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Life Is Beautiful (1997)
"La vita è bella" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  12 February 1999 (USA)
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 335,809 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 1,009 user | 148 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his humour, but must use that same quality to protect his son in a Nazi concentration camp.

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Top 250 #29 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 61 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Giustino Durano ...
Sergio Bini Bustric ...
Ferruccio (as Sergio Bustric)
...
...
Doctor Lessing (as Horst Bucholz)
Giuliana Lojodice ...
Amerigo Fontani ...
Pietro De Silva ...
Francesco Guzzo ...
Raffaella Lebboroni ...
Claudio Alfonsi ...
Rodolfo's Friend
Gil Baroni ...
Massimo Bianchi ...
Man with Key
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Storyline

In 1930s Italy, a carefree Jewish book keeper named Guido starts a fairy tale life by courting and marrying a lovely woman from a nearby city. Guido and his wife have a son and live happily together until the occupation of Italy by German forces. In an attempt to hold his family together and help his son survive the horrors of a Jewish Concentration Camp, Guido imagines that the Holocaust is a game and that the grand prize for winning is a tank. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jewish | tank | italy | love | 1930s | See All (71) »

Taglines:

An unforgettable fable that proves love, family and imagination conquer all.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for holocaust-related thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

12 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Life Is Beautiful  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£87,818 (UK) (12 February 1999)

Gross:

$57,598,247 (USA) (1 October 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (first release)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roberto Benigni says the title comes from a quote by Leon Trotsky. In exile in Mexico, knowing he was about to be killed by Joseph Stalin's assassins, he saw his wife in the garden and wrote that, in spite of everything, "life is beautiful". See more »

Goofs

After Dora told Guido that her father could make her do whatever he wanted and Guido makes an analogy with the jewel box, we see him with his right arm extended as he starts the sentence, but the scene suddenly changes as he continues, but his hand is near his chest. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Giosué Orefice: [narrating as an adult] This is a simple story... but not an easy one to tell.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Belle nuit (Barcarolle)
(1881)
from the opera "Les contes d'Hoffmann"
Music by Jacques Offenbach
Libretto by Jules Barbier (uncredited)
Performed by Montserrat Caballé (as M. Caballé), soprano; and Shirley Verrett (as S. Verret),
mezzo-soprano
Recorded by RCA Victor
New Philharmonia Orchestra (uncredited)
Conducted by Anton Guadagno (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Funny, entertaining, and amazingly intense and dramatic.
27 March 2000 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

I find it sad that so many people are so narrow-minded that they will not watch a movie that is black and white or, in this case, is subtitled. I feel sorry for people who refuse to watch a movie like Life Is Beautiful just because it is a foreign film. They have no idea what a beautifully acted and directed film this is, and they'll never know what an amazing experience they are missing.

Life Is Beautiful manages to walk the extremely thin line between humor, fantasy, and tragedy. Sure, the film is clearly comedic, but nevertheless it manages to very effectively communicate the tremendous losses suffered in the Nazi concentration camps and has scenes at least as intense as any scene in Schindler's List.

This is one of the best films that I have ever seen. It manages to be so encompassing that you hardly notice the subtitles are even there. I proudly cast my vote of 10.


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Americans , really ? rabarbers144
Not in the IMDB Top 250 kent_over_pi
Greatest Italian movie ever? I don't think so... art_of_cinema
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Italian version with English subs or English dubbed version? artknish
Oscar... Benigni/Norton turdferguson1000
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