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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)
699 ( 123)
Top Rated Movies #25 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 66 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »



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


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. (Canadian one sheet) 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 USA:

$118,920, 25 October 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$57,598,247, 3 October 1999

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$229,163,264, 30 June 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (first release)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Guido's wife, Dora, is played by Roberto Benigni's real-life wife, Nicoletta Braschi. See more »


When Dora kisses Guido under the table, her head is tilted to the right then is tilted to the left in the next shot. See more »


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


Referenced in Hayatimin kadinisin (2006) See more »


Marcia Reale
Written by Giuseppe Gabetti (as G. Gabetti)
Ed. Casa Musicale Pucci di Portici (Napoli)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

3 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

This may be one of the best films ever made. I've never seen a movie with such a balance of hysterical comedy and serious drama. Roberto Benigni totally deserved his Oscars. People on this site have said such negative things about him and this film. Mr. Benigni had a lot of guts to make this film, and there's not another film like it. He handled both the comedy and drama aspects beautifully. I loved the beautiful cinematography, scenery, and the characters. This movie is magnificent in every way. Don't miss it!

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