1900 (Novecento) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

1900 (Novecento) Reviews

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February 17, 2018
1001 movies to see before you die.
September 9, 2017
An amazing movie that always manages to bring tears to my eyes. The scope is incredible, the story is fascinating, and the musical score is legendary!
½ January 7, 2017
Italian class struggle epic
December 11, 2016
2 and a half hours. And thats the first of two parts. Shocked Tomato's critics didn't enjoy it.
November 1, 2016
Rural Italy, early 1900s. Two boys, Alfredo and Olmo, are born on the
same day - one to the owner of a large estate, the other to one of his
labourers. There is a massive divide between the classes in Italy, to
the point of antagonism. Despite this, and despite some disagreements
along the way, Alfredo and Olmo become best friends. We see them grow
up, go to WW1 and their adult lives. Eventually their different
upbringings and social standings come back to haunt them, as Italy is
plunged into class war - the Socialists (workers) vs the Fascists
(supported by the middle- and upper-class). Alfredo and Olmo find
themselves on opposite sides.

Epic drama, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Epic is a bit of an understatement for this movie - the full version is
over five hours long! (Mini-series in one part would be a better
description!). Therein lies one of the problems with 1900 - while many
of the scenes are important, you feel that a lot of it could have been
edited out. Some scenes are just padding, and the writing within those
scenes reinforces this view. The result is that watching the movie becomes an ordeal.

The unbalanced approach to the class differences is also irritating.
The land owners, and Fascist supporters, are all shown as unfeeling,
monsters, while the peasants are all shown in a very sympathetic light,
to the point that random acts of violence and killing by them are
condoned. It's difficult to support people engage in such acts and/or
who proclaim Stalin as their hero...

Casting is also odd. There's, as you would expect, a large Italian cast
but many of the main roles are filled by Hollywood stars - Robert De
Niro, Burt Lancaster, Donald Sutherland, Sterling Hayden - dubbed into
Italian! It would have made more sense to have Italian actors, speaking
Italian. The lips and words not being in sync gives a cheap, B-grade
feel to the movie.

The basic plot was interesting, especially as you have the classic story of friends turned enemies through circumstances beyond their control, but this was ruined by the length of the movie and the pro-communist bias.
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2016
A dreadful little politically charged film without any factual evidence to back up the story, it is not only long but the acting and story were both ludicrous, definitely avoid if possible.
½ June 23, 2016
In many respects, this is fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants Bertolucci - at just about his most whimsical. Which certainly gets to be a little much after 5 hours. All the yelling and passion and extreme acts - with far too little substance to show for it.
April 6, 2016
Un peliculón... Larga, sí, pero son 5 horas de muy buen cine, de ese que ya no hacen. Excelentes actuaciones, filmografía y dirección.
January 12, 2016
One of the easiest metaphors in the movie is the end, where after Olmo proclaims to the people that the landowner is death, Alfredo tells him the opposite, and they start fight again, because always in the history, when the rebellion thought the oppressor was shot down this was wrong, just partial, or made a new kind of oppressor rise, like in the feudal times, when there was a worldwide revolution that shot down the lords just to put the burghers on the top. This exemplified the continuous class struggle better than nothing else.
January 12, 2016
I thought I had the stomach for a long movie. This film is Long...long....long... as well as repetitive, visually stunning, and at times disgusting. A dirty, grimy realist painting of a soap opera/history lesson brought to life by a great cast of oddball or boring characters. Not that hard to see why it's shown on TV very rarely, if at all. Not for the squeamish.
½ December 4, 2015
Should have been better considering the length.
½ August 26, 2015
Moments of brilliance can't catapult the film into the stratosphere it could have reached. worth the watch but I will never revisit it. Thà (C) cinematography and music are top notch.
½ August 8, 2015
Zelfs met al zijn gebreken en de onbevredigende finale is 1900 nog steeds een grandioos miskent meesterwerk.
June 13, 2015
Good Lord I hate this film, as much for it's squandered potential as it's idiotic, cartoonish politics and lousy script. It's a beautiful looking film, shot by Vittorio Storaro, has a wonderful international cast who (mostly) put in great performances and features a lush soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. What could go wrong? What goes wrong is a 5 1/2 hour running time coupled with a story that jumps all over the map, failing to develop anything resembling a coherent narrative and consistent characters. Instead of developing stories and characters, the film dwells on childish ideas of benevolent, rustic peasants inuitively endorsing Marxism as an answer to poverty. Why they are seeking an answer to poverty when they are so deliriously fucking happy being dirt poor is a question the film never bothers to answer. This is the kind of film that intellectuals who know jack fucking squat about being poor write.
August 27, 2014
a peasant bastard & a landowner's son, both born on the same day in 1900, are lifelong friends & enemies as they live thru the tumultuous politics of twentieth-century Italy in this ambitious but lackluster Bertolucci epic.
½ April 29, 2014
A great film. A genuine masterpiece that taxes some viewers, but others, is an exhilarating epic film like no other. The eternal love/hate between Alfredo and Ulmo powers this long film's story covering the years from 1900, when both the boys are born to 1945 when WWII ends.
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