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: Finding The "First Version"  ( 16592 )
Hunky
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« #30 : March 29, 2021, 12:30:59 AM »

Here it is:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1--tsPLhCFlD9JvDv0WHkCeppAVmmVJVw/view

chris
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« #31 : March 29, 2021, 01:27:12 AM »

Here it is:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1--tsPLhCFlD9JvDv0WHkCeppAVmmVJVw/view

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've wanted to see this version for many many years.  Thank you so so much.

Some years ago in desperation I re-edited the video from the normal version, putting everything in chronological order, deleting the scenes which I knew weren't in the short version and inserting a gunshot near the end. I ended up with a 144 min version but I had to use some guesswork for several scenes and obviously I didn't have access to the opening and ending scenes or some of the different angles etc.  It was surprisingly easy to do and a very enjoyable experience. I can't wait to see the proper short version.  Again thank you.

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« #32 : March 29, 2021, 06:22:20 AM »

Excellent. I always wondered at what particular point the gunshot at the end had been inserted (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1TBOKqTZ28&t=478s). Press play and if necessary increase sound level.

It's just a pity the whole theatrical cut hasn't been uploaded. I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in seeing it.

I watched that short YouTube, wasn't sure what was in the edited/chronological version and not in the long version though.  Did notice Morricone's name in the titles (don't know which version that was), thought that was the given reason for no consideration for Academy Award.  However, "somewhere" I remember reading that the studio didn't pony up the $$$ to enter/register for that.

Anyway, my brother did go see the edited/chronological version when it was released, I decided to wait until the real version was released, if ever.  So that I saw at a local "art" theater fall 1984.

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« #33 : March 29, 2021, 07:12:08 AM »

Any thoughs about this deleted scene ?

chris
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« #34 : March 31, 2021, 01:36:36 AM »

Any thoughs about this deleted scene ?

Attachment: 71FD166C-FAF4-4D9F-A7EA-F4A781618508-ConvertImage.png
I can't view the attachment but having now looked at the short version I'm surprised at the number of really good scenes and parts of scenes which have been edited out.

I realize that the opening black and white titles in Leone's version weren't his first choice but they add some gravitas. The opening credits in the short version have a much lighter tone which would be more fitting to a romcom.

Many of the imaginative transitions and visual links have been lost.

On the plus side it may appeal to those who prefer a shorter film and are put off by the dream theory, ambiguity, the garbage truck, the telephone ringing and possible anomalies such as age not withering Deborah or Deborah ending up with Max.

Some of the deleted scenes:

All Deborah's 1968 scenes. When Deborah leaves by train in the 1930s, she never returns. She can no longer be seen removing her Clepoatra make-up or at Bailey's mansion or on the cctv in Max's study near the end of the movie and Max saying "I stole your girl" has been deleted. "Night and Day you are the one" music at Bailey's mansion can no longer be heard.

The scene of the gang in a speakeasy (McSorleys) looking to roll a drunk

The scenes introducing young Max and establishing the dynamic of his relationship with Noodles

The thematically crucial rooftop scene involving Noodles, Max, the cop and Peggy

Young Deborah locking the door and ignoring cries of help from young Noodles after he and Max have been beaten up in the alley.

Scenes of Noodles arriving at the train station in 1968, walking the streets, experiencing paranoia at night as he carries a suitcase of money

Noodles conversing with Carol in the rest home

All mini flashbacks

Noodles old eyes at the toilet slit

Noodles lone venturing into the feather cleaning plant

The garbage truck scene

Noodles smile

Some of the scenes which have been trimmed:

Scenes at the opium den

Telephone ringing

Noodles and Deborah at the restaurant

The mausoleum scene

Scenes at the Bailey mansion including Max's son, Max showing Noodles the secret door panel in his study where Noodles can leave without being seen and Max caressing a pocket watch he has treasured and kept safe with him for over 65 years from his first proper meeting with Noodles.

« : March 31, 2021, 07:18:35 AM chris »
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« #35 : March 31, 2021, 07:20:06 AM »

According to How 85 Minutes Disappeared Once Upon a Time by Alex Abramovich, James Woods said: "I watched about 20 minutes of it and walked out. It was just too heartbreaking. I mean, they even cut in the middle of a measure of music! I could not believe it...They dumped it on the market. It died in a day. It was like watching somebody cut the arms and legs off your child."

Vincent Canby famously wrote in The New York Times in 1984:
"Once Upon a Time in America (short version) is not a disaster... Having been cut from 3 hours and 47 minutes (227 mins), which was its running time at this year's Cannes Festival, to its present time of 2 hours and 15 minutes (135 mins), it plays like a long, inscrutable trailer for what might have been an entertaining movie. It is, I suppose, theoretically possible to remove that much footage from such a lengthy film and still have something coherent at the end, but this version seems to have been edited with a roulette wheel."

Having now viewed the short version, I think that the cuts are not wholly random, there is an underlying theme.

I can imagine the briefing given to the Zach Staenberg.

The movie is too long. It can't be easily shown in theaters and it needs at least 1 hour cutting from it.

The movie jumps about between three time periods and is quite confusing.

There are very annoying moments e.g. telephone ringing more than 20 times.

