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Cinema Paradiso (1988)
"Nuovo Cinema Paradiso" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  23 February 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 138,528 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 383 user | 118 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist.



(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #56 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Enzo Cannavale ...
Isa Danieli ...
Leo Gullotta ...
Pupella Maggio ...
Leopoldo Trieste ...
Father Adelfio
Tano Cimarosa ...
Village Idiot
Roberta Lena ...
Nino Terzo ...
Peppino's Father


A famous film director remembers his childhood at the Cinema Paradiso where Alfredo, the projectionist, first brought about his love of films. He returns home to his Sicilian village for the first time after almost 30 years and is reminded of his first love, Elena, who disappeared from his life before he left for Rome. Written by Graeme Roy <gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A celebration of youth, friendship, and the everlasting magic of the movies.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

23 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cinema Paradiso  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$25,899 (USA) (14 June 2002)


$11,990,401 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Europa Cinema Festival) | (cut theatrical)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


By the end of the twelve month period for 1924, Italy's entire film output had not exceed 20 titles. As 220 titles were released during 1920, by 1924, Italian cinema was slowly dying. See more »


The projection room of the Cinema Paradiso seems to have only a single projector. In those times theaters had at least two projectors and the film was mounted on multiple reels. It was the projectionists job to switch projectors seamlessly. See more »


[first lines]
Maria Di Vita - Older: [in Italian]
[on the phone]
Maria Di Vita - Older: Yes, Salvatore di Vita. You mean you don't know him, Miss? That's right, and I'm his mother. I've been calling from Sicily, all day long. I understand, he's not there.
See more »


Edited into Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012) See more »


Love Theme
Written by Ennio Morricone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

1 July 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This 1988 Italian film (released in the US in 1990), is back with a full 51 minutes added on. This seemed like a stupid idea...there was nothing wrong with the original. The directors cut (which was 1/2 hour longer) was considered a mess. Also, for this release, an extra 1/2 hour was added! I expected the worse. Well, I was pleasantly surprised that this 3 hour version is better than the 2 hour one.

This story follows the life of Salvatore. He's born in a tiny Italian village and we see him as a little boy in the 1930s, an adolescent in the 40s-50s and an adult in the 80s. It basically is about his love of movies and the one true love of his life--Elena. They are in love but she comes from a rich family and he lives in poverty. How can they be together?


The cut movie in the US excised a lot of the Elena subplot and concentrated on Salvatore's love of movies. There's nothing wrong with that, but Elena disappears quite suddenly. This full version explains what happened between them and fleshes out the characters more. It also reveals a crucial surprise at the end.

The performances are all fantastic--especially by the gorgeous young actor playing Salvatore as a teenager. Elena is also stunning. The film has beautiful cinematography and a haunting music score. The 3 hours flew by for me. I didn't want it to end!

So...beautiful music, attractive stars, good acting, compelling story and some incredible romantic sequences. A must-see!!!!

Bring plenty of Kleenex though--I cried a least 5 times!

42 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is Alfredo the most evil movie villain ever? zomfg-overrated
Director's Cut? You can keep it!! orangelion03
If you hate this film......... jaytee2000
who is the blonde singer/actress in the on screen dance/song routine? nick-2218
How many times have you watched Cinema Paradiso? rthomp-8
Anybdy else think the ending was not exactly touching? genghis_v
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