Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: Tucumcari Bound on August 19, 2007, 09:52:37 PM

Title: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 19, 2007, 09:52:37 PM
Do you ever find yourself watching a film and forget that you're actually watching one? You're so caught up and lost in the moment that you find yourself believing that you're in the actual world you're watching. There are not many films that are as special and "Once Upon a Time in America" is without a doubt one of those special, rare films that only come around every so often, years for the most part. This film is quite simply a captivating experience. From it's direction, to it's beautiful, and quite possibly the best musical score ever composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone.

Up until this point, Sergio Leone gave us his brilliant works in the Dollars Trilogy, most noticeably "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." After viewing the 'Dollars Trilogy' you couldn't possibly believe that Sergio Leone could get even better at his craft, or even touch upon some more serious subject matter. It probably wasn't even a thought in anybody's head. Then he surprises everybody with "Once Upon a Time in the West" a film many believe could be the greatest western film experience ever. A film of sheer brilliance it's almost not real. Then Sergio builds on that and tackles an even more serious subject matter, far more serious than "Once Upon a Time in the West" in "Duck, You Sucker." This time he brings forth the Mexican Revolution and exploits it to the fullest and sends a bold message.

By the time "Once Upon a Time in America" was released in 1980 many people were aware of the talents of Sergio Leone all over the world. He had stamped his name amongst the best in film history and etched himself into the minds of film lovers all over the world forever. His fan base was set, and in years to come would get even more popular year after year, blowing away anybody and anyone who would dare to sit down and experience his films and to inspire countless aspiring filmmakers.

As many of us know it took years for Americans to see the version Sergio intended us all to see. "Once Upon a Time in America" was edited to death upon it's release in the states and was not a commercial success by no means. For years up until Sergio Leone's death in 1989 he was bothered by this, as he should have been. The studio had ruined his initial masterpiece. This is a film that should have been nominated for COUNTLESS Academy Awards. It rivals only "Raging Bull" as the best film of the 1980's in my humble opinion. It fell off the face of the earth for years up until it's 2003 DVD release to where it was restored to it's proper place. It has sense grown a fan base, and is getting the recognition it so rightfully deserves. The film clocks in at nearly 4 hours long and does not seem like that for one second. How many films can do this? A four hour film that feels like it's 2 hours when it's all over and done with. Sergio Leone's work here is something to marvel at. It's a work of brilliant and EPIC proportions. It leaves me stunned everytime I view it. It takes me in and never let's go.

This is quite simply one of the best films ever made. Anyone who claims to be a film lover needs to experience this, period.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: PowerRR on August 19, 2007, 09:56:43 PM
This is quite simply one of the best films ever made. Anyone who claims to be a film lover needs to experience this, period.
Wrong. Try the best film ever made.

A great review. From reading this and listening to Morricone's score at the same time, I almost have to watch this again ...even though I just did a few days ago.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Mw/NNrules on August 19, 2007, 10:35:50 PM
Yeah... Leone just got better and better. Although not his most likable by any means, it's the best production. A better movie than any of his previous efforts, which were all considerable (maybe not CoR, see my explanation next paragraph). My all time favorite film is GBU, but OUATiTW and OUATiA are better films, from a technical point of view. When you look at Leone, and then look at almost any other director, you see how Leone is superior.
When he began w/ CoR... it was okay. It seems thrown together, unlike his other movies. It shows some promising filmmaking, but nothing amazing. It probably wasn't even his fault by the looks of it.
Basically, each film showed more and more signifigance. The Dollars Trilogy are significant for their new techniques w/ the camera. The extreme close up, and the long shots, were both fairly new. Also, they took average plots ( i.e. people looking for gold) and made them into highly detailed adventures. OUATiTW and DYS had the now average looking shots, but better plots. Finally, OUATiA is the greatest. The best plot, and (I'd say) the best actors. Unfortunately, his films never got much respect from the critics in their times. The Dollars Trilogy was regarded as a cheap piece of crap by many. They got money, and the respect from the general public as well. Next, OUATiTW and OUATiA were cut to death. I'm not even sure DYS got a wide release. Either way he deserved more then he got. The project he was planning, Leningrad, was even more ambitious then OUATiA. What a loss.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Silenzio on August 19, 2007, 11:00:24 PM
Wrong. Try the best film ever made.


:o :o :o

What about the deer hunter!

Somebody pinch me...
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: PowerRR on August 19, 2007, 11:03:41 PM
:o :o :o

What about the deer hunter!

Somebody pinch me...
It's just so close, dammit! Watching America again a few days ago may have changed my mind.

