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ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA

USA, 1983 (MIFF 1997, Spaghetti al Leone)

Director: Sergio Leone

Leone's final masterpiece, a stylistically bold gangster epic spanning five decades of this century, features De Niro and James Woods as childhood pals and aspiring mobsters who fol­low divergent paths as adult racketeers. The film is told via a complex narrative structure which moves lyrically between various time periods and flashbacks within flashbacks. The ambitious project had been in development since 1971 but was held up by numerous script rewrites, financ­ing difficulties and problems over rights to the source book, The Hoods by Harry Grey (Harry Goldberg), the largely autobiographical reminis­cences of a retired mob killer.

The full-length version which will be shown in the Festival premiered at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival and subsequently played theatrically in major European territories and Australia. But for its American release the film was cut by 82 min­utes and re-arranged into a roughly chronological structure that deleted the many plot transitions and robbed the original of its poetic intensity.

See also...

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ZATOICHI

Japan, 2004
Zatoichi Japan'a variation on Kurosawa's Yojimbo, which became Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars' Zatoichi is as good as, probably better than, Kill Bill.' -The GuardianWinner of the audience award… More »

SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO

Japan, 2007
“Tighten your saddlebags, load your revolvers, pack your chopsticks and join [Takashi] Miike for an outrageous wagon ride into the wild, wild East.” - Toronto International Film FestivalIn is his… More »

EL MARIACHI

USA, 1992
Wildly energetic and resourceful, this action-adventure/romantic-comedy hybrid must be, at $7,000, the cheapest feature ever picked up for release by a major Hollywood studio (Columbia Pictures also … More »

A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS

Italy/Germany/Spain, 1964
The Man With No Name and seemingly no past, a laconic gringo and quintessential anti-hero who kills for profit, rides into an impover­ished town that is being torn apart by a power struggle for l… More »

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