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| | |-+  Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.
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: Not many films take you in like this. It's quite simply...captivating.  ( 21067 )
Tucumcari Bound
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« : August 19, 2007, 09:52:37 PM »

Do you ever find yourself watching a film and forget that you're actually watching one? You're so caught up and lost in the moment that you find yourself believing that you're in the actual world you're watching. There are not many films that are as special and "Once Upon a Time in America" is without a doubt one of those special, rare films that only come around every so often, years for the most part. This film is quite simply a captivating experience. From it's direction, to it's beautiful, and quite possibly the best musical score ever composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone.

Up until this point, Sergio Leone gave us his brilliant works in the Dollars Trilogy, most noticeably "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." After viewing the 'Dollars Trilogy' you couldn't possibly believe that Sergio Leone could get even better at his craft, or even touch upon some more serious subject matter. It probably wasn't even a thought in anybody's head. Then he surprises everybody with "Once Upon a Time in the West" a film many believe could be the greatest western film experience ever. A film of sheer brilliance it's almost not real. Then Sergio builds on that and tackles an even more serious subject matter, far more serious than "Once Upon a Time in the West" in "Duck, You Sucker." This time he brings forth the Mexican Revolution and exploits it to the fullest and sends a bold message.

By the time "Once Upon a Time in America" was released in 1980 many people were aware of the talents of Sergio Leone all over the world. He had stamped his name amongst the best in film history and etched himself into the minds of film lovers all over the world forever. His fan base was set, and in years to come would get even more popular year after year, blowing away anybody and anyone who would dare to sit down and experience his films and to inspire countless aspiring filmmakers.

As many of us know it took years for Americans to see the version Sergio intended us all to see. "Once Upon a Time in America" was edited to death upon it's release in the states and was not a commercial success by no means. For years up until Sergio Leone's death in 1989 he was bothered by this, as he should have been. The studio had ruined his initial masterpiece. This is a film that should have been nominated for COUNTLESS Academy Awards. It rivals only "Raging Bull" as the best film of the 1980's in my humble opinion. It fell off the face of the earth for years up until it's 2003 DVD release to where it was restored to it's proper place. It has sense grown a fan base, and is getting the recognition it so rightfully deserves. The film clocks in at nearly 4 hours long and does not seem like that for one second. How many films can do this? A four hour film that feels like it's 2 hours when it's all over and done with. Sergio Leone's work here is something to marvel at. It's a work of brilliant and EPIC proportions. It leaves me stunned everytime I view it. It takes me in and never let's go.

This is quite simply one of the best films ever made. Anyone who claims to be a film lover needs to experience this, period.

« : August 19, 2007, 10:14:52 PM Tucumcari_Bound »



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« #1 : August 19, 2007, 09:56:43 PM »

This is quite simply one of the best films ever made. Anyone who claims to be a film lover needs to experience this, period.
Wrong. Try the best film ever made.

A great review. From reading this and listening to Morricone's score at the same time, I almost have to watch this again ...even though I just did a few days ago.

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« #2 : August 19, 2007, 10:35:50 PM »

Yeah... Leone just got better and better. Although not his most likable by any means, it's the best production. A better movie than any of his previous efforts, which were all considerable (maybe not CoR, see my explanation next paragraph). My all time favorite film is GBU, but OUATiTW and OUATiA are better films, from a technical point of view. When you look at Leone, and then look at almost any other director, you see how Leone is superior.
When he began w/ CoR... it was okay. It seems thrown together, unlike his other movies. It shows some promising filmmaking, but nothing amazing. It probably wasn't even his fault by the looks of it.
Basically, each film showed more and more signifigance. The Dollars Trilogy are significant for their new techniques w/ the camera. The extreme close up, and the long shots, were both fairly new. Also, they took average plots ( i.e. people looking for gold) and made them into highly detailed adventures. OUATiTW and DYS had the now average looking shots, but better plots. Finally, OUATiA is the greatest. The best plot, and (I'd say) the best actors. Unfortunately, his films never got much respect from the critics in their times. The Dollars Trilogy was regarded as a cheap piece of crap by many. They got money, and the respect from the general public as well. Next, OUATiTW and OUATiA were cut to death. I'm not even sure DYS got a wide release. Either way he deserved more then he got. The project he was planning, Leningrad, was even more ambitious then OUATiA. What a loss.

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« #3 : August 19, 2007, 11:00:24 PM »

Wrong. Try the best film ever made.


:o :o :o

What about the deer hunter!

Somebody pinch me...

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« #4 : August 19, 2007, 11:03:41 PM »

:o :o :o

What about the deer hunter!

Somebody pinch me...
It's just so close, dammit! Watching America again a few days ago may have changed my mind.

But when I watch The Deer Hunter in HD later this month, my mind will probably be changed again.

