MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 140 this week

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

8.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 171,045 users  
Reviews: 469 user | 97 critic

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 16 Jul 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 23 Feb 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 02 Apr 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 09 Aug 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Once Upon a Time in America (1984) on IMDb 8.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Once Upon a Time in America.

User Polls

Top 250 #79 | Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 20 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Epic story of a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale
Casino (1995)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two mobster best friends and a trophy wife over a gambling empire.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Taxi Driver (1976)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring, destroys his life outside it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Goodfellas (1990)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci
Scarface (1983)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel while succumbing to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam war impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions, team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté
Unforgiven (1992)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

During the U.S.-Viet Nam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
Heat (1995)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Joe
...
...
...
Richard Bright ...
James Hayden ...
...
...
Eve (as Darlanne Fleugel)
Larry Rapp ...
Richard Foronjy ...
Officer 'Fartface' Whitey (as Richard Foronji)
...
Edit

Storyline

Epic tale of a group of Jewish gangsters in New York, from childhood, through their glory years during prohibition, and their meeting again 35 years later. Written by Andrew Welsh <andreww@bnr.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Crime, passion and lust for power - Sergio Leone's explosive saga of gangland America. [Australia Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexual content, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 September 1984 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Érase una vez en América  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-cut) | (Director's Cut Extended Edition) ( 2012)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the early stages of production, Gérard Depardieu was cast to play the young Noodles, and Jean Gardner was going to play the old Noodles. Depardieau said that he was willing to learn Enlgish with a Brooklynese accent for the role. See more »

Goofs

When Deborah removes her theatrical make-up, her hands get covered a mix of greasepaint and make-up remover. When she says "I thought you might know why"- "Me? Why me?" they're clean. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[In 1933, two goons rudely question a young woman]
Beefy: Where is he? Where's he hiding?
Eve: I don't know... I've been looking for him since yesterday.
[second goon slaps her harshly; she falls onto the bed]
Beefy: I'm gonna ask you for the last time: Where is he?
Eve: I don't know... What are you gonna do to him?
[Two shots are heard]
Beefy: [to his partner] Stay here in case that rat shows up...
See more »

Crazy Credits

For his cameo, Joey Faye is listed in the credits as playing the "adorable old man." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

'Summertime' from 'Porgy and Bess'
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by DuBose Heyward (as Dubose Hayward) and Ira Gershwin
Courtesy of Gershwin Publishing Company/Chappel and Co.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Mesmerizing and haunting tale of love, greed, regret, betrayal and revenge
29 October 1999 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

This is, for me, one of the finest examples of cinematic art. It isn't a simple, cut-n-dried 90 minute little package that gets wrapped up with a pretty bow at the end. You get pulled in by the enigmatic opening that unwinds the threads of the story to be found later. For many people having half an hour of purely visual story telling, of stories that are only mysteries at that point, before anything becomes truly linear is difficult to follow and discourages to many people. Our own memories are only snippets that only become linear as we concentrate on scenes from our lives. Once Upon a Time in America is like that as we follow Noodles through the `significant' part of his life - the times that formed him. When the story actually starts, we meet the girl that he always loved but could never have.

David `Noodles' Aaronson (DeNiro) was a kid on the very mean streets of Brooklyn when organized crime was born in America and he grew into and out of it. That's the simplest synopsis of the plot. The reality is that this isn't a movie about gangsters. Being a gangster is the easiest way for Noodles to survive and get ahead, but it also alienates and ruins his one love. Whenever he is close to giving himself to Deborah he always gets pulled back into the gang, in some form or another.

DeNiro's portrayal is of a gangster, through and through, who also has a conscience that, while not preventing him from being a ruthless killer, rules his life with regret, remorse and guilt. Leone takes a bit of poet/historic license by showing the Brooklyn Bridge being built in the background (the bridge had been built 40 years before), but it symbolizes Noodles' own growth. When the bridge is just pilings and incomplete towers, Noodles is just forming his future. By the time the bridge is complete, Noodles is nothing but a gangster and the bridge is majestic. When he returns 35 years later our view of the bridge is from under a freeway -- the world has moved along, but the bridge and Noodles are just as they were.

The length: If you're looking for a brief distraction that you'll barely remember 30 minutes later, this isn't the movie for you. However, if you are prepared and able to be undistributed for the nearly 4 hours that this film uses to compress a lifetime -- you will be rewarded with many facets of thought and examination.


214 of 252 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
251 minute cut Zbriden
Extended Directors versions (NEW) lb2121
Structure Peter-174
Bothered with the soundtrack blindg
It pains me to see so much hate for this film joet1999
anyone else think the only thing that ruined this film was the ending? Vicofdib
Discuss Once Upon a Time in America (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page