But when I watch The Deer Hunter in HD later this month, my mind will probably be changed again.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 19, 2007, 11:05:02 PM
Yeah... Leone just got better and better. Although not his most likable by any means, it's the best production. A better movie than any of his previous efforts, which were all considerable (maybe not CoR, see my explanation next paragraph). My all time favorite film is GBU, but OUATiTW and OUATiA are better films, from a technical point of view. When you look at Leone, and then look at almost any other director, you see how Leone is superior.
When he began w/ CoR... it was okay. It seems thrown together, unlike his other movies. It shows some promising filmmaking, but nothing amazing. It probably wasn't even his fault by the looks of it.
Basically, each film showed more and more signifigance. The Dollars Trilogy are significant for their new techniques w/ the camera. The extreme close up, and the long shots, were both fairly new. Also, they took average plots ( i.e. people looking for gold) and made them into highly detailed adventures. OUATiTW and DYS had the now average looking shots, but better plots. Finally, OUATiA is the greatest. The best plot, and (I'd say) the best actors. Unfortunately, his films never got much respect from the critics in their times. The Dollars Trilogy was regarded as a cheap piece of crap by many. They got money, and the respect from the general public as well. Next, OUATiTW and OUATiA were cut to death. I'm not even sure DYS got a wide release. Either way he deserved more then he got. The project he was planning, Leningrad, was even more ambitious then OUATiA. What a loss.

Great post Mw/NNrules. You make many great points. Production wise, OUATIA could be Sergio's Best. I think it was the most expensive piece he ever was apart of. It amazes me how his films kept getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger as they went on. As the budget's grew, the size of the sets were more vast, the costumes were better, even the casts were overall getting better.

After OUATIA it's hard to imagine that he could have made something even more bigger, far more better than OUATIA, his previous, and quite sadly his last film. Can you just imagine what Leningrad would have looked like? He may have possibly been the greatest War Film ever made, even till this day. We will never know, sadly.  :(
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Groggy on August 20, 2007, 04:59:42 AM
Great review. O0











. . . Now please tell us you didn't plagarize it. :P
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: mal247 on August 20, 2007, 07:38:16 AM
Can you just imagine what Leningrad would have looked like? He may have possibly been the greatest War Film ever made, even till this day. We will never know, sadly.  :(

I'm always surprised at how well Leone handled battle scenes (eg in GBU) which were only a small part of the movie.

It will be interesting to see if Tornatore's Leningrad with music by Ennio Morricone (if it ever comes out) will bear favorable comparison.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 20, 2007, 07:41:26 AM
Great review. O0







. . . Now please tell us you didn't plagarize it. :

HAHA Not at all Groggy! I do not plagarize. When I talk about films, it comes from the heart. I would never plagarize. I watched the film yet again last night and just wanted to write a good review about it.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Groggy on August 20, 2007, 03:33:02 PM
HAHA Not at all Groggy! I do not plagarize. When I talk about films, it comes from the heart. I would never plagarize. I watched the film yet again last night and just wanted to write a good review about it.

I was just pulling your leg TB.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 20, 2007, 03:58:40 PM
I was just pulling your leg TB.

Oh I know buddy. I actually thought your post was pretty damn funny.  ;D
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: dave jenkins on August 20, 2007, 08:55:56 PM
s many of us know it took years for Americans to see the version Sergio intended us all to see. 
I saw it in a theater in 1985.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 20, 2007, 09:10:43 PM
I saw it in a theater in 1985.

What was your initial reaction? Also, how old were you?
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Mw/NNrules on August 20, 2007, 09:11:28 PM
I'm always surprised at how well Leone handled battle scenes (eg in GBU) which were only a small part of the movie.

It will be interesting to see if Tornatore's Leningrad with music by Ennio Morricone (if it ever comes out) will bear favorable comparison.
I don't like Tornatore much as a director. I don't even know how too explain why I don't like them. If I tried explaining you'd probably get a worse idea then you already have of why I don't like his films. This isn't to say that his films don't have good music, though. Oh, and I don't think the cinematography in his version of Stalingrad would be as good as I'm imagining for Leone. But it's hard to imagine anything bad for Leone's non existant version. Leone had Tonini Delli Colli to suit all his needs for cinematography. I don't think Tornatore ever got Colli, or anyone as good.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Cusser on August 21, 2007, 06:55:42 AM
I'm in Arizona, and as I've posted before, in 1969 Once/West played only in second-run theaters, not in the bigs at all (no scene of Bronson getting up after being shot by Strode, no "but sons of bitches...yeah".  When Once/America played first here, it was the butchered chronological version, and my brother saw it.  In early 1985 the full version played at one of the two "art theaters" in town (the type that showed "Adventures of Robin Hood", etc., as VCRs were just starting to take off).  All I can say is "wow", and I knew I'd have to see it again many times to fully digest it.  I've never seen the chronological version, and don't intend to.  Yes, and the 2003 extended DVD is nice.  Reference to another post: I also loved the "going to bed early", and felt that just meant that he was keeping his nose clean, staying out of trouble, just a great line.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 24, 2007, 08:47:40 AM
I'm in Arizona, and as I've posted before, in 1969 Once/West played only in second-run theaters, not in the bigs at all (no scene of Bronson getting up after being shot by Strode, no "but sons of bitches...yeah".  When Once/America played first here, it was the butchered chronological version, and my brother saw it.  In early 1985 the full version played at one of the two "art theaters" in town (the type that showed "Adventures of Robin Hood", etc., as VCRs were just starting to take off).  All I can say is "wow", and I knew I'd have to see it again many times to fully digest it.  I've never seen the chronological version, and don't intend to.  Yes, and the 2003 extended DVD is nice.  Reference to another post: I also loved the "going to bed early", and felt that just meant that he was keeping his nose clean, staying out of trouble, just a great line.

