main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: Once Upon a Time in America
  • Adaptation Displacement: Many don't even realize that Harry Grey's book exists.
  • Award Snub: Ennio Morricone's score was not nominated for an Oscar thanks to an error on the submission form.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: For what is otherwise heavy-going material, there are a couple; namely Max's purchase of an elaborate chair that was a gift to a Pope.
    • And according to the commentary it may even be a self-deprecating joke, as Leone was an avid furniture collector.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Noodles' reunion with Max.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Naturally, as it has a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. Not only that, but Sergio Leone considered the film's soundtrack the best work that Morricone had ever done for him. Just think about that for a second.
    • Particularly awesome: Morricone's instrumentals of The Beatles' "Yesterday"—which ultimately brings the poignancy of Noodles's reunion with Max Up to Eleven.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Crossed by Noodles himself when he rapes Deborah in the back of a moving taxi. Granted, he does rape Carol (sort of - one one hand, she kinda goads him, but on the other, she appears to really dislike him) earlier in the movie, but that one's relatively emotionless on both ends and you're not stuck watching it during the heist. Since Deborah is the only character in the movie who the viewer has a conventionally positive investment in, not to mention how Noodles rips her dress apart for round two when you think/hope it's over and he's already got her in the palm of his hand, it's tough stuff. Really makes that bitch-slap from Michael to Kay in The Godfather Part II look tame.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Jennifer Connelly as the young Deborah.
  • Retroactive Recognition: 14 year old Jennifer Connelly makes her film debut as the young Deborah.
  • Tear Jerker: Poor Little Dominic. The music makes it even worse when it... happens.
  • Vindicated by History: A longer Director's Cut was made available, and was hailed as a better version.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy