A boy who grew up in a native Sicilian Village returns home as a famous director after receiving news about the death of an old friend. Told in a flashback, Salvatore reminiscences about his childhood and his relationship with Alfredo, a projectionist at Cinema Paradiso. Under the fatherly influence of Alfredo, Salvatore fell in love with film making, with the duo spending many hours discussing about films and Alfredo painstakingly teaching Salvatore the skills that became a stepping stone for the young boy into the world of film making. The film brings the audience through the changes in cinema and the dying trade of traditional film making, editing and screening. It also explores a young boy's dream of leaving his little town to foray into the world outside.Written by
In some versions of the shorter theatrical release a shot of a far older Elena can be seen in the final credits montage (perhaps intentionally). See more »
When Toto is a kid, and he and Alfredo are writing the exam, Toto throws a ball of paper to Alfredo. In one frame, he is throwing it with his left hand and in another frame he is throwing with his right hand. See more »
Maria Di Vita - Older:
[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.
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Originally released in Italy at 155 minutes; after a very poor box office performance, the film was pulled out of circulation and shortened to 124 minutes. After it won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes festival and the Best Foreign Film Oscar, it was re-released in Italy on video first in its initial 155 minutes cut and then in a special 170-minutes director's cut. See more »
A beautiful film about the love of movies and life
I continue to be moved and deeply touched by this beautiful film from Italy, and I never tire of watching it. I share the lives of Toto and Alfredo, the small Sicilian boy, who loses his father in the second world war, and the older man who runs the projector at the local cinema. Toto lives in a world of make believe, movies, adventure. His dreams take him away from the small Sicilian village where he lives with his mother and sister. Alfredo becomes for him a surrogate father, and the movies, his paralell existence. It is a deceptively simple film, which sweeps you up and carries you along. You never want it to end. And, when it does end, it is with such heartbreaking simplicity, I cannot help being moved to tears. Young Salvatore Cascio is a marvel as the small Toto, a mischievous, impish, adorable child. Phillipe Noiret is unforgettable as the sly and heart-warming Alfredo. You grow up with Toto, until he becomes a famous film director in Rome, and returns to the small village after many years for Alfredo's funeral. It is the story of life, lost love, devotion, friendship, and family. It is unforgettable.
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