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Life Is Beautiful (1997)

La vita è bella (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, War | 12 February 1999 (USA)
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

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(story and screenplay by), (story and screenplay by)
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Top Rated Movies #26 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 66 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Giustino Durano ...
Zio
Sergio Bini Bustric ...
Ferruccio (as Sergio Bustric)
...
...
Dottor Lessing (as Horst Bucholz)
Lidia Alfonsi ...
Guicciardini (as Lydia Alfonsi)
Giuliana Lojodice ...
...
Pietro De Silva ...
Francesco Guzzo ...
Raffaella Lebboroni ...
Claudio Alfonsi ...
Gil Baroni ...
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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

Taglines:

An unforgettable fable that proves love, family and imagination conquer all. (Canadian one sheet) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Life Is Beautiful  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$118,920 (USA) (23 October 1998)

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 was so excited to receive his Academy Award for Best Foreign Film that he stood up in his chair and leaped across several more chairs to get to the stage. See more »

Goofs

When Guido's uncle leaves his house for the hotel, the microphone casts a shadow on the black statue on the right. 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 Last Days of the Big Lie (2009) 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

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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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