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1900 (DVD)

27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Francesca Bertini, Laura Betti
  • Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Writers: Bernardo Bertolucci, Franco Arcalli, Giuseppe Bertolucci
  • Producers: Alberto Grimaldi, Laurent Bouzereau
  • Format: Collector's Edition, Dolby, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English, French, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Release Date: Dec 5 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Epic story of two families in Italy traces both the rise of fascism and the conflict between the sons of the families, both born on January 1, 1900.Genre: Feature Film-DramaRating: UNRelease Date: 5-DEC-2006Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson on Dec 6 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This has been called both a masterpiece and a mess. I am more inclined to side with the masterpiece assessment but with a few qualifications. Bertoluccis political sympathies have always fallen left of center and in this film he presents two characters born on the same day in 1900 but on opposite ends of the economic spectrum. Depardieu is the peasant, and De Niro the spoiled heir of a large estate. The film traces their friendship from childhood to old age. It is obvious that their friendship is the class struggle acted out in miniature but the story is not limited or overly burdened with that fact. In fact the story is too engaging and their experiences together too varied and complex to really see the class struggle as being more than just one factor in a friendship that has many sides to it.
There is so much for the eyes to savor in this film from the unbelievably opulent interiors of De Niro's palazzo to the estates surrounding gorgeous and lush farmlands where the very earthy Depardieu works and lives.
The most enjoyable part of the film is the 1920's when we meet a beautiful femme fatale played by Dominique Sanda. Bertolucci may like to play at being a communist but his camera betrays him when he films all the luxuries the rich surround themselves with. The period decor, the costumes, the cars, everything is greedily enjoyed by the camera. As good as De Niro and Depardieu are, Sanda steals the show whenever she is in view. She is one of the most beautiful actresses of the seventies and she gives a giddy performance. So long as she is indulging in all of her favorite vices she is immensely enjoyable to watch but eventually her naturally fragile, impressionable and wayward temperament(and Bertoluccis script) leads her to sympathize with the poor and despise her wealthy status.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rafael Chinchilla on Oct. 6 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Let me clarify the question of the different versions of this masterpiece.
The first cut (never released) was 6:15. The European released version was 5:25. In the meanwhile, Alberto Grimaldi (the film's producer) was negociating with Paramount a 3:15 version, betraying Bertolucci, who didn't know a word about.
After the European succes, Fox offered Bertolucci to work on a 4:15 version for the U.S. market. He accepted, and made a second 4:40 version. But Grimaldi's opposition take the case to a court. A judge viewed all three 5:25, 4:40 and 3:15 versions. He concluded that Grimaldi's short version was detrimental and incoherent. So he invited Bertolucci to work in a 4:15 version.
Bernardo did a third cut to 4:10, that had its premiere in the New York Film Festival. There, critics were very negative, since they already knew the european 5:25 version, and compared so. But Bertolucci once declared that this was simply another film; no a single sequence was missing, it just had another pace. For a given moment, he even prefered this version. But years later, he recognizes the short version lacks the "inexorable passing of time" of the full one.
Let me recall this is the only film in history that has put toghether -for the production- all three major studios then, Fox, United Artists and Paramount.
All this information was taken from the book Bertolucci por Bertolucci, the spanish version of Scene madri di Bernardo Bertolucci, from Enzo Ungari, based on the interviews by Donald Ranvaud about The Last Emperor.
I definitely agree with the people asking for a remastering and release on DVD of the 5:25 original version.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Novecento (aka: 1900) centers around two young men who were born on the same Italian estate on the same day. One is the son of a poor peasant farmer, while the other is the son of the wealthy fascist landowner. The two men’s stormy relationship over the years serves as an allegory of 20th century Italy and spans from 1900 to 1945.

The ambitious film is infamous for it’s epic length (5+ hours!), controversial subject matter and subsequent censorship, going over budget, and constant re-editing. Over the years it has been presented in several severely cut versions with varying degrees of picture and audio quality.

This three-disc set from the folks at Olive Films is the five and half hour original director’s cut of the film. The first two discs contain the movie on Blu-rays while the third disc is a DVD of ‘Bernardo Bertolucci: Reflections on Cinema’ documentary and a related text-based essay. The video & audio quality of the release isn’t perfect, but is certainly a big step up from any version I’ve viewed before. Given the film’s epic length I think it’s probably safe to bet this is the best we can expect for some time.

Though the strong sexual content and graphic violence in the film may turn off many viewers, I think 1900 is a movie that should be experienced at least once. It’s a true epic in every sense and offers solid performances from Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu, Burt Lancaster and Donald Sutherland (as one of the most disgustingly vile villains ever to appear on celluloid). It’s a far from perfect film, and although it requires a bit of patience on the viewers part with a running time of over five hours, still comes highly recommended.
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