“Noodles… I… slipped!”

I flipped into what I thought must have been the last 30 minutes of Leone’s spaghetti gangster epic (make that matzoh gangster epic, the only pasta in the pic is De Niro’s character name, Noodles). Oops!

The film actually starts with a grisly scene that turns into a transition from flashback to 1968 NYC, with virtually no dialog for the first 40 minutes of screen time. It had been so long since I’d seen it I’d totally forgotten it.

Anyway, it turned out to be the super-extended dance remix of the movie, and nearly four hours later, there I was, watching a big Mack truck drive off through the Long Island night. It was pleasant to see again. It’s a pretty undisciplined film at four hours though – extended sequences of great brilliance followed by tone-deaf schmalz. But I did notice that, yes, just as Ken Goldstein once wrote, Jennifer Connelly as the younger sister of Fat Moe is an attractive screen presence, even years ago.

One thought on “Once Upon a Time in America

  1. A truly wonderful movie, one of my favorites, though the subject of the worst editing job ever in a misguided attempt to get it down to two hours. It’s really two great movies, if you separate the childhood and adult sections.

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