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Once Upon a Time in America Is a Movie That Can Never Be Too Long

Once Upon a Time in America Is a Movie That Can Never Be Too Long

Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America is as epic as The Godfather, gorier than Goodfellas, and as streetwise as Mean Streets. It tells a full history, from childhood to old age, street hustles to political suicides, community toilets to opium dens. The version which is right now available on Netflix has been amazingly restored by Italy’s Bologna Cinematheque L’Immagine Ritrovata lab. I don’t think I have ever seen the film so clear, and it is a perennial to me, as is The Godfather.

It’s true, even the most devoted gangster fan and cinephile doesn’t watch Once Upon a Time in America as often as The Godfather, and it’s got Robert De Niro at his most gangta. For one thing, Leone’s film has never been as accessible. It is not shown regularly on any kind of broadcast channel, and even the

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