The movie might be seen to promote underage prostitution, homosexuality and drug taking. Any such inferences need to be deleted.

Some of the violent scenes need to be toned down.

There is some criticism regarding ambiguity, a lack of reality and a dislike of associated events. Were all the events after 1933 an opium induced dream? If it were a dream, how can someone in 1933 dream of television sets, outside broadcasts, modern cars, car rentals, speakers in the mausoleum, frisbees, Jimi Hendrix, CCTV and surveillance system in Bailey's mansion, the elaborate garbage truck etc? Did Max die in the garbage truck? The actress playing adult Deborah in 1968 looks too young - age shall not wither her? Why did Deborah willingly hook up with Max? Perhaps it would be better if all scenes of Deborah and associated references after 1933 were deleted. Is there any significance to Noodles' smile at the end? Perhaps it would be better if ambiguous/unreal events and references to them were deleted.

Regarding the Night and Day music is it just a coincidence that immediately Noodles enters Bailey's mansion, the music starts playing?

Night and day, you are the one
Only you beneath the moon or under the sun
Whether near to me or far
It's no matter darlin', where you are
I think of you day and night.

Night and day, why is it so
That this longing for you follows wherever I go
In the roaring traffic's boom
In the silence of my lonely room
I think of you day and night...

Max to Noodles: "You do it Noodles. You're the only person I can accept it from."

« : April 02, 2021, 12:09:19 AM chris »
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« #36 : March 31, 2021, 08:29:10 AM »

What I'm interested in is any footage in the short version that is not in the long version(s). Is there anything?



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« #37 : March 31, 2021, 08:54:56 AM »

What I'm interested in is any footage in the short version that is not in the long version(s). Is there anything?

ditto


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« #38 : March 31, 2021, 05:50:30 PM »

1 minute more or less. The Noddles? scene  climbing the stairs is priceless. The short version is not a butchered one. Couldn?t it be a kind of a reduced version of the televised project?

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« #39 : April 01, 2021, 04:23:46 AM »

... The short version is not a butchered one...

I agree it's not butchered. Just tried to sync young Deborah's walk carrying her dancing shoes and the beating up of young Noodles and Max by Bugsy and his gang in the alley.  There are multiple cuts some lasting just a few seconds. Hardly seems worth it. Others have commented that violent scenes have been toned down and certainly kicking a guy in his crotch seems a no no.

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« #40 : April 01, 2021, 06:24:44 AM »

There are very annoying moments e.g. telephone ringing more than 20 times.

At first I was put off by the un-ending telephone ringing.  But after I realized that the ringing was a reminder - for all those years - of Noodles calling the cops to report the others, which he later knew backfired when they were killed.  So Noodles was haunted by that...

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« #41 : April 01, 2021, 11:11:45 AM »

What I'm interested in is any footage in the short version that is not in the long version(s). Is there anything?




Less than a minute

1968: Noodles climbing stairs for meeting
with Secretary Bailey at his Long Island Mansion

1933: In Office Noodles answers phone (Jimmy O?Donnell)
?Is that Max? No it?s Noodles?
?Ok I?m going to be making a tough speech today?
cut to car shooting Jimmy O?Donnell in the leg/on the steps
New: Noodles turns to Max ?I think Jimmy?s been shot?
Max ?they?ve shot Jimmy? 

What was interesting to me from watching the shortened version was that The Ladd Company/Warner Bros weren?t cutting down Leone?s locked down European cut which everyone had always seemed to assume  - they were in fact editing down a then ?work In progress? cut from Leone - the two brief new shots (mentioned earlier), music missing from some scenes (Miami Beach scene for example), also some music in the shorter version that was changed later in Leone?s cut, the enhanced Foley sound reproduction in the shorter cut wasn?t as sharp in some scenes & non existent in others, the swapping baby tags in the hospital was interesting
we had the full sound/dialogue of Cockeye chatting up Nurse Thompson - in the final version it?s the ?Thieving Magpie? playing over the dialogue
I found watching it quite fascinating
don?t get me wrong this is ?the bastard cut? of this great film
a total disaster & a huge mistake on (the late) Alan Ladd JNR?s part

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« #42 : April 01, 2021, 12:07:35 PM »

There are very annoying moments e.g. telephone ringing more than 20 times.

I can understand its relevance and I don't mind it but it's reported that Alan Ladd Jnr hated it. It reminds me a bit of the telephone ringing in Omega Man with Charlton Heston.

The long chaplinesque charlotte russe scene is still in the short version. I liked the scene the first time I saw it but having seen the scene many times I would probably fast forward through it now.

Binge watching on TV seems to be more commonplace nowadays. Just watched 10 hours of Your Honor with Bryan Cranston, numerous episodes of Cobra Kai, Dances with Wolves Extended Version and Zack Snyder's Justice League. The last 2 movies had a runtime approaching 4 hours.  Perhaps now Leone's four and a half hour (270 min) version of Once Upon A Time In America might be more acceptable.


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« #43 : April 01, 2021, 12:14:50 PM »

Ps Thanks Hunky for posting the Cut version
Brilliant 🙋🏻‍♂️👍

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« #44 : April 13, 2021, 11:45:09 AM »

Just one more step on the stairs to the final version...


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