Cinema Paradiso

February 23rd, 1990


Cinema Paradiso

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Cinema ParadisoStill of Salvatore Cascio and Philippe Noiret in Cinema ParadisoStill of Philippe Noiret in Cinema ParadisoStill of Marco Leonardi in Cinema ParadisoStill of Marco Leonardi and Agnese Nano in Cinema ParadisoStill of Jacques Perrin in Cinema Paradiso

A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist.

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 8.5/10 (63,736 voted)

Critic's Score: 79/100

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore

Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili

A famous film director remembers his childhood at the Cinema Paradiso where Alfredo, the projectionist, first brought about his love of films. He returns home to his Sicilian village for the first time after almost 30 years and is reminded of his first love, Elena, who disappeared from his life before he left for Rome.

Writers: Giuseppe Tornatore, Giuseppe Tornatore

Antonella Attili - Maria Di Vita - Younger
Enzo Cannavale - Spaccafico
Isa Danieli - Anna
Leo Gullotta - Usher
Marco Leonardi - Salvatore 'Totò' Di Vita - Teenager
Pupella Maggio - Maria Di Vita - Older
Agnese Nano - Elena Mendola
Leopoldo Trieste - Father Adelfio
Salvatore Cascio - Salvatore 'Totò' Di Vita - Child
Tano Cimarosa - Blacksmith
Nicola Di Pinto - Village Idiot
Roberta Lena - Lia
Nino Terzo - Peppino's Father
Jacques Perrin - Salvatore 'Totò' Di Vita - Adult
Philippe Noiret - Alfredo

Taglines: A celebration of youth, friendship, and the everlasting magic of the movies.


Official Website: Asmik Ace [Japan] |

Release Date: 23 February 1990

Filming Locations: Bagheria, Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Opening Weekend: $25,899 (USA) (16 June 2002) (3 Screens)

Gross: $11,990,401 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Italy: (extended version)  | (International version)

Did You Know?

Irene Papas was considered for the role of the older Maria Di Vita. The role eventually went to Pupella Maggio.

Continuity: When the (adolescent) Salvatore is leaving home on the train, we see Alfredo getting up out of the seat on the platform. The next time we see him, he's seated again, and getting up again.

[first lines]
Maria Di Vita - Older: [in Italian]
[on the phone]
Maria Di Vita - Older: Yes, Salvatore di Vita. You mean you don't know him, Miss? That's right, and I'm his mother. I've been calling from Sicily, all day long. I understand, he's not there.

User Review

As Good as Movies Get

Rating: 10/10

Movies can wield a strange power over those who sit in the darkened seats of a theatre. The truly great ones manipulate your perception of reality, suspend your disbelief, and ultimately either alter or affirm your view on life. NUOVO CINEMA PARADISO is just such a movie. It is the near-perfect melding of direction, acting, script, sound track, and cinematography. Phillipe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio give the kind of performances usually associated with much more recognizable actors. The supporting cast looks like they could all be full-blooded Sicilians. The location shots add depth and realism to the entire production. Ennio Morricone's music is simply the most appropriate and emotive I have ever had the pleasure to hear in a theatre. Tornatore's script and direction are a joy, a breath of fresh air.

I will not spoil this story by repeating it, nor will I give away the ending, although it matters not a whit. I could disclose fully everything in this movie, and in seeing it, all my words would evaporate. There is nothing like the experience of sitting through it, becoming engulfed by it, and in the end, being changed.


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