Set in Italy, the film follows the lives and interactions of two boys/men, one born a bastard of peasant stock (Depardieu), the other born to a land owner (de Niro). The drama spans from 1900 to about 1945, and focuses mainly on the rise of Fascism and the peasants' eventual reaction by supporting Communism, and how these events shape the destinies of the two main characters.Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The production went three million dollars over budget. See more »
As Attila Mellanchini is shot by the communist partisans on VE Day, a close-up is shown of a man's hand holding the pistol to Attila's head. The pistol in his hand is a Beretta M951, which only began production circa 1953 - eight years after the war ended. See more »
Gifted filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, along with his collaborators, probably bit off more than they could chew with this massive epic of politics, revolution, love and war, but it's nevertheless a fascinating entertainment for those with the constitution to sit through at least 4 hours (the original long version is 5 hours +!) of imperfect dubbing.
Robert DeNiro and Gerard Depardieu play, respectively, a rich landowner and a peasant, born on the same day of the new century. The story of their friendship takes them from bucolic idyll to the rise of Fascism, bloody war and its aftermath, and back again. Veterans Burt Lancaster and Sterling Hayden play their grandfathers, Dominique Sanda is the woman they both love, and Donald Sutherland inhabits the cartoonish character of Attila, their Fascist nemesis, with trademark fish-eyed malice and depravity.
Gorgeous cinematography by Vittorio Storaro and a gentle, evocative score by Ennio Morricone lend this disjointed story more appeal and dramatic clarity than it might otherwise merit. If the simplistic politics at the end leaves you cold, there will have hopefully been enough vivid and touching scenes along the way to make it worthwhile.
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