PicturePresented anamorphically and framed
at 1.85:1, this 20 year old film looks far
better than anyone had the right to
expect. Leone's lush cinematography
is well served by the transfer's colour
reproduction - never in our experience
have brown and grey looked quite so
vibrant. An even nicer surprise is the
lack of electronic artefacting or grain,
even in the darker scenes such as
Noodles' opium den shenanigans at
the very beginning of the film. Shadow
detail is high and light sources are nice
and strong, too.
SoundMuch of the emotional impact of Once
Upon a Time in America comes from
Ennio Morricone's score, so it is just
as well that there is plenty of bass in
the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix offered here.
Accuracy levels are high, with the
surrounds being used well to create
an involving atmosphere - as in the
marketplace flashback early on.
ExtrasGiven the amount of work that has
obviously gone into getting the transfer
and soundtrack for this DVD up to
snuff, you would think that the extras
would be a little bit more spectacular
than they actually are. They consist
of a commentary from film historian
Richard Schickel, a documentary
about Leone's quest to make the
film, a photo gallery and a trailer.
VerdictThe culmination of Sergio Leone's
filmmaking career on a fine double-disc
set. How can you say no?
Our Review Ethos
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