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« #5 : August 19, 2007, 11:05:02 PM »

Yeah... Leone just got better and better. Although not his most likable by any means, it's the best production. A better movie than any of his previous efforts, which were all considerable (maybe not CoR, see my explanation next paragraph). My all time favorite film is GBU, but OUATiTW and OUATiA are better films, from a technical point of view. When you look at Leone, and then look at almost any other director, you see how Leone is superior.
When he began w/ CoR... it was okay. It seems thrown together, unlike his other movies. It shows some promising filmmaking, but nothing amazing. It probably wasn't even his fault by the looks of it.
Basically, each film showed more and more signifigance. The Dollars Trilogy are significant for their new techniques w/ the camera. The extreme close up, and the long shots, were both fairly new. Also, they took average plots ( i.e. people looking for gold) and made them into highly detailed adventures. OUATiTW and DYS had the now average looking shots, but better plots. Finally, OUATiA is the greatest. The best plot, and (I'd say) the best actors. Unfortunately, his films never got much respect from the critics in their times. The Dollars Trilogy was regarded as a cheap piece of crap by many. They got money, and the respect from the general public as well. Next, OUATiTW and OUATiA were cut to death. I'm not even sure DYS got a wide release. Either way he deserved more then he got. The project he was planning, Leningrad, was even more ambitious then OUATiA. What a loss.

Great post Mw/NNrules. You make many great points. Production wise, OUATIA could be Sergio's Best. I think it was the most expensive piece he ever was apart of. It amazes me how his films kept getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger as they went on. As the budget's grew, the size of the sets were more vast, the costumes were better, even the casts were overall getting better.

After OUATIA it's hard to imagine that he could have made something even more bigger, far more better than OUATIA, his previous, and quite sadly his last film. Can you just imagine what Leningrad would have looked like? He may have possibly been the greatest War Film ever made, even till this day. We will never know, sadly.  :(




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« #6 : August 20, 2007, 04:59:42 AM »

Great review. O0











. . . Now please tell us you didn't plagarize it. :P



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« #7 : August 20, 2007, 07:38:16 AM »

Can you just imagine what Leningrad would have looked like? He may have possibly been the greatest War Film ever made, even till this day. We will never know, sadly.  :(

I'm always surprised at how well Leone handled battle scenes (eg in GBU) which were only a small part of the movie.

It will be interesting to see if Tornatore's Leningrad with music by Ennio Morricone (if it ever comes out) will bear favorable comparison.

« : August 20, 2007, 08:43:00 AM shades »
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« #8 : August 20, 2007, 07:41:26 AM »

Great review. O0







. . . Now please tell us you didn't plagarize it. :

HAHA Not at all Groggy! I do not plagarize. When I talk about films, it comes from the heart. I would never plagarize. I watched the film yet again last night and just wanted to write a good review about it.




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« #9 : August 20, 2007, 03:33:02 PM »

HAHA Not at all Groggy! I do not plagarize. When I talk about films, it comes from the heart. I would never plagarize. I watched the film yet again last night and just wanted to write a good review about it.

I was just pulling your leg TB.



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« #10 : August 20, 2007, 03:58:40 PM »

I was just pulling your leg TB.

Oh I know buddy. I actually thought your post was pretty damn funny.  ;D




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« #11 : August 20, 2007, 08:55:56 PM »

s many of us know it took years for Americans to see the version Sergio intended us all to see. 
I saw it in a theater in 1985.



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« #12 : August 20, 2007, 09:10:43 PM »

I saw it in a theater in 1985.

What was your initial reaction? Also, how old were you?




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« #13 : August 20, 2007, 09:11:28 PM »

I'm always surprised at how well Leone handled battle scenes (eg in GBU) which were only a small part of the movie.

It will be interesting to see if Tornatore's Leningrad with music by Ennio Morricone (if it ever comes out) will bear favorable comparison.
I don't like Tornatore much as a director. I don't even know how too explain why I don't like them. If I tried explaining you'd probably get a worse idea then you already have of why I don't like his films. This isn't to say that his films don't have good music, though. Oh, and I don't think the cinematography in his version of Stalingrad would be as good as I'm imagining for Leone. But it's hard to imagine anything bad for Leone's non existant version. Leone had Tonini Delli Colli to suit all his needs for cinematography. I don't think Tornatore ever got Colli, or anyone as good.

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« #14 : August 21, 2007, 06:55:42 AM »

I'm in Arizona, and as I've posted before, in 1969 Once/West played only in second-run theaters, not in the bigs at all (no scene of Bronson getting up after being shot by Strode, no "but sons of bitches...yeah".  When Once/America played first here, it was the butchered chronological version, and my brother saw it.  In early 1985 the full version played at one of the two "art theaters" in town (the type that showed "Adventures of Robin Hood", etc., as VCRs were just starting to take off).  All I can say is "wow", and I knew I'd have to see it again many times to fully digest it.  I've never seen the chronological version, and don't intend to.  Yes, and the 2003 extended DVD is nice.  Reference to another post: I also loved the "going to bed early", and felt that just meant that he was keeping his nose clean, staying out of trouble, just a great line.

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