Monday, September 17, 2012

Opium Den

This is the third (and last) clip from Once Upon a Time in America. I wish I could find the original uncut version of this movie that is 269 minutes in length. The version I have is only 220 minutes, 9 minutes shorter than the version presented in the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. I don't know what I am missing, but I certainly do not agree with many, if not all the "professional" movie reviewers who analyzed this movie in many aspects. Incidentally, the majority agreed that this Sergio Leon's last movie is one of the very best movie made.

In this clip, which is at the very end of the movie, you see a "Noodles" De Niro sinking into the lowest point of his life, worse than when he was in prison. He finds solace in the bowels of opium dens. The movie ends with a focus on a grin on his face that opened all kinds of different interpretations of what director Leon was trying to convey.

All the reviews I read concluded that Noodles went into opium because he felt immense remorse after his betrayal of his friends and caused their deaths. I say the critics are all wrong. He sunk to that depth because of what he did to Deborah at the end of my previous clip that I chose not to include.

This clip now made me determined to look into movie scenes depicting opium smoking. There are plenty of movies for that, but the best scenes I remember are from Indochine and The Last Emperor. These clips will come next. Opium

1 comment:

Devich said...

Movies with opium and smoking.... The BBC has a lovely series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, in which they run an episode of Sherlock doing research in an opium den in order to find a missing man.