Legend of 1900, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

This dramatic offering from director Giuseppe Tornatore tells the beautiful story of a man named 1900 (Tim Roth), who lives on an ocean liner his whole life. When Danny Boodmann (Bill Nunn) finds a newborn baby abandoned on the ship, the date is January 1, 1900. Danny decides to keep the baby and gives him the unique name, 1900. The boy grows up on the ship for his first nine years with Danny, but when Danny is killed in an accident, the boy must fend for himself. Instead of leaving the only world he knows, 1900 stays on the ship. He discovers that he has a wonderful gift for playing the piano. So, as he plays piano as part of the ships entertainment, he learns about the world through stories from passengers. 1900 attains legendary status as the piano player who has never set foot on dry land. At one point, he is even challenged to a musical duel by Jazz great Jelly Roll Morton (Clarence Williams III). This beautifully directed film boasts a scintillating score and a top-notch story. However, its lack of publicity and limited release will not gain a large following at the box office.

The entire premise of the movie forces the audience to consider conflicting worlds of finite versus infinite. In 1900s world aboard ship, there are limited possibilities of places to go and jobs to hold. But out in the rest of the world, the possibilities of what to do with life seem endless. Also, a person born and, subsequently, living on a ship his whole life, no matter how talented, doesnt really seem to exist because of limited outside world contacts and publicity. Those two issues create a great conflict in the life of 1900. Should he stay aboard or should he go see the rest of the world? The film includes several odd scenes as viewers are exposed to a variety of passengers. We get a brief glimpse of a woman breast-feeding, one scene shows a man vomiting, and another shows a baby after it defecated on itself. Offensive dialogue includes 14 f-words, 9 s-words, and 9 moderate crudities. Unfortunately, this element of foul language sadly taints an otherwise wonderful film.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Fine Line Features, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, NY, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (20) times - Mild 11, Moderate 9

Obscene Language: Many (25) times - F-word 14, s-word 9, other 2

Profanity: Several (6) times All Regular (GD 3, JC 1, C 2)

Violence: Once - Moderate (man hit with chain)

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near Nudity - Once (woman breast feeds)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (reference to having sex)

Drugs: Many times (alcohol, smoking)

Other: Baby defecates, man vomits; man given Christian burial; characters discuss heaven

Running Time: 123 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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