Sergio Leone is part of that rare breed of director who somehow managed to get better with age. Having averaged a movie every other year in the 1960's, he capped off that fine decade with his peerless Once Upon a Time in the West. The epic was a defining addition to the genre but aside from A Fist Full of Dynamite in 1971, it would be 15 years before his next full feature. But boy oh boy, wasn't it full.
Once Upon a Time in America opened at the Cannes film festival in 1984 in a cut which ran for over 4 hours. The film was then released state-side where it was butchered to just over half the original length, and in a new chronological order.
The great Spaniard was understandably not pleased. A three hour version would make it to TV in the 90's, and a 229 minute VHS cut would be released around that time too, but it would take until 2012, back at Cannes, almost 3 decades after its release, that the full 251 minute version would screen again. Now this long awaited version can be yours.
This Bluray box set will feature the fully restored 251 minutes version as well as a crisp looking 32-page booklet, a making-of documentary and, for comparisons sake, the 1984 theatrical cut.
Here's QT gushing over Robert De Niro's performance in the film. Let us know if you'll be picking up a copy below.