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1900 (DVD)


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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • 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: #41,551 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 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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1 of 1 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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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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By R Jess on Nov. 13 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This film drove Bertolucci to a nervous breakdown and he had to take a year off after making it, becoming an incessant pill-popper into the bargain. One can see how much pressure was put on him. '1900' had the largest film budget he had to work with up to that time in his career. Add to that fact that this was an epic picture about a period in his own country's history and the expectation on him must have been enormous. Unfortunately Bertolucci at this point in his career was totally out of his depth in dealing with such a conceptual behemouth. It would take him over 10 years before he could again tackle the political history of a country on such an epic scale. Ironically that epic would be set in China.
Controversy surrounded the film on its release in Italy as much of the film portrays a flawed knowledge of Italian history. The trial of the DeNiro character at the end was invented by Bertolucci as a utopian vision of how Italian history should have developed. Even the Italian Communist Party was upset at this depiction as they claim they never practiced vigilante style executions after the war.
As a young director, Bertolucci saw himself as stubbornly arrogant, not giving a second thought to what his audience may think. '1900' was the first movie he made where he kept in mind the spectatorship he was trying to reach. Paradoxicaly, '1900' would end up his least engaging film because he tried to envelop too many different visions.
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