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Topics - chris

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General Discussion / Gabutti's "C'era una volta in America"
« on: December 12, 2015, 05:11:18 AM »
Diego Gabutti:     C'era una volta in America  Un'avventura al saloon con Sergio Leone

First published in 1984 to coincide with the release of Once Upon A Time In America and has recently been reprinted.  There are 165 pages covering all Leone's movies, actors he worked with and his involvement in The Bicycle Thief, Ben Hur etc.  Also available as an e-book and Kindle.  Written in Italian but the translate function for the Kindle edition can provide a reasonable English translation.  Not perfect but it was good enough for me.

Diego Gabutti was a friend of Sergio Leone for several years and during the filming of Once Upon A Time In America, Leone invited him onto several of the sets including those in New York, Venice, Cinecitta and the Presidential Estate of Capocotta.  Gabutti also had meetings with Leone at his home and had access to Leone's private library.  During his conversations with Leone, Gabutti took extensive notes and put these into this book.  It is authorised by Leone who has written the preface.

It's good to read Leone's words on all his films, the actors he worked with and what it was like on the sets.

Some brief examples relating to OUATIA:

Garbage truck and exploding car scene filmed at Capocotta

Leone was not satisfied with early attempts at filming the exploding car scene and several twenty year old sedans had to be used and destroyed. The Chinese pagoda was fake and walls were made of thin polystyrene.  Gabutti almost destroyed part of the set by leaning on a wall.

Rescuing a shipment using salt

Most sources say that this was filmed at Porto Marghera Venice.  However at one of his meetings with Leone Gabutti says that Leone had just returned from Hong Kong where the rescuing a shipment using salt scene was filmed.  Gabutti was with Leone when the fancy restaurant scene was filmed in Venice.

Breaking glass

Gabutti was used to smash glass in one of the scenes (the shooting of Eve?)

420 minute version

In November 1983 the Ladd Company made it clear to Leone that they would reassemble and cut the movie for the American version.  The scenes would be put into chronological order and they aimed to get the running time down to 160 minutes.  According to Gabutti by that time Leone had assembled enough material for a 7 hour (420 min) version and the Ladd Company would be quite happy for Leone's version to be shown in theaters and longer versions on TV in Europe.

Leone's conversations with Alan Ladd jnr including the duration, chronology and the bed sheet with holes

Alan Ladd's quite reasonable to me questions and Leone's rather brutal replies

Leone's first meeting with Harry Grey

Further descriptions of their first meeting in a bar in Greenpoint Avenue near the New Calvary Cemetery in Queens.  The taxi driver who took Leone there kept singing Frank Sinatra songs and Grey had recently come out of prison.  This may explain why he is hard to find in Ron Arons' database of Sing Sing prison inmates.  Ron's records only go up to 1940 and he was only concerned with inmates with Jewish sounding names.  By that time Harry had changed his surname to Grey.


Off-Topic Discussion / In Memoriam 2014
« on: December 10, 2014, 03:19:53 AM »
IMDb's tribute to those who passed away this year.  I was unaware that some of these had died.


Once Upon A Time In America / The Way I See Things
« on: March 03, 2014, 02:24:31 AM »
An hour long documentary by Giulio Reale.  I think this has been mentioned before but a copy has now been uploaded to YouTube which is well worth viewing.

Includes interviews with Frayling, Claudio Mancini, Tonino Delli Colli, Eli Wallach, Claudia Cardinale, Luciano Vincenzoni and others.

Has English subtitles and covers Leone's movies from FOD to OUATIA with a bit on Leningrad.

Lots of interesting stuff - how Sergio was nearly murdered at the Sharon Tate party - Mancini and Leone going to see Rambo - the time and money spent on the Cleopatra scene in OUATIA - Leone visiting a cemetery in Pratica di Mare to choose his burial place etc.


Duck, You Sucker / Blu-ray to be released Dec 2013
« on: November 07, 2013, 12:12:54 PM »
Euro International Films are to release Blu-rays of Gił la testa and C'era una volta il west in Italy on Dec 5, 2013.ł la testa'era una volta il west

Hopefully we'll find out more details in due course.


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