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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 135,571 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 380 user | 117 critic | 20 from

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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Title: Cinema Paradiso (1988)

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Top 250 Movies #56 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 22 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 <>

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

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?


When Salvatore returns to his home and looks at the room his mother prepared for him, there's a picture on the wall from the movie The White Sheik (1952), a Federico Fellini movie starring Leopoldo Trieste, who plays Father Adelfio in this movie. See more »


When Toto is a kid, and he and Alfredo are writing the exam, Toto throws a ball of paper to Alfredo. In one frame, he is throwing it with his left hand and in another frame he is throwing with his right hand. 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 »


References Modern Times (1936) See more »


Love Theme
Written by Ennio Morricone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Personal Favorite
16 May 1999 | by (St. Louis, USA) – See all my reviews

Whether you are a professional or an amateur it is always wise to avoid superlatives with regard to a movie critique ... but I cannot. 'Cinema Paradiso' is simply the finest movie I have ever seen. Like many who have posted at this site before me I have seen it many many times. It reaches within me to places other movies have never reached and I have often wondered why. Perhaps it is because of it's simplicity. It contains no expensive special effects, it has no gratuitous sex or violence, it has no "multi-millon dollar per performance" actors that I know of, it is arguable whether it even has a story line, and yet it soars far above the nonsense that film makers are producing these days. It's characters are portrayed by each and every actor in award winning style and the music is not only beautiful but absolutely perfect for this film.

It is quite simply the story of a human life and it's tragedies and triumphs within the context of a vocation. A young boy matures and gradually learns the lessons of life, cultivates his passion for the cinema, and is rewarded with professional success; however, he remains unfulfilled for true love has escaped him only to return in the form of a gift of love which transcends time, space, and death to reveal at the closing of the film Toto's one true mistress.

A staggering triumph of both the cinematic art and of story telling and yet there may be found people who do not like this movie .... I tend to keep such people at arms length and maintain a wary eye fixed upon them at all times.

141 of 155 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Is Alfredo the most evil movie villain ever? zomfg-overrated
Director's Cut? You can keep it!! orangelion03
who is the blonde singer/actress in the on screen dance/song routine? nick-2218
If you hate this film......... jaytee2000
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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