IMDb > Life Is Beautiful (1997)
La vita è bella
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Life Is Beautiful (1997) More at IMDbPro »La vita è bella (original title)

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Life Is Beautiful -- An inspired motion-picture masterpiece, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL was nominated in 1998 for 7 Academy Awards - winning 3 Oscars, including one for Best Actor Roberto Benigni.
Life Is Beautiful -- Trailer for Life Is Beautiful


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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Vincenzo Cerami (story) &
Roberto Benigni (story)
View company contact information for Life Is Beautiful on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 February 1999 (USA) See more »
An unforgettable fable that proves love, family and imagination conquer all.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 63 wins & 39 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A superb tragi-comedy See more (1023 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Roberto Benigni ... Guido

Nicoletta Braschi ... Dora

Giorgio Cantarini ... Joshua
Giustino Durano ... Uncle Eliseo
Sergio Bini Bustric ... Ferruccio (as Sergio Bustric)

Marisa Paredes ... Dora's Mother

Horst Buchholz ... Doctor Lessing (as Horst Bucholz)
Giuliana Lojodice ... School Principal
Amerigo Fontani ... Rodolfo
Pietro De Silva ... Bartolomeo
Francesco Guzzo ... Vittorino
Raffaella Lebboroni ... Elena
Claudio Alfonsi ... Rodolfo's Friend
Gil Baroni ... Prefect
Massimo Bianchi ... Man with Key
Jürgen Bohn ... German Orderly at Party (as Jurgen Bohn)
Verena Buratti ... German Auxilliary
Robert Camero ... German Executioner
Ennio Consalvi ... General Graziosi
Giancarlo Cosentino ... Waiter Ernesto
Aaron Craig ... U.S. Tank Soldier
Alfiero Falomi ... King
Daniela Fedke ... German Auxilliary
Antonio Fommei ... School Janitor
Stefano Frangipani ... Card Player
Ernst Frowein Holger ... German Sergeant
Alessandra Grassi ... Teacher
Hannes Hellmann ... German Corporal (as Hannes Helmann)
Wolfgang Hillinger ... German Major at Party
Margarita Lucia Krauss ... Female Soldier at Children's Dinner
Patrizia Lazzarini ... Woman #1 at Grand Hotel
Marie Luciana ... Woman #2 at Grand Hotel (as Maria Letizia)
Concetta Lombardo ... Gigliola
Maria Rita Macellari ... Queen
Carlotta Mangione ... Eleonora
Franco Mescolini ... School Inspector
Francesca Messinese ... Woman at the Opera
Angel Alise Adell ... German Auxilliary (as Angel Alise Middelthon)
Andrea Nardi ... Unpholsterer
Günther Pfanzelter ... German Soldier (as Gunther Pfanzelter)
Cristiana Porchiella ... Old Maid Teacher
Antonio Prester ... Bruno (as Nino Prester)
Gina Rovere ... Dora's Maid
Laura Susanne Ruedeberg ... German Auxilliary (as Laura Ruedeberg)
Massimo Salvianti ... Book Store Polceman

Richard Sammel ... German Lieutenant at Station
James Schindler ... German Guard
Andrea Tidona ... Grand Hotel Doorman

Dirk K. van den Berg ... German Soldier (as Dirk Karsten Van Den Berg)
Giovanna Villa ... City Hall Secretary
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lidia Alfonsi ... Guicciardini
Omero Antonutti ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Roberto Benigni 
Writing credits
Vincenzo Cerami (story and screenplay by) &
Roberto Benigni (story and screenplay by)

