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Once Upon A Time In America: Special Edition (2 Discs)

Released on 23 June 2003

Featuring: Robert De Niro, James Woods & Elizabeth McGovern

Format: DVD | Rating: 18 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (22 customer reviews) | Write a review

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They grew up in the violent immigrant ghetto of New York's Lower East Side: Max and Noodles, Cockeye and Patsy, Deborah and Fat Moe. They grew up on the streets and they grew up fast. Fighting their way to the top of the heap, they took a vow to stick together but that's not how things worked out. Leone's commanding epic traces the destinies of four men from childhood on the streets through their violent rise to power and maturity during Prohibition as fully fledged hoods. De Niro is magnificent as "Noodles" Aaronson, one of the four, forced by murder and betrayal to flee New York in 1933. When he is mysteriously summoned back in 1968, he discovers that the tragic and bloody events surrounding his betrayal are not as they once seemed...

'Once Upon A Time In America' is director Sergio Leone's astonishing gangster melodrama, an epic exploration of the dark side of the American dream. Ten years in the planning, Leone's film is the work of a master storyteller - grandly conceived, rich in detail and thrilling in the depth and originality of its vision.
  • Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By purchasing this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age and over.
  • Audio commentary from critic Richard Schickel
  • 'Once Upon A Time: Sergio Leone' (20 mins)
  • Photo gallery - rare behind the scenes stills
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Interactive menu
  • Scene access

customer Reviews

 Average rating (22 reviews)

 IT'S NOT A COWBOY

| | See all CANNING's reviews (1)

I first saw this film about 20 years ago. It was recommended by a friend. I wasn't all that keen at first because I thought it was a cowboy film [western, in todays terms]. How wrong I was. This film has so many dimensions. It goes back and forth, which may put some off when reading this, but my goodness, is it compelling. The time flies by. [ I understand the orginal was a few hours longer] loyalty, betrayal, violence and ' love' are all here plus twists and turns. This is the best Gangster film ever. Forget the others. This is THE number 1. The Godfather may come a close 2nd.

The music score is haunting. So beautiful. And when you hear that phone ring, it will stay with you forever. You must see this film. You will never forget it. Every time I watch this film, I see something new. And it's a film you will want to watch many times over, Make the time.

 AN EPIC OPERATIC MASTERPIECE!

| | See all SECTION8's reviews (1336)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer

On this films release way back in 1984, the film was edited for the running time and sank at the box-office.
Now this film has been restored to how it should have been seen. The film portray's 50 years of underworld history, with a remarkable cast.lead by Robert De Niro, James woods and Joe Pesci. At a running time of almost four hours the film is spread over two disc's.But the film is so gripping, and as soon as disc one has ended you will no doubt be slamming disc two in, to complete this riveting masterpiece.
This film deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as The Godfather Trilogy and Goodfellas as the best gangster movies ever made!

 AN EPIC OPERATIC MASTERPIECE!

| | See all MovieAddict's reviews (1336)

Top 10  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer

On this films release way back in 1984, the film was edited for the running time and sank at the box-office.
Now this film has been restored to how it should have been seen. The film portray's 50 years of underworld history, with a remarkable cast.lead by Robert De Niro, James woods and Joe Pesci. At a running time of almost four hours the film is spread over two disc's.But the film is so gripping, and as soon as disc one has ended you will no doubt be slamming disc two in, to complete this riveting masterpiece.
This film deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as The Godfather Trilogy and Goodfellas as the best gangster movies ever made!

 BEST CRIME FILM EVER. A MASTERPIECE

| | See all gameking's reviews (3)

I've seen just about all the classic ganster films. The godfather,scarface, carlitos way, donny brasco, goodfellas,millers crossing etc. And i have to say this is one film you will never forget .Yes its very long, but at no point do you ever think about this. Its expertly written and has an amazing cast. you must see this film ,no words can describe how good this film is.
just buy it
you wont be dissapointed

 Overrated.

| | See all FrankyBoy's reviews (17)

'Once Upon A Time In America' is hailed by many as a masterpiece. The Godfather I and II are hailed by many as classics. The latter lives up to its claim, whereas the former falls way short. And here's why:

Both the Godfather/s and 'Once Upon A Time In America' display impressive cinematography, but that is where the similarities end. The narrative in 'Once Upon A Time In America' is fragmented and ultimately ambiguous. The protagonists, despite reasonable performances from Robert De Niro and James Woods, evoke little concern as to what will become of them. They are hollow and heartless criminals devoid of any redeeming feature that may have endeared them to the audience in some small way. This is a very important point, especially since I found myself genuinely sympathizing at times with Michael and Vito Corleone in the Godfather I and II, and Daniel Plainview in the recent film 'There Will Be Blood', all of whom are sinister megalomaniacs. Noodles (De Niro) and Max (Woods) on the other hand failed completely to stir any such feelings within me. The more of the film I saw, the less I cared about the characters.

Furthermore, I have some gripes with the soundtrack. The music in itself isn't bad, but it is poorly executed and incongruous with the mood of some scenes. Alas, the quintessential film making depicted in Leone's spaghetti westerns are not apparent in this film.

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ActorsRobert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams, Tuesday Weld, Burt Young, Joe Pesci, Danny Aiello, William Forsythe, Mario Brega, James Russo & Jennifer Connelly
DirectorSergio Leone
Certificate18 years and over
Year1984
ScreenWidescreen 1.85:1
LanguagesFrench, English - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Additional LanguagesFrench
SubtitlesEnglish ; English for the hearing impaired ; Italian
Duration3 hours and 40 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.