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Bernardo Bertolucci's 255-minute 1900 was a gargantuan undertaking, requiring the resources of three European countries and a trio of American movie studios. Set in the Italian town of Parma, the film's continuity backtracks from Liberation Day in 1945 to the occasion of composer/patriot Giuseppe Verdi's death in 1901. We follow the lives of two men born on that day in 1901, who grow up to be Alfredo Berlinghieti Robert De Niro and Olmo Dalco Gérard Depardieu. Wealthy Alfredo sinks into dissipation, while ...
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Bernardo Bertolucci's 255-minute 1900 was a gargantuan undertaking, requiring the resources of three European countries and a trio of American movie studios. Set in the Italian town of Parma, the film's continuity backtracks from Liberation Day in 1945 to the occasion of composer/patriot Giuseppe Verdi's death in 1901. We follow the lives of two men born on that day in 1901, who grow up to be Alfredo Berlinghieti Robert De Niro and Olmo Dalco Gérard Depardieu. Wealthy Alfredo sinks into dissipation, while poverty-stricken Olmo becomes a firebrand labor leader and communist. After WWI, Alfredo is allowed to peacefully retain his land holdings by playing nice with the burgeoning fascists; Olmo, on the other hand, engages in a long-standing battle against the minions of Mussolini. The two protagonists are reunited when Alfredo returns to Parma to preside over Olmo's trial for "political crimes." Co-star Burt Lancaster is cast as Alfredo's wealthy grandfather, who hates to see the old values buried beneath the social travails of the 20th century. Many American prints of 1900 were shortened to 243 minutes, rendering the story hard to follow at times.
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Special Features

Bernardo Bertolucci: Reflections on Cinema; An Intimate look at the Director's legendary career... featuring archival interviews with Bertolucci from 1962-1996
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Bernardo Bertolucci's massive epic, a history of Italy from 1900 to 1945 as reflected through the friendship of two men across class lines, is one of the most fascinating, if little seen, of his films. After beginning with Robert De Niro as wealthy landowner Alfredo, and Gérard Depardieu as labor leader Olmo, the film returns to 1901 with the death of composer Giuseppe Verdi and the birth of the two friends. The opposing class interests of their grandfathers, padrone Alfredo Berlinghieri Burt Lancaster, and laborer Leo Dalco Sterling Hayden, is quickly established in the enmity between the characters. The director is graphic in his depiction of ownership as exploitation, and makes the craggy Hayden character a figure of nearly Biblical proportions as he rouses his fellow workers to maintain solidarity and demand self-determination. As they grow, the boys become friends, mystified by the tensions that separate their families. But as time passes and Alfredo assumes the role of padrone, while Olmo works the land, their relationship becomes strained. With the rise of fascism, the director spells out its complicity with business interests, as the diffident Alfredo falls under the spell of a vicious and degraded fascist farm manager played by Donald Sutherland. Bertolucci, as he has in The Conformist 1970 and The Last Emperor 1987, brilliantly uses characterization to imply and contrast the crippling emotional effects of wealth and power. At over five hours in the restored version, the stately film has a kind of cumulative power now rare on the screen. In fairness, parts of the film's second half lack some the richness of the earlier sections, and a number of simple, almost uninflected scenes, seem excessively didactic, even for a leftist polemic. Among the large cast, the two leads are exceptional, with De Niro evincing an unusual vulnerability. Sutherland gives a disturbingly brilliant performance, and Lancaster is also memorable as the stern landowner. Vittorio Storaro, Bertolucci's longtime collaborator, and one of the greatest of cinematographers, produces images of breathtaking beauty, so much so that the rapturous shots of the vast fields almost make one forget the oppression of the workers. One comes away from this majestic undertaking with a sense of wonder, and awareness that it's not likely to be replicated any time soon.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/15/2012
  • UPC: 887090034401
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen / Restored / Uncensored
  • Time: 5:15:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 7,769

