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''1900'' (Italian: ''Novecento'') is Creator/BernardoBertolucci's first EpicMovie (''Film/TheLastEmperor'' is his second), released in 1976.

On the same day and practically at the same moment, on a wealthy pastoral estate in turn-of-the-century Italy, January 27, 1901; two boys are born. Alfredo Berlinghieri (Creator/RobertDeNiro) is the grandson of the estate's ''padrone'' (patriarch). Olmo Dalcò (Creator/GerardDepardieu) is the bastard grandson of the estate's head labourer. As children, the two develop an unlikely but close friendship. As they grow up together, Olmo becomes a socialist; however it is Fascism that manages to gain a foothold in the country. Alfredo does not, in turn, strictly become a fascist himself. In fact, he is somewhat distasteful of the ideology and adherents of it, such as his father. Nevertheless, over the years the friendship of the two men, representing the Italian lower and upper classes respectively, is tested; as the country undergoes both World Wars, as Alfredo's father hires the sadistic, anti-communist Attila Mellanchini (Creator/DonaldSutherland) as his foreman as the film charts 45 years of Italian history.

An EpicMovie. (The Italian version, which runs for five hours was released in theatres as a Two-Part Diptych. For the American release a shorter version cut by Bertolucci was released but the latest home video features only the longer version.) The film's $6 million budget was supplied by three different sources: $2 million each from Creator/UnitedArtists, Creator/{{Paramount}}, and TwentiethCenturyFox. Even then, it went over-budget by $3 million. Its cast includes Creator/BurtLancaster, Creator/SterlingHayden, Creator/RobertDeNiro, Creator/DonaldSutherland, Creator/GerardDepardieu and Dominque Sanda. It's scored by Creator/EnnioMorricone. Over 12,000 extras were employed.

A particular note about the title. In English, "Novecento" literally means "1900" but as Bertolucci confirmed in interviews, this is a misunderstanding. In Italian dating conventions, Novecento signifies "the nineteen-hundreds" and not the year nineteen-hundred. A more apposite English equivalent would be "The 20th Century".

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!!This film provides examples of:
* AristocratsAreEvil: Actually the bourgeosie landowners are evil, from the perspective of the peasants and proletariat.
* AuthorTract[=/=]{{Anvilicious}}: Fascism = bad. Socialism/communism = good. SexIsGood (which is actually quite unusual for communist movies to state, many of them being a little staid).
* BlackShirt: Attila is one of them.
* BourgeoisBohemian: Alfredo and Dominique Sanda's character are shown as this. They attend trade union meetings and communist dance gatherings but neither of them actually care about the issues and eventually they lapse back and become the idle rich who sit back while fascists run the country.
* ChummyCommies: Italy had a vastly different experience with communism which was suppressed in favour of Fascism, and many of them suffered and fought as Partigiano during the war. At the end when Olmo leads everyone in a trial on [[spoiler:Alfredo, Olmo denounces Alfredo for being a padrone, a landowner and a class traitor, but he also says that he wants to free Alfredo from being a padrone and doesn't want to execute him]].
* DrowningMySorrows: Ada.
* EpicMovie: TheSeventies deconstructive/political/surrealist/absurdist take on the genre (Bertolucci's ''Film/TheLastEmperor'' is a bit more traditional). Huge cast of international actors, a lot of grand scenes and sets. It was also the biggest box-office hit in Italy in its day but not successful in America.
* GainaxEnding: The finale [[spoiler:where Alfredo is denounced in a quasi-Maoist denunciation which ends with Olmo saying that the Padrone Alfredo is dead but Alfredo will live. Then we have a Beckett-esque finale of Alfredo and Olmo growing old and bickering and fighting each other, until they fight by train tracks and Alfredo and Olmo seemingly get run over by a train]].
* LargeHam: Attila.
** EvilIsHammy
* [[KickTheDog Headbutt the Cat]]
* MaleFrontalNudity: Alfredo and Olmo when they have a threesome with a prostitute.
* MetaCasting: The fact that European and Italian actors play peasants while American actors play landowners is a little too on-the-nose even by Bertolucci standards. The one exception is Sterling Hayden, the only American to play a peasant. He's Olmo's father. Bertolucci based it on Hayden's roles as WorkingClassHero in Film/TheAsphaltJungle.
* OddCouple: Olmo and Alfredo. The son of the peasants and the son of the Padrone, they become friends and kids and become HeterosexualLifePartners mid-way and during fascism, [[spoiler:Alfredo protects Olmo and other peasants from persecution]].
* OliveGarden
* ProtestSong: A real-life one, "Sebben che siamo donne" a feminist-socialist song.
* UpperClassTwit: Alfredo has been one all his life. He has his good qualities and redeeming moments but his inertia leads him to become a fascist collaborator.
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