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Bernardo Bertolucci directs this Italian epic drama that follows the birth and growth of Fascism in 20th century Italy. The film follows the contrasting journeys and fortunes of childhood friends Alfredo Berlinghieri (Robert De Niro) and Olmo Dalcò (Gérard Depardieu) who were born on the same day in 1901. While Alfredo belongs to a family of rich land-owners Olmo was born as an illegitimate peasant worker. Alfredo's rebellious nature leads the pair to become friends but as they grow older, and the political climates change, the injustices of life become clearer and their friendship is put to the test.
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PLEASE BE WARNED: SOME COPIES BEING SOLD BY SELLERS UNDER 'USED AND NEW' ARE FAULTY STOCK WITH THE OPENING CREDITS MISSING! Buy only from amazon or any official retailer selling brand new stock!
two viewings of this somewhat bloated 5 hour plus film left me feeling
the same way; The film is over-simplistic in its characters and
politics, badly dubbed (with actors from all over speaking their own
language, so whatever soundtrack you pick there are important
characters who sound like something out of 'What's Up Tiger Lily'), and
even the English spoken by DeNiro seems post- recorded, making for an
oddly stiff sounding performance.
Yet for all these complaints it is somehow a near-great film. There are
so many moments; images, incidents that are indelible, and in the end
there's such a real emotional punch to this overview of the history of
Italy from 1900 to 1945 as seem through the lives of a few people in a
small town that it overcomes many of the flaws.
I couldn't defend the film from anyone who wanted to tear it down -
e.g. the simple-minded jingoistic endless competition between fascism
and communism as if those were the only two options in the world, with
both sides reduced to cartoon like figures of evil and good.
But it's strengths are strong enough that I'd urge people to judge for
themselves. You may find, like me, that all the flaws don't matter to
you when a film has so many unforgettable moments.
When I ordered this Blu Ray, I was a little fearful that I might have gone for the wrong one as the information about the audio was a little unclear. Happily, there is an English dubbed version on the disc. There is no surround mix. The Master audio 2.0 is in Italian throughout with the English speaking actors overdubbed in Italian but the English dubbed version in plain 2.0 is perfectly acceptable and to be clear, what this gives you is the English speaking actors all speaking English as recorded with the Italian voices overdubbed in English. This is a little 'false' at first but it's been well done and you soon get used to it so the story is easy to follow. I have not seen the US version of the Blu Ray which apparently has more audio and subtitle options but I may well get that for comparison and post back on that.
Now to the visuals. In my opinion, the image quality is massively improved on the DVD I saw a while ago. It's so clear, detailed and rich that you could almost watch the whole movie with the sound off and still be rewarded. Bertolucci and his cinematographer Storaro are like landscape painters who clearly relish in the light and detail of every scene.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dubbed English over the Italian. Couldn't watch it. Wanted Italian voice With English subtitles.Published 7 months ago by Saragoli
Ravishing to look at and superbly-acted Socialist epic, but the well-tuned operatic performances and fine music cannot completely conceal the disjointed, agitprop nature of the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Frank TALKER
This is a review of the double disc edition, with the film lasting five hours.
Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘1900’, released in 1976 was his first since ‘Last Tango in Paris’. Read more