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Author Topic: Why do we care about Noodles?  (Read 10040 times)
Sanjuro
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« on: July 15, 2003, 04:23:09 AM »

Ever since I bought the special edition DVD of "Once Upon a Time in America," I repeated watching it and each viewing made me realize what a haunting movie this is. I don't know any other movie that has this magnitude and depth of emotion like this masterpiece.

On the other hand, the more I see this, the more problem I find I have with the character of Noodles.  The guy is the hero of this film, but is this guy likeable at all?

He rapes the woman of his life-time romance. That's understandable within the context of this drama. That is the only way he can express his dilemma toward his impossible love. The guy has a problem of expressing love. Afterward, he is attacked by his sense of guilt. We can see his conscience there.

But look at his attitude toward Fat Moe. After he kills his assassin at Moe's place, he doesn't even untie Moe even though Moe asks him to do so. Instead, Noodles just leaves Moe lying in blood saying "Stay like this."

35 years later, Noodles visits Moe. Moe gets very emotional when he sees Noodles. But as Moe tries to give Nooles a warm hug, Noodles coldly hands him  a key.

Nooldes is, in fact, a victim in a way. His life is stolen. He is betrayed (contrary to the fact he thinks he is the betrayer). He is rather passive while Max takes initiative.

But all in all, is Noodles a character we can have compassion? Why do we care about him?



 

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cedet
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2003, 04:33:58 AM »

First:he leaves Moe on the floor in order to save his life (he says something like: if u stay tied, nobody will sucpect you).
Noodles is the hero of the story that is told by his eyes, we only have is point of view, he is a good guy who have difficultues with his parents (the old man reads the torah and his mother is crying), he is seeking for a father (MAX?).
Noodles is the victim of the events of that movie by not taking any reel decisions execpt one: Betraying his friend and finally he didn't.
and the good point: Noodles is played by Robert De Niro...

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Jon
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2003, 01:54:42 PM »

Noodles is kind of like the ultimate patsy or victim,and regardless of the brutality of some of his acts it is impossible not to feel ,even in a little way,for a guy like that.Noodles is the ultimate loser.The sad thing is that he is his own worst enemy.Leone once said a very contreversial thing,that Noodles' rape of Deborah of Deborah was 'an act of love'.It is easy to see how this could offend some people but from Noodles' point of view it was.You see Deborah kiss Noodles.he misinterprits it [like he misinterprits lots of the events of his life]and than can't stop himself.Don't forget that none of his previous sexual encounters seemed to be that pleasent and 'loving'.

There is no doubt that we do lose a bit of sympathy for Noodles here,especially on a first showing of the film.But i think on repeated viewings he becomes more 'likable',although much of this is out of pity of course.He is like the ultimate,anti-hero.

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cedet
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2003, 02:49:06 PM »

I don't think that we loose sympathy for noodles when he rapped Debra, but we think " Hey Man don't do that, don't do that to the only true love you have because if u do so, you will lost her for ever, and that's what happened
I do agree with Jon, Noodles is his worst ennemy he has.

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JimmyCleanHands
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2003, 03:14:31 AM »

I actually like Max better than Noodles. I feel Max was a genious , he plotted and planned all of those events which shaped Noodles' downfall. Smart man . Screwed Noodles in the beginiing , and screwed him in the end  Wink

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guybrush
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2003, 03:58:26 AM »

I actually like Max better than Noodles. I feel Max was a genious , he plotted and planned all of those events which shaped Noodles' downfall. Smart man . Screwed Noodles in the beginiing , and screwed him in the end  Wink
Does that mean you would have done the same, had you been in Max's shoes?
Does that mean you would be ready to screw your best friend, steal his woman and 35 years of his life, like Max did?

Would you please keep us constantly informed about your whereabouts, so as to enable us to stay at least 100 km away?  

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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2003, 08:19:09 PM »

I don't think that we loose sympathy for noodles when he rapped Debra, but we think " Hey Man don't do that, don't do that to the only true love you have because if u do so, you will lost her for ever, and that's what happened
I do agree with Jon, Noodles is his worst ennemy he has.