I can't believe you had the opportunity to see these great films in the theatre Cusser! What an experiece that must of been. You're lucky enough to be old enough to experience that!
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Cusser on August 24, 2007, 03:26:30 PM
To be honest: I agree.  I've been able to experience a lot, from World Series 1960 Game 7, World Series come-from-behind wins in 1971 and 1979, five Pittsburgh Super Bowl championships, my kids' sports chamionships and successes, the Leone films in theaters on original release (except Once/America not until restored version in 1985).  Heck, I even saw My Name is Nobody, three Sabatas, Day of Anger, Death Rides a Horse, the Stranger films, all in theaters as first run, plus stuff like Casablanca, Adventures of Robin Hood, Captain Blood, How the West was Won (cinerama).  Like Noodles: I have my memories.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 24, 2007, 07:11:37 PM
To be honest: I agree.  I've been able to experience a lot, from World Series 1960 Game 7, World Series come-from-behind wins in 1971 and 1979, five Pittsburgh Super Bowl championships, my kids' sports chamionships and successes, the Leone films in theaters on original release (except Once/America not until restored version in 1985).  Heck, I even saw My Name is Nobody, three Sabatas, Day of Anger, Death Rides a Horse, the Stranger films, all in theaters as first run, plus stuff like Casablanca, Adventures of Robin Hood, Captain Blood, How the West was Won (cinerama).  Like Noodles: I have my memories.

Wow Cusser, you're a lot older than I thought. So you're a Pittsburgh fan huh? Oh boy, I can't stand the Steelers. hahaha it's all in good fun though.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Groggy on August 26, 2007, 09:36:50 AM
Wow Cusser, you're a lot older than I thought. So you're a Pittsburgh fan huh? Oh boy, I can't stand the Steelers. hahaha it's all in good fun though.

Careful how you speak about the Steelers, or I'll lynch you.

I agree that some of the fans are obnoxious, but there's nothing wrong with the team, it's one of the classiest organizations in the NFL. At least it used to be, dunno how things will play out with Cowher gone.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: geoman-1 on August 26, 2007, 09:41:49 AM
Careful how you speak about the Steelers, or I'll lynch you.

I agree that some of the fans are obnoxious, but there's nothing wrong with the team, it's one of the classiest organizations in the NFL.
Huh!  The Rooney family  made their fortune in alcohol running/prostitution. I would not call
that a "class organization". And yes, I have lived in Pgh. all my life. :P
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Groggy on August 26, 2007, 09:50:18 AM
I meant in regards to player/staff activities. Most of the trouble-making players get booted if they act up one too many times.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 27, 2007, 08:27:32 AM
Careful how you speak about the Steelers, or I'll lynch you.

I agree that some of the fans are obnoxious, but there's nothing wrong with the team, it's one of the classiest organizations in the NFL. At least it used to be, dunno how things will play out with Cowher gone.

hahahaha I respect the organization Groggy, but I still dislike the team. I'm a diehard Washington Redskins fan. I like nobody else. I don't go for that "I have a second favorite team" garbage. hahaha. "HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!" O0
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Groggy on August 27, 2007, 09:03:58 AM
Too bad your team hasn't been good in years. :P
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 27, 2007, 02:55:07 PM
Too bad your team hasn't been good in years. :P

