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1  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Visual Motifs (Doors, Mirrors, Timepieces) on: June 18, 2012, 10:11:15 AM
I don't know why so many people didn't like McGovern. I thought she was terrific.

I mean, maybe you think she wasn't as hot as the other girls, but she is different, she is supposed to be the nice sweet girl, as opposed to Carol and Eve who are more the "gangster molls," they are blondes, and Deborah is the good girl, traditionally indicated by the brunette. You have to believe that she is nice and sweet and pretty enough that Noodles would actually fall for her, and I think it's believable. Even if you think the others are hotter. And her acting performance is just fine too. Really, I think it's unfair how much criticism McGovern gets here.

Completely agree with you. Yes Connelly was sweeter and had more charisma but that is obvious bcos she was a child. The older Deborah will have more of the cares of life and will be more sober..more repressed. This is a film about time and its effect on characters. Noodles is certainly more spontaneous when younger, and serious and sober when older. the child hood sequencs are the most engaging and the adult sequences are more sober and melancholy. Leone knew what he was doing when he directed this film! Smiley

2  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: NEW DIRECTORS CUT on: June 12, 2012, 11:06:33 AM
Whether or not you like that restored scene in the cemetery, I think Louise Fletcher's acting in that scene is wonderful.

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With the part in that scene involving the limo and the license plate (plus the later scene with it blowing up), this movie really seems more like a PI story; in the 229MV, while there of course is the whole element of mystery involving who sent Noodles the letters, I think it seems like much more of the internal, dream-like mystery. For some reason -- maybe it's just cuz I am not used to that scene -- I feel that maybe the limo and writing down the license plate makes it too much of a regular, literal PI story. There are other elements of the scene that I feel are important (eg. some of the stuff with Fletcher,  and the limo blowing up explaining why Noodles cares so much about the news story on the tv at Fat Moe's), but maybe that part with writing down the license plate is a bit overdoing it.

I'd still like to see every minute of deleted footage put back into the four and a half hour or so version of the movie that Leone originally wanted  Smiley
I love the way Leone shot Louise Fletcher. It seemed that she might have something to do with the whole mystery. It was done in a very subtle way. But her acting was a bit stilted.
3  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: NEW DIRECTORS CUT on: June 06, 2012, 09:51:54 AM
But it destroys some of the film's narrative brilliance. For that alone it is a very "bad" scene. I wish Leone had never shot it. It wasn't in the shooting script.
It does not destroy any of the film's narrative brilliance. Admittedly, it would have been more of a shock to hear Harmonica's instrument in the tavern after not seeing the scene where he 'rises from the dead' at the station,  BUT I am happy to see every reel that Leone shot. And to be honest I am sure he if he was around will smile indulgently knowing that people want to see every inch of film he shot. I remember  reading in Christopher Frayling's biography where he quoted Leone as saying that when he was dead Leone would want to be remembered as entertaining people. Lets not split hairs too much abt what Leone wanted or not wanted. He wanted to entertain, mesmerise and fascinate us with his masterful mise en scene and elegant camera angles Smiley))
4  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: NEW DIRECTORS CUT on: May 30, 2012, 07:38:21 AM
As I have said before its a great privilege to see any scenes that have been rediscovered and put in the film Once Upon a Time in America. I would say that the flashback scene where Noodles seems to be contemplating whether to shoot 'Mr Bailey' was a beautiful touch. We have just sat through four hours of sumptuous images and music. Its seems only correct to insert a flashback showing past scenes of childhood (remember this is a film where 'time is the protagonist' as Leone put it) Regarding the scene where Charles Bronson gets up from the shootout, again I am happy to see the elegance and artistry of the camera movements(the close up of Charles Bronson's eye as he wakes out of consciousness etc) On another subject, watching the RV version of the scene where James Woods and the rest of the gang pop up out of the water I am praying that there is Morricone's theme 'Once upon a Time In America' over that scene as is played on this Italian clip. It is so rich and full of meaning showing their childlike behaviour which is so poignant in juxtaposition to their life of crime.  I know that earlier in the scene when Max asks if Noodles wants to go for a swim 'Photographic Memories' is heard in the background.
5  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Fletcher Scene on: May 23, 2012, 07:45:19 AM
For me seeing extra scenes restored for  Once upon a Time in America is not based on understanding the story better. We have all come to love Leone's ellipitical style which relies more on sound music and camera. Just being able to see his marvellous shot selection and composition is enough. Wink Afro
6  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: The Greatest single moment in a Leone film on: September 17, 2005, 07:58:20 AM
Almost every frame.

