David 'Noodles' Aaronson (Scott Tiler /Robert de Niro), is a Jewish kid from the mean streets of New York. He and his gang of friends run errands for the local street boss. With the newly arriving Max (Rusty Jacobs / James Woods), their gang gets to start making headway against other gangs. In this process, Noodles kills a rival and is send to jail for years.
Upon release, he is welcomed back into a successful prohibition and prostitution racket but in 1933 their gang is wiped out in an ambush. Only Noodles escapes. 30 years later a mysterious letter brings Noodles back to New York City. He's confronted with some difficult questions: Does he really want to know the truth, even if it threatens to tear down all the memories he holds so dear?
Release date: February 17, 1984
The Miami Beach scenes were actually filmed in St. Petersburg at the Don Cesar resort.
Sergio Leone: “So this adventure of Noodles, this dream, this search through time  can only be  a voyage induced by opium. Opium projects move you more towards the future than to the past. Here I say it and here I deny it  and may represent what the character imagines under effect of the drug.” Source / More (Book)
The movie is based on Harry Grey’s autobiographical novel, The Hoods Source / More (Book)
Director Leone can be seen as the ticket seller at the bus station.
Sergio Leone was offered the job of directing The Godfather, but refused, wanting to make his own gangster film, which eventually became Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Leone later regretted the decision.
In an interview to Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer Connely said she owed the role to the fact that her nose matched co-star Elizabeth McGovern’s.
Robert De Niro requested a private meeting with renowned crime boss, Meyer Lansky in preparation for his role as Noodles. The request was denied.
Initially the film started in a different way. Director Leone had written the first part with an American screenwriter who stole the story and sold it to John Frankenheimer. He made 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974) with it. Source / More (Book)
This week 43 years ago The gang that couldn’t shoot straight premiered (December 22, 1971)
August 17, 1943
Robert De Niro was born and grew up in New York City (USA). He was trained for the stage by Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg. In the sixties De Niro appeared in several low-budget Brian de Palma movies but first gained fame for his role in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973).
His incisive performance as a simple minded hood in Scorsese's Mean streets started an ongoing working relationship between the actor and the director. De Niro’s breakthrough role was that of the young Vito Corleone in the flashback sequences of The Godfather II (1974). In 1980, De Niro gained 50 pounds to play boxer Jake LaMotta in Scorsese's Raging Bull.
For the next 10 years, he branched out into a number of different types of films. Robert made his directional debut in 1993 with A Bronx Tale. In 2006 he directed the historic epic The Good Shepherd starring Matt Damon. De Niro will work again with Michael Mann. Mann is likely to direct Robert in Frankie Machine, a new mob flick that Martin Scorsese was to direct before dropping out.
1992 Nominated Leading Role for: Cape Fear (1991)
1991 Nominated Leading Role for: Awakenings (1990)
1981 Won Oscar Leading Role for: Raging Bull (1980)
1979 Nominated Leading Role for: The Deer Hunter (1978)
1977 Nominated Leading Role for: Taxi Driver (1976)
1975 Won Oscar Supporting Role for: The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Douglas Brode -> The Films of Robert De Niro (1996)
John Parker -> De Niro (1995)