The Legend Of 1900

Visually dazzling, touching and funny, this first English film by CINEMA PARADISO auteur Guiseppe Tornatore boasts a knockout Chaplin-eseque performance by Tim Roth and a seraphically lovely score by Ennio Morricone. Tornatore's fable (his word) takes place almost entirely aboard the Virginian, a mammoth luxury liner. A coal room worker (Bill Nunn) discovers...read more

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Visually dazzling, touching and funny, this first English film by CINEMA PARADISO auteur Guiseppe Tornatore boasts a knockout Chaplin-eseque performance by Tim Roth and a seraphically lovely score by Ennio Morricone. Tornatore's fable (his word) takes place almost

entirely aboard the Virginian, a mammoth luxury liner. A coal room worker (Bill Nunn) discovers an abandoned baby on the first day of the 20th century, decides to keep him secretly and names the infant 1900. Eight years later, after a freak accident orphans the boy, something astonishing happens;

out of nowhere, little 1900 develops the ability to play piano like a master. He's allowed to stay on the ship, entertaining passengers and crew as it sails back and forth between Europe and the U.S. And by the time he's 20, when he's befriended by an American sax player (HEAVY's Pruitt Taylor

Vince), it's clear that this is one genius/naif who will never, ever, get off the boat. Metaphor for the human condition, anybody? Well, yeah, but Tornatore doesn't flog it. He instead keeps things moving with a nifty subplot involving a mysterious record cut by 1900; a great 2nd-act piano duel

between 1900 and a jealous Jelly Roll Morton (Clarence Williams III); and what seems like an endless succession of breathtaking visual set pieces. If any of this reminds you of another recent big ocean liner movie with an award-winning score, forget it; Tornatore packs more genuine poetry and

feeling into his opening sequence — the Virginian pulling into New York harbor as the Statue of Liberty suddenly emerges from the fog — than is to be found in all of TITANIC.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Visually dazzling, touching and funny, this first English film by CINEMA PARADISO auteur Guiseppe Tornatore boasts a knockout Chaplin-eseque performance by Tim Roth and a seraphically lovely score by Ennio Morricone. Tornatore's fable (his word) takes plac… (more)

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