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1  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Script on: August 05, 2015, 06:43:07 AM
You can download Leonardo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi, Enrico Medioli, Franco Arcalli, Franco Ferrini & Sergio Leone's screenplay from here:

https://www.copy.com/s/t%3AxhgVMjVjzJHgCf3Y%3Bp%3A%252FOnce%2520Upon%2520a%2520Time%2520in%2520America%2520-%2520Undated%2520-%2520English%2520Version%2520Draft.pdf%3Boid%3A272
2  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Here's another contribution of rare photos on: October 09, 2014, 02:15:32 PM
Thank's Dave. Note the kinda Glen Cambell looking guy who appears behind Leone in both Gui la Testa stills. He's wearing the same shirt in both pics.
3  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Here's another contribution of rare photos on: October 08, 2014, 10:14:07 AM
I am virtually certain that's Leone holding the camera, not Tonino Delli Colli

Yup, you are right. Here's Leone wearing the same shirt (and now with added beard). It's a viewfinder he is holding, BTW, and not a camera. Just noticed Leone is also holding a viewfinder in the helicopter shot.

4  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Here's another contribution of rare photos on: October 08, 2014, 08:58:51 AM


The ice truck cometh again. I noticed it in a slightly different guise appearing as a background prop during Domenic's murder. And here's a few more stills.


Leone shows the cops how it should be done.


With Tuesday Weld


De Niro and producer Arnon Milchan in the guise of Deborah's chauffeur in a scene cut from the film.




Two shots of a scene which does appear in the film, but in a completely different setting. Possibly shot on the Lido in Venice pretending to be the Atlantic coast.


Some stills from Once Upon a Time in the West


Tonino Delli Colli with Claudia and Paolo Stoppa


Claudia has a laugh with Henry Fonda



And a couple from Gui la Testa




Love this one of Leone playing Rod Steiger's role

Sergio with Clint and Margarita Lozano in A Fistful of Dollars


And finally Clint, Sergio, script supervisor Serena Canevari and Tonino Delli Colli set up a (deleted) helecopter shot in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


5  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Here's another contribution of rare photos on: October 06, 2014, 05:49:39 PM
And a couple more from the same Facebook page.



6  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Here's another contribution of rare photos on: October 03, 2014, 05:29:16 PM


Interesting photo of the young gang (minus Noodles) with the ice truck I'd never seen before. Posted on Facebook today. The truck appears twice in the movie. If my memory serves correctly, once in a photograph hanging in Fat Mo's back room, significantly next to a photo of Deborah, a "big star now", and once trundling up the street during the watch theft.
7  General Information / General Discussion / Re: RIP Tuco on: June 25, 2014, 03:35:45 AM
Sad to read about this on waking this morning, but as has been noted he had a long and successful life. I was lucky enough to see him in the flesh on the stage of the National Film Theatre (as it was still called then) talking about his work and his personal life, and while it would be unkind to call it a "performance", he did seem to be relaying a stream of well polished anecdotes. He was funny, nattily dressed, and looked about 20 years younger than his real age. His wife was in the audience too, no doubt smiling indulgently as he told such and such a story yet again, like how Marilyn Monroe would babysit their children for them.

"These days," he complained at one point, "I only get to play old Jews or Italians." I had the impression that it was the "old" part of his observation which was the main concern. Thank's to Leone for giving him the chance to play that memorable Mexican all those years ago.
8  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Godfather Thread on: June 07, 2013, 03:20:24 PM


“Any family who hides the boy Vito,” yells a man with a shotgun standing on the church steps “will regret it!” Dawn is breaking in the frightened village. Meanwhile, the hunted child makes his getaway under the noses of the pair of hunters, and they are disguised literally as hunters in their rustic corduroy suits and caps. Vito, hidden in a basket carried on the back of a donkey could be in a blasphemous re-enactment of the flight into Egypt to escape the slaughter of the innocents. The animal clatters in front of the church with a goat companion and exits down one of the alleys flanking the church.



Many years later Vito has returned, taken vengeance on his family’s killer and stands on the steps of the same small Baroque building as the tiny piazza fills with a Palm Sunday congregation spilling from la chiesa. In his arms the multiple murderer holds his youngest son Michael as another donkey saunters by. Indeed all his natural children are present including the doomed Sonny and Fredo on this trip back to the old country.

