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The Night of the Shooting Stars


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Product Details

  • Actors: Omero Antonutti, Margarita Lozano
  • Directors: Paulo and Vittorio Taviani
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00124SNJ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,076 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Night of the Shooting Stars" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

From internationally celebrated directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (Padre Padrone) comes this "extraordinary" film (Los Angeles Times) about a Tuscan village struggling against Nazi oppression during the final days of World War II.

It is the Night of San Lorenzo, the night when dreams come true. While watching shooting stars, Cecilia tells her son about a similar night in 1944, when she was six years old, and the residents of San Martino, her small Tuscan town, defied their Nazi occupiers.

DVD EXTRA: "Talking About Cinema: Taviani Brothers" (84-minute interview by Carlo Lizzani)

Also includes an 8-page booklet with essay by Italian cinema expert Peter Bondanella.

Customer Reviews

The description of the movie didn't really meet my expectations.
Clv
This film, in particular, with its' mythologizing of childhood memories and events is deeply moving as well as stunning visually.
halbregg
Fascists have lost the power, but their desire for control was still strong.
Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 78 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 2003
Format: DVD
Quite simply the best movie produced by Italy in the post-Fellini/Antonioni era. (And never mind *Cinema Paradiso*, the movie of choice for those who drink cappuccinos after lunch.) *The Night of the Shooting Stars*, written and directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, is a semi-autobiographical account of World War II shuddering to a close in the Tuscan countryside. The movie begins with the disembodied voice of a young woman, who proceeds to relate her childhood memories of war to her own child. We hear this as the camera stays glued on a static shot of an open window looking out into the dreamy blue evening. A typically fairy-tale-like Italian village is visible. This sets the stage for the impressionistic narrative that follows. Everything seems exaggerated in this movie, which is to be expected when the incidents are viewed primarily (though not exclusively) through the eyes of an impressionable six-year-old girl. The plot is simple: "San Martino (based on the real town of San Miniato between Pisa and Florence) is earmarked for destruction by the Germans. The villagers must decide whether to stay or leave. Rumors abound that the Americans are in the vicinity -- will they reach San Martino first? Or should the villagers hit the dusty roads in the countryside and find the Americans before their town is destroyed? About half stay, and half go: we follow the half that goes. There are dozens of characters who embark on the journey, so not much time can be expended on characterization. But the Tavianis cast actors of such unique physiognomy that we feel we know them at a glance. Quite often, they're presented as heroic archetypes.Read more ›
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful By raul parolari on January 22, 2005
Format: DVD
I was stunned by the "editorial review" above stating: "the dreamy nostalgia, while not satisfying as 'Cinema Paradiso'...". How curious for me is the fascination of the american public with "Cinema Paradiso", a mediocre, sentimental telenovela crafted to make people sigh and cry (just above the level of "The English Patient").
"The night of the shooting stars" is not about faked "dreamy nostalgia"; it is the story, beautifully told through the eyes of a young girl, of a Tuscan village in the II world war, during the German occupation (should I say "alliance"...) and the civil war (fascists-partisans), and tells a terrible choice that an entire village had to make.
There are moments in this movie that I will never forget:
- the man who, after spending the night pondering on the choice offered by the Germans (endorsed by the local priest), stands up and says: "sentite, Io dei tedeschi non mi fido..." ("look, I don't trust the Germans..."), and purely on that instinct will act, saving half of the village.
- the eyes and the face of the priest (as a reviewer says below), who realizes what he has done, too late.
- the fantastic battle in the wheat field, seen through the eyes of the girl as one in the Ilyad. And, as a reviewer says below, the people who recognize each other during the fight. Half-dream, half-reality, an incredible moment of cinema.
- the anxious wait for the arrival of the Americans, who seem always around the corner (the cruel joke from somebody, the phonograph, on that wall...).

There are fake dreams, and authentic, sincere ones; "La notte di San Lorenzo" (the beautiful Italian title) offers one whose nature you will not doubt.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on August 20, 2004
Format: DVD
This film is real gem . Superb and loaded with cosmic poetry . Since this movie describes the insights of the WW2 in Tuscan , the Tavianni brothers avoid to describe the physical wounds of the war.

They focus on the deep impact on the psiquis and the simple behavior of a simple group of brave people for surviving.

The horror you'll breathe for instance, at the church undergrounds, the wedding and the best glorious achievement in the middle of field are simply outstanding. One little girl with his voice in off will make her own journey and will employ her particular justice code against the enemy told in such level of poetic and expressive intensity that when you leave the cinema hall remain mesmerized.

Acquire as soon as possible this extraordinary film.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Mccormack on June 4, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I saw this movie in the theater when it was first released. It was a wonderful story with suspense, tenderness, betrayal, misconceptions. It seemed to be a straightforward wartime movie, but took off in unconventional ways. Movies like this stay with me a long, long time. I have aged considerably since first seeing Night of the Shooting Stars. When I was 20 years younger, I loved the humanity of the elderly couple. Now I'm pushing up in years, and I still love the handling of that story line!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Randy Buck VINE VOICE on April 3, 2008
Format: DVD
I loved this picture in its initial American release, returned to see it three times theatrically, have watched it six or seven times in the subsequent years, and gave the old MGM dvd to many people, all of whom shared my enthusiasm for such a magical film. The Taviani brothers mix realism and poetry to shattering effect; there are scenes and images, both comic and tragic, that I'll wager will stick with you a lifetime. They certainly have for me. Essential (and immensely pleasurable) viewing.
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