A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Robert De Niro,
In October 1975, Sergio Leone visited Canada to scout locations around Montreal, where there were more 1930s décor and architecture than New York City (and also has a history, as the epicenter of Prohibition). During this time, he declared that part of the story would be set in Canada, with an important role prepared for Robert Charlebois. See more »
In 1968, Noodles rents a 1962 Pontiac, which is far too old to be in a rental fleet. See more »
[In 1933, three goons question a young woman about Noodles]
Where is he? Where's he hiding?
I don't know... I've been looking for him since yesterday.
[second goon slaps her harshly; she falls onto the bed]
I'm gonna ask you for the last time: where is he?
I don't know... what are you gonna do to him?
[second goon shoots her dead]
[to third goon]
Stay here in case that rat shows up.
One of Beefy's Thugs:
[...] See more »
UK cinema and video versions were cut by 10 secs by the BBFC to remove shots of a gun being pressed against a woman's breasts and to briefly shorten the rape scene in the car. The 2002 DVD is fully uncut. See more »
A wonderful epic that is really only about one man's regret - excellent
Noodles returns to the New York of his youth in response to an invitation to come and meet. His return is his first for half his life having fled New York to avoid being killed for ratting out his gangster friends. His return is mysterious and he doesn't know why he has been summoned. His return sparks memories of his childhood and adulthood growing up in the area with his friends and eventual business partners.
A three and a half hour movie may not be everyone's idea of fun. On the other hand, many people who see a running time over 180 minutes immediately assume it is an epic that must be `the greatest film ever made'. In this case the time is worth the effort, even if it a little luxurious and overlong. The plot is too sweeping to go into detail, encompassing 30 years in the main part and a further 30 by way of suggestion. Basically it comes down to Noodles memories of his life when he was growing up, up till the point we find him now, as an old man with little but those memories. As a story this is moving and involving. There are maybe too many lingering shots of Noodles staring into the distance but these don't feel as lazy as they have in other films.
Noodles past and the misery of him now is involving enough, but the main thread is Noodle's past, both childhood and adulthood in crime and love. The sheer detail that must be covered is well done. The film not only includes many major events but also minor things like the scene where the boy is tempted to eat a cream cake! This mix is very rewarding and makes it feel a lot more detailed than it actually is. The story is a real feel of several generations of crime and is very involving.
The cast make the film and hold the attention during the scenes that are longer than they should be etc. De Niro convinces as youth and bitter old man and holds the eye easily as both. Woods is much better than usual even if his character is the same. McGovern is good considering she has a minor role, but as an `old woman' she looks the same as she was when she was young. Actors like Williams, Aiello, Forsythe, Hayden etc easily fill out the gangster etc roles without falling into cliché or caricature. Just as rewarding are the child actors who carry the first hour of the film. Not only do they actually look like the actors in question, but they also do a very good job. There are some bum notes but they do mange the innocence of youth with the emotional basis for the rest of the film.
The direction is excellent both gritty streets but with an affectionate slant of Noodles' memories. The direction is made almost perfect by the use of Ennio Morricone's score. It is at once haunting but slightly warming and `Debra's theme' has become one of my favourite tunes. The overall effect is one of a rich tapestry that eventually weaves into a very personal epic of regret and loss.
An excellent film that deserves to be recognised as both one of the great crime epics but also a personal and moving film.
11 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this