Seriously, it's way too hard to choose one moment. I mean, these are my favourite movies for a reason.
I couldn't resist this one. In 'Duck you Sucker' when Juan and his family tip the aristocrats into the pigsty. Great music especially when Juan turns round transformed from a ragged peon into a smartly dressed man with the stolen clothes....brilliant
7  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: The Greatest single moment in a Leone film on: September 16, 2005, 02:09:00 PM
Almost every frame.

Seriously, it's way too hard to choose one moment. I mean, these are my favourite movies for a reason.

That is so true! Every frame is a piece of artwork! But here is just one more. When Harmonica is about to leave Jill in Once upon a time in the West and he says 'Its gonna be a beautiful town....Sweetwater' He says that with such depth and sincerity. Of course the whole of that scene is expertly shot...the melancholy face of Cheyenne, the tough expression of Harmonica and the emotional look of Jill..
8  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: The Greatest single moment in a Leone film on: September 05, 2005, 02:12:45 PM
My Name is Nobody was a great movie but it's not a Leone movie. Leone thought of the idea, he supervised the director Tonino Valerii, and even directed 2 scenes ( Nobody beating the guys up using the spinning boxer thing and the urinal scene ) but it's not his movie.
I have to disagree with you slightly because if you watch the film closely it bears the stamp of 'A Sergio Leone film'. The parts of the film I was describing were actually the parts directed by Sergio himself. I think the scene where Fonda rides into the Indian graveyard shot in New Mexico was directed by Valeri. But if you watch the film all the good bits ie the barbershop, Nobody catching the fish with the fly as the credits come up, Nobody talking to Fonda for the first time as he eats bacon and beans, the Indian graveyard where Fonda shoots Nobody's hat off, the glasses being shot in the bar, the first standoff where Fonda and Nobody shoot down Sullivan's henchmen. Nobody hiding behind the dummy and smacking and punching the baddies and of course the final standoff in the street in New Orleans not to mention the elegant and moving shots as Fonda gives his view of The West as he writes to Nobody. Although Sergio may not have had 100% control, those scenes just mentioned all say very emphatically 'A SERGIO LEONE FILM'
9  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: The Greatest single moment in a Leone film on: September 02, 2005, 03:37:03 PM
A Fistful of Dollars No Name and Silvanito riding over to check out why the troops were moving off quietly...great music as they ride and camera cranes over the ledge to show soldiers..notice the versatility of the Morricone score...

For a Few Dollars More Lee Van Cleef casually picking off the bandit . Great editing and music.

The Good The Bad and the Ugly Tuco and his brother and subsequent scene as Clint hands him a cigar ('Well after a meal there's nothing like a good cigar!) Music is sublime

Once upon a Time in the West  The whole opening scene as the gunmen wait for the train. Every scene with Cheyenne especially 'You know Jill you remind me of my mother....the biggest whore in Almeda...the finest woman that ever lived'

'Dynamite': scene previously mentioned Sean coming out of the coach/flashbacks

My Name is Nobody barbershop scene incredible tension and great cinematography and sound effects ie razor scraping on Henry Fonda's face,brush going through the horse's coat, cow being milked.
Fonda entering the Indian graveyard accompanied by Morricone's music very nostalgic, dignified and beautiful.
Nobody shooting the glasses in the bar while downing glasses of whisky. Excellent filming techniques.

Once upon a time in America All the child hood scenes especially when they march with their new clothes from the quay...