Produced by
Gianluigi Braschi .... producer
Mario Cotone .... line producer
John M. Davis .... producer (English language version)
Elda Ferri .... producer
Agnès Mentre .... executive producer (english dubbed version) (as Agnes Mentre)
John Rogers .... executive producer (english dubbed version) (as John S. Rogers Jr.)
Original Music by
Nicola Piovani (music by)
Cinematography by
Tonino Delli Colli (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Simona Paggi (film editor)
Casting by
Shaila Rubin 
Production Design by
Danilo Donati (production design)
Art Direction by
Danilo Donati (art direction)
Set Decoration by
Luigi Urbani (set dresser)
Costume Design by
Danilo Donati (costumes)
Makeup Department
Giusy Bovino .... lead hair stylist
Martina Cossu .... makeup artist
Walter Cossu .... lead makeup artist
Maria Pia Crapanzano .... hair stylist
Enrico Iacoponi .... lead makeup artist
Federico Laurenti .... makeup artist
Fabio Lucchetti .... hair stylist
Production Management
Tullio Lullo .... production manager
John Rogers .... post-production supervisor: New York (as John S. Rogers Jr.)
Pietro Sassaroli .... production manager
Attilio Viti .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gianni Arduini .... assistant director
Daniele Cama .... assistant: to Mr. Benigni
Dan Edelstein .... additional director: English dubbed version
Giovanni Marino .... assistant: to Mr. Benigni (as Nanni Marino)
Luigi Spoletini .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Emanuela Alteri .... decorative painter
Rosario Calascibetta .... props
Paolo Cameli .... scenic artist
Alberto Ciolfi .... decorative painter
Vito Consoli .... scenic artist
Maurizio di Clemente .... draftsman (as Mauriziio Di Clemente)
Edoardo Di Iorio .... second assistant art director
Ivano Gatti .... scenic artist
Roberto Magagnini .... property master
Carlo Maggi .... head plasterer
Carlo Maggi .... lead stucco artist
Paola Mugnai .... decorative painter
Sabina Palermo .... props management: Intesa
Maurizio Sabatini .... first assistant art director
Romolo Severi .... decorative painter
Marcello Turco .... scenic artist
Fernando Valento .... construction foreman
Luca Ferretti .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Stephen Andrew Schwartz .... props (uncredited)
Francesco Valento .... carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Fernando Ascani .... assistant engineer: English dubbed version
Benni Atria .... sound editor
Michael Barry .... re-recording mixer: English dubbed version
Louis Cerborino .... sound editorial staff: New York (as Lou Cerborino)
Claudio Chiossi .... sound mixer
Pam DeMetruis-Thomas .... adr editor: English dubbed version (as Pam De Metruis)
Marco di Vittorio .... adr engineer (as Marco Di Vittorio)
Alberto Doni .... sound mixer
Gerald Donlan .... adr editor: English dubbed version
Gerald Donlan .... sound editorial staff: New York
Steve Earnhart .... foley editor: English dubbed version (as Stephen Earnhart)
Dan Edelstein .... sound editorial staff: New York
Dan Edelstein .... supervising adr editor
Tom Fleischman .... re-recording mixer: English dubbed version
Jesse Hammer .... recording engineer: English dubbed version
Bill Higley .... recording engineer: English dubbed version
Bobby Johanson .... recording engineer: English dubbed version
Richard King .... sound effects editor: English dubbed version
Dan Korintus .... adr editor: English dubbed version
Steve Kramer .... dubbing adaptation: English dubbed version
Ettore Mancini .... boom
James Marchione .... assistant engineer: English dubbed version (as Jim Marchione)
Silvia Moraes .... sound editor
Tullio Morganti .... production sound mixer
Branka Mrkic .... adr editor: English dubbed version
Angela Organ .... assistant editor: English dubbed version
Harry Peck Bolles .... adr editor: English dubbed version (as Harry Bolles)
Jacob Ribicoff .... adr editor: English dubbed version
Federico Savina .... consultant: Dolby
Arthur Schlenger .... assistant editor: English dubbed version
Steve Schwartz .... assistant editor: English dubbed version
Steve Schwartz .... sound editorial staff: New York (as Stephen Schwartz)
Damon Skinner .... sound editorial staff: New York
Charlotte Stobbs .... sound editorial staff: New York
Larry Hopkins .... layback sound mixer (uncredited)
Marco Lazzaro .... boom operator (uncredited)
Alessandro Pambianco .... assistant sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Kenneth Cassar .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Giovanni Corridori .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Bagala .... grip (as Roberto Bagola)
Salvatore Bognanni .... assistant camera
Roberto Brega .... camera operator
Aldo Colanzi .... key grip
Marco Contaldo .... electrician
Francesco Cotone .... assistant grip
Roberto Cuccoli .... electrician
Marco Cuzzupoli .... assistant camera
Umberto Dessena .... grip
Claudio Frollano .... electrician
Sergio Gabrielli .... grip
Aldo Galigani .... electrician
Maurizio Galli .... assistant grip
Simone Lucchetti .... electrician
Adolfo Onorati .... generator operator
Marco Santarelli .... grip
Fabrizio Spadoni .... grip
Sergio Strizzi .... unit photography
Giovanni Tancredi .... electrician
Massimo Tanfani .... assistant grip
Marco Verginelli .... grip
Carlo Vinciguerra .... gaffer
Casting Department
Mark Bennett .... casting director: English dubbed version
Savannah Haske .... casting associate (English dubbed version)
Christina Rosati .... additional casting (English dubbed version)
