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The Legend of 1900 (1998)

La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano (original title)
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A baby boy, discovered in 1900 on an ocean liner, grows into a musical prodigy, never setting foot on land.

Director:

Giuseppe Tornatore

Writers:

Alessandro Baricco (monologue Novecento), Giuseppe Tornatore
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 21 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Roth ... Novecento
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Max
Mélanie Thierry ... La ragazza
Bill Nunn ... Danny
Clarence Williams III ... 'Jelly Roll' Morton
Peter Vaughan ... Negoziante
Niall O'Brien Niall O'Brien ... Capo del porto
Alberto Vazquez ... Machinista messicano (as Alberto Vázquez)
Gabriele Lavia ... Contadino
John Armstead John Armstead
Cory Buck Cory Buck ... Lemon - age 8
Norman Chancer Norman Chancer ... Impresario
Sidney Cole ... Musician
Katy Monique Cuomo Katy Monique Cuomo ... (as Katy Monique Cuom)
Luigi De Luca ... Neapolitan Stoker
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Storyline

1900. Danny Boodmann, a stoker on an American passenger liner, Virginian, finds a baby abandoned on the ship. He names the child Danny Boodmann T.D. Lemon Nineteen Hundred '1900' and raises the child as his own until his death in an accident on the ship. The child never leaves the ship and turns out to be a musical genius, especially when it comes to playing the piano. As an adult he befriends a trumpet player in the ship's band, Max Tooney. After several years on the ship Max leaves, and tells the story of 1900 to the owner of a music store. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ship | 1900s | piano | pianist | jazz | See All (93) »

Taglines:

An epic story of a man who could do anything... except be ordinary. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

28 October 1998 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

La légende du pianiste sur l'océan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,200, 31 October 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$259,127, 12 December 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sciarlò, Medusa Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was actually a registered ship named the SS Virginian which was built in 1904 and scrapped around 1954. The ship had one funnel with the Allan Line's colors on it. The SS Virginian also had a vital part in the Titanic disaster in April 1912 as she was reported near the vicinity of the sinking and within radio contact. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, the immigrants are happy to be entering America through New York. However, the ships are shown passing from right to left in front of the Statue of Liberty. This would be taking them out of New York harbor, not into it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Max: I still ask myself if I did the right thing when I abandoned his floating city. And I don't mean only for the work. The fact is, a friend like that, a real friend - you won't meet one again. If you just decide to hang up your sea legs, if you just want to feel something more solid beneath your feet - and it's then you no longer hear the music of the gods around you. But, like he used to say, you're never really done for, as long as you got a good story, and someone to tell it to. ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

Original version released in Italy is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. A 123-minutes version premiered at the Locarno film Festival in July 1999. This shorter version is the same released in the USA by Fine Line under the title "The Legend of 1900". See more »


Soundtracks

The Finger Breaker
(aka "Finger Buster")
Written by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (uncredited)
Performed by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (as 'Jelly Roll' Morton)
Edwin H. Morris & Co., a division of MPL Communications Inc.
Tempo-Music Publishing Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This is a film for which the medium was invented.
16 April 2001 | by slugthogSee all my reviews

"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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