Once Upon A Time in America - Production - Filming

Filming

The film was shot between June 14, 1982, and April 22, 1983. Leone also tried, as he had with A Fistful of Dynamite, to produce the film with a younger director under him. In the early days of the project he courted John Milius, a fan of his who was enthusiastic about the idea; but Milius was working on The Wind and the Lion and the script for Apocalypse Now, and could not commit to the project. For the film's visual style, Leone used as references the paintings of such artists as Reginald Marsh, Edward Hopper, and Norman Rockwell, as well as (for the 1922 sequences) the photographs of Jacob Riis. F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous novel The Great Gatsby also influenced the characterization of Noodles (or at least his relationship with Deborah).

Most of the exteriors were shot on location in New York City (such as along South 6th Street and South 8th Street in Williamsburg), but several key scenes were shot elsewhere. Max and Noodles's beating by Bugsy and most of the interiors were shot in Cinecittà in Rome. The beach scene where Max unveils his plan to rob the Federal Reserve was shot in St. Petersburg, Florida. The interiors of the lavish restaurant where Noodles takes Deborah on their date were shot in the Hotel Excelsior in Venice, Italy. The gang's hit on Joe was filmed in Quebec. The famous view of the Manhattan Bridge shown in the movie's official poster can be seen from Washington Street in Brooklyn.

Read more about this topic:  Once Upon A Time In America, Production

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