Saturday, February 6, 2016

707. Once Upon A Time In America

Once Upon A Time In America
Directed by Sergio Leone

Anyone who is a frequent reader of my blog will know what's coming with this one.  I will obviously dislike this film for having such a graphic rape scene.  I actually was looking online right before I started writing this post to see what other people thought of that part.  I found a forum where the general consensus seemed to be it was partly Deborah's fault because she kissed him first.  I had to close the window before my head exploded.

Anyway, I will try to cover the entire movie with this review.  This story isn't told chronologically and the running time is quite long so I will give as succinct of a summary as I can. Basically, the film tells the story of four Jewish gangsters in New York City.  The movie spans decades and we become extremely well acquainted with these men, who are all pretty much the worst.

I think a lot of people will say that the rape scene is necessary, that it worked, and that it wasn't gratuitous.  Perhaps all that is true, although I am still incredibly sick of having to see sexual violence play out on screen.  It still is frustrating and baffling how the characters behave after this event.  I am particularly annoyed at the ending, but, as always, I will abstain from spoilers.

Still, there is no denying that this is an extremely well made film and one that warrants a place on The List.  Can you imagine how my review for Irreversible will go?

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Jodie Foster turned down the role of Deborah.

Sergio Leone has suggested that the film could be an opium induced dream of Noodles'.


  1. You ended up giving it 4 stars, a result I'd pretty much agree with .. you don't do 1/2 stars do you?
    We've been here before on the subject of depictions of rape in films. I'm a bit uneasy in saying I think they can be "necessary, that it worked, and that it wasn't gratuitous. ", and this is one of those cases. It is shown as unpleasant, nasty, and heartbreaking. I'd go further's even better in that it shows how it damages HIS own life as well. That is rare, and would be a good thing if shown more often.

    1. I suppose although I was always under the impression he seemed more upset about losing his friends than the rape.

  2. I think the problem is precisely that. We are supposed to feel sorry for him but there is no indication of HER feelings or the rape's repercussions for her. She is just raped to make his story progress as always. This happens also with Carol and the girl from the start. Seriously you can't use violence against women as a frivolous resource to establish a male character.

    1. Completely agree. It's so frustrating.