December 12, 1970 —
One of our favorite movies is Sergio Leone's masterpiece "Once Upon a Time in America". It's like if "The Godfather" was Jewish. We highly recommend picking it up in your local video store, that is if you have four hours to spare.
But we do have a bone to pick with the movie, and it has everything to do with the casting. Sure, Robert De Niro and James Woods give terrific performances as the two leads (in fact, it just might be the best performance of De Niro's storied career), but... in a movie about the Jewish mafia, shouldn't the two leads be Jewish?
The closest we get to a Jew is the then-eleven-year-old Jennifer Connelly, who now is better known for her Supporting Oscar-winning turn in "A Beautiful Mind". And she is a half-Jew at that.
Way to un-Jew a Jewish classic, Hollywood. It's not like you cast a Jew instead of an Italian in a major role in "The Godfather".
October 22, 2008