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Novecento [DVD]

4.0 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Donald Sutherland
  • Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Producers: Alberto Grimaldi
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 28 July 2008
  • Run Time: 299 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NOKLTS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,424 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
20th Century Fox originally released this DVD on April 30th, 2007 but they accidentally missed off the crucial, opening credit sequence lasting about three minutes. They re-released it on July 28th 2008 corrected, with the opening credit sequence in English rather than Italian, but about a minute shorter than usual. This classic is in a nice steelbook cover, and the second disc includes fascinating interviews with director Bernardo Bertolucci on the casting of and making the film. This is the first major picture in which Robert De Niro played the lead. A great edition from Fox; don't miss it.
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!
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Format: DVD
So flawed that I almost feel weird giving it this high a rating. But
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.
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Format: Blu-ray
A complex, sophisticated, allegorical story of 20th century Italian history featuring a young De Niro and Depardieu as childhood friends, Novecento (1900) has now, finally, received the release it deserves. Compared with the fuzzy luridly coloured picture on previous dvd releases this bluray release is a revelation and finally does justice to Storaro's painterly cinematography. There is no comparison between this and earlier dvd releases. The colour balance is natural, the image is amazingly sharp and shadow detail is subtle. The accompanying dvd contains a contemporary 'making-of' documentary as well as various new interviews with Bertolucci and others associated with the film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I originally saw this film in a 4 hour version over 30 years ago and always remembered if fondly. However viewing it now in its full 5 hours and one minute directors cut I find it a mixed bag. There is no doubt there is a sweeping good tale with great characters within this epic but there is also a lot of pretentiousness. The dubbing of some actors (Cast is part Italian, part American) is an unusual and sometimes annoying feature. The acting varies from over the top - Burt Lancaster/Donald Sutherland to the quite moving. One truly wonderful feature however is the magnificent cinematography. If you've not seen it before and and wish to fill a long wet evening you could do worse but ultimately its just too damn long.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
1900 sets out to render the ideological difference between left and right, as good and evil, succeeds and overlays romance and the dilemmas associated with growing up in a world of conflict. Sutherland is suitably unpleasant and as we find out in the opening reel gets forked for his ways. De Niro amusingly looking nothing like his real old age version, Depardieu does what Gerard does best. A long ramble that is wonderful to look at if a bit stagey at times, there's overacting and underacting in equal measure due to the language (&star versus ordinary villagers as actors) mismatch, is there an Italian with english subtitles version?, if so I would prefer it. the frank and shock tactics still work, strangely, despite the passage of time since its release.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I first watched this film back in the 80s when Channel 4 was young and put out a lot of really strong cinema. I can't remember which cut they used but it could well have been the director's cut as it was nigh on 6 hours, shown in 3 episodes night after night. It had a very strong effect on me then but then the film seemed to fade into obscurity. A little while ago I rented the DVD and although it was good to revisit the story, the visual image was disappointing.

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.
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