that makes it a great film.

I think there are a lot of themes in the film.  I think one that Leone includes is the association between cinema and dreams.  I think it's sort of a subtheme in the film.  I think there are times he's commenting on cinema itself within a very good story which was based upon the actual experiences of real people.  I think I could make an argument that this is really the "dream" element of the film rather than an actual opium dream within the story to account for events in the 1960's.  So when he films the scene in which Noodles returns to the City after thirty five years and walks into Moe's with wisps of smoke behind him, or perhaps if that is a chinese theater in proximity to the Bailey estate, it could mean something else rather than be evidence of the so called dream.

Quote
At Bailey's party Deborah looks much older to Noodles. He sees her as she really is because he has become dis-enchanted with her.

I think this also can be interpreted differently.  For me, I don't think Noodles would change his memories or perception of Deborah.  The man had been living (or not living) for 35 odd years in cold Buffalo with more than ample time to reflect on the past.  When he returns, the dressing room scene shows he still idealizes Deborah the same way he did as a boy and when he last saw her in the 30's.  I think when Noodles sees Deborah in the picture at the retirement home, and when he sees her at the party, just before he's led to Bailey's study, the camera almost shows Deborah in long shot.  I think that's done to not show how Noodles is perceiving Deborah's appearance as a contrast to how he saw her in the dressing room after the theater production.  At the party after Noodles walks to the study, we're given a close up to show her a little more aged and I took that to be how she really appeared. That's how I remember those scenes, I'll have to check them out again.  Again, I suppose they can be interpreted differently.  Noodles doesn't revise his memories or perception of Max.  It's doubtful he would change his perception of Deborah either.