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: A masterpiece that never came to life  ( 1094 )
RickDangerous
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« : November 09, 2020, 01:46:38 AM »

In 1984, when the mutilated masterpiece of Sergio Leone "Once Upon a Time in America" fought for its audience in three different versions, negotiations on Leningrad have started. The project, which began in the 1970s, was based on a similar scheme as "C'era una volta il West" (1968) and the director's aforementioned farewell to cinema. Namely, an epic fresco telling a momentous story through the prism of the individuals involved. And although this time the picture was supposed to be dominated by a man's love for a woman, for obvious intimate reasons, it would literally be the greatest of Leone's works.

Behind the camera was set to be Tonino Delli Colli, Robert Hossein, actor and director of the great spaghetti westerns Cemetery Without Crosses (1969), was also in the picture. Being a friend of Sergio's, Leone asked him to lead a second team, whose task was to shoot battle sequences in Leningrad. Finally, the main role in the film was entrusted to Robert De Niro.

In February 1989, after many rumors and unsuccessful attempts to start, Leningrad was officially announced as the next Leone film. Unfortunately, the progress on production was not accompanied by the director's health. The tension of shooting a Once Upon a Time in America and the subsequent clashes with the studio to preserve the original vision strongly affected the already serious heart disease. In April, two days before his flight to Los Angeles, where he was to sign a contract, the director died of a heart attack.

Source: https://szubrawca.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/leningrad-leone/

Novecento
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« #1 : November 12, 2020, 09:58:38 PM »

Robert Hossein, actor and director of the great spaghetti westerns Cemetery Without Crosses (1969), was also in the picture. Being a friend of Sergio's, Leone asked him to lead a second team, whose task was to shoot battle sequences in Leningrad.

Not sure I remember reading about Hossein being involved anywhere before. But what a formidable combination Leone and Hossein would have made. The closest we ever got to that was that brief scene in Cemetery without Crosses.

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