8.1/10
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279 user 73 critic

The Legend of 1900 (1998)

La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano (original title)
Trailer
2:39 | Trailer
A baby boy, discovered in 1900 on an ocean liner, grows into a musical prodigy, never setting foot on land.

Director:

Giuseppe Tornatore

Writers:

Alessandro Baricco (monologue Novecento), Giuseppe Tornatore
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 21 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Roth ... Novecento
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Max
Mélanie Thierry ... La ragazza
Bill Nunn ... Danny
Clarence Williams III ... 'Jelly Roll' Morton
Peter Vaughan ... Negoziante
Niall O'Brien Niall O'Brien ... Capo del porto
Alberto Vazquez ... Machinista messicano (as Alberto Vázquez)
Gabriele Lavia ... Contadino
John Armstead John Armstead
Cory Buck Cory Buck ... Lemon - age 8
Norman Chancer Norman Chancer ... Impresario
Sidney Cole ... Musician
Katy Monique Cuomo Katy Monique Cuomo ... (as Katy Monique Cuom)
Luigi De Luca ... Neapolitan Stoker
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Storyline

1900. Danny Boodmann, a stoker on an American passenger liner, Virginian, finds a baby abandoned on the ship. He names the child Danny Boodmann T.D. Lemon Nineteen Hundred '1900' and raises the child as his own until his death in an accident on the ship. The child never leaves the ship and turns out to be a musical genius, especially when it comes to playing the piano. As an adult he befriends a trumpet player in the ship's band, Max Tooney. After several years on the ship Max leaves, and tells the story of 1900 to the owner of a music store. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ship | piano | pianist | jazz | year 1900 | See All (91) »

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Ennio Morricone also provided the score for Bernardo Bertolucci's similarly titled 1900 (1976). See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, the immigrants are happy to be entering America through New York. However, the ships are shown passing from right to left in front of the Statue of Liberty. This would be taking them out of New York harbor, not into it. 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. ...
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Alternate Versions

Original version released in Italy is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. A 123-minutes version premiered at the Locarno film Festival in July 1999. This shorter version is the same released in the USA by Fine Line under the title "The Legend of 1900". See more »

Connections

Version of Novecento (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Fat Ham
Written by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (uncredited)
Performed by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (as 'Jelly Roll' Morton)
Edizioni Chappell s.r.l
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User Reviews

The antidote to all your troubles, "1900" will sweep you away
20 September 1999 | by ToldYaSoSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

28 October 1998 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Legend of 1900 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,200, 31 October 1999

Gross USA:

$167,435

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,320,001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sciarlò, Medusa Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(extended cut) | (theatrical cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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