8.4/10
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528 user 114 critic

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

R | | Crime, Drama | 1 June 1984 (USA)
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:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 6 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #69 | Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Sergio Leone's three-hour, forty-minute epic masterpiece starring Robert de Niro. [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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1 June 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Time in America  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,412,014, 3 June 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,321,508
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-cut) | (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood reportedly turned down the role of Jimmy O'Donnell. See more »

Goofs

During the scene when the young boys set the newspaper stand on fire, they run around the corner and peek through a window in the concrete which has visible spray painted graffiti on the wall, spray paint was not invented until 1949, this scene takes place in the 1920s. 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

Joey Faye is credited as the "adorable old man." See more »

Connections

Featured in Bullets Over Hollywood (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Amapola Part II
Music by Ennio Morricone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
not as good as it's cracked up to be
27 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

I've seen a lot of great reviews for this movie, along the lines of, 'it's great, one of the best of all time', etc. I really have to disagree. This movie was just too slow for me to sit through. I am usually a great fan of Sergio Leone's work, and I love most things with DeNiro and even James Woods, but I just couldn't sit through this movie.

The pacing wouldn't have been a problem if the story were better, but I felt that it just meandered through a lot of scenes and recollections that were unnecessary. Some of the comedic scenes, for example between the 'young' DeNiro and Woods characters and the cop, were too slap-sticky and didn't ring true. those scenes would've been more in place in an Italian movie, perhaps like 'yesterday, today, and tomorrow.' It just didn't ring true for the Lower East Side during prohibition.

To the people who say, 'if it's too slow for you, why don't you go watch Armageddon or something,' I can only respond that I loved The Seven Samurai, and also the Seventh Seal, two magnificent movies, which were slowly paced but still riveting. Once Upon a Time in America does not stack up to them. It doesn't measure up to the Godfather(s), or even Miller's Crossing.

A noble effort, visually very beautiful, but guaranteed to put you to sleep.


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