IMDb > Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Once Upon a Time in America
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Once Upon a Time in America (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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Once Upon a Time in America -- A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to Brooklyn over 30 years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Overview

User Rating:
8.4/10   172,840 votes »
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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for Once Upon a Time in America on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 May 1984 (France) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Crime, passion and lust for power - Sergio Leone's explosive saga of gangland America. [Australia Theatrical] See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 13 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A sprawling, deliberately paced, and generally a superbly crafted piece of work See more (470 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert De Niro ... David 'Noodles' Aaronson

James Woods ... Maximilian 'Max' Bercovicz

Elizabeth McGovern ... Deborah Gelly

Joe Pesci ... Frankie Manoldi

Burt Young ... Joe

Tuesday Weld ... Carol

Treat Williams ... James Conway O'Donnell

Danny Aiello ... Police Chief Vincent Aiello
Richard Bright ... Chicken Joe
James Hayden ... Patrick 'Patsy' Goldberg

William Forsythe ... Philip 'Cockeye' Stein

Darlanne Fluegel ... Eve (as Darlanne Fleugel)
Larry Rapp ... 'Fat' Moe Gelly
Richard Foronjy ... Officer 'Fartface' Whitey (as Richard Foronji)

Robert Harper ... Sharkey
Dutch Miller ... Van Linden
Gerard Murphy ... Crowning
Amy Ryder ... Peggy
Olga Karlatos ... Woman in the Puppet Theatre

Mario Brega ... Mandy
Ray Dittrich ... Trigger
Frank Gio ... Beefy
Karen Shallo ... Lucy Aiello

Angelo Florio ... Willie The Ape
Scott Schutzman Tiler ... Young Noodles (as Scott Tiler)
Rusty Jacobs ... Young Max / David Bailey

Brian Bloom ... Young Patsy
Adrian Curran ... Young Cockeye
Mike Monetti ... Young Fat Moe
Noah Moazezi ... Dominic

James Russo ... Bugsy
Frankie Caserta ... Bugsy's Gang
Joey Marzella ... Bugsy's Gang
Clem Caserta ... Al Capuano
Frank Sisto ... Fred Capuano
Jerry Strivelli ... Johnny Capuano
Julie Cohen ... Young Peggy
Marvin Scott ... Interviewer
Mike Gendel ... Irving Gold

Paul Herman ... Monkey
Ann Neville ... Girl in Coffin
Joey Faye ... Adorable Old Man
Linda Ipanema ... Nurse Thompson

Tandy Cronyn ... Reporter 1 (as Tandy Cronin)
Richard Zobel ... Reporter 2
Baxter Harris ... Reporter 3

Arnon Milchan ... Chauffeur

Bruno Iannone ... Thug
Marty Licata ... Cemetery Caretaker

Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Max's Mother

Estelle Harris ... Peggy's Mother
Gerritt Debeer ... Drunk

Jennifer Connelly ... Young Deborah
Alexander Godfrey ... Newstand Man
Cliff Cudney ... Mounted Policeman
Paul Farentino ... 2nd Mounted Policeman
Bruce Bahrenburg ... Sgt. P. Halloran
Mort Freeman ... Street Singer
Sandra Solberg ... Friend of Young Deborah
Jay Zeely ... Foreman
Massimo Liti ... Young Macrò
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Susan Spafford ... Nurse
Salvatore Billa ... One of Beefy's Thugs (uncredited)
Matteo Cafiso ... Boy in Park (uncredited)
Nelson Camp ... Newspaper Salesman (uncredited)

Scott Coffey ... Teenager (uncredited)
Francesca Leone ... David Bailey's Girlfriend (uncredited)
Chuck Low ... Deborah Gelly's Father (uncredited)
Ron Nummi ... Waiter (uncredited)
Fabio Roscioli ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Sergio Leone 
 
Writing credits
Harry Grey (novel "The Hoods")

Leonardo Benvenuti  &
Piero De Bernardi  &
Enrico Medioli  &
Franco Arcalli  &
Franco Ferrini  &
Sergio Leone 

Stuart Kaminsky (additional dialogue)

Ernesto Gastaldi  uncredited

Produced by
Claudio Mancini .... executive producer
Arnon Milchan .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ennio Morricone 
 
