Once Upon a Time in America is Very Long

 In Crime, Drama, Everything, Skip
Pictures of Scott Tiler, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Connelly, Elizabeth McGovern, Rusty Jacobs, and James Woods

Once Upon a Time in America

Directed by Sergio Leone
Written by Leonardo Benvenuti, Piero De Barnardi, Enrico Medioli, Franco Arcalli, Franco Ferrini, Sergio Leone. (And this, my friends, is where the trouble starts.)

The review:

Well, I’m two for two with finding movies beginning with “Once Upon a Time” incredibly boring.* I also loathed this film on so many levels: terrible acting,** its treatment of women,*** the fact that it tips its hand too much early on and solves the mystery.**** This film is all of these synonyms: clumsy, slow, lumbering, cumbersome, graceless, maladroit, ponderous, plus misogynist to boot.*****

The verdict: Skip

Cost: Free from the Multnomah County Library
Where watched: at home

Consider watching instead:

Further sentences:

*This one was so much so that I fast forwarded through the last 10 minutes. I’d already invested nearly four hours, so I had given it my due diligence.
**The younger kids were the biggest bunch of terrible actors I’ve seen gathered together in some time.
***Not one, but two rape scenes, the one with Elizabeth McGovern being brutal. Plus some gun-on-nipple action.
****In the restored scene at the cemetery I figured out what had happened. And there was still so much movie.
*****That said, I did think the salt/balloon idea was brilliant. That three minutes of movie was great.


  • Why, oh why do people like this movie? Whhhhhyyyyyy??????
  • Was there any character who made this worth watching?

Favorite IMDB trivia item:

When filming was completed, the footage ran to a total of eight to ten hours. Director Sergio Leone and editor Nino Baragli trimmed the footage to around six hours, with the plan of releasing the film as two three-hour movies. The producers refused this idea, and Leone had to further cut the film down to three hours and forty-nine minutes.

(Yet it seemed more like six hours when watching.)

Other reviews of Once Upon a Time in America:

Age can wither me, Noodles. We're both getting old. All that we have left now are our memories. —Once Upon a Time in America. Read the three sentence movie review. 3SMReviews.com
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Showing 2 comments
  • Kimberley

    I’m sorry to say but you don’t know anything about cinema. Once Upon a Time in America, was a portrait of an era of American/New York history. Maybe if you read more about it you can understand the movie. The time when was produced was different and women at the time, especially at the time of the narrative.

    • Patricia Collins

      I think we can agree to disagree about how much I know about cinema. It sounds like the film worked well for you, and I’m glad to know you had that experience.

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