This film is 311 minutes. When a film is this length I always have to ask, does the content of the film justify the running time price tag? The answer for 1900 is no. The film follows two guys, one born to the padrone (Italian landlord in the feudal sense) and the other to the peasants. We follow the padrone’s son, who becomes the padrone played by Robert De Niro, go through life in luxury never really getting to know the guy. The peasant, played by Gerard Depardieu, fights for socialists/communists and does a few things, but we never really get to know him either. The backdrop of the film are the events in Italy from 1900 till liberation day in 1945. Basically the rise and fall of Fascism. The film ultimately sugar coats it’s material and never really says anything. It’s just boring.
The only saving grace in this film is Donald Sutherland who plays wicked fascist. He ties a cat against a board, points to it, says that’s a communist, and then headbutts the cat so that’s it’s crushed. Burt Lancaster is pretty good as well, but he is only in the movie for the first half hour or so.
I really can’t recommend this movie.