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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 334,775 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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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:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Italian, the answer to the "Snow White" riddle is seven "minuti" - a play on words between "minutes" and "dwarves". See more »

Goofs

When little Giosuè is eating with the German children, the white coffee carafes shown clearly in the foreground are made of insulated plastic, not in use in the 1940s. 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 Brows Held High: Pinocchio (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Marcia Reale
(1831)
Written by Giuseppe Gabetti (as G. Gabetti)
Ed. Casa Musicale Pucci - Portici (Na)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The best foreign language film I have ever seen.
25 June 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

I typically don't care much for sub-titled movies. Foreign films to me are slow and about nothing. So I naturally went to see Life is Beautiful with a chip on my shoulder. I wanted to hate it. I wanted it to be just another movie that Hollywood was praising to show that they were an intelligent bunch of people. Oh boy was I in for the surprise of my life. Not only is this film good, I honestly believe that it was the second best film of 98, next to Saving Private Ryan. The mere fact that Shakespeare in Love won best picture over not only Ryan but over this, is a joke. It's actually funny.

Benigni did everything in this film. He wrote, produced, directed and probably swept the floors at night. There is that much raw energy in this film. There really is. For someone to have that kind of vision is truly incredible. And not only is the film a terrific cinematic experience because of the importance and seriousness of the subject matter, but it is one of the funnier films I've ever seen. When Roberto is translating the German soldiers insructions to his son so that he isn't scared, it is at that moment that you realize you are under his spell. He's got you and no matter how much sceptisism you may have about the film you know you're witnessing a classic in every sense of the word.

I loved this film. Loved everything about it and I am so glad that I got to see it and cheer Benigni at the Oscars. He certainly deserved his best actor award and he should have gotten more.


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