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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 138,340 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 382 user | 117 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

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?


Giuseppe Tornatore's intention was that this movie should serve as an obituary for traditional movie theatres (like the one on the film) and the movie industry in general. After the movie's success he never mentioned this again. See more »


When Toto is young, the films that Alfredo gave him catch fire. They burn and ruin the only picture that his mother had of his father. When Toto is a grown up, this "burnt" picture is hanged on the wall totally unharmed. 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 The Black Arrow (1948) See more »


Love Theme
Written by Ennio Morricone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

As Good as Movies Get
29 November 1999 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

Movies can wield a strange power over those who sit in the darkened seats of a theatre. The truly great ones manipulate your perception of reality, suspend your disbelief, and ultimately either alter or affirm your view on life. NUOVO CINEMA PARADISO is just such a movie. It is the near-perfect melding of direction, acting, script, sound track, and cinematography. Phillipe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio give the kind of performances usually associated with much more recognizable actors. The supporting cast looks like they could all be full-blooded Sicilians. The location shots add depth and realism to the entire production. Ennio Morricone's music is simply the most appropriate and emotive I have ever had the pleasure to hear in a theatre. Tornatore's script and direction are a joy, a breath of fresh air.

I will not spoil this story by repeating it, nor will I give away the ending, although it matters not a whit. I could disclose fully everything in this movie, and in seeing it, all my words would evaporate. There is nothing like the experience of sitting through it, becoming engulfed by it, and in the end, being changed.

200 of 227 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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