The same church appeared briefly in the previous film in the trilogy for just a few seconds, but such is its strangely powerful presence it seems to symbolise a whole idea of a village, an archetype of superstitious rural Sicily itself as the fugitive Michael strolls past in care of two bodyguards dressed as hunters with guns, just like his father’s tormentors. “Corleone.” one of them declared in a previous shot, the one who will later betray him, waving in a short montage of the place Michael has hiked to see, the hard but beautiful sun drenched land his father was born in and fled from and where he will spend a dangerous idyll, the village the mob clan was accidently named after on Ellis Island in New York. We see it one last time in Part III when many years later Michael and his ex-wife Kay visit Corleone once more, this time a joyful wedding bursts from the church as they arrive, an ironic reflection of their disastrous union.

This church however, which appears only briefly in five shots in a trilogy of films made over a twenty year period is not where the film makers would have us believe it to be. This only architectural constant in all three Godfather films is not in Corleone, now a large, ugly, overdeveloped modern looking town, but in Forza d’Agro, a tiny medieval hill village perched 1377 feet up on a coastal cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea.



To the north are the Straits of Messina and the mountains of the toe of Italy, Calabria. To the south is the stunning coastal holiday resort of Taormina. Across the valley to the North West also perched on a hill is the even smaller settlement of Savoca where the majority of the Sicily scenes were filmed. Behind the town steep hills rise up to Monte Kalfa where goatherds sing across misty landscapes to each other.


Straits of Messina


Monte Kalfa

You see nothing of these views in any of the three films however. Co-writer, director and producer Francis Ford Coppola brought his cast and crew all the way to Forza d’Agro to focus almost entirely on one mid shot of the church of Santissima Annuziata e Assunta, and for these brief moments the building exemplifies a mythical ideal, it’s decorative scrolls, flaming urns, scallop shell and winged doors and windows all typical of Italian Baroque architecture.



For me watching THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER PART II over the years it had become an icon (of the appalling 3rd movie the kindest thing to say is that it should never have been made). Who knows why we chose such icons, places which so intrigue us when seen in a film, painting or photograph? In mediaeval times vast populations would risk their lives to make arduous journeys to distant places to gaze upon and worship the bones of some saint (of usually dubious provenance). In April, wrote Chaucer, “Then do folk long to go on pilgrimages” so in April, pricked by Nature to ramp and rage I made my own pilgrimage to Forza d’Agro to see the place myself, a stone and brick star in two of the greatest films to be produced in the United States in a decade which saw an embarrassment of cinematic riches flow from its shores.

When I arrived I was lucky, there were no cars parked outside the church, a rarity I discovered. I had the place pretty much to myself as I strutted along the small flight of steps just as the hunters had. I imagined Robert De Niro standing here in that busy sun drenched shot, jutting out his jaw in imitation of Marlon Brando, dressed in his flashback Sunday best surrounded by palm waving extras and the donkey trotting by.

I went into the church, nobody there. The interior seemed huge; the façade of the building, hemmed in on its tiny piazza is deceptively compact.





Built apparently in 1707, architect un-named or unknown, to replace the previous one built in the 400’s which, this being Sicily, collapsed in an earthquake. There was an organ loft and a sculpture of Santa Caterina d’ Alessandria. I imagined the American cast and crew wandering round the place too, out of curiosity amid the tedium of setting up a scene for the Technicolor camera. I said a silent thank you for the pilgrimage to the god I didn’t believe in and went outside to study the “reverse shot”, the scene you never see, from the point of view of the hunters, of Al Pacino and De Niro and Diane Keaton in Part 3.


Reverse shot

I could picture Coppola standing beside Gordon Willis’s camera in the piazza surrounded by the usual assortment of crew watched by the two little winged angel faces carved from tuffa above the church door. On one of the piazza walls was pasted a funeral announcement. A local lady had been sent off from the church the previous week. She was just fifty five but in the already fading photograph she looked much older possibly through illness or a hard life up here on the mountain, certainly there are no shops in Forza d’Agoa apart from a little pharmacy. The other businesses were hotels and restaurants and a single bar and gelateria.   

I spent the night in the village and after a gigantic meal even Coppola or Brando couldn’t have finished I strolled round listening to the frogs and crickets croaking and chirruping in the valleys below and an owl hoot loudly from the steeple of the other main church in the settlement. I had to leave early in the morning to head back to Palermo, a journey which took all day. It was pouring with rain while I waited at the station in Sant ‘alleseo Siculo after exploring the deserted beach. High above me on its peak Forza d’Agro appeared and disappeared through drifting clouds of mist and drizzle with its church pretending to be Corleone, the one I’d come all this way to see. The train arrived and I looked up for one last time but the village had vanished. It was the day after my fiftieth birthday.












