Novecento (1976)

Original Title : 1900
Director : Bernardo Bertolucci
Writer : Franco Arcalli
Bernardo Bertolucci
Giuseppe Bertolucci
Genre : Drama
Country : France
Language : Italian
Producer : Alberto Grimaldi
Music : Ennio Morricone
Photography : Vittorio Storaro
IMDB ID : 0074084
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poster for "Novecento" by Bernardo Bertolucci (1976)
Novecento (1976) - Bernardo Bertolucci


Robert De Niro Alfredo Berlinghieri
Gérard Depardieu Olmo Dalco (as Gerard Depardieu
Dominique Sanda Ada Fiastri Paulhan
Francesca Bertini Sister Desolata
Laura Betti Regina
Werner Bruhns Ottavio Berlinghieri
Stefania Casini Neve
Sterling Hayden Leo Dalco
Anna Henkel Anita
Ellen Schwiers Amelia
Alida Valli Ida Cantarelli Pioppi
Romolo Valli Giovanni
Bianca Magliacca Rigoletto
Pippo Campanini Don Tarcisio
Paolo Pavesi Alfredo as a Child
Roberto Maccanti Olmo as a Child
Antonio Piovanelli Turo Dalco
Paulo Branco Orso Dalco (as Paolo Branco
Liu Bosisio Nella Dalco (as Liú Bosisio
Maria Monti Rosina Dalco
Anna-Maria Gherardi Eleonora (as Anna Maria Gherardi
Demesio Lusardi Pioppi
Angelo Pellegrino Tailor
José Quaglio Aranzini
Clara Colosimo Woman who accuses Olmo
Mario Meniconi Peasant-woman
Odoardo Dall'aglio Oreste Dalco
Piero Vida Young Fascist
Patrizia De Clara Stella
Edda Ferronao Peasant at Attila's execution
Nazzareno Natale Peasant at Attila's execution
Katerina Kosak Anita Foschi
Donald Sutherland Attila
Burt Lancaster Berlinghieri
Ferruccio Amendola Dubbing Voice
Claudio Camaso Dubbing Voice (as Claudio Volonte
Giuseppe Rinaldi Dubbing Voice
Antonio Guidi Dubbing Voice
Renato Mori Dubbing Voice
Rita Savagnone Dubbing Voice rest of cast listed alphabetically
Francesco D'Adda Soldier on train (uncredited
Allen Midgette Vagabond (uncredited
Salvator Mureddu Chief of the King's Guards (uncredited
Mimmo Poli Fascist (uncredited
Tiziana Senatore Regina as a Child (uncredited


Set in Italy, the film follows the lives and interactions of two boys/men, one born a bastard of peasant stock (Depardieu), the other born to a land owner (de Niro). The drama spans from 1900 to about 1945, and focuses mainly on the rise of Fascism and the peasants' eventual reaction by supporting Communism, and how these events shape the destinies of the two main characters.


epic, metaphoric, eclectic: politically charged drama Bertolucci did it again.Less 'red' than Reds (Beatty, 1981), unfortunately Novecento becomes very 'red' and sentimental in the last hour, but I guess that's to emphasize the emotional response to the ending of a war.The simplistic and propagandistic characterization of fascists in general (Donald Sutherland plays the caricaturally satanic embodiment of fascism and opportunism) didn't do justice to the subtlety of the rest of the story, but after all the story revolves around the friendship between aristocrat Alfredo and farmer Olmo.If you look beyond the few flaws, '1900' makes you wonder why only five Bertolucci films have hit the dvd plastic yet.Possibly that's because of the political engagement these tend to propagate in many (subtle) ways.One of the most obvious ways in '1900' is the quite in-your-face waving of the red flags near the end. Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now, il Conformista, la Commare Secca, Reds) did it again.Very subtle compositions versus shocking graphic violence and intimacy from time to time: in general it's more coherent and explicit than 'il Conformista'.Although 1900 is less poetic poetic than 'il Conformista', the great cinematographer found many instances to display his cinematic brilliance in the most appropriate way and let the eclectic cast come to justice. To name a few: Robert DeNiro (Taxi Driver '76!, the Godfather 2, Brazil, Raging Bull), Sterling Hayden (the Godfather 1, Dr. Strangelove, Asphalt Jungle, the Killing), Dominique Sanda (il Conformista), Stefania Sandrelli (il Conformista), Alida Valli (the Third Man, the Spider's Stratagem) and the young soldier Teodoro (Allen Midgette) in Bertolucci's first feature 'la Commare Secca' has a short but good appearance in Novecento for some reason.And last but not least Burt Lancaster (il Gattopardo, the Killers, Criss Cross) who continues his part from 'il Gattopardo' in a way. Ennio Morricone (Days of heaven, Once upon a time in America) did it again.This time not yet as sentimental as Once upon a time in America: his subtle score carries some of the scenes and completes the film in an appropriate way, where the other film turns out to be overdone.Maybe he was glad to work with Leone again.Or something.Anyway, Morricone sure helps making the 5h10 movie watchable consecutively and in one sigh. The epic story about lower and upper classes and the (metaphoric) fascination with animals was presumably an inspiration for 'Days of heaven' (Malick, 1978).FYI IMO 'epic' does not necessarily mean that it's a good film, but in this case it's a crucial aspect of the story.If Bertolucci had watched the Godfather (1972) and especially Godfather Part 2 (1974) a little closer, then he could have gotten the flaws out if this film (refers to the 310 min version).Sergio 'dollar trilogy' Leone did that better in 'Once upon a time in America' (again unfortunately also infinitely more sentimental).Concluding: the conformist meets the godfather?Not really, but still 9/10
poster for "Novecento"
400 x 594
Novecento (1976) - Bernardo Bertolucci
poster for "Novecento"
280 x 400
Novecento (1976) - Bernardo Bertolucci