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gaelle Allen .... stylist
Angela Anzimani .... wardrobe assistant
Giovanna Anzimani .... wardrobe assistant
Alma Barbieri .... workshop tailor
Giampiero Grassi .... workshop tailor
Metka Kosak .... assistant costume designer (as Metka Koschak)
Simona Mattei .... wardrobe assistant
Raoul Settimelli .... assistant costume designer
Alessandra Torella .... assistant costume designer
Emanuele Zito .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Benni Atria .... assistant editor: avid
Maddalena Colombo .... assistant editor: avid
Pasquale Cuzzupoli .... color timer
Giorgia Onofri .... post-production secretary
Irma Misantoni .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Damiano Antinori .... assistant music mixer
Pasquale Filastò .... music assistant: Ars Nova
Giuseppe Gabetti .... composer: "Marcia Reale" (as G. Gabetti)
Angelo Giovagnoli .... music coordinator
Nicola Piovani .... conductor
Nicola Piovani .... music arranger
Nicola Piovani .... orchestrator
Fabio Venturi .... music mixer
Fabio Venturi .... music recordist (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Raffaele Bello .... production driver
Valerio Berlini .... production driver
Spartaco Calanchini .... production driver
Stefano Ceppi .... production driver
Abel Fasano .... production driver
Claudio Pitotti .... production driver
Massimo Rossi .... production driver
Balilla Santoro .... production driver
Giovanni Scuro .... production driver
Giuseppe Serra .... production driver
Sergio Verdecchia .... production driver
Other crew
Marco Albertini .... production coordinator
Ettore Balducci .... stills laboratory
Roberto Benigni .... presents
Ilaria Borrelli .... director: Joshua (English dubbed version)
Michele Brown .... assistant to executive producer (English dubbed version)
Cristiana Caimmi .... unit publicist
Mario Cecchi Gori .... presents: English dubbed version
Vittorio Cecchi Gori .... presents: English dubbed version
Giuseppe Ceci .... caterer
Giulio Cestari .... business consultant: Melampo
Piera Cimino .... workshop tailor
Valentina Cotone .... assistant production coordinator
Katia Crispino .... stand-in: Mr. Braschi
Roberto Dell'Acqua .... stand-in: Mr. Benigni
Elisa di Serio .... workshop tailor (as Elisa Di Serio)
Franco Fantini .... production auditor
Maria Vittoria Filipponi .... bookkeeper
Luigi Gatto .... dyer
Marina Grappelli .... accountant
Leda Lojodice .... choreographer
Irene Macri .... workshop tailor
Maurizio Maggi .... bulbs and gels: International Set Lighting
Lilene Mansell .... dialect coach: Jonathan Nichols, English dubbed version
Giovanna Montevecchi .... workshop tailor
Ettore Musco .... production coordinator
Nando Nibbi .... unit manager
Attilio Pettirossi .... caterer
Marcello Pezzetti .... historical advisor: Center for Documentation of Contemporary Judaism, Milano
Mandella Quilici .... assistant production coordinator
Emanuela Riganelli .... assistant coordinator
Nicoletta Rossana .... dyer
Fabiano Rubeo .... bookkeeper
Giulia Saccucci .... accountant
Olivia Sleiter .... unit manager
Antonio Smiraglia .... caterer
Enrico Sollazzo .... assistant production coordinator
Luigi Spoletini .... assistant: Mr. Benigni
Jeffrey Tahler .... assistant to executive producer (English dubbed version)
Vittorio Torrieri .... workshop tailor
Giorgio Vecchi .... crane operator
Daniele Cama .... assistant: Mr. Benigni (uncredited)
Rod Dean .... adaptation: English version (uncredited)
Gianluca Lazzaroni .... assistant production office manager (uncredited)
Giovanni Marino .... assistant: Mr. Benigni (uncredited)
Paila Pavese .... voice dubbing: Marisa Paredes (uncredited)
Jay Sheveck .... premiere and release (uncredited)
Stefano Bartezzaghi .... special thanks to
Rossella Belli .... the producers wish to thank: La Soc. Fedora
Maurizio Benvenuti .... the producers wish to thank: La Soc. Fedora
Sonia Berrettini .... the producers wish to thank: La Soc. Fedora
Claudio Burlando .... the producers wish to thank: Minister of Transportation
Franco Casaglieri .... thanks
Demofilo Fidani .... special thanks to: Auschwitz survivor (as Nedo Fidano)
Mariangela Gualtieri .... special thanks to
John Hadity .... special thanks: English dubbed version
L. Picciotto Fargion .... special thanks to: Auschwitz survivor (as Liliana Picciotto Fargion)
Marco Pisini .... thanks
Valerio Veltroni .... thanks
Schlomo Venezia .... special thanks: Auschwitz survivor
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La vita è bella" - Italy (original title)
"Life is Beautiful" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for holocaust-related thematic elements
116 min | Italy:122 min (first release)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Box office of the film reached more than $225 million internationally.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Guido is talking to Giosuè in the concentration camp, he mouths his son's lines as the boy speaks them.See more »
[first lines]
Giosué Orefice:[narrating as an adult] This is a simple story... but not an easy one to tell.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Beautiful That WaySee more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What is the answer to Dr. Lessing's final riddle?
What does the german guard say in german
See more »
188 out of 241 people found the following review useful.
A superb tragi-comedy, 26 February 1999
Author: Chris Williams from Durham, England

