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1900 (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

120 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 DeNiro as wealthy landowner Alfredo, and Gerard Depardieu as labor leader Olmo, the film returns to 1900 with the death of composer Giuseppi Verdi and the birth of the two friends. The opposing class interests of their grandfathers, padrone Burt Lancaster, and laborer Sterling Hayden, is quickly established in the enmity between the characters. 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 Su

Additional Features

The extra features for 1900 are brief but valuable, consisting of two short featurettes. Both are simply an interview with director Bertolucci (with director of photography Vittorio Storaro chiming in on the second, titled Creating an Epic), who dismisses charges that he uses sex exploitively, discusses Jean Renoir's encouragement to "find a way to let reality enter the film," and admits that, regarding his grand ambitions for the movie--that it would provide a bridge between the U.S. and the Soviet Union--"I was completely nuts." Bertolucci is his usual charming self as he relishes his memories of making this expansive film. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • 1900: The Story, The Cast featurette
  • 1900: Creating an Epic featurette

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, Color, Dolby, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: December 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 315 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,530 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "1900 (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

200 of 215 people found the following review helpful By Grigory's Girl on November 2, 2006
Format: DVD
This is, in fact, Bertolucci's original cut of 315 (!) minutes. Having seen both the 255 minute version and the director's cut, one may actually say what kind of difference can there possibly be between these 2 versions? One is 4 1/4 hours, the other is 5 1/4 hours. They are both incredibly long versions, so what's the point? The point is that there is a huge difference. As incredible as it may sound, the shorter version seems longer, as it doesn't have the same narrative flow as the longer version does. There are subtle differences between the versions that make certain scenes different. For example, there is a scene where the leaders of the town go duck hunting (warning! Bertolucci shows the actual killing of ducks here, along with animals being slaughtered for food). They then go into a church to discuss bringing a new fascist order to the town. In the short version, the church scene only consists of the men talking. In the longer version, Bertolucci intercuts the dead ducks with the men talking, giving the scene a graver effect. The sex scenes are longer and more explicit in the longer version as well. I saw this long version at a Bertolucci retrospective, and there were college kids in the audience who were laughing at the sex scenes! The sex scenes, like in all of Bertolucci's work, are meant to be serious and natural, which they are. I suppose the young people of America have a difficult time taking sex seriously after a decade or so of lowbrow, childish, teenage "comedies". Some of the magnificent camera work got lost in the shorter version, because Bertolucci cut some of the beginnings and ends of scenes, where they would be a wonderful camera move opening or closing the scene. As for the film itself, it is incredibly ambitious and amazing to behold.Read more ›
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Rafael Chinchilla on October 6, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 16, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
1900 is one of those odd films. Done by a very respected director with high-caliber talent (De Niro, Depardieu, Burt Lancaster, Sutherland, etc.) one would expect a film of legendary work. Alas, it is not. This is not to say that it is a failed attempt, but a film that causes as much frustration as satisfaction. There are moments of unbelievable beauty and awe, and others of disappointing audacity. Many times have I had my film buddy lean over to me during its unspooling and ask "What do you see in this?!" It's hard to answer, but suffice it to say that you will either love it or ignore it.

It is important to note that 1900 is also not for everyone; it is a very much an adult film. The sex scenes, in particular the menage-a-trois with DeNiro, Depardieu and the prostitute, are graphic but not excessive. There are quite a few scenes of violence that will cause the viewer to turn-away, so be prepared.

Much to my surprise, the film has been given the Blu-Ray treatment and the results are...not what a fan would want, but probably the best one can expect. The film's 5 1/2 running time is evenly spread out over 2 discs with a final DVD disc offering the only supplemental feature. As for the transfer, it is a mix. The opening credits are letterboxed (??) while the remaining film is presented in 1.85 (it was originally shot in 1:66). The image waffles from natural colors to overly saturated images that often made me think I needed to recalibrate my monitor or that is was on the wrong setting. The sound--which was never that memorable--is presented in Dolby Stereo and sounds as good as it did in the theaters.

Given that 1900 was never a huge audience favorite, I hadn't expected to see it on Blu-Ray so soon.
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