10  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: The Greatest single moment in a Leone film on: August 30, 2005, 10:20:43 AM
There are so many great moments in Leone's films but here are just a few I would like to mention.
In a Fistful of Dynamite when Sean wakes up in the coach and looks around to discover that Miranda's gang have made an altar of Mesa Verde...the camera glides along parallel to Sean as he steps out of the coach and realises he is in the middle of the Spanish desert. The music and the camera angles are just perfect.
And from the same film the flashbacks in Ireland of course.
11  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:BEST SCENE? on: November 27, 2004, 04:34:57 AM
My best scene? There are so many wonderful scenes. Where do I start? The beginning of course, with the gunfighters waiting at the station with the creaking windmill and pesky fly..Jill's walk through the staion to the town as the camera does that elegant crane shot to show Flagstone...Jason Robards philosophising with Jill.."You know Jill you remind me of my mother. She was the biggest whore in Almeida...and the finest woman that ever lived" Jason Robards sad eyes as he watches Harmonica leave Jill's house  is such a moving scene.  Also Robards' demise in the film was beautifully acted, you really felt he was dying! What a film.
12  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re:Most memorable scene in this film? on: June 16, 2004, 08:23:26 AM
Thank you for your illuminating explaination of your memorable scene in the film. It is amazing how one can discover new things even after many viewings of this masterpiece.
One of my favourite scenes is when Cockeye spots Carol in the brothel and she come in and starts to survey the gangsters...well you know what. You have that really sexy jazz music playing then when she comes to Max the piano is romantic. It is such a great scenr the way Leone can elevate something quite sordid into an art level. This reminds me also of the scene on the rooftop with the policeman and the way the music starts to indicate Noodles' yearning for Deborah as Max is doing the business with Peggy.
13  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re:Jason Robards on: December 06, 2003, 09:59:37 AM
Jason Robard's character is absolutely brilliant! I think he showed a versatility; to be able to be mean and thoughtful. The bar room scene is very complex in terms of everyones different emotions. Jill is scared then confused of Cheyenne, Harmonica is cool but looking for information and Cheyenne himself is conveying an appreciation of Jill albeit slightly crude. His attitude towards Harmonica is provoking, contemptous and then later he shows admiration for him. My point is Jason Robards was able to show all those different emotions to those different actors perfectly.
Once upon a Time |in the West is supposed to show the death of the stereotypical characters in the west so it is obvious that the outlaw character must be an actor like Jason Robards- a liile mean but not completely, He is at 'the end of the line' as Frank so aptly put it to Harmonica.


I totally agree and have always thought the same myself.  To me, Robard's just some old man who looks like he should be working in a horse stable.  But maybe Leone meant it that way.  After all, listen to Cheyenne's music.  Not as dark as Harmonica's or Frank's.

I would have preferred a more menancing Cheyenne.  I think the scene where he's introduced: enters the swinging doors and slowly looks up, eyes shifting, is silly.  The way he drops his shoulders and raises his head looks fake.

That said, however, could the movie have handled three hardened personalities?  Was Cheyenne there to lighten it up in places?  
14  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re:why does Blondie keep tuco alive? on: November 08, 2003, 03:05:47 PM
Blondie,needs Tuco to help him dispose of Sentenza's
men.I think he considers he can get the better of Tuco
then he can from forming an alliance with Sentenza.

Yes I agree with this line of thinking. Even though Eastwood hands Tuco the cigar when Tuco is pretending that he and his brother get on, you can see by Eastwood's looks that he is not empathising with him but looking at him as if to say 'Pull the other one!' or 'Do you expect me to believe that?' This scene, touching though it is, The Good is merely showing the audience Tuco's ability to make a big story. I'll even go as far to say that handing him the cigar was Clint humouring Tuco-let-me -play- along- with- your -story- for-a- while look. What do you think?
15  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re:A Fistful Of Dynamite (R2 UK DVD) on: November 01, 2003, 03:27:33 PM
My favorite flashback is the one in the bar where Coburn (in slow motion) shoots down to policemen, and hesitates but then shoots also his best friend (Don't like the brother idea) out of anger. It's mainly the version of the title tune that I find this the best flashback. I think the final flashback is generally too long, obviously showcasing Morricone's theme (It is indeed this version of the theme that is on the soundtrack album). I think it was better as cut, just briefly showing Sean's memories as he's dying. I think the flashback meant that Sean's girlfriend also liked his best friend and they kissing made Sean jealous (probably another reason why Sean killed his friend).
   As for the flipscreen I have only seen one explanation for why it is there. As Steiger jumps out of the train to the revolutionaries arms he's brought to the leader outside the station and they are introduced. Then they walk into the train. I can see no reason why it was cut nor why it wasn't reinserted when restored. Does anyone know?
I agree with you that the flashback scene in the pub is a great one but how can you say that the final flashback scene is overlong? Admittedly, its meaning is ambiguous but is has a sadness and a beauty that it is all the more heartbreaking. You can look at it as Sean's last memory before he dies. Poignant, and the music and the images underscore this reality.
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