8.6/10
557,517
1,188 user 161 critic

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

La vita è bella (original title)
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1:33 | 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.

Director:

Roberto Benigni

Writers:

Vincenzo Cerami (story and screenplay by), Roberto Benigni (story and screenplay by)
Popularity
784 ( 199)
Top Rated Movies #26 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 67 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roberto Benigni ... Guido
Nicoletta Braschi ... Dora
Giorgio Cantarini ... Giosué
Giustino Durano Giustino Durano ... Zio
Sergio Bini Bustric Sergio Bini Bustric ... Ferruccio (as Sergio Bustric)
Marisa Paredes ... Madre di Dora
Horst Buchholz ... Dottor Lessing (as Horst Bucholz)
Lidia Alfonsi Lidia Alfonsi ... Guicciardini (as Lydia Alfonsi)
Giuliana Lojodice Giuliana Lojodice ... Direttrice Didattica
Amerigo Fontani ... Rodolfo
Pietro De Silva Pietro De Silva ... Bartolomeo
Francesco Guzzo Francesco Guzzo ... Vittorino
Raffaella Lebboroni Raffaella Lebboroni ... Elena
Claudio Alfonsi Claudio Alfonsi ... Amico Rodolfo
Gil Baroni Gil Baroni ... Prefetto
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

An unforgettable fable that proves love, family and imagination conquer all. (Canadian one sheet) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for holocaust-related thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | German | English

Release Date:

12 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life Is Beautiful See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (first release)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Horst Buchholz did his own dubbing for the English and German dubbed versions. See more »

Goofs

When little Giosuè is eating with the German children, the white coffee carafes shown clearly in the foreground are made of insulated plastic, not in use in the 1940s. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

The version shown at the Cannes festival in 1998 is slightly different from the original Italian theatrical release: some scenes have been slightly re-edited and a panel has been added at the beginning of the film, showing the phrase "This is a fairy tale", supposedly to avoid controversy over the subject matter. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Tragic Movie Endings (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Belle nuit (Barcarolle)
(1881)
from the opera "Les contes d'Hoffmann"
Music by Jacques Offenbach
Libretto by Jules Barbier (uncredited)
Performed by Montserrat Caballé (as M. Caballé), soprano and Shirley Verrett (as S. Verret), mezzo-soprano
Recorded by RCA Victor
New Philharmonia Orchestra (uncredited)
Conducted by Anton Guadagno (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best movies ever.
29 August 2000 | by amira_berziSee all my reviews

This is one of those movies that have a lasting effect on you. After watching it, I found that it has less to do with the Holocaust and more to do with the human feelings and the beautiful relationship of a father and his son. The holocaust provides the ultimate context, that brings and highlights the story and adds yet another deep dimension to the movie. No such piece of art has ever before combined laughter and tears of sadness in me before and that is the miracle of the movie. The realism of the movie is not its strong point, but then again it is not supposed to be; this helps in bringing the audiences to a state of mind away from reality, focusing on the feelings generated by forgetting about all external events and developments of the war. Despite that, the movie does not fail to point out an element of the nazi psychology demonstrated by the doctor who was obsessed with riddles. This portrayed the nazi 'state of mind' (if ever such an expression existed) as a sick mentally disturbed state. Life is really beautiful as you watch Guido's relentless efforts to make a lovely exciting experience of the concentration camp to his son. You get exhausted just watching him going through his painful day and yet you smile as he speaks to his son and makes him laugh. One can go on forever describing the creativity of this movie, but one will not be able to capture all its beauty in writing.


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