ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA
Chapter 11, Once Upon a Time In America, page 412, an outline for the shooting script as it existed in October 1981:
"1968. The same inscription from Isaiah 3.25, 'Your men will fall by the sword, your heroes in the fight,' is seen over the entrance to an elaborate marble mausoleum in Riversdale cemetery. As Noodles [Robert de Niro] enters, he hears 'music he hasn't heard in years' - Cockeye's flute, piped into the building from two loudspeakers. When he closes the door, it stops. It is the tomb of Maximilian Berkovicz 1908-1933, Patrick Goldberg 1909-1933 and Philip Stein 1909-1933, and the building has apparently been 'erected to their everlasting memory by their friend and brother David Aaronson - Noodles. 1967.' As Noodles reaches for a little key, hanging from the 'd' in Noodles - the woman director of Riversdale enters the tomb and tells him that Mr. Aaronson 'left the whole thing up to us,' sent a tape of the music, and paid through a foreign bank. She is upset that the gardener let Mr. Williams [the name under which Noodles is living in old age] into the mausoleum when he isn't a relative."
page 458-9: "By February 1983, Sergio Leone had ten hours of usuable footage in the can. This was pruned to six hours. Then, finally accepting that there was unlikely to be a two-part version, Leone delivered a fine cut of three hours and forty-nine minutes. Leone's biggest regret over the lost material was that 'most of it concerned relationships with women.' To the cutting room floor were consigned all of Louise Fletcher's performance as the director of Riversdale Cemetery..."
Copyright 2000 Faber and Faber.