MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 20 this week

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

8.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 172,264 users  
Reviews: 471 user | 98 critic

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 14 Jun 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 06 Dec 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 06 Feb 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 17 Jul 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Once Upon a Time in America (1984) on IMDb 8.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Once Upon a Time in America.

User Polls

Top 250 #78 | Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 13 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Epic story of a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale
Taxi Driver (1976)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Casino (1995)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two mobster best friends and a trophy wife over a gambling empire.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions, team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring, destroys his life outside it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Goodfellas (1990)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci
Scarface (1983)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel while succumbing to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer
Unforgiven (1992)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman
Heat (1995)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam war impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Joe
...
...
...
Richard Bright ...
James Hayden ...
...
...
Eve (as Darlanne Fleugel)
Larry Rapp ...
Richard Foronjy ...
Officer 'Fartface' Whitey (as Richard Foronji)
...
Edit

Storyline

Epic tale of a group of Jewish gangsters in New York, from childhood, through their glory years during prohibition, and their meeting again 35 years later. Written by Andrew Welsh <andreww@bnr.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

As boys, they made a pact to share their fortunes, their loves, their lives. As men, they shared a dream to rise from poverty to power. Their story is now a "once upon a time" motion picture experience. [Australia Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexual content, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 September 1984 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Érase una vez en América  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-cut) | (extended director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Sergio Donati, from 1967-77 all Sergio Leone had for the film was an opening scene: the corpse of an old gangster falls into the Hudson River and sinks to the bottom, where an underwater neighborhood of bodies is revealed. Leone devised this scene with writer Robert Dillon, who then pilfered it for John Frankenheimer's film 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974). See more »

Goofs

When Fat Moe gives Noodles the locker key, he opens the door of the clock. The key for winding up the clock is in place. After a quick cut to Noodles, the key is gone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[In 1933, two goons rudely question a young woman]
Beefy: Where is he? Where's he hiding?
Eve: I don't know... I've been looking for him since yesterday.
[second goon slaps her harshly; she falls onto the bed]
Beefy: I'm gonna ask you for the last time: Where is he?
Eve: I don't know... What are you gonna do to him?
[Two shots are heard]
Beefy: [to his partner] Stay here in case that rat shows up...
See more »

Crazy Credits

For his cameo, Joey Faye is listed in the credits as playing the "adorable old man." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Matrix (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

St. James Infirmary Blues
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Mills
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An operatic epic
6 January 2002 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Once Upon a Time in America, which bookends Once Upon a Time in the West as director Sergio Leone's best work, is a powerhouse of a movie. A gangster epic told in a very different style than the standard of the genre, The Godfather, it is in some ways (at least to this viewer) even more emotionally compelling. Although the movie was sabotaged upon release by an edited studio version eliminating about 40% of its original length, the version now available for rental is thankfully the nearly 4 hour version intended by Leone. The story is at essence a basic one about friendship among thieves, telling the story of a group of Jewish kids in New York near the turn of the century who grow up to become powerful and ruthless mobsters, while maintaining (or trying to) their bond with one another. As was most famously done in the taxi scene between Rod Steiger and Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront, the movie again makes the point that bad people can have good aspects to them, such as loyalty, devotion, and even love. I think this movie includes one of Deniro's best roles, and far and away James Woods best film work. The score, by arguably the greatest movie composer of all time, Ennio Morricone, is incredibly haunting in its beauty and sadness (with no fewer than three separate themes that are breathtakingly beautiful). The non-chronological manner in which the story is told results in a wonderfully effective narrative device: the movie begins and ends with the same scene. The first time you see the scene, it is a frantic jumble, without meaning or context, and you do not know why it is so important. When the scene recurs at the end of the film, everything has become clear, and the scene has an incredible poignancy and sadness to it: although it occurs in the middle of events chronologically, you realize that, in a real sense, life stopped at this point for one of the film's main characters. There is no other event that matters anymore to him. This is not a simple movie, and it merits repeated viewings. Indeed, in my view one cannot fully appreciate the greatness of the film until the second viewing, when the full story is known, and the events of the film resonate with knowledge of where they ultimately, and tragically, lead.


80 of 104 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
251 minute cut Zbriden
Structure Peter-174
Extended Directors versions (NEW) lb2121
It pains me to see so much hate for this film joet1999
Bothered with the soundtrack blindg
anyone else think the only thing that ruined this film was the ending? Vicofdib
Discuss Once Upon a Time in America (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page