Piazza Giovanni XXIII

9  Other/Miscellaneous / Ennio Morricone / Morricone concerts in Dublin on: May 16, 2013, 06:30:14 AM
Ennio is playing two concerts in Dublin this summer, on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July, his first ever in Eire. Tickets start at 85 Euro. I've had a look at Sunday, the only likely night I could make it over but there are none on sale. Saturday's tickets are available, hopefully they just haven't put Sunday's online yet...

http://www.ticketmaster.ie/Ennio-Morricone-tickets/artist/947910?brand=tm&tm_link=tm_homeA_rc_name1

I wonder if he'll pop into Toners Pub while in town? If I do go I know I will.
10  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Elizabeth McGovern sings (and does an interview) on: September 16, 2012, 04:54:22 PM
Its big in the UK at the moment, one of those Vicwardian costume dramas which alway do well during recessions when there is a Tory government in power. It stars Elizabeth McGovern:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2012/sep/16/elizabeth-mcgovern-downton-andrew-anthony?INTCMP=SRCH

I'd no idea she was in it as I don't watch it but Leone and OUATIA do get a mention in the interview, and Elizabeth McGovern remains fascinating.

11  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Leone's Rome on: September 10, 2012, 10:48:30 AM
Was in Milano again last month and the tutte le mappe piece has been painted over.
12  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: RIP Ernest Borgnine on: July 10, 2012, 02:41:11 PM
Saw him at the NFT in 2009 when he held court on stage. "Call me Ernie" he told the visibly star struck interviewer who managed to get in one question before the man was off on a hugely entertaining set of anecdotes, memories and tall tales. Could have listened to him all night. He spent much of his later life just travelling round the US in a luxury camper van "meeting people" as he told it. I always hoped one day to go to America and accidently encounter him in some out of the way truck stop or bar. Would love to have met him like Mike Siegel. What a great guy and what a great body of work. Must admit I spent half that night staring at him like an idiot and thinking over and over again "He was in The Wild Bunch!!!" The gang's final walk to Mapache's compound alone ensures him movie immortality.



According to the imdb Jaime Sanchez is still with us.
13  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Leone's Rome on: April 23, 2012, 02:09:29 PM
No idea where to put this, so let's open up the topic to Leone's Italy. I was in Milan last week and spotted this wonderful piece of street art/vandalism depending on your point of view, on Via Scaldasole.





The text is Mallory's "If you shoot me down, they will have to change all the maps" line.
14  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Leone's Rome on: February 16, 2012, 05:31:09 PM
So I was in Rome again a couple of weeks ago, during the heaviest snowfall in 25 years, and had a chance to take in a couple of Leone associated sites. Sadly I didn’t get to eat in Checco Er Carettiere but I did pass by a couple of times.


Via Benedetta




Checco Er Carettiere


Osteria entrance


Restaurant entrance


After dark

A short walk away is Viale Glorioso, not just a place but the title of the 19 year old Leone’s first (autobiographical) screenplay.


Viale Glorioso from Viale di Trastevere

The Leone plaque is attached to a rather drab building at the top of the street.





My Italian ex provides this elegant translation,

“My way of seeing things is at times naive, a little childlike, but sincere, as the children of the steps of Viale Gloriuso.”

And here are the Tambourine steps





One odd thing I’ve never read mentioned about the street is what struck me most about it. Apart from the flight of stairs it is dominated by a gigantic, palatial government building, the Ministry of Education. I found one more “Leone” in its baroque decoration.


15  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Michael Chapman on: October 27, 2011, 06:02:32 PM
Fantastic! Very interesting read, when he talks about digital cinematography it's a REAL shame he never got to shoot a feature in that medium. "It seems to me that it could change more radically than it has, in the sense that there must… There’re inherent characteristics of film, it has grain, it has this, it has that, no matter what you do. And it seems to me that digital imagery must have certain basic characteristics that are always there and it doesn’t seem to me that people have explored them enough…to have explored the difference between film and digital enough. And really there may be whole areas of digital that nobody’s even… Now maybe I’m just being romantic, maybe it’s not even true, but I would love to have tried and seen what I could do digitally to make it really quite different from film."

His way of thinking shows the kind of radical but intuitive approach to his art that made so many of the productions he worked on stand out. He can't quite articulate in words what he means about how he may have used digital cameras but through practice is would have been wonderful to have seen where he could have gone with the right collaborators. If we're lucky he may, like Freddie Francis (another former Scorsese cinematographer) be persuaded to get behind the cameras again despite being officially "retired".

By the way I suspect the missing/misheard word for the first * was " Barbizon", an En plein air school of painters who's work was only possible through the industrialised invention of pre-prepared oil paint in tubes.
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