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Life Is Beautiful [DVD]

Roberto Benigni , Nicoletta Braschi , Roberto Benigni    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
Price: £4.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Life Is Beautiful [DVD] + Cinema Paradiso [DVD] + The Bicycle Thieves [DVD] [1948]
Price For All Three: £26.85

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Product details

  • Actors: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini
  • Directors: Roberto Benigni
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 30 May 2011
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,815 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

In 1939, young Italian Jew Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni) travels with his friend Ferruccio to Arezzo, where his uncle has promised to help set him up with a bookshop. Guido immediately falls in love with beautiful gentile Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), and eventually woos her away from local fascist official Rodolfo. Guido and Dora marry, have a son, Giosué, and are very happy. However, when war breaks out a few years later, Guido and Giosué are moved to a Nazi concentration camp. Determined to protect his son from the horrors of war, Guido tells him that the camp is all part of a game, and that Giosué's prize will be a life-size version of the toy tank he loves to play with. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor for Roberto Benigni. Languages: English, Italian


Italy's rubber-faced funnyman Roberto Benigni accomplishes the impossible in his World War II comedy Life Is Beautiful: he shapes a simultaneously hilarious and haunting comedy out of the tragedy of the Holocaust. An international sensation and the most successful foreign language film in US history, the picture also earned director-cowriter-star Benigni Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor. He plays the Jewish country boy Guido, a madcap romantic in Mussolini's Italy who wins the heart of his sweetheart (Benigni's real-life sweetie, Nicoletta Braschi) and raises a darling son (the adorable Giorgio Cantarini) in the shadow of fascism. When the Nazis ship the men off to a concentration camp in the waning days of the war, Guido is determined to shelter his son from the evils around them and convinces him they're in an elaborate contest to win (of all things) a tank. Guido tirelessly maintains the ruse with comic ingenuity, even as the horrors escalate and the camp's population continues to dwindle--all the more impetus to keep his son safe, secure and, most of all, hidden. Benigni walks a fine line mining comedy from tragedy and his efforts are pure fantasy--he accomplishes feats no man could realistically pull off--both of which have drawn fire from a few critics. Yet for all its wacky humour and inventive gags, Life Is Beautiful is a moving and poignant tale of one father's sacrifice to save not just his young son's life but his innocence in the face of one of the most evil acts ever perpetrated by the human race. --Sean Axmaker

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray review 3 April 2012
By Magneto
The film itself is great, but this review is more for the actual Blu-ray (BD). Firstly, the transfer/Picture quality (PQ); as long as you don't expect it to look like Avatar or other recent movies then I think most people will be happy with the HD presentation here. I put in my old dvd copy shortly before watching the BD, and can say that the BD is heaps better in terms of PQ. Sure, there are a few white specks here and there (most noticable on the opening titles) and some soft shots, but on the whole I was pleased with it. I would give it 4/5. Secondly, the extras; This "Collector's edition" includes a handful of docs and interviews made around the time of the movie's release, but more interesting is the NEW 55 minute doc "Revisiting Life is Beautiful - 15 years later". This includes interviews with various producers of the film, film critics, and the actor who played the son/boy. Unfortunately there's no input from Roberto Benigni. This new doc is very interesting and covers ground such as how the film came about; the delicate issue of balancing the comedy with drama in a holocaust movie; and - ** MAJOR SPOILER ALERT ** - how they decided which of the 3 main characters they should kill off and why Benigni stood his ground on this. For me the improved PQ over the dvd and the inclusion of the brand new doc made this a worthwhile purchase.
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146 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical masterpiece 27 Nov 2001
Format:VHS Tape
What a great shame that foreign films do not get the acclaim that they truly deserve. The problem with us Brits is that we are brainwashed into thinking that should a film not come out of Hollywood, then it surely can't be worth watching....can it? Roberto Benigni's masterpiece (which I truly believe in years to come will go down in film history as one of the all-time greats) is set in Italy against the back-drop of WWII, the Holocaust and a fathers determination to shield his naive and simplistic young son from the horrors of it all. The film is a roller coaster of emotions and in the space of 5 minutes it can make you laugh out loud, cry in despair and then cry for joy. Any film that can do that is a film worth watching. The dialogue is stunning as is the acting and forget the fact that it is in Italian with subtitles, it was the way the film was meant to be. If you love good films and belive in life outside the Hollywood glitz, go on....treat yourself to a true classic.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
I spent a long time trying to think of an adequate word to describe this film after I had watched it and that was the only one that came close to doing it justice. Put quite simply this film is a masterpiece. The menagerie of emotions it evokes is unlike anything I have ever witnessed. You'll laugh until tears stream down your cheeks, you will try your hardest to bite back tears and when the film is over you will sit in abject silence, merely thinking about what you have just witnessed. Whether you adore it or not it cannot be denied that Life Is Beautiful is a film you simply cannot forget as quickly as you turn it off.
Roberto Benigni slides into the role of Guido easily, a role that he puts his stamp on and makes unforgettable almost immediately. I will refrain from writing a synopsis as this is already provided although the story itself is fantastically written, dividing the film into two halves. One light and humorous the other dark and poignant yet still retaining a few laughs ('...because I just had to have a jam sandwich!').
The only recommendation I can make to those watching it for the first time is to forget about the dubbing. Watch it through in the original Italian with english subtitles and it makes for a much more enjoyable watch. The emotion given to Guido by Benigni is portrayed through his words as well as actions and the effect is all but lost in the dubbing.
I was surprised to hear from a friend recently that a lot of people considered this film controversial. Apparently it is insensitive to the topic and approaches it in a manner that lacks the proper respect. Never have I heard such contrived nonsense.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars moving to breakingpoint 27 July 2000
By A Customer
First of all, let me clarify that whoever said that you can't make a comedy about the Holocaust was right, and that's why this film stops being a comedy the moment Guido, Giosue and Dora enter the concentration camp. the first half of the movie is a romantic comedy, basically designed to set up Guido's character and capacity for unquestioning, absolute love. The second half takes place in a concentration camp, into which Guido and his family are deported. The movie then turns from comedy to heartbreaking tragedy. Benignis achievement is absolutely unique, in that he shows all the madness of the holocaust, but no violence, which is not necessary because all happens in the viewer's mind. I was not only terrified and touched to the heart, when the movie was over, I cried like I've never cried at a movie before( with the exception of Schindler's List.) Words cannot describe the emotional density of this movie. It surely was the best film in 98 and should have got the Best Picture Oscar. If it had been an American film, it would have.
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