A kindhearted but bumbling idiot who likes to steal bananas, is passed off for a snitch hiding from the mob.


Roberto Benigni
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Roberto Benigni ... Dante / Johnny Stecchino
Nicoletta Braschi ... Maria
Paolo Bonacelli ... D'Agata
Franco Volpi Franco Volpi ... Ministro
Ivano Marescotti ... Dr. Randazzo
Turi Scalia Turi Scalia ... Giudice
Loredana Romito Loredana Romito ... Gianna
Alessandro De Santis Alessandro De Santis ... Lillo
Sal Borgese ... Ignazio
Gaetano Campisi Gaetano Campisi ... Picciotto in auto
Giulio Donnini Giulio Donnini ... Cardinale
Domenico Minutoli Domenico Minutoli ... Questore di Palermo
Georgia O'Brien Georgia O'Brien ... Moglie del ministro (as Giorgia O'Brien)
Ignazio Pappalardo Ignazio Pappalardo ... Cozzamara
Gigliola Reina Gigliola Reina


Good hearted but not very wordly-wise, Dante is happy driving the school bus for a group of mentally handicapped children, while feeling he is somehow missing out on life and love. So he is very excited when after nearly being knocked down by her car he meets Maria, who seems immediately enamoured of him. He is soon invited to her sumptuous Palermo villa, little suspecting that this is part of a plot. He bears an amazing likeness to Maria's stool-pigeon gangster husband and it would be convenient for them if the mobster, in the shape of Dante, was seen to be dead and buried. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes a banana is just a banana !


Comedy | Crime | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug related humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The house where Maria, Johnny Stecchino and his uncle live is Villa Spedalotto See more »


In a scene in the basement, where the real Johnny is talking with his lawyer, he doesn't have the mole on his right side. That mole is significant, because it's the only thing that's different between him and Dante. See more »


Maria: Santa Cleopatra.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original Italian release is 122 minutes. The international release version is 7 minutes shorter. See more »


References Some Like It Hot (1959) See more »

User Reviews

Funny film showing off Roberto Benigni's comic genius with elements of Marx Brothers and Mr. Bean
22 May 2004 | by DilipSee all my reviews

I just watched the 1991 Italian movie "Johnny Stecchino" (or "Johnny Toothpick") on video. One of my all-time favorite films is "La Vita è bella" ("Life is Beautiful", 1997), another film that Roberto Benigni also directed, co-wrote, and played the lead role in. When I saw a preview of Benigni's comedy "Johnny Stecchino", I had to see the movie.

Benigni is truly a gifted man with comic elements that remind me in this film of the Marx Brothers in physicality and Mr. Bean in amazing simple ignorance. He plays a dual role. As Dante, a bus driver for a group of retarded young adults, he is hopelessly clueless and the highlight of his daily routine seems to be playing a silly trick (every day?! won't the fruit sellers catch on?!) resulting in his stealing a banana for his breakfast. He also plays a mafioso type, Johnny Stecchino, who has snitched on his fellow criminals and is now hiding for fear of his life.

Dante runs into lovely Maria (Nicoletta Braschi) who is really Johnny's wife, but she feigns an inexplicable attraction for Dante. She invites Dante to her grand villa in Palermo (Sicily), where we understand her true plot to have the lookalike simpleton killed so she can live happily with her Johnny.

The film is a comedy of misunderstandings with scenes of stolen bananas, introducing a shocked Roman Catholic Cardinal to cocaine (mistakenly as a diabetic medicine), the two look-alikes running into each other and the criminal pretending to be a mirror to keep himself hidden, a group of seeming mafiosi being led by Dante in singing a children's song enunciating the sounds that various animals make (is this an inside Italian joke, as this reminds me of the 1991 Italian film "Caro Diario" - see <http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0109382/usercomments-12> ?!), and more. Though I wish that Johnny didn't use offensive language, it was otherwise a zany and funny film showing off Benigni's comic genius. Santa Cleopatra!

--Dilip Barman, May 21, 2004

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Release Date:

24 October 1991 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Johnny Stecchino See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,508, 11 October 1992

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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