Roberto Benigni's Vita e bella, is in many ways similar to Chaplin's Great Dictator. Both are comic attacks on fascism, but the former's is the more successful. Benigni initially accesses the emotions of his audience through simple comedy, which is a pleasant mix of Keaton and Chaplin. Romance ensues with his real life wife Nicoletta Braschi. The first half of this film has been seen by various critics as being inferior to the second, but this is certainly not the case. In the first section we follow the delightful romance that will eventually lead to marriage and the creation of the wonderful Giosue (Giorgio Cantarini).

It is the first half where the audience can laugh the loudest and delight at the immense comedy talent of Benigni. Unlike so many films nowadays there is nothing crude or course, his is simple innocent humour, which is all the more effective. The way he ties together little strand in the film to create comedy elements shows a great writing ability, and a mastery of timing when it comes to their execution on screen. Various incidents related to the rise of anti-semitism and fascism in Italy show that there are sinister forces at work which come to the fore in the second segment.

Guido (Benigni) moves events on from Tuscany in 1939 to the last year of the war in a concentration camp. In this period he and Dora (Braschi) have had their son Giosue (Cantanarini). The five year old greatly reminds me of Toto in Cinema Paradiso, and plays an equally important role in his prospective film (though in Paradiso's case it is at the beginning of the movie). The relationship between the two is very similar to that of Jackie Coogan and Charlie Chaplin (though Benigni, unlike Chaplin, keeps the best of the comedy moments). Guido attempts to keep from the boy the horrors of what is going on, and this eventually manifests itself as a game where the aim is to score 100 points, with the winner winning a real tank (which, of course appeals to the young boy). Comic moments are still present, that involving Guido's translation of the rules of the camp is particularly notable, but it becomes somewhat more difficult to laugh when we consider the gravity of what is going on.

The emphasis begins shifts, and we realise that this is a film about human spirit above all else. Guido not only appeals to the audience due to his comedy and sheer pleasantness, but also in the way that he loves his family and the measures that he will go to to protect them.

This is certainly no Schindler's List, but it never pretends to be. Occasionally events seem a little contrived, but this does seem to work in the film's favour. However, this film avoids the tendency of Hollywood to go far over the top in emotional and credibility terms.

Benigni shines like a lantern throughout the picture, showing that he is a talent, not only in comedy terms, that far outshines his peers. Cantanari is a delight, and Braschi also plays her part well. There is even an appearance by The Magnificent Seven's Horst Buchholz as Doctor Lessing, a man who events change for the worse.

Please don't let the fact that it, to all but the Italians, is a foreign language film. The language itself adds a beauty of form to the film, much as it did in the case of Il Postino. This has to be a certainty for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, though something tells me that it will be overlooked for other awards as it is Italian and not a mainstream English language picture.

Please see this film, and make up your own mind. It is appealing in so many different ways that I'm sure that you will not be disappointed.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (1023 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Life Is Beautiful (1997)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Americans , really ? rabarbers144
Why does Guido take Joshua out that night? *spoilers* makru921
So Moving! salmanzaki19
ok for those who cried.... jono101
Norton LOST get over it Christian_Juarez
Do people actually find the jokes in this movie funny? LilZe28
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