Surely the above is a joke or something? What a f*cked up way to look at rape -  that the only reason he shouldn't rape her because he'll lose her. All about the effect it will have on him rather than the effect it will have on her. No, I don't think that he shouldn't rape her because he'll lose her forever. I just think he shouldn't rape her because rape is an evil, evil, evil thing to do. Oh and you said "we" don't lose sympathy for him when he rapes her. Count me out of that "we" please.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2003, 08:24:37 PM by poppyseed » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2003, 10:02:08 PM »

Quote
What a f*cked up way to look at rape

Maybe so, it is still a film tho. Because murder is just as bad, no one complaining about our views on that 'minor crime'.  BUT i must say, throughout the rape scene i was hoping that she would suddenly thrust from refusal to unbridalled passion, but when it didnt happen... awkwardly enough, it seemed the innocence of his character was born. What do you think?

We care about Noodles as we would anyone who is tormented. A person within an emotional Bermuda triangle of an animalistic love life, a paracytic friendship with Max, and his void of his own feelings. IMHO, that is.  

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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2003, 03:29:29 AM »

Surely the above is a joke or something? What a f*cked up way to look at rape -  that the only reason he shouldn't rape her because he'll lose her. All about the effect it will have on him rather than the effect it will have on her. No, I don't think that he shouldn't rape her because he'll lose her forever. I just think he shouldn't rape her because rape is an evil, evil, evil thing to do. Oh and you said "we" don't lose sympathy for him when he rapes her. Count me out of that "we" please.


Hey keep cool, OUATIA has Noodles for Hero, and that the only point of view we have, so I did not say that the rape was a good thing! neither when he kills people but in this genre of movie you have to do with this.

ANd AS noodlse POV, he dosen(t know to show his feelings (either to MAx or Debra) so he acts like an animal and Rape Debra, but I Think (you exclude) that everybody sais : don't do that Noodles, your loosing the love of your life if you are in the movie, if you feel like noodles...and nobody thinks "that is Evil" because everythinh is evil in the movie, Peggy the hore is evil, MAx/Secretary Bailey is Evil...and the worse of all...
so I suggest to watch only PG movie from Disney ( Wink


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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2003, 02:39:25 AM »

Because murder is just as bad, no one complaining about our views on that 'minor crime'.  

That's the way I've always thought of it.  It always boggles my mind how people will have no problem with a dozen or more murders in a film but will reply to a rape with outrage and cries of "was that really necessary?".  Rape is repugnant and evil, and so is murder, but we're used to seeing the latter in films and not so much the former.  Did we lose sympathy with Noodles when he stabbed Bugsy to death?  How about the mob hits he pulled with Max and the gang?  How about if instead of stabbing Bugsy for revenge, he tied him down and ass-raped him?

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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2003, 09:29:01 AM »

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How about if instead of stabbing Bugsy for revenge, he tied him down and ass-raped him?

lmao... I am not sure if I was expecting you to go that direction, but point WELL taken.  Grin

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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2003, 09:30:32 AM »

I think the reason some people object to rape and not to murder is that rape is something the victim has to live with,and it can screw that person up for the rest of their life,I KNOW somebody who was raped and that person will have to live with the memory for the rest of their life.

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cedet
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2003, 09:36:00 AM »

Yes, sure But in OUATIA, we live Noodles 's Life, not Debra as we can see Noddles hates him for what he did, he tries to apologize at the railwaystation...
and furthermore in the 68' part Debra has her revenge: she lives with Max, and raise his son...

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BDR529
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2003, 01:27:23 PM »

I think the reason some people object to rape and not to murder is that rape is something the victim has to live with,and it can screw that person up for the rest of their life,I KNOW somebody who was raped and that person will have to live with the memory for the rest of their life.

That's very true, but seems to me like a flimsy reason to say it's more objectionable than murder.  You could also say, "at least the rape victim's whole life is not taken away from them, and they are allowed to live on and hopefully heal".  Like Clint said, "It's a helluva thing, killing a man; you take away all that he's got and all that he'll ever have."

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poppyseed
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2003, 09:22:53 AM »

cedet wrote: "so I suggest to watch only PG movie from Disney"

BDR529: "It always boggles my mind how people will have no problem with a dozen or more murders in a film but will reply to a rape with outrage and cries of "was that really necessary?"

You are both missing the point I made. The point I was making was that cedet was seeing the rape purely in terms of the bad effect it was to have on the man rather than the woman, which I found very strange. I think most human beings, when confronted by a rape scene would be feeling for the victim, the woman, before worrying about the effect it will have on the rapist. cedet obviously sees it differently and is entitled to, and I'm entitled to say I think that's a warped sense of priority.

And BDR529, I never said ""was that really necessary?" in terms of that scene, neither did anyone else on this thread.

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