Cinematography by
Tonino Delli Colli 
 
Film Editing by
Nino Baragli 
 
Casting by
Cis Corman 
Joy Todd 
 
Art Direction by
Carlo Simi 
 
Costume Design by
Gabriella Pescucci 
 
Makeup Department
Vincenzo Cardella .... hair stylist (as Enzo Cardella)
Randy Coronato .... hair stylist: New York
Randy Coronato .... makeup artist: New York
Maria Teresa Corridoni .... hair stylist
Henry R. Dwork .... dental makeup artist: New York
Nilo Jacoponi .... makeup artist
Renata Magnanti .... hair stylist
Manlio Rocchetti .... makeup artist
Gino Zamprioli .... makeup artist
Giancarlo De Leonardis .... hair stylist: James Wood and Tuesday Weld (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Fred C. Caruso .... executive in charge of production (as Fred Caruso)
Mario Cotone .... production supervisor
Ginette Hardy .... production manager: Montreal
Walter Massi .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dennis T. Benatar .... assistant director: New York (as Dennis Benatar)
Philippe Landoulsi .... assistant director
Luca Morsella .... assistant director
Fabrizio Sergenti Castellani .... first assistant director
Amy Wells .... assistant director: New York
 
Art Department
Bruno Cesari .... set dresser
Osvaldo Desideri .... set dresser
Ronald Fauteux .... prop man: Montreal
Gianni Fiumi .... property master
Alain Giguère .... scenic painter: Montreal
Nello Giorgetti .... swing gang
Otto Jacoby .... set builder: New York
Steven Kirshoff .... prop man: New York
Walter Klymkiw .... chief carpenter: Montreal
Joey Litto .... construction coordinator: New York
Tullio Lullo .... construction coordinator
Domenico Mancino .... blacksmith
George Messaris .... set builder: New York
Elouise Meyer .... scenic chargeperson: New York
Giovanni Natalucci .... set designer
Gretchen Rau .... set decorator: New York
Claude Simard .... chief carpenter: Montreal
James T. Singelis .... art director: New York (as James Singelis)
Rejean Brochu .... construction supervisor (uncredited)
Martin Cats .... musical instrument props (uncredited)
Clément Hurel .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Dan Mahoney .... construction grip (uncredited)
Kathy Wolf .... head painter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Fabio Ancillai .... second assistant boom operator
Fausto Ancillai .... sound recording mixer
Italo Cameracanna .... foley artist
Italo Cameracanna .... sound effects editor
Bruno Charier .... boom operator
Daniele Quadroli .... sound effects editor
Robert Rietty .... dubbing editor
Jean-Pierre Ruh .... sound engineer (as Jean Pierre Ruhu)
Jacques Thomas-Gérard .... dubbing mixer
Jacques Thomas-Gérard .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul J. Zydel .... adr sound: New York (as Paul Zydel)
Chris David .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby (uncredited)
Elliot Tyson .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Louis Craig .... special effects assistant: Montreal
André Laperrière .... special effects technician
Steve Lombardi .... special effects coordinator: montreal
Gabe Videla .... special effects: Montreal
Danilo Bollettini .... special effects (uncredited)
Brian Campbell .... special effects crew (uncredited)
Giovanni Corridori .... special effects (uncredited)
Jacques Godbout .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Benito Stefanelli .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Steve Baker .... key grip: New York
Sandro Battaglia .... assistant camera
Rodney Bauer .... grip
Augusto Diamanti .... key grip
Amato Gabotti .... grip
Normand Guy .... key grip: Montreal
Walter Klymkiw .... gaffer: Montreal
Romano Mancini .... gaffer
John Newby .... gaffer: New York
Crescenzo G.P. Notarile .... assistant camera: New York (as Crescenzo Notarile)
Angelo Novi .... still photographer
Antonio Scaramuzza .... assistant camera
Carlo Tafani .... camera operator
Carlo Vinciguerra .... gaffer
Eraldo Barbona .... grip (uncredited)
Edward Cohen .... electrician (uncredited)
Jean Courteau .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Sylvie Bourque .... extras casting: Montreal
Flo Gallant .... extras casting: Montreal
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Richard Bruno .... associate costume designer: New York
Helen P. Butler .... costumer: New York (as Helen Butler)
Marina Frassine .... assistant costume designer
Raffaella Leone .... assistant costume designer
Umberto Tirelli .... wardrobe costumes
 
Editorial Department
Gabrio Astori .... postint editor
Alessandro Baragli .... assistant editor
Patrizia Ceresani .... assistant editor (as Patricia Cerasani)
Ornella Chistolini .... assistant editor
Maurizio Mancini .... editing coordinator
Zach Staenberg .... additional editor (re-cut)
Nicholas Stevenson .... postint editor
Elvira Tonini .... first assistant editor (as Vivi Tonini)
Giorgio Venturoli .... assistant editor
J. Kathleen Gibson .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Howard Heard .... assistant film editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Edda Dell'Orso .... vocal
Sergio Marcotulli .... music recording mixer
Ennio Morricone .... musical director
Gheorghe Zamfir .... musician: pan flute
 
