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Old 09-06-05, 09:18 PM   #1
Rypro 525
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Once Upon a Time in America, can somone explain the ending? (spoilers w/o tags

i rewatched it again a few nights ago, still don't understand the ending. Alright, we see Max go out to a garbage truck, and then it goes to DeNiro's character smoking Opium. the end. could this mean that the entire 60's scene was a dream? Also why didn't the woman that DeNiro raped make any mention of the rape when he see's her again in the 60's scene?
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Old 09-07-05, 08:28 AM   #2
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Spoiler tags are required for such related posts, in consideration for other forum members. Refer to link below for more info.

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=304204
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Old 09-07-05, 03:13 PM   #3
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The ending of Once Upon a Time in America brings us back full-circle to the beginning, which is actually the middle. The degree of ambiguity contained in the final shot is astonishing, providing a plethora of possible interpretations. With a story like this, it's far more intriguing and satisfying because we've entered Noodles' world and story through the portal of his mind.

there's no telling what this last shot means. Is the "future" portion of the narrative a construct of his imagination? An act of penance followed by resolution and redemption and the undoing of his culpability in the death of Max? Is it his imagined future... the one he hopes to live through? Or is that last shot simply indicative of the moment when the drug kicks in and pulls him out of the world he has created, giving him relief and peace, however false? Or is it the moment when he realizes that with Max and the others dead, he is finally free of that life? This is, after all, a shot that would precede his discovery of the empty suitcase in the locker.

It must have amused Leone to boggle the minds of his audience. This is the sort of ending that makes you want to sit through the entire movie again in search of "the answer". But there is no answer. Just speculation. Personally, I don't have the foggiest idea how to read it beyond Leone's intent to intrigue.

Last edited by Cygnet74; 09-07-05 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 09-07-05, 03:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
However, if the entire thread is dedicated to an element of a film that might spoiler it for another member, place a spoiler warning in the title of the thread in lieu of using spoiler tags within the thread.
This would be applicable, no?
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Old 09-07-05, 04:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cygnet74
The ending of Once Upon a Time in America brings us back full-circle to the beginning, which is actually the middle. The degree of ambiguity contained in the final shot is astonishing, providing a plethora of possible interpretations. With a story like this, it's far more intriguing and satisfying because we've entered Noodles' world and story through the portal of his mind.

there's no telling what this last shot means. Is the "future" portion of the narrative a construct of his imagination? An act of penance followed by resolution and redemption and the undoing of his culpability in the death of Max? Is it his imagined future... the one he hopes to live through? Or is that last shot simply indicative of the moment when the drug kicks in and pulls him out of the world he has created, giving him relief and peace, however false? Or is it the moment when he realizes that with Max and the others dead, he is finally free of that life? This is, after all, a shot that would precede his discovery of the empty suitcase in the locker.

It must have amused Leone to boggle the minds of his audience. This is the sort of ending that makes you want to sit through the entire movie again in search of "the answer". But there is no answer. Just speculation. Personally, I don't have the foggiest idea how to read it beyond Leone's intent to intrigue.
Wow, I got a really different meaning behind the ending.
I think it he dissapeared after the truck because he just left and that was the last time noodle will see him again. And the last shot of him in the opiem den was because he was remembering a happier time. That's what I got out of it.
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Old 09-07-05, 06:28 PM   #6
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well shit, I might have to watch it again, this time looking for any clues. Too bad Leone died before dvd's were around since he could give what the ending meant to him (if anythng)
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