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1900 (DVD)


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Product Details

  • Subtitles: English
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000IHYXGM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,821 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Shkodra on Jan. 6 2002
Format: VHS Tape
"Novecento" was one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the seventies. It was meant to be, as Bertolucci himself intended, the italian "Gone with the wind", an epic story about what happened in the bel paese during the first half of the twentieth century, the political turmoil between WW1 and WW2, the rise and fall of the fascism, the birth and widespread of the communist and socialist movements as a response to the social unjustice. There was a big project, the financial means to realise it (american studios financing communist propaganda - can you believe that?), some of the world best actors at the time. And what maybe matters the most there was Bernardo Bertolucci whose political ideas have never been in glaring contradiction with the "Communist Manifesto". So who else could make this movie better than him? Having put this fabulous international team together the standarts were set very, very high.
As much as I adore Italy and italians, and as much as I love Bertolucci, De Niro, Depardieu, Lancaster and Sutherland, I have to say this movie let me down a little bit. I mean it's a good movie, but it could have been much better. The snag is that one has to know what happened in Italy during that period of time to fully understand what the movie is really about. Bertolucci knew it beforehand, which probably explains his need to have the best french actor, the best american actor, some other excellent american actors besides his italian actors troop (some of them are excellent by the way) to be in this movie. I think I can say that I know pretty well the italian twentieth century history, and yet I think this movie is a little bit of a mess.
The italian paysage, the countryside, the photography and the colors are really breathtaking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 3 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I like movies. Good movies. Takeshi Kitano, Martin Scorsese, Wong Kar Wai, Sam Fuller, Sam Peckinpah, Kubrick, Welles, Soderbergh, Buster Keaton, and yes, Bertolucci. "The Conformist" in particular I find to be stunning. "1900" is the kind of film that makes me lose faith in a great director. It has none of the beauty of "The Conformist". It is terribly acted across the board. Everyone is so far over-the-top that this plays like a comedy more than a historical drama. Even Robert DeNiro, who was just coming off "Taxi Driver", is awful. Donald Sutherland seems to be having fun, but probably because he realized how ridiculous the film was. And has there ever been a more laughable villain than Sutherland in this film? He crushes a cat against a wall, kills a small child by bashing his head against a wall, and impales an old woman on a fence. His character is a bad guy out of thousands of less ambitious films.
Maybe the only one who emerges unscathed from this mess is Sterling Hayden, who doesn't have any scenes in which he embarrasses himself (unlike everyone else in this film) and manages to create a somewhat realistic character.
I don't care if Bertolucci made this film. It's completely inept, devoid of subtlety or intelligence, and terrible in every way. If Bernardo's name wasn't attached to it, people would laugh this film into obscurity. But no, people make excuses for it and for some reason even give it five stars. If possible, I'd give it zero.
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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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