8.4/10
247,170
527 user 113 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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Popularity
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Top Rated Movies #70 | 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:

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:

 »
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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 director's cut) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though not mentioned in the film, David "Noodles" Aaronson's prison sentence is twelve to thirteen years. This can be worked out when Deborah (upon meeting him at the bar shortly after he is released) says she counted down from 4,566 days until she could see him again. See more »

Goofs

Container cargo cranes are visible when the boys are waiting to for the crates of booze to float to the surface. Containerized cargo was not used until the middle 1950s. 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

Referenced in The Adam and Joe Show: Episode #3.1 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Night and Day
Words and Music by Cole Porter
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
So boring I wanted to cry- a character study with no sympathetic characters
19 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

When I found this tape in my collection, I was astounded that I had missed it when it came out. The cast list reads like a who's who of awesome actors, suited perfectly for a gangster movie. And Sergio Leone directing! Wow! I read several reviews comparing this movie to the Godfather and Goodfellas, and was over the moon to see it. I set my machine up, got ready and sat down. An hour and a half later (I fast forwarded through so much of it) I was dulled to the point of near madness. The cinematography was great, and brilliantly imaged, but literally nothing of importance happened in this entire movie. The characters were unsympathetic with back stories of little to no relevance or interest. The plot dragged on ad nauseum, padded by long close ups of "dramatic" faces staring contemplatively as if they knew something we didn't. Oh they did, and that was that you should go to bed early and skip this one entirely. The few action scenes were few and far between, and the interminable dialog and love interest offal seemed to drag forever. Maybe I missed something, because I had to fast forward through a lot of this movie, something I rarely do, but I just couldn't stand it after the overwhelming pretentiousness of each character's chatter. Worst of all, nothing happened of interest. Nothing. It was as if the movie were made for the sole purpose of getting Oscar attention, without any nod to entertainment value. If you make a period gangster film, make it better than a History Channel documentary. the only redeeming quality of this film was the cinematography and the old cars. Instead, just watch Godfather and then go to a car show.


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