TV & Radio
Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 Italian/American epic crime film directed and co-written by Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. The story chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City's world of organized crime. The film explores themes of childhood friendships, love, lust, greed, betrayal, loss, broken relationships, and the rise of mobsters in American society.
Leone adapted the story from the novel The Hoods, written by Harry Grey, while filming Once Upon a Time in the West. From there, Leone began production of Once Upon a Time in America. The film went through various casting developments and production issues before filming began in 1982.
The film premiered out of competition at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival in its original running time of 229 minutes (3 hours 49 minutes) where it received critical acclaim. However, Once Upon a Time in America was heavily edited against the director's wishes for its June 1, 1984, release. The short version changed the flashback narrative by moving the scenes in chronological order. Leone was reportedly heartbroken by the American cut, and never made another film before his...