Saturday Night at Market Chess Cinemas
When we think of epic crime/gangster drama films, Once Upon a Time in America (1984) often seems to fall through the cracks.
But that is a mistake in my view, as this film is gripping, poignant, and as impressive as any gangster film in the genre. The film headlines Robert De Niro, James Woods, and Joe Pesci. Directed by the great Sergio Leone, the film fuses together some of the greatest talents in the history of cinema.
Adapted from Harry Grey's novel The Hoods, and chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City's world of organized crime.
Once Upon a Time in America also marked the final film of Leone's storied career. Even though his life was cut short too soon, at 60, his dedication to this film over a full decade can be seen in the quality of the finished product.