Once Upon A Time In America… Redux

While Sergio Leone is best known for his Man With No Name Trilogy, one of the finest films he made was Once Upon a Time in America, a New York gangster film starring Robert De Niro and James Woods.

It looks like the 1984 classic is going to be fully restored by Italy’s Bologna Cinemetheque L’Immagine Ritrovata lab, using the latest digital techniques. The project is being supervised by the film’s original sound editor, Fausto Ancillai.

And as if that weren’t enough, 40 minutes of original footage is going to be added to it’s already impressive 229-minute running time!

Leone’s children, Andrea and Raffaella Leone, have acquired Italian rights to the film and aim to bow their restored version at either the Cannes or Venice festivals in 2012.

The Bologna Cinematheque is a world leader in film preservation which recently restored Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns and is also in charge of the Charlie Chaplin archives.

While this is sure to be exciting news for most, those who picked up the Warner Bros. released re-remastered on Blu-ray in Janurary might be upset about the prospect of having to by the film again. Though it should be noted that as of yet no release date has been set for the extended cut.

The upcoming 269 minute cut of America will allow fans to see the film as it was originally presented at it’s world premiered in Cannes in 1984.

After Cannes, the film was severely cut down to 139 minutes for its U.S. release, which angered many critics at the time.

As well has hitting the festival circuit it seems the powers that be are considering a theatrical release in Italy. Hopefully they’ll look state side as well.

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Source: Variety