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The Legend of 1900 (1998)
"La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano" (original title)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 31,763 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 227 user | 67 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

A baby boy, discovered in 1900 on an ocean liner, grows into a musical prodigy, never setting foot on land.

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(monologue Novecento),
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Title: The Legend of 1900 (1998)

The Legend of 1900 (1998) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 17 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Danny Boodmann
...
Jelly Roll Morton
...
The Girl
Gabriele Lavia ...
Farmer
...
'Pops', the Shopkeeper
Niall O'Brien ...
Harbor Master
...
Mexican Stoker
Luigi De Luca ...
Neapolitan Stoker
Femi Elufowoju Jr. ...
Black Stoker (as Femi Elufowoja Jr.)
Nigel Fan ...
Chinese Stoker
Roger Monk ...
Irish Stoker
Leonid Zaslavski ...
Polish Stoker
Bernard Padden ...
Boatswain
Edit

Storyline

Shortly after the Second World War, Max, a transplanted American, visits an English pawn shop to sell his trumpet. The shopkeeper recognizes the tune Max plays as one on a wax master of an unreleased recording, discovered and restored from shards found in a piano salvaged from a cruise ship turned hospital ship, now slated for demolition. This chance discovery prompts a story from Max, which he relates both to the shopkeeper and later to the official responsible for the doomed vessel, for Max is a born storyteller. Though now down on his luck and disillusioned by his wartime experiences, the New Orleans-born Max was once an enthusiastic and gifted young jazz musician, whose longest gig was several years with the house band aboard the Virginian, a posh cruise ship. While gaining his sea legs, he was befriended by another young man, the pianist in the same band, whose long unlikely name was Danny Boodman T.D. Lemons 1900, though everyone just called him 1900, the year of his birth. ... Written by GMBaxter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ship | 1900s | piano | pianist | jazz | See more »

Taglines:

An epic story of a man who could do anything... except be ordinary. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 October 1998 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

La légende du pianiste sur l'océan  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$39,200 (USA) (29 October 1999)

Gross:

$259,127 (USA) (10 December 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was actually a registered ship named the SS Virginian which was built in 1904 and scrapped around 1954. The ship had one funnel with the Allan Liner's colors on it. The SS Virginian also had a vital part in the Titanic disaster in April 1912 as she was reported near the vicinity of the sinking and within radio contact. See more »

Goofs

The recording equipment used for making the record was clearly acoustic in nature, showing large horns. This type of recording was largely replaced in 1925 by electrical recording, using microphones. Yet the recording was made somewhere between 1927 and 1933, according to Tooney's story. Furthermore, the recording engineer played back the matrix immediately; this would have ruined the matrix, which was cut in wax. In those days, immediate playback was only possible using a 2nd set of equipment expressly for that purpose. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Max: I still ask myself if I did the right thing when I abandoned his floating city. And I don't mean only for the work. The fact is, a friend like that, a real friend - you won't meet one again. If you just decide to hang up your sea legs, if you just want to feel something more solid beneath your feet - and it's then you no longer hear the music of the gods around you. But, like he used to say, you're never really done for, as long as you got a good story, and someone to tell it to. ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Crave
Written by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (uncredited)
Performed by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (as 'Jelly Roll' Morton)
Edwin H. Morris & Co., a division of MPL Communications Inc.
Tempo-Music Publishing Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The antidote to all your troubles, "1900" will sweep you away
20 September 1999 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

It is at a time like this I wish I could expand my vocabulary to better articulate the virtues and qualities of such a fine film. I also find I'm bursting to talk about this film that I regrettably saw alone. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but desperately want to share it with everyone.

The talented star of "The Legend of 1900", Tim Roth, presented this film along with Clarence Williams III. His encouragement to the audience was that if anyone was the sort who liked to pick apart at films and critique their lack of realism, they should just leave now. He touted this wonderful vision from the director of Cinema Paradiso, Giuseppe Tornatore, and likened the film to a "dream". He also said that if anyone had seen his own film, "The War Zone", that "1900" was the antidote for it. I was slated to see "The War Zone" the next day, but that was fine by me. I managed by a sheer stroke of luck to get into this Canadian premiere and found it to be absolutely extraordinary and the best film I'd seen so far of the Toronto International Film Festival.

It seems as though mere moments after the initial credits, that the wonderful storytelling and incredible music combined with stunning visuals almost had me moved to tears. While I'll admit that I'd be seeing films all day, no film in my recollection had such an impact so quickly.

The story is one of an abandoned baby who is found on a ocean liner by one of the ship's crew. He is unofficially adopted and named "1900" for the year in which he was born. At a very early age the boy demonstrates an extraordinary gift for piano playing which is only strengthened in his passing years. The boy grows up with no official identity, into a man having never taken a step off of the ship onto dry land in his whole life. The young man, played by Tim Roth is encouraged by his dear friend to leave the boat and pursue a life of fame and fortune as the great pianist he has become. 1900 declines, explaining simply that everything he needs is on the boat.

Well, that should be enough to intrigue you; there's much more of course, but I've no desire to spoil it for anyone. I must encourage everyone to see this film, I can hardly imagine anyone being disappointed. It's for music lovers, dreamers, romantics and film buffs everywhere and my greatest hope is that it will be seen by many, many people, especially those I know and love. And after seeing the film, and hearing Tim Roth's words echoing in my mind, he was absolutely right. It is like a dream, a wonderful dream that I wished would never end. And for a future prediction, I see this film as a Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination for 1999.


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