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Life is Beautiful (1998)

Claudio Alfonsi , Lidia Alfonsi , Roberto Benigni  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,062 customer reviews)

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Life Is Beautiful (English Subtitled)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Claudio Alfonsi, Lidia Alfonsi, Gil Baroni, Massimo Bianchi, Sergio Bini Bustric
  • Directors: Roberto Benigni
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 1999
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,062 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00001U0DP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,685 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Life is Beautiful" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making Life Beautiful Featurette
  • Academy Award TV Commercials

Editorial Reviews

An inspired motion picture masterpiece, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL was nominated for 7 Academy Awards(R) -- winning 3 Oscars, including one for Best Actor Robert Benigni. In this extraordinary tale, Guido (Benigni) -- a charming but bumbling waiter who's gifted with a colorful imagination and an irresistible sense of humor -- has won the heart of the woman he loves and created a beautiful life for his young family. But then, that life is threatened by World War II ... and Guido must rely on those very same strengths to save his beloved wife and son from an unthinkable fate! Honored with an overwhelming level of critical acclaim, this truly exceptional, utterly unique achievement will lift your spirits and capture your heart!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
282 of 294 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Put the children to bed, unplug the phone, get out the tissues and refuse to watch this movie with anybody who likes to talk during a movie. You will be blown away.
Holocaust and comedy. Two words never spoken in the same breath before "Life is Beautiful." To smiply label this movie as such, would do it injustice. Every emotion comes into play during the viewing. You soon begin to empathize with Roberto Benigni as he portrays a father trying to keep the harsh realities of a German concentration camp from his young son. Benigni protects his son with two weapons that the German's could not seize: Humor and Imagination.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and yes I cried. But I also laughed and smiled.
I recommend the Sub-title version of the movie. After five minutes the reading becomes natural and the depth to which you become involved with the movie is well worth it.
I so enjoyed the music in this movie, that I purchased "Tales of Hoffman" by Offenbach. The second playing of this piece in the movie will not allow you to maintain dry eyes.
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138 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, but damn close November 13, 1999
Format:DVD
Okay, a few folks have said they did not like this film. Fair enough, I didn't like Good Will Hunting.
But let's take a look here. If you know what this film is all about, then the first half of it will astound you. I mean, egg on faces? It comes startingly close to Benny Hill for 'want of a laugh track'.
Ahh, but the warmth grows on you, and then...
The second half.
Few scenes are as emotional as when Guido has to reassure his son that the Jews 'aren't going to be made into soap.' The film takes a turn for the harshness and doesn't let up.
Schindler's List was a phenomenal film, showing the utter horror of the holocaust, but it missed one thing: the notion of hope. No one in Spielberg's masterpiece continually believes that 'life is beautiful'. All we see is the horror, the downfall, the pain. And while that makes for a fantastic dramatic punch, it negates any humor or spirit the prisoners may have had to blanket themselves from the harshness, and this humor surely existed.
Guido knows very soon that he is going to die. But, the love for his son outweighs the need to DISPLAY hopelessness. If nothing else, he must protect his son. So he convinces him it's all a game. Simple, buffoonish...
and damn identifiable. Who here can honestly say they wouldn't do anything they could to protect their sons/daughters from knowing the biggest evil on Earth? Guido manages to keep his son involved in 'the game' while he himself knows it will most likely end according to an evil thought.
The end scene, where Guido realizes he is going to be killed, and yet does a goofy march to make his son laugh, is one of the most powerful sights to ever be associated with the trauma the Nazi's inflicted on the world.
If you didn't like this film, fine.
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133 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both hilarious and deeply moving August 31, 2003
Format:DVD
When Roberto Benigni burst onto the Hollywood scene with this acclaimed film and his over-the-top enthusiasm, I couldn't bring myself to watch this film. Instead, I waited for the DVD. However, what I perceived as hype was truly deserved. "Life is Beautiful" is a wonderfully inventive tale that seems fresh even today, years after its first release. Part slapstick, part drama, part romantic comedy, part tragedy - this story of an Italian family during the Holocaust defies categorization.
The films opens with Guido (Benigni) and his friend arriving in town on a car with no brakes and being mistaken for facist officials expected for a parade. This slapstick scene ends with Guido catching the future love of his life, Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), as she jumps from a barn window. The clownish Guido sets out to win her heart despite the odds against him. These early scenes set the stage for the rest of the movie: Guido will rely on invention, humor, and persistence to protect his loved ones despite the obstacles he faces. What begins as slapstick becomes heartbreaking later. Like all stories of the Holocaust, this film has its grim side, but Benigni relies heavily on exaggerated humor, running gags, and an early circus-like atmosphere to set up the emotional power of the time's reality. Most of the atrocities are implied, not witnessed, and the viewer's own knowledge of the time period creates an additional layer of tension.
Roberto Benigni is superb as Guido; his antics are hilarious, but during more dire moments, emotions flash across his face, revealing both the depth of his character and the reality of his position. Nicoletta Braschi is also good, and little Giorgio Cantinini as Guido?s son Joshua is adorably spunky, especially as he questions his father's stories.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I watched this movie with a Holocaust survivor. She said afterward it was the one movie she had seen that did entire justice to the Holocaust, because it showed that the only way to make it through and still be remotely sound in mind was to create a fantasy world for oneself, to convince oneself that what one was experiencing was not reality. This movie does not make light of the Holocaust, it shows what strength of spirit it took to get through it. To remain that light-hearted in the midst of probably the greatest tragedy of the 20th century is strength indeed.
I wish that I could give this movie more than 5 stars. I laughed, I cried, and it haunted me for weeks. If you don't see it, you are missing out on the most beautiful movie, both cinematographically and in spirit, that has ever been made.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Heart-warming movie!
Published 11 hours ago by Helen Hagen
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I wanted a regular dvd not blue ray it will not play on my dvd players
Published 1 day ago by Nancy G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must for any home movie collection.
Published 3 days ago by An Ohio Consumer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful "Life"
Love this passionate, original WW2 dramady set in German -occupied Italy. The star is a young Jewish man who is a funny, sweet hopeless romantic who charms a beautiful, Gentile... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Skyeleo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Oscar!
Published 7 days ago by C. Carnelos-Johnson
2.0 out of 5 stars Foreign film, with subtitles which I don't prefer
I didn't watch the whole thing. I didn't realize it was a foreign movie and I don't like them, so I can't honestly judge it fairly.
Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful!
Published 10 days ago by Kathleen
5.0 out of 5 stars ... was going to be real hokey and not very good. I stayed with it and...
When the movie started I thought it was going to be real hokey and not very good. I stayed with it and was glad I did. The movie was fabulous.
Published 11 days ago by Sharlene
5.0 out of 5 stars The only reason not to see this charming & poignant film is if you...
Stunning. The only reason not to see this charming & poignant film is if you hate subtitles. One of my ten best.
Published 12 days ago by Odysseus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I highly recommend this movie to everyone! You will laugh and cry, and you will be touched and inspired.
Published 13 days ago by LINDA K TOLBERT
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Life is Beautiful is a very Dishonest Movie
This movie is not about Italian fascists and it doesn't have to be. It's the story of one man and his love for his family. If you want to see a movie that shows Italians fascists as the bad guys, I guess you have to watch another movie. You shouldn't blame or criticize a movie based upon your own... Read More
Mar 8, 2011 by Serkan Okar |  See all 3 posts
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