The Legend of 1900

1998

Drama / Music / Romance

169
IMDb Rating 8.1 10 56,304

Synopsis


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English 2.0
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23.976 fps
169 min
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1920×1080
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
169 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Dockelektro 8 / 10 / 10

Legendary

As its pianist, this film could be bound for success, but the fact is, it remained relatively obscure. I can't understand why did a movie with this deepness and feeling end up in oblivion. Because, if there are some beautiful movies, this is one of them, from the moment that fantastic Ennio Morricone score begins until we witness the tear-jerking finale. An epic story from tip to toe, we journey through the original story of a man who becomes a pianist on board the boat where he was born. And as he grows, so does the fascination by the others in his art and the questions whether he should take that leap overboard and become a "normal" person. A brilliant movie, from the man who brought us "Cinema Paradiso" and made us all cry, this won't disappoint you, and it's worth by Morricone's score alone. The sequence where the piano floats freely through the dance hall is anthological. A legend of its own.

Reviewed by howard.schumann 8 / 10 / 10

A lovely film that has a heart

On the first day of the twentieth century, an infant is discovered in the coal room aboard a luxury liner. The worker (Bill Nunn) who discovers the child on The Virginian names him 1900 or more accurately Danny Boodmann T.D. Lemon Nineteen-Hundred. Eight years later the boy loses his "father" in a ship accident but discovers an amazing ability to play the piano and a legend is born. It is indeed The Legend of 1900, a fable by Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) based on a dramatic monologue by Italian novelist Alessandro Baricco. The story is about a musical prodigy who spends his life aboard a ship, sailing back and forth between the U.S. and Europe, entertaining the passengers with his unique talent but never sharing it with the rest of the world. The film is narrated by Max (Pruitt Taylor Vince), an American saxophone player whom we meet at the beginning as he tries to pawn his trumpet. On leaving the shop, however, he hears the only recording 1900 ever made, a master that he had broken into pieces but that was later restored. When he finds out that the master came from a ship about to be demolished, he rushes to save 1900 whom he is sure is still aboard. In the process, he tells his story to convince others that 1900 exists. Through flashbacks we learn about 1900 and how he navigated his life from stem to stern. The question throughout the film is whether or not 1900 will abandon the ship and set foot on land? There is a hint that he might do so after he meets a beautiful young woman (Melanie Theirry). She inspires him to compose a beautifully expressive love song while gazing at her through a window, but the only thing that remains is the last copy of the record and an enduring memory. The Legend of 1900 creates its own world and I confess it is one that I got lost in. This is a lovely film that has a heart. It is sentimental without question but is redeemed by the glorious music by Ennio Morricone, beautiful cinematography by Lajos Koltai, and a terrific jazz piano duel between the adult 1900 (Tim Roth) and Jelly Roll Morton played by Clarence Williams III. 1900's world has clearly defined limits and he is fearful of venturing beyond. Land represents for him a place without boundaries, where people can get lost, a place without beginning or end. To me, The Legend of 1900 may be a metaphor for people who find a comfortable niche for themselves in life and are afraid to take risks to see what the possibilities are. In many cases, as with 1900, the world will never know the contribution they might have made.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 8 / 10 / 10

Astounding Visuals, Unique Story

This a "sleeper," a very good film few people have heard about. The ones who have reviewed it here obviously know about it and you can see by their comments how well-liked it is.....so if you haven't seen it, check it out. In North America, it's called "The Legend Of 1900." The movie is definitely unique, about a man who spends his entire life on board an ocean liner and is a fantastic piano player. The best thing about this film, to me at least, was not the story- which I did enjoy - but the cinematography. Wow, what a great-looking film. Speaking of looks, Melanie Thierry is gorgeous. Too bad she has only a small part in this movie. It was nice to see Tim Roth play something other than a detestable villain and Clarence Williams was fun as the arrogant "Jelly Roll Morton," who comes aboard ship to challenge Roth to a piano duel, which has to be seen to be believed. Can you say "outrageous?" This was filmed by the same man who did the much more well-known Italian film, Cinema Paradiso, and if you appreciate how good-looking that film is, well, this is even better!

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