Tell me about it. Every year we're good on paper and every year it's the same old crap. We never gel. I'm not even going to say anything anymore and just see how it plays out.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Cusser on August 27, 2007, 04:55:37 PM
I'm 54.  Born and lived my first 14 years in Pittsburgh.   My brother and I used to take streetcar into downtown, over the Monongehela River, get a transfer to Forbes Field, then reverse it after the game; of course I was 13 at that time (he was 14), these days no one would ever let kids that age do that on their own.  Would like to go back, but my job is very specialized, and in Arizona.  We're getting streetcars here soon - they call them "light rail" now.  I figure we're about 100 years behind Pittsburgh.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: geoman-1 on August 27, 2007, 05:07:13 PM
I'm 54.  Born and lived my first 14 years in Pittsburgh.   My brother and I used to take streetcar into downtown, over the Monongehela River, get a transfer to Forbes Field, then reverse it after the game; of course I was 13 at that time (he was 14), these days no one would ever let kids that age do that on their own.  Would like to go back, but my job is very specialized, and in Arizona.  We're getting streetcars here soon - they call them "light rail" now.  I figure we're about 100 years behind Pittsburgh.
Well Cusser, things have changed quite a bit here in the 'burgh. My company was involved in the pre-design
engineering of the new North Shore Connector which entails an underground light-rail subway tunnel under the Allegheny River. Construction started this year. Now we won't have to worry about those dang, pesky bridge collapses anymore O0
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: marmota-b on September 12, 2007, 09:05:19 AM
TB, I completelly agree with the title you gave this thread, because I experienced it myself... It's really a big pity with what they did to this film on its original release. Leone was at least a bit retaliated by the fact I got the FULL version of this in the USA... ;D

And you're right about the feelings like you were there. It has awesome atmosphere, more than atmosphere. I really felt like being there. I'm wondering how would I feel if I hadn't visited Brooklyn before seeing it, though... but I guess I would feel almost the same. The difference only is, that now I know it haven't changed that much since then...
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on September 12, 2007, 06:29:44 PM
TB, I completelly agree with the title you gave this thread, because I experienced it myself... It's really a big pity with what they did to this film on its original release. Leone was at least a bit retaliated by the fact I got the FULL version of this in the USA... ;D

And you're right about the feelings like you were there. It has awesome atmosphere, more than atmosphere. I really felt like being there. I'm wondering how would I feel if I hadn't visited Brooklyn before seeing it, though... but I guess I would feel almost the same. The difference only is, that now I know it haven't changed that much since then...

Thanks a lot marmota and I equally enjoyed your responce! Not many films take you in like this, and I'm happy that I own this piece of brilliance!
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: marmota-b on September 13, 2007, 02:39:03 AM
I'm happy that I own this piece of brilliance!

I'm happy, too, and I'm happy that I finally kicked myself to see it! ;D
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on September 15, 2007, 09:07:42 AM
I'm happy, too, and I'm happy that I finally kicked myself to see it! ;D

I know, it took you long enough! ;)
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: marmota-b on September 15, 2007, 10:04:11 AM
I know, it took you long enough! ;)

Enough is a good word. ;D Because I'm also glad I saw it after the others.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on September 19, 2007, 09:26:32 PM
Enough is a good word. ;D Because I'm also glad I saw it after the others.

Oh, it's ok. Better late then never!  O0
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: marmota-b on September 20, 2007, 01:53:22 AM
Oh, it's ok. Better late then never!  O0

I dont think it was late, I think it was only a bit later than it could be... Late would be the day I die. And, as you see, I have not died yet. ;D
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on September 26, 2007, 03:53:36 PM
I dont think it was late, I think it was only a bit later than it could be... Late would be the day I die. And, as you see, I have not died yet. ;D

Well, thank god you're still here with us marmota! What would we do!?! :'(
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: marmota-b on October 05, 2007, 02:25:55 PM
Well, thank god you're still here with us marmota! What would we do!?! :'(

Go on living. I command you to go on living if I die!
-Ikiru.
And to donate a reasonable sum of money to a marmot saving program, because I didn't manage to do so before my death...
 ;D
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on November 09, 2007, 10:27:31 AM
Go on living. I command you to go on living if I die!
-Ikiru.
And to donate a reasonable sum of money to a marmot saving program, because I didn't manage to do so before my death...
 ;D

lol, good stuff marmota.  O0
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: marmota-b on November 09, 2007, 12:03:56 PM
When I look at it now, it looks as if I was quotating Ikiru... I wasn't.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on October 05, 2008, 09:29:58 PM

I'm watching this on the UNIVERSAL HD station right now. OUATIA is one of those films that when you watch it, you just seem to forget how fricking genius it is. There's only a few films that take me in all the way to the point where I can't take my eye off it until the ending credits role. OUATIA is one of those films. Absolutely astonishing piece of cinema.
Title: Re: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
Post by: PowerRR on October 06, 2008, 02:25:15 PM
I'm watching this on the UNIVERSAL HD station right now. OUATIA is one of those films that when you watch it, you just seem to forget how fricking genius it is. There's only a few films that take me in all the way to the point where I can't take my eye off it until the ending credits role. OUATIA is one of those films. Absolutely astonishing piece of cinema.
I was half asleep last night when I noticed it on on the same station. I fell asleep shortly after but I'm going to record it when it's shown again Friday so I can watch this in HD.