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Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001)

R  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  17 August 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 27,027 users   Metascore: 36/100
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When a fisherman leaves to fight with the Greek army during WWII, his fiancee falls in love with the local Italian commander.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Stamatis
Aspasia Kralli ...
Mrs. Stamatis
Mihalis Giannatos ...
Dimitris Kaberidis ...
Father Aresenios (as Dimitris Kamperidis)
Pietro Sarubbi ...
Velisarios, The Strongman (as Pedro Sarubbi)
Eleni, Pelagia's Friend
Joanna-Daria Adraktas ...
Young Lemoni
Ira Tavlaridis ...
Older Lemoni
Katerina Didaskalou ...
Lemoni's Mother
Emilios Chilakis ...
Nikos Karathanos ...


In 1941, Italy allies with Germany and ruthlessly conquers the much weaker country of Greece. On a remote Greek island, an Italian artillery garrison is established to maintain order. One Italian officer, Captain Corelli, adopts an attitude of mutual co-existence with the Greeks and engages in such activities as music festivals and courting the daughter of a local doctor. In 1943, however, after Italy surrenders to the Allies and changes sides in the war, Captain Corelli must defend the Greek island against a German invasion. Written by Anthony Hughes <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

greek | italian | captain | island | love | See All (133) »


Drama | Music | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

17 August 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La mandolina del capitán Corelli  »

Box Office


$57,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,722,799 (UK) (4 May 2001)


$25,528,495 (USA) (12 October 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Writer Louis de Bernières rewrote the book approximately 35 times to ensure he had got details told to him by locals as accurate as possible. See more »


The German soldier's submachine gun was not able to fire at the start of the execution scene as it was not cocked. The piston was in its forward position making firing impossible. See more »


Corelli: [upon first seeing Pelagia] Bella bambina at two o'clock!
See more »


Referenced in American Dad!: Hurricane! (2011) See more »


Ricordo Ancor
(Pelagia's Song)
Performed by Russell Watson
Courtesy of Decca Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Sketchy, Melodramatic and Clichéd
29 January 2009 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

The main problem with 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' is that it focuses primarily on the romance between Corelli and Pelagia and that too is half-baked. What is it that draws Pelagia towards him is too unclear. Is it just his musical talent or his zest? The film is set against the backdrop of a war between the Germans and Italians in a Greek island but the war is given less significance and what we see appears very sketchy. The entire film appears too sketchy, melodramatic and clichéd. Much of it is also historically inaccurate.

On the technical front it is well executed. The cinematography of the beautiful exotic locations is breathtaking. The score is terrific. Where acting is concerned, Penelope Cruz can't seem to lose her Spanish accent (she's playing a Greek character) but her performance is otherwise wonderful. John Hurt and Christian Bale are equally marvelous. Nicolas Cage is a miscast. His Italian accent, energetic personality, overdone non-verbal gestures all yield to a caricature rather than a character.

Perhaps director John Madden was pressured to fit the entire novel into a two hour period and he chose to focus on the romance more to draw a larger crowd. I can't shake the feeling that perhaps someone like Anthony Mingella would have made a better and more complete film of it.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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