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Luna (1979)
"La luna" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  30 September 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,939 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 27 critic

While touring in Italy, a recently-widowed American opera singer has an incestuous relationship with her 15-year-old son to help him overcome his heroin addiction.


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Title: Luna (1979)

Luna (1979) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Caterina Silveri
Joe Silveri
Veronica Lazar ...
Douglas Winter
Giuseppe's Mother
Elisabetta Campeti ...
Man in Bar
Director of Caracalla
Peter Eyre ...
Mustapha Barat ...
Mustafa (as Stéphane Barat)
Pippo Campanini ...
Rodolfo Lodi ...
Maestro Giancarlo Calo
Sara Di Nepi ...
Concetta (as Shara Di Nepi)


Recently widowed American opera diva Caterina takes her teenaged son Joe with her on a long singing tour to Italy. Absorbed in her hectic work in various Verdi operas around Rome, Caterina is soon shocked to discover that her troubled and lonely son has become a heroin addict. Her desperate attempts to wean the youth off the drug result in an incestuous relationship, but also in a possibility to reunite Joe--maybe even herself--with his real father, whose existence she has kept a secret from him. Written by Markku Kuoppamäki

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Between a mother and son. Between the delicate boundaries of love. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

30 September 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luna  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To prepare for her lead role in this film, actress Jill Clayburgh studied opera singing under an Italian opera soprano as well as taking a course in Italian language but most of the film ended up being in English and only a small part of the film ended up being in Italian. See more »


Joe Silveri: Your face is a mess. I'll clean it up.
[starts licking her face]
Caterina Silveri: It's good.
Joe Silveri: Hold still.
See more »


Referenced in The Censor (1980) See more »


Un ballo in maschera
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
Soprano Martina Arroyo
Tenor Plácido Domingo
Baritone Piero Cappuccilli
Chorus of the "Royal Opera House," Covent Garden
New Philarmonia Orchestra
Conducted by Riccardo Muti
See more »

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User Reviews

Flawed but haunting Bertolucci film
28 March 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Not quite sure how I exactly feel about this film. As with a lot of Bertolucci movies, there are plenty of cringe-inducing moments, from the overblown Verdi opera scenes to Jill Clayburgh campily dancing around to rock music screeching "Oh yeah! In the 60s we believed in THINGS!!!" Taken as a whole, the movie is very uneven, psychologically muddled, heavy-handed and overlong. But there are haunting stretches in this movie which continue to resonate with me -- an opening passage where Clayburgh is biking in the night with her baby, and even smaller moments like the strangely beautiful shot of the teenagers skateboarding down the streets of Rome, or the kid dancing to "Night Fever". I would love to rewatch it and hope it get released on DVD. It's a fascinating entry in Bertolucci's work. A mess, but I think it's stayed with me more strongly than 1900 or Tango, though I think The Conformist still reigns supreme.

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