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Malèna (2000)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  2 February 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 61,305 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 218 user | 86 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

A woman provokes sensual awakenings in a group of adolescent boys.



(screenplay), (original story)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Luciano Federico ...
Renato's Father
Matilde Piana ...
Renato's Mother
Pietro Notarianni ...
Professor Bonsignore
Gaetano Aronica ...
Nino Scordia
Gilberto Idonea ...
Avvocato Centorbi (as Gilberto Idone)
Angelo Pellegrino ...
Segretario politico
Pippo Provvidenti ...
Dott. Cusimano
Maria Terranova ...
Moglie Dott. Cusimano
Marcello Catalano ...
Lieutenant Cadei
Elisa Morucci ...
Domenico Gennaro ...
Vitalba Andrea ...
Moglie farmacista


On the day in 1940 that Italy enters the war, two things happen to the 12-year-old Renato: he gets his first bike, and he gets his first look at Malèna. She is a beautiful, silent outsider who's moved to this Sicilian town to be with her husband, Nino. He promptly goes off to war, leaving her to the lustful eyes of the men and the sharp tongues of the women. During the next few years, as Renato grows toward manhood, he watches Malèna suffer and prove her mettle. He sees her loneliness, then grief when Nino is reported dead, the effects of slander on her relationship with her father, her poverty and search for work, and final humiliations. Will Renato learn courage from Malèna and stand up for her? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A world at war. A young man coming of age. And the woman who changed his life forever See more »


Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

2 February 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Malena  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$62,282 (USA) (29 December 2000)


ESP 127,249,350 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Guiseppe Sulfaro was actually naked in the sex scene between Renato and Lupeta the prostitute and no body double was used. See more »


The bike that Renato rides, suddenly has a modern derailleur-type chain tensioner at the rear at about 20-21 minutes into the film. At all other times, his bike has a fixed rear gear without the chain tensioner. See more »


Renato Amoroso: Signora Malena, a more capable person than me... wrote that the only true love is unrequited love. Now I understand why. It's been so long since you last came out of your house. But the longer we are apart, the stronger my love becomes.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie is dedicated to Tornatore's Father See more »


Spoofs Cleopatra (1934) See more »


Written by Giuseppe Blanc
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Viva Tornatore!
22 January 2001 | by (Boston,MA,USA) – See all my reviews

I found the film to be visually hypnotic and very moving. I was also impressed with the film maker's story telling technique. The film brought me into the bustling street life of the Sicilian village by eye-level camera work and the comments of the people in crowded scenes, through which I was taken with the characters. Just like walking down a busy urban street anywhere with your ears and eyes open. The film made me wake up to the fact that so much American film, perhaps all contemporary film, is composed mainly of close ups with two or a few people. Not this film. There is a sequence with airplanes overhead that is absolutely dizzying without any fancy 3-D or pyrotechnic effects. Mr. Tornatore brilliantly uses silent stares, pairs of eyes and silly dream sequences with amazing effect. The male lead, an adolescent boy, is portrayed with great empathy by Giuseppe Sulfaro without schmaltz or sanitizing, so typical in American films about puberty. The title role, played well by a dazzling Monica Bellucci, could have been written for a young Sophia Loren. (My dream sequence, I guess) My favorite character was Renato's father, hilariously played by Luciano Federico. A must see.

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