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4.2 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The latest triumph from Giuseppe Tornatore, the writer and director of the Academy Award(R)-winning CINEMA PARADISO, MALENA is an utterly unforgettable story of a boy's journey into manhood amid the chaos and intolerance of World War II. In a sleepy Italian village, the most beautiful woman in town, Malena (Monica Bellucci), becomes the subject of increasingly malicious gossip among the lustful townsmen and their jealous wives. But only her most ardent admirer, young Renato Amoroso (Giuseppe Sulfaro), will learn the untold true story of the mysterious and elusive Malena! In a captivating motion picture nominated for two Academy Awards, the eventual struggles and hardships that Malena must bravely endure serve to inspire Renato to new heights of compassion, courage, and independence!

When 12-year-old Renato, riding through his small Italian town on his new bicycle, sees the voluptuous Malèna, little does he know he's launching on an infatuation that will carry him through the tumultuous days of World War II. Malèna begins as an enraptured depiction of Renato's adolescent mind--the way he stares, hypnotized, at Malèna's garters pressing through the material of her tight skirt, or his frustrated rebellion against the indignity of wearing short pants--but soon transforms into a portrait of small-town prejudice. Malèna's looks spark lust and envy in the townspeople; when her husband dies in combat, the gossip only intensifies, to the point that Malèna is dragged into court to defend herself against accusations of adultery. When the women of the town refuse to sell her edible food at the market, Malèna has little choice but to become what she's been unjustly accused of being. At the end, a twist of fate turns this tale of longing and jealousy into a heartbreaking love story. Monica Bellucci exudes the can't-help-it eroticism that makes Malèna such a lightning rod for everyone's desires; she's like a more zaftig Isabelle Adjani. The movie seems to wander at times, but the ending has a powerful emotional impact. From the director of Cinema Paradiso. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • The Making of Malena
  • TV Spots

Product Details

  • Actors: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico, Matilde Piana, Pietro Notarianni
  • Directors: Giuseppe Tornatore
  • Writers: Giuseppe Tornatore, Luciano Vincenzoni
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Carlo Bernasconi, Fabrizio Lombardo, Harvey Weinstein, Mario Cotone
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXXY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,896 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Malena" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Malena is rich and beautiful film, starring the very fine Monica Bellucci in the title role. It is essentially three films in one, it contains the story of a woman who lost her husband to war, the coming of age of a young boy and also how Facism and war affected the Italian people.
Alot of other reviewers have summed up the plot and made valid comments, so I will only speak of the horrid DVD presentation. Being a huge fan of both the film and Bellucci, I wanted the single best DVD version and I'm afraid to say that this one is far from it! Miramax claim to be an independant and artistly geared studio, yeah right, they have dramaticly censored MANY great scenes from this film. Anyone not as repressed as the suits down at Miramax HQ should look into purchasing the NTSC Korean 2-Disc release. It is the ONLY completely uncut (a few minutes short than the Italian DVD due to PAL to NTSC conversion) DVD with English subtitles. The Italian disc is uncut but doesn't contain English subtitles, so it would only be good for Italian Speakers. Believe me once you see just how much this DVD is missing (over 13 min shorter than Korean NTSC, 16 min shorter than Italian PAL) you will be glad you put in the extra effort to get a real Malena DVD.
PS to the reviewer who thought that the beating of Malena scene was unrealistic or over exagerated for the film's sake, read a histroy book some time! Women who "went with Germans" were beaten, had their heads shaved and sometimes even killed in towns all over Italy and France the second the town was liberated.
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By A Customer on June 9, 2003
Format: DVD
Malena is a fine film. Sadly, you will not be able to see this film in the U.S. as Mirimax/Disney Home Video has heavily censored it for DVD release in the U.S. Monica Bellucci is a beauty, but to fully appreciate her in Malena, you'll need an Italian import of this DVD and a region-free player.
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Format: DVD
Note: Italian with English subtitles.

This is an incredibly sad and poignant film about the despicable treatment levied by an insensitive community on a World War II wife (Monica Bellucci) left alone to fend for herself while her husband is away serving in the Italian Army. It's rumored that he has died in battle but no one knows for sure, not even Malena. It soon becomes assumed by all that she is now a widow and available.

By far the most beautiful and sexually desirable woman in town, the entire community virtually comes to a standstill whenever Malena walks by. The men make little to no attempt to hide their lust as they undress her with their eyes, while the women of the community stare at her just as fiercely for being what they could never be.

Men of influence and wealth are ready and willing to take advantage of the situation. Under the pretense of kindness and generosity they offer their services all the while seeking only to satisfy their carnal desires with her feminine charms. Refusing their sexual advances only makes matters worse for no matter what the truth may be she is unfairly branded a whore and a husband stealer.

While she continues on with her daily routines she silently suffers through all the slander and abuse heaped on by the town. Only one young teenage boy seems to see the sad truth of the situation but he can only watch and quietly deal with his own lustful desires for Malena.

Just as Malena is about to reach her breaking point the German Army occupies the town. Having been rejected for so long by her community she turns to the enemy for acceptance and comfort. This of course only serves to fan the flames of hatred towards her.
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Format: DVD
With deleted scenes put back in, this is a 5-star movie. However, this 'Import, Uncut' version is CENSORED in a way that ruins the overall movie. Large, black blotches are used to block out pelvic anatomy without clothing, which now seems typical censorship for all these (Korean?) imports. If you don't think intimate scenes should be covered over with 'black spot' editing, and you're an adult that can handle seeing a naked body - send a message. Don't waste your money.
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Format: DVD
Malena is truly a great film. It works on so many levels. I have a relative who doesn't usually like foreign films but had to admit this is a great one. Its funny, its sad and it has a message. The story of the beautiful Malena is one that is heart-breaking. Malena is a beautiful woman whose husband is fighting in World War II and is left alone in this town. She is subjected to constant rumours and harassment by the men and women in their village.
Renato is the young boy obsessed with her. He is also the only person who knows the truth about her and knows she doesn't do the things people say she does. Malena wasn't dating everyone, she was sewing for people into the night, carrying her husband's picture and dancing to their favorite music. The sad thing is that Malena has to become what everyone had labeled her once word got back that her husband was killed. Women refused to sell her food and she had to sleep with men to survive. There is a scene towards the end that really upset me. This movie shows how rotten both the men and the women were to her. Malena shows how dangerous lies and assumptions are to a person's standing in their community and their own self-respect.
Malena is a very funny movie at times. There are scenes with Renato that made me laugh out loud. However, its a film that goes deeper than many out there. I would have to say this has become one of my all-time favorites. A beautiful, thought-provoking film.
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