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert De Niro Alfredo Berlinghieti, grandson
Gérard Depardieu Olmo Dalco
Burt Lancaster Alfredo Berlinghieri, grandfather
Sterling Hayden Leo Dalco
Donald Sutherland Attila
Dominique Sanda Ada
Stefania Sandrelli Anita Foschi, Olmo's wife
Laura Betti Regina
Alida Valli Signora Pioppi
Anna Henkel
Francesca Bertini Sister Desolata
Werner Bruhns Octavio
Stefania Casini
Ellen Schwiers
Romolo Valli Giovanni
Giacomo Rizzo Rigoletto
Paolo Pavesi Alfredo as a Child
Roberto Maccanti Olmo as a Child
Antonio Piovanelli Turo Dalco
Maria Monti
Anna-Maria Gherardi Eleonora
Jose Quaglio Aranzini
Clara Colosimo
Piero Vida
Patrizia de Clara
Edda Ferronao
Lisa Harrow
Allen Midgette Vagabond
Mario Meniconi
Vittorio Fanfoni
Technical Credits
Bernardo Bertolucci Director, Screenwriter
Franco Arcalli Editor, Screenwriter
Giuseppe Bertolucci Screenwriter
Ezio Frigerio Art Director
Alberto Grimaldi Producer
Gitt Magrini Costumes/Costume Designer
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Enzo Ocone Editor
Gianni Quaranta Production Designer
Vittorio Storaro Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- 1900 - Part 1
1. The War Is Over [:00]
2. It's A Boy [13:06]
3. Peasants & Patrons [11:58]
4. Family Affairs [12:06]
5. A Patriarch's Will [9:55]
6. Time For A Sacrifice [15:05]
7. The Strike [11:43]
8. Everything's Changed [8:30]
9. In The Name Of The Law [6:19]
10. Free Love [14:27]
11. Silly Joke [16:15]
12. United [16:11]
Disc #2 -- 1900 - Part 2
1. The City Life [:00]
2. A Funeral And A Wedding [8:38]
3. Watch Dog [14:58]
4. Accused [14:27]
5. The Party Is Everywhere [8:49]
6. Crazy November [8:23]
7. Old Acquaintance [18:07]
8. A Widow's Home [4:34]
9. Runaways [4:07]
10. Fascists and Socialists [15:46]
11. Enemy Of The People [16:07]
12. Padrone Is Alive [12:08]
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Disc #1 -- 1900 - Part 1
   Set Up
      Audio Options
         English 2.0 Surround
      Subtitle Options
         Subtitles: None
Disc #2 -- 1900 - Part 2
   Set Up
      Audio Options
         English 2.0 Surround
      Subtitle Options
         Subtitles: None
Disc #3 -- Bernardo Bertolucci: Reflections On Cinema Bonus Feature
   Bernardo Bertolucci: Reflections on Cinema
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Bertolucci's Best

    What a wonderful movie! Especially if, like me, you love historical epics.Bertolucci was a great director but he couldn't have asked for a better cast. Donald Sutherland impressed ,especially because he played a sleazy, sinister demented character, so very well. Not his usual fodder. He scares you. And you get what you expect from youthful Robert DeNiro and Gerard Depardieu- great acting. The battle secenes and love and friendship portions were very realistic but the frosting on the cake was the view of DeNero and Depardeau in their stark nakedness with everything
    bared and nothing barred. IT is a long journey but what is long when you are enjoying it so much.. ?


    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Returning to 1900

    Though this epic drama by Bernardo Bertolucci was originally released thirty years ago, revisiting the film, now available in its entirety of 315 minutes, is like reading a favorite old classical history novel. Bertolucci obviously loved this story of two disparate boys, one from wealth and privilege and the other from peasant worker status, born on the same day in 1900 who proceed through the year 1945, bonded by country, intertwined by a developing friendship, and separating on political views. It is a film that examines capitalism versus socialism, Communism versus Fascism, two World Wars, and the effects that the changing political milieu of Italy had on the lives and loves of two men and their respective families. Of course this summation is far too brief for a film of over five hours in length, but the beauty of the film is the slow manner in which this set of ideas unfolds. The actors include not only such durable stars as Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Burt Lancaster, Donald Sutherland, and Sterling Hayden, but also some of Italy's finest actors and an entire town of 'naturals', adding a sense of verismo to the film. The cinematography Vittorio Storaro is simply breathtaking and the musical score is by the inimitable Ennio Morricone. A mega-budget epic, the money seems well spent in retrospect. This is Bertolucci as an artist, a craftsman, an intellectual, and a committed politician. The DVD is somewhat hampered by the fact that the film was filmed in both English and Italian with two sets of dubbing choices and if the viewer has a problem with dubbing, then it is inescapable here. Despite this rather minor flaw, 1900 remains a film unlike any other in giving us a flavor of a country torn by the realities that the world faced in the first half of the 20th century. It is a long song, but well worth the time invested to absorb it all. Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not worth the time or money

    I was completely disgusted with this movie. I thought with the wonderful actors it had it would be good. It is long, boring and hard to follow. I couldn't make any sense of it. I didn't even get halfway through it. I wish I hadn't wasted my money on this one.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The longest file I've ever seen

    I spent nearly 5 hours to watch this film. There are two discs, the first one, i have to say, it like a history about how two boys became two men. The two actors I admire gave really great performance in this movie. The theme of the movie is really critical in many country. After I saw this movie, I've known why I never saw it on TV before.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews