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Finally, in 1968, years after the partnership between Woods and De Niro ended, Woods is now a wealthy man, whose crimes are finally being dug up by certain investigators. He wishes to end his life, but he wants De Niro to do it for him. To tell what happens would be an injustice to the people reading this right now. I loved every minute of this film. Once again, Sergio Leone (Once Upon A Time In The West) proves his status as a great director with this, probably his masterpiece, poignant look at gangster life and the people that surround it. De Niro and Woods play off each other excellently. There is a good supporting cast which includes Treat Williams as a union boss, Danny Aiello as a nosy cop, Elizabeth McGovern as De Niro's love and Jennifer Connelly as the younger version of McGovern. The sets and cinematography are exquisite, showing three different eras in America.
As for the cut version, I can see why this wasn't a success. Key elements in the plot are never explained, as they are in the original version. It goes in chronological order, which doesn't seem to help it one bit, considering that (as it was done in the original version) you needed the scenes from the later eras to flashback and explain who certain characters were. Once Upon A Time In America did not get the acclaim it should have gotten, simply because it was shorn of 88 minutes worth of footage.