Archive of films Once Upon a Time in America / Once Upon a Time in America

1984, 229 min

Section: Tribute to Sergio Leone
Year: 2004

This monumental film fresco, drawn from the life of the New York Jewish mafia, follows five friends over the course of forty years. Leone’s magnum opus, with superb acting performances by Robert De Niro, James Woods and many others, is a nostalgic look back at an epoch when the voice of a union leader packed more of a punch when backed by a gangster’s machine gun. 


A story of Jewish gangsters whose strongest weapon is their unshakeable faith in friendship. Noodles (Robert De Niro) is the gloomy protagonist of Sergio Leone’s lifetime project, a work which plays out in three timeframes. From Chinese opium dens and celebrations for the end of Prohibition, the film goes back eleven years to the early 1920s to witness the birth of the friendship between Noodles and the ambitious Max (James Woods). They and three other cohorts embark on an exciting, though short-lived life of crime. Bootleg liquor, extortion and diamond heists are some of the livelihoods chosen by this branch of the Jewish mafia in New York’s Lower East Side. Thirty-five years later we meet up with Noodles again as he returns from voluntary exile to places he was once happy. Leone’s magnum opus is at the same time his most personal film. His perfect reconstruction of bygone eras is set, once again, to Ennio Morricone’s music, whose melancholy tones sensitively exemplify this bittersweet look back at an epoch that will never return. In this film essay on the strength of memories, the director included many motifs drawn from his childhood on the streets of Rome and in the darkened auditoriums of the movie theatre.

About the director

See Tribute to Sergio Leone 


Hollywood Classics
Suite 31, Beaufort Court, Admirals Way, E14 9XL, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 517 7525
E-mail: [email protected]

New Regency Enterprises
10201 W. Pico Blvd., Bldg. 12, CA 90035, Los Angeles
United States of America
Tel: +1 310 369 8300
Fax: +1 310 969 0470
E-mail: [email protected]

Warner Bros
4000 Warner Boulevard, CA 91522, Burbank
United States of America
Tel: +1 818 954 3058
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Sergio Leone
Director: Sergio Leone
Screenplay: Sergio Leone, Leonardo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi, Enrico Medioli, Franco Arcalli, Franco Ferrini
Dir. of Photography: Tonino Delli Colli
Music: Ennio Morricone
Editor: Nino Baragli
Producer: Arnon Milchan
Production: New Regency Productions
Cast: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young, Tuesday Weld, Treat Williams a další
Contact: Hollywood Classics, New Regency Enterprises, Warner Bros

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