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

R  |   |  Drama  |  30 September 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,983 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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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


Catherine & her son share a desire that will shock you. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

30 September 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luna  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Due to delays in filming Luna (1979), actress Jill Clayburgh missed attending a number of awards ceremonies for which she had been nominated for An Unmarried Woman (1978) whilst dubbing sessions for Luna (1979) had to be postponed until Clayburgh had finished work on Starting Over (1979). See more »


Caterina Silveri: I love you, Joe. I love you, Joe.
Joe Silveri: No, you don't. You hate me. You never loved me. You always hated me. You're crazy. You're fucking crazy. You never loved me and you'll never love me. You hate me, you hate me, you hate me. You're a fucking bitch. A bitch!
See more »


Features Niagara (1953) 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
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User Reviews

A stunning masterpiece of cinematic genius!
2 October 2010 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Bernardo Bertolucci's La Luna is a phenomenal piece of cinematic genius indeed, and something which should be viewed with an open mind, and most likely in solitude as opposed to with friends or family.

I first saw the film over twenty years ago when it showed on a local TV channel late at night. It was my first introduction to Bertolucci, but it convinced me immediately of his powers! The storyline is simple, yet it is complex (let's call it simply complex for arguments sake!). It involved the character of an opera singer (played magnificently by Jill Clayburge), and her son (played equally fine by Matthew Barry).

Some people have frowned upon the film for it's incestuous content - yet I would beg to differ. Although there most certainly are incest scenes in the film, there is really only one or two which 'shock', yet they are primary to the storyline, and they do help with filling out the flesh of it all, so to speak.

Heroin addiction is another aspect of this film which may disturb some people (especially from a character so young), but being an ex heroin addict myself, these scenes did not bother me, but bought back some pretty painful memories (as did the incest ones), and they are done with beauty and not overindulged at all.

Put simply, this film needs to be seen by everyone, and you must truly see it for what it is - a magnificent piece of artistic cinema in it's most purest form.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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