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Cannes Classics: Once Upon a Time in America by Sergio Leone

Each year, Cannes Film Festival honors the classic works of filmmakers through the Cannes Classic programme. This year, one of the films that will be showcased is the 1984 crime film ‘Once Upon a Time in America’. Read more after the break.

Image via Movie Collection

Martin Scorsese established The Film Foundation in 1990 to preserve and restore motion pictures. To date, the foundation has saved more than 545 films. In this year’s Cannes Classics, a restored and reconstructed print of the 1984 film Once Upon a Time in America will be shown. The reconstructed movie will include additional 25 minutes of extra scenes based on the director’s cut. News reports say that the screening will be attended by Robert DeNiro, Jennifer Connelly, Elizabeth McGovern, Arnon Milchan, and the Leone family.

The film was based on the novel by Harry Grey entitled ‘The Hoods’. It tells the story of Jewish youths who dabble in the world of organized crime. Friendship, love, betrayal, greed, and broken relationships are some of the premises of the film and the story is told mostly through flashbacks of the characters’ lives from the 1920’s to the 1960’s in New York City.

Sergio Leone’s version of the film was initially 4 hours and 29 minutes long. However, the film had to be edited down to 3 hours and 49 minutes when it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984. Further cuts were made for the US release and the running time was down to 2 hours and 19 minutes, much to Leone’s dismay. This year’s Classic Cannes programme will premiere the director’s cut spanning 269 minutes. View the film’s trailer below:

Sources for this article include The Film Foundation, and this post.

written by jeanmendoza

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano.