Hot on the heels of Warner Bros.' successful release of the director's cut of Ridley Scott's 1982 "Blade Runner," the studio has announced that it will release a three-hour 45-minute cut of Sergio Leone's 1984 masterpiece, "Once Upon a Time in America," starring Robert De Niro, James Woods, Joe Pesci, Elizabeth McGovern and Burt Young.
Leone's haunting epic employs a complex and resonant memory/flashback structure (similar to that used in "The Godfather, Part II") as it spans five decades in the lives of a group of Jewish-immigrant gangsters on New York's Lower East Side, from the Prohibition era to the late '60s.Although the movie originally was released in a severely mutilated, chronologically rearranged version, the restored cut has been available on video. The long version was my choice for best film of the 1980s.
It was the last film made by the late Leone, best known as the director of elegiac, operatic Westerns such as "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." "Once Upon a Time in America" will be re-released Oct. 23 at the Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles. Other dates have not been confirmed.
- Redford says it all: After watching a half-hour HBO special on Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It" (which I advise that you refrain from seeing until after you've seen the movie because it shows many of the best moments), I'm even more impressed with Redford's narration in the film.
In the special, an older man's voice is heard reading from Norman Maclean's book, and although the differences are subtle, "A River Runs Through It" absolutely depends on subtlety.
Apparently, the narration in HBO's "First Look," which will be repeated several times this month, is one of many that Redford recorded and discarded before settling on his own voice. The problem with this narration is that it's a little too willing to underline the author's humor or wistfulness. The tone of the narration spoken by Redford in the finished film, however, is marvelously transparent, allowing the viewer to supply the emotions rather than ladling them on in the voice-over.
- Frostbite: In an apparent response to Premiere magazine's annual ego-pandering 100 Most Powerful People in Hollywood list, that nasty Film Threat (which bills itself as "the other movie magazine") has come up with its own list: The Second Annual Frigid 50: The Coldest People in Hollywood. It's careers not dispositions that Film Threat is ranking.
"To become measurably frosty," the introduction says, "one must have had some degree of power, influence or `heat' at one time."
Although the mag admits that certain reputations are "subject to rapid thawing," the top five freezers are: Steven Spielberg, Julia Roberts, Vanilla Ice, Andrew Dice Clay and George Lucas. Others on the fridge list are: Michael Jackson, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Turner, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Cruise, Film Threat itself and, as always, Original Ideas.