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Life Is Beautiful (1997)

La vita è bella (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, War | 12 February 1999 (USA)
1:30 | Trailer

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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.



(story and screenplay by), (story and screenplay by)
634 ( 12)
Top Rated Movies #26 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 66 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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


Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




| |

Release Date:

12 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Life Is Beautiful  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$57,598,247 (USA) (1 October 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (first release)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After Z (1969), this is the second film to be nominated by the Academy for both Best Film and Best Foreign Language Film. See more »


The position of the tank in relation to the paper when Giosuè is drawing in the book store changes. See more »


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


Featured in Visionado obligado: Primer (2012) See more »


Marcia Reale
Written by Giuseppe Gabetti (as G. Gabetti)
Ed. Casa Musicale Pucci di Portici (Napoli)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Best Movie I've seen for a long long time
6 December 1999 | by (Halifax, Canada) – See all my reviews

I am surprised about the negative comments that some people made on this web-page. I can see how some people might not experience the same kind of uplift or joy that most of us lived through when seeing the movie. But that some viewers felt insulted and betrayed because the movie did not depict "reality" as it really was or is, is not fair.

I must concur with my fellow proponents of the movie -- it was a great and very satisfying movie. It provided me with something that everyone in one or another shape or form needs -- Hope. The movie showed the cruelty of life and yet managed to shed some light and insight into the beauty of love and life in general.

I urge anyone who has not seen La Vita è bella to go out there and watch it. If we all take with us just little bit of that hope and love that this movie is trying to convey; this world would be a much better place.

Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoyed or will enjoy the movie as much as I did.

439 of 521 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Americans , really ? rabarbers144
I'm sorry, but I don't get it. mcintyre-15
Not in the IMDB Top 250 kent_over_pi
Greatest Italian movie ever? I don't think so... art_of_cinema
ok for those who cried.... jono101
Italian version with English subs or English dubbed version? artknish
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