7.7/10
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103 user 53 critic

1900 (1976)

Novecento (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, History | 4 November 1977 (USA)
The epic tale of a class struggle in twentieth century Italy, as seen through the eyes of two childhood friends on opposing sides.

Writers:

Franco Arcalli (screenplay by), Giuseppe Bertolucci (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Alfredo Berlinghieri
Gérard Depardieu ... Olmo Dalcò (as Gerard Depardieu)
Dominique Sanda ... Ada Fiastri Paulhan
Francesca Bertini ... Sister Desolata
Laura Betti ... Regina
Werner Bruhns Werner Bruhns ... Ottavio Berlinghieri
Stefania Casini ... Neve - Epileptic Woman
Sterling Hayden ... Leo Dalcò
Anna Henkel-Grönemeyer ... Anita the Younger (as Anna Henkel)
Ellen Schwiers ... Amelia
Alida Valli ... Signora Pioppi
Romolo Valli ... Giovanni Berlinghieri
Bianca Magliacca Bianca Magliacca ... Peasant Woman
Giacomo Rizzo Giacomo Rizzo ... Rigoletto
Pippo Campanini Pippo Campanini ... Don Tarcisio
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Storyline

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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the cradle to the grave - victims of history and change! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | West Germany

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

4 November 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

1900 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(heavily cut) (R-rated) | (2 parts) | (heavily cut) | (heavily cut) | (Part I) | (Part II)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Sutherland got so upset after seeing his own performance as the sadistic homicidal fascist leader Attila, that he was unable to watch the film for years. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[last lines]
Alfredo Berlinghieri: The Padrone's alive.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the UK, the movie was released by Fox video in 1992 as a twin VHS set. This ran for just over 303 minutes at 25 frames per second, the speed at which films are transferred for the PAL video format. This 18-rated release was not cut by the BBFC, but is missing the explicit masturbation shot when Robert De Niro and Gerard Depardieu visit the prostitute. Otherwise, it appears to be the complete Italian language version, and includes the scene where the two main characters play with their genitals as young boys. See more »

Connections

Referenced in There's Nothing Out There (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Under-rated epic
3 July 2003 | by David_NiemannSee all my reviews

"1900" follows the lives of two friends (although sometimes they seem more like enemies!) born on the same day in a beautiful part of Italy. Olmo is born a bastard to peasant farmers and Alfredo is the son of a wealthy businessman. We watch their lives unfold with vivid cinematography and lush visuals of the exceptionally beautiful countryside. The movie jumps forward, to the end of World War 1, and Olmo returns home after fighting. And essentially the film follows the exploits of the two protagonists as they deal with love, friendship, money, death and the evils of war.

The film unfolds like a finely crafted book, taking its time to tell its story.

Unfortunately, the version that I watched was horrendously dubbed. It was so bad my brother couldn't continue watching. I tried to look past this major fault, as I started to love the film's story and visuals, and it does get better, but I'd be extremely disappointed to find out a subtitled version doesn't exist. And to make matters worse, it was also a Pan & Scan version. This doesn't bother me too much if I'm watching, say 'Mrs. Doubtfire', but "1900" is definitely a wide-screen movie. Some scenes were practically ruined as characters are framed to the extreme right or left. For example, at the beginning where Olmo lays on the train line, I couldn't see him in the wide shot! I couldn't see what was going on. Terrible! And the version I watched came in at about 4 hours and 35 minutes. So it was a cut version, and this is blindingly obvious. The cuts are dreadful. This has to be some of the worst editing I have ever seen in my whole movie viewing life.

But for all these problems (easily solvable problems that have nothing to do with the movie itself (unless the dub is the original)) I fell in love with this movie. I didn't really notice the hours passing by; the story and the characters suck you into their world, and don't let go until the final credits roll. And even then they are stuck in your head, along with the more memorable scenes. I couldn't help but be reminded of my own childhood, even when the scenes had no context to my memories. For instance, the simple setting of workers ploughing a field bought back memories of playing in a big dirt mound in our backyard as a child, or beautifully lit scenes at sunset; I could almost feel the warmth. These memories made me feel really good, and whether it was intended or not to remind the audience of their childhoods, the film certainly had this wondrous effect on me.

I was quite shocked with some of the scenes in this film, especially the rape scene. While there is no sex shown at all (at least in this version), the crying eyes say more than any words or images could. You should be warned this film has some pretty graphic violence and contains a few explicit sex scenes. But the sex scenes are refreshingly realistic, as opposed to Hollywood's fraudulent version of sex.

The acting is, for the most part, admirably handled. Robert De Niro is convincing as the rich son with a poor peasant as his best friend. This role could have descended into cliché, but De Niro steers it clear of any such event. Towards the end of the film De Niro's performance is terrific. It's remarkable that in the same year that this was made, De Niro played a certain Travis Bickle in the seminal 'Taxi Driver.' 1976 was certainly De Niro's year! Gerard Depardieu is wonderful as Olmo. I have never seen a movie of Depardieu's where he was young, and I must say he was very handsome in his day! His performance elicits emotion without settling for sentimentality. The supporting cast do a good job. Burt Lancaster is both charming and divine, yet in one scene I was quite uncomfortable as to where it was going to lead. But he portrays this without the cliché of a `dirty-old-man' but rather a lonely man who may not remember where the line of decency may now lie. Donald Sutherland is disgusting beyond description. No, not his acting, but the character he plays. I haven't seen too many of Sutherland's films (unfortunately, off the top of my head I can only recall 'Fallen') but I'm keen to see more of his work, as his acting here is top notch. And the hunchback (sorry, can't remember his name) is delightfully endearing. Only some small characters have questionable acting talents, but in a film with so many bit parts this may well be expected.

The word 'epic' seems to imply greatly to this film. While the scope and size of the film is epic, the film relies heavily on the lives of the main protagonists. In a way this is an intimate epic, if such a thing could exist.

This is an excellent film that is highly recommended for people interested in Italian history, the landscape of Italy and beautifully crafted films. This particular version is recommended to people interested in gaining evidence that Pan & Scan is the work of Satan and that dubbing should be a sin.

If you enjoyed the films `Schindler's List' and `La Vita é Bella', then I'm sure you'll get something out of this film.

You shouldn't be turned off by the long running time of this film, you get so engrossed with the story the time just flies by. This is certainly an under-rated classic, treated poorly by some versions.

10/10 If in wide-screen, un-cut and subtitled. 9/10 If Pan & Scan, cut and dubbed.

But as I have to give one overall score, I'd have to say 10/10.


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