The Legend of 1900 (1998)

R   |    |  Drama, Music, Romance


The Legend of 1900 (1998) Poster

A baby boy, discovered in 1900 on an ocean liner, grows into a musical prodigy, never setting foot on land.


8.1/10
54,658

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  • Tim Roth in The Legend of 1900 (1998)
  • Tim Roth and Pruitt Taylor Vince in The Legend of 1900 (1998)
  • Tim Roth in The Legend of 1900 (1998)
  • The Legend of 1900 (1998)
  • The Legend of 1900 (1998)
  • The Legend of 1900 (1998)

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16 April 2001 | slugthog
10
| This is a film for which the medium was invented.
"The Legend of 1900" is not the most attractive title for a film and the Italian original, "The Legend of the Oceanic Pianist", is no better. in retrospect there is no title worthy of this film. The marquee should read simply "See This Film, Your Life Will Be Better for It."

The story, music, cinematography, direction and, I hazard to say, a near perfect performance by Tim Roth combine to make for a compelling film. The story is told with a poetic lyricism that is immediately captivating and that is more than enhanced by Lajos Koltai's well stated cinematography. Clarance Williams III's controlled overstatement as an unexpectedly nasty Jelly Roll Morton is the perfect contrast to Roth's underplayed and unworldly 1900.

The American release of the film is 125 minutes. The Italian release was 160 minutes. What are we missing. Maybe this shorter cut is better but I cannot forget the devastation that was wrought on "Once Upon A Time In America" for its 139 minute US theatrical release. I certainly would not be not adverse to being subjected to an additional 35 minutes of the film and judging for myself if it was too long.

Aside from its title the films only flaw is the exit song. After two hours of enthralling instrumentals the vocal on the exit song undercuts rather than underscores a masterful filmic experience.

...rmk

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