“Once Upon a Time in America” is a classic gangster movie that is still imprinted in the hearts of audiences. However, the ending of the film left too many answers for the audience. The ambiguity of the movie can make it a mystery and mysterious story. “Once Upon a Time in America” tells the story of a Jewish gang who ascended to heaven during Prohibition and returned to the Lower East Side of Manhattan 35 years later. Now he must face the shadows and regrets of his past life. Each scene of the film brings different themes such as childhood friendship, lust, love, greed, deception, destruction and broken interpersonal relationships, and the simultaneous rise of American thugs.
The legendary 1984 film “Once Upon a Time in America” was directed by Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone and produced by Arnon Milchan. It stars Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Percy, Burt Young, Tuesday Weld and Tritt Williams. This film is adapted from Harry Gray’s novel “The Hood”. It shows the chronicles of the lives of two best friends David “Noodle” Aaronson and Maximilian “Max” Berkovic, who led a group of young people as Jewish gangsters in a world of organized crime Rise to fame. This film artistically shows different levels of gang life, putting you in a land full of uncertainty and mystery.
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The previous ending in the United States explained- How did the role of Mr. Bailey appear?
At the end of Huang Feihong in the United States, we saw a turning point that turned the audience’s mind into a chaotic ball, and that was the secretary/sir. Bailey. It turns out that Bailey’s secretary is Max. Most of us think that Max was killed by the police. However, the ending does not seem to be the case. Noodles met Bailey at his party. Noodles learned that Max had faked his death with the help of corrupt police so that he could steal the money from the gang and his woman (Deborah), then run away and establish a new life with a new identity. He succeeded done.
Mr. Bailey seems to be a weak immigrant. He married a wealthy woman who died in childbirth. That kid turned out to be David, he was the young man who met Deborah in Noodles. Max turned out to be Mr. Bailey and was one of the major twists and turns of Huang Feihong in the United States.
Why did Deborah choose Mr. Bailey in the end?
The other main question was about Deborah’s choice of Mr. Bailey, also known as Max. This makes the audience confused about her thoughts. In 1968, Noodles discovered that Deborah had become a successful actress. She has always lived with this Mr. Bailey, he is Max. No clear answer was found, why Deborah decided to be with Max when she liked noodles. Besides, it seems impossible for Deborah to love Max. There are various assumptions, but there is no clear answer. However, she seems to have gone through a difficult period because of the noodles, longing for success, freedom, fame and wealth. When he raped her, her love for noodles seemed to end. In order to get rid of the miserable life before, Max gave her a better choice-Mr. Bailey, a person with status and wealth. Maybe she needs it more than anything in life. As we grow older, we prefer stability and safety, which is what she looked like when she chose Max after all.
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Has Mr. Bailey ever died in the United States?
The ending scene made the audience wonder about Mr. Bailey’s death. The scene did not show whether he was really dead. We see that when he meets Noodles, Max’s current life as Mr. Bailey has been completely reversed. Because of the car workshop, he is now in big trouble. Therefore, Max asked the noodles to kill him, but he immediately refused, not wanting to be part of his plan again. Because for the noodles, Max had already died with the gang, and Mr. Bailey had nothing to do with him.
Finally, Noodles left the manor, but the garbage truck moved when a man came out. Before they could meet, the garbage truck passed by. Then all he saw was that no one was standing there. The possibility of Max being assassinated there is high, because there is no scene of blood, weirdness or broken bones, he cannot commit suicide. In addition, it is impossible for Max to throw himself into the auger because it clearly shows that he is walking towards Noodles. So in the end, what may be left is that Max was assassinated. Even the director Sergio Leone wants the audience to imagine the scene to their fullest.
What does the noodle grin at the end of “Once Upon a Time” in the United States mean?
The strangest thing that made the audience curious was the smile on the face of the noodles at the end of Huang Feihong in the United States. Again, there is no clear or correct answer to this question. His smile may have many meanings, such as he lost his mind because of remorse and betrayal, he recalled his past with friends and lovers, or finally understood Max’s plan to escape from the miserable hooligan life, and so on. But the hypothesis that fits the plot is the first and last one. Either he lost his mind or he understood Max’s plan.
It shows that Noodles has experienced the betrayal of Deborah and Max for many years, and before that, he had also griefed and blamed himself for the same Max for many years. It is not surprising if this affects his mentality. Maybe he just wanted to forget everything and imagine that nothing happened, such as his past, the death of the gang, the reunion with the betrayal, etc., which would make him feel empty. Therefore, because of this emptiness, he still feels hopeless. He doesn’t know what his future will be, because of the suffering he has suffered over the years. This scene leaves all kinds of space for possibility and ambiguity. But this is what makes the movie “Once Upon a Time in America” a beautiful sight worth seeing.If you want to watch this movie again, it can be Netflix with Amazon Prime Video.
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