Transportation Department
James Giblin .... transportation captain: New York
Patrick Hogan .... transportation captain: second unit (uncredited)
Bobby Marsh .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Sonny Abagnale .... antique car coordinator: New York
Francesca Alatri .... production secretary: New York
Bruce Bahrenburg .... unit publicist: New York
Robert Benmussa .... consultant to producer
Dominique Bruballa .... accountant: New York
Fausto Capozzi .... accountant
Diana Di Michele .... accountant
Gianna Di Michele .... production auditor
Lucie Drolet .... accountant: Montreal
Brian Freilino .... dialogue director
Herb Hetzer .... location controller: New York
Gail Kearns .... production coordinator: New York
Ted Kurdyla .... production liaison: New York
Pierre Laberge .... location manager: Montreal
Margherita Pace .... body double: Jennifer Connelly
Tonino Palombi .... production assistant
Sergio Rosa .... accountant
Robert Rothbard .... location manager: New York
Pietro Sassaroli .... production assistant (as Piero Sassaroli)
Jennifer W. Shore .... production secretary: New York (as Jennifer Wyckoff)
Eric P. Steckler .... production assistant
Attilio Viti .... location manager
Mark Del Costello .... assistant: Mr. Leone (uncredited)
Reuben Gonzalez .... production assistant (uncredited)
Simona Patitucci .... production assistant (uncredited)
Alan Potashnick .... personal assistant: Robert DeNiro (uncredited)
Eugene Rizzo .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Danièle Rohrbach .... production coordinator (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Hedy Martinelli .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for strong violence, sexual content, language and some drug use
Runtime:
229 min | USA:139 min (re-cut) | 251 min (extended director's cut)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:R | Brazil:18 | Canada:18A | Canada:R (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-15 (DVD rating) | Finland:K-16 (1990) | Finland:K-18 (1984) | France:U | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2003) | Hong Kong:III | Iceland:16 | Ireland:18 | Italy:T | Japan:R-15 | Netherlands:12 (original rating) | Netherlands:16 (re-rating) | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:18 | Philippines:R-18 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 (cut) | UK:18 (re-rating) (uncut) | USA:R | USA:R (Extended director's cut) | West Germany:18 (original rating) (1984-2003)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
To prepare a draft of the script, writer Norman Mailer barricaded himself in a Rome hotel with whiskey bottles, boxes of Cuban cigars and a typewriter for three weeks. Mailer then had a meeting with Harry Grey to appropriately complete the draft, but Sergio Leone did not find it acceptable.See more »
Goofs:
Miscellaneous: In the credits, the song Yesterday is "Used by permission Norther Songs Ltd." where it should say "Northern Songs Ltd." (including the second 'n' in Northern).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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Night and DaySee more »

FAQ

What is the book Noodles reads as a kid when he's in the bathroom?
Why does Noodles smile in the Chinese opium den, as shown at the end of the film?
What was the significance of the garbage truck outside of Mr. Bailey's house?
See more »
104 out of 142 people found the following review useful.
A sprawling, deliberately paced, and generally a superbly crafted piece of work, 19 October 2003
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

It's been said that when one watches a "spaghetti" western (one of the "Man with no name" films with Clint Eastwood) filmmaker Sergio Leone's trademark cinema style and flair for clear storytelling is instantly recognizable. This is no truer than in his most ambitious effort, Once Upon a Time in America, in which his usage of close-ups, concise camera movement, sound transitions and syncs, and the sudden change in some scenes from tenderness to violence. And, he pulls it off without making the viewer feel dis-interested. Of course, it's hard to feel that way when watching the cast he has put together; even the child actors (one of which a young Jennifer Connelly as the young Deborah) are believable. Robert De Niro projects his subtitles like a pro, with his occasional outburst in the right place; James Woods gives one of his first great performances as Max; Elizabeth McGovern is the heart of the film; and Joe Pesci should've had more than just a one scene appearance, thought it's still good.

It's a story of life-long friends, in the tradition of the Godfather movies with obvious differences, and the story cuts back and forth to Noodles (De Niro) in his old age returning from exile, looking back on his childhood in Brooklyn, his rise to power with his partners, and the twists come quite unexpectedly. The pace is slow, but not detrimental, and it gives the viewer time to let the emotions sink in. The story is also non-linear, and yet doesn't give away facts to the viewer- this is something that more than likely influenced Tarantino (and many others) in style. By the end, every detail that has mounted up makes the whole experience rather fulfilling, if not perfect. Finally, I'd like to point out the exceptional musical score. Ennio Morricone, as it says on this site, has scored over four hundred films in forty years, including Leone's movies. This would have to be, arguably, one of his ten best works- his score is equally lively, saddened, intense, and perhaps majestic for a gangster epic. Overall, it's filled with the same spirit Leone had in directing the picture, and it corresponds beautifully- there are some scenes in this film that would simply not work without the strings. Grade: A

Was the above review useful to you?
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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why this movie got zero Oscar nomination? sean1019
It pains me to see so much hate for this film joet1999
Structure Peter-174
251 minute cut Zbriden
One of the best gangster movies if not th best mattieladdd
Bothered with the soundtrack blindg
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