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Once Upon A Time In America / Re: JOHN BELUSHI AND OUATIA
« on: August 26, 2007, 01:22:43 PM »
Thanks Tucumcari - is OUATIA your favourite Leone movie?

Once Upon A Time In America / Re: JOHN BELUSHI AND OUATIA
« on: August 25, 2007, 02:40:14 PM »
Thanks again everyone.  I plan to post as much new Info on OUATIA as possible- please don't think I'm trying to be a smart A**, I'm a huge fan of OUATIA and would like to share my Info with all fellow fans.  Apologies in advance if you already know any of it - great if you don't.  Thanks for all your great posts and Info - I'm having a great time reading through them all - keep them coming.

Once Upon A Time In America / Re: JOHN BELUSHI AND OUATIA
« on: August 25, 2007, 03:45:53 AM »
Thanks guys – for making me welcome.  Sorry Mike the book is back at the library!  But the Belushi link is confirmed in Frayling’s Something To Do With Death (page 444) – “During pre – production, in early 1982 March 1982, De Niro had discussed with John Belushi a possible part in Leone’s film.  This is one reason why he was he was with the actor at the Chateau Marmont Hotel the night before he died of a drug overdose.  Maybe he had Belushi in mind for Fat Moe.  While America was being filmed, four months later, De Niro gave evidence about the circumstances of his friend’s death by telephone from Rome.  The police were by then treating the case as a homicide inquiry, and had tried in vain to get the actor to appear in person.  This made him particularly tense.”  The book covers the full casting process in OUATIA – for example for the part of Max – two hundred actors were auditioned for the part.  Leone recalled that “De Niro wanted to cast one of his friends in the part “and we did numerous tests with his cronies”.  Happily, he is an honest man.  When he saw these tests, he had to agree with me that none of his friends could really play Max.”   I wonder if this particular actor Leone was talking about was Christopher Walken - who is also is mentioned in the Belushi book!  Or maybe Harvey Keitel who is mentioned along with – William Hurt, Jon Voight and John Malkovich in the OUATIA BFI Modern Classics book?

Regards the Leone biography: Something To Do With Death – the section on OUATIA runs for 80 plus pages – it’s very thorough (the book is over 500 pages).  Anyone who hasn’t read this book and loves all things Leone – should put this to the top of their hit list.  Regards Belushi - the book was made into a very poor movie (Wired) – there is a much better Discovery documentary that also covers the last 24 hours in Belushi’s life.

Once Upon A Time In America / JOHN BELUSHI AND OUATIA
« on: August 24, 2007, 01:55:04 PM »
Hi Guys,

Hope everyone is well.

Sorry not posted for a very long time – “I’ve been going to bed early”!   Anyway thought you might find this interesting.  I was reading the John Belushi biography Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi by Bob Woodward.  Belushi as we all know died of a drug overdose (March 5th 1982) at the Chateau Marmont Sunset Boulevard in LA.  On the day he died - he had earlier had met with his friends Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, he had been in discussions with De Niro for a part in OUATIA.  I don’t know which part but I’m sure I read (elsewhere) it was for the part of either Fat Moe or Frankie Rinaldi.  According to the book Belushi had wanted to branch out into more dramatic roles, he saw the Deer Hunter (which had a profound effect on him).  He ended up becoming good friends with De Niro – De Niro was a big fan of the SNL crowd and was looking to cross over into comedy roles.  This would have been around pre production/ casting on OUATIA – the film started shooting mid June 1982 (according to the Frayling Bible).  In the Woodward book Treat Williams (Jimmy Conway) gets a few mentions (another De Niro buddy) and I think it was also around this time also that De Niro (who was heavily involved in the casting process) noticed William Forsythe (Cockeye) in a TV episode of CHIPS!  I think he played the leader of a biker gang! 

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