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Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (original title)
R | | Drama | 23 February 1990 (USA)
2:00 | Trailer

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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 »
2,243 ( 205)
Top Rated Movies #56 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 21 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?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


Before the theater is demolished, we see barricades in the parking lot. The camera pulls back to show the crowd watching even further back from a safe distance. Once the explosives go off, two firemen suddenly appear standing just behind the barricades. 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 »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Stealing First Base (2010) 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!

47 of 56 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
How many times have you watched Cinema Paradiso? rthomp-8
this movie made me cry so bad futurebondgirl29
Anybdy else think the ending was not exactly touching? genghis_v
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