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115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning bittersweet experience
Originally released in 1988 Cinema Paradiso , is a hymn to love .Not just the love of a man for a woman or vice versa , but the love between a boy and an adult and their mutual love for a medium -cinema. It's the sort of subject matter that would normally have me running for the cinema exit so fast that I'd be outside before my chair had flipped up. But persuaded to see...
Published on 26 Mar 2007 by russell clarke

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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, but no director's cut...
I wasn't expecting this Blu-ray to be available until January 2010, so you can imagine how surprised I was to see it sitting on the shelf of my local record shop when I rocked in there this lunchtime.

I've just finished watching it and picture quality is good overall, but not the best I've seen amongst older films put onto Blu-ray (not as good as 2001 Space...
Published on 6 Oct 2009 by M. Jaques


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Love, 15 Jan 2006
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
"Cinema Paradiso" is perhaps the best film that I have seen dealing with the theme of lost love. It follows the story of the life of a successful, but emotionally unfulfilled film director, "Toto" Di Vita. As a boy he becomes obsessed with the local cinema and forms a close friendship with cranky projectionist Alfredo. Memories of this relationship as well as his romance with first love Elena come flooding back to Toto when he returns to Sicily to attend the projectionist's funeral thirty years after he left the village in which he grew up. "Cinema Paradiso" is a film about love in all its forms; unrequited, lost, romantic and sexual. It is a film about regret, lost opportunities and those fleeting moments that can change the course of a life forever , all set against the background of the cinema and its magical ability to enchant and inspire individuals and communities. Great acting and characterisation, evocative soundtrack and the moving reunion scenes between Toto and Elena thirty years on capture quintessentially the essence of life,love and happiness.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and beautiful., 6 Jan 2007
By 
Michael Preston "Michael Preston" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinema Paradiso [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
This film is largely about the live of a young boy, Toto, and his relationship with Alfredo, the local cimema's projectionist. It's a beautifully human film about people, lost love, and life. there are some fantastic scenes culminating in the wonder final part of the film which will have you crying and laughing at the same time.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars yet another rave review!, 18 Dec 2005
By 
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
It hardly seems worth writing yet another enthusiastic review of this marvellous film, but I like it so much that I want to perform this one small service for it. From the moment that Salvatore hears of Alfredo's death, in the dark of the night from his current but no doubt temporary lover - and we do not know who Alfredo is, or why the successful Salvatore is so affected by the news - to the very poignant ending as he views the little wisps of censored film which are his legacy from the old man, it is charming, moving, funny, beautiful to watch, exquisitely performed and quite original. There is one moment, when Salvatore returns to his old room in Sicily for Alfredo's funeral and sees the picture of himself as a child with Alfredo, smiling and happy, that I still find difficult to watch (for all the right reasons!). And so it is one of my favourite films. Last summer we were in Sicily, in Cefalu, and I found out by chance that some of this film was filmed there. Visit that beautiful old fishing town if you can ; it's well worth it. If not, at least watch this wonderful film!
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, but no director's cut..., 6 Oct 2009
By 
M. Jaques (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso [1989] [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I wasn't expecting this Blu-ray to be available until January 2010, so you can imagine how surprised I was to see it sitting on the shelf of my local record shop when I rocked in there this lunchtime.

I've just finished watching it and picture quality is good overall, but not the best I've seen amongst older films put onto Blu-ray (not as good as 2001 Space Odyssey, or Kramer -v- Kramer for example). There were a couple of low lit scenes early in the film that looked very muddy and lacking in shadow detail. Light scenes were a mixed bag; sometimes showing lots of detail and sharpness, but sometimes soft and slightly off-focus looking. None of these things distracted me from enjoying the film though. So video quality is not brilliant IMO, but still a lot better than the DVD. BTW I'm watching on a 50" plasma from 9 feet away if that helps.

Sound quality seemed fine to me, but I'm not much of an audio aficionado, so can't say much about that.

This Blu-ray only contains the shortened international release, not the director's cut. Bit of a shame really, as I thought the story presented in the director's cut had much more of an emotional impact. I would have liked to have seen a Blu-ray release with the director's cut (as the story was intended to be shown) or even better, both versions in one edition.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinema Paradiso 25th Aniversary Remastered Two Disc Blu-ray (just released Dec 13), 21 Dec 2013
By 
David Welford (Essex England) - See all my reviews
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`Cinema Paradiso', this new 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release from Arrow Films arrived just before Christmas and what a wonderful Christmas present from the wife that didn't quite make it to the tree! Though the other reviews are useful they are misleading and do not apply to this vastly superior product.Most of you will be familiar with the storyline of this highly acclaimed Italian film. It comes in a two-disc version `The Directors Cut' 170 mins rated Cert 15 on one disc and a 124-minute theatrical cut rated PG version which has the sexual content, removed from the story on the other disc. Also on the Theatrical disc is an excellent selection of extras. Many may find The Directors Cut a bit over long and some of the sexual content, perhaps rather unnecessary to what is a very moving romantic love story set around a cinema in Sicily, in the period just after the war. This release was delayed presumably to allow for a theatrical showing at a few selected Cinemas. The previous UK Blu-ray release of the theatrical cut was only marginally better than the DVD, and I kept my DVD of The Directors Cut pending this release; incidentally I sold it on Amazon the day I listed. The original negatives have had a 2K scan and though the new version is not perfect, there is still a small amount of damage and some of the dark scenes have noticeable grain, but it really looks gorgeous projected on my 8ft screen and a very noticeable improvement on the previous releases. Also the musical score adds to the romance and nostalgia for an age gone forever. Having been to Sicily on holiday this year it was lovely to see the beautiful scenery and the soak up the vista of the typical Sicilian atmospheric villages. This is really an excellent two-disc package that comes with a thirty two-page booklet, which has high repeatability. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves this film and to those few who have never seen it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic World Cinema., 9 Jan 2010
By 
P. Jones "bespoken" (Liverpool. UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinema Paradiso [1989] [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
As someone who originally bought this film many years ago on VHS video cassette, (and, therefore, used to a 'fuzzy' playback) I was really looking forward to buying this copy on Blu-Ray.
The transformation to Blu-Ray does, in all honesty, disappoint in some scenes, as they appear not as sharp as they [possibly] could be. Maybe this was down to the quality of the cameras used at the time of shooting?
Saying that, the film is now an unbelieveable 20 years old, and I'd say that 90% of the film is pin sharp.
The film is, of course, a classic, and should be included in everyone's film collection, and there's no better format than Blu-Ray.
Included within the disc, as a feature extra, is the full orchestral film score by the great Ennio Morricone, so what more could you want for []?

Sadly, it is not the extended director's cut, but that is available on DVD if you want it.

All in all, a great film on a great format, complete with soundtrack as part of the 'extras' feature.

Film = 5 stars. Blu-Ray reproduction = 4 Stars. Soundtrack = 5 stars.

Buy it now for viewing on those long, cold January nights!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See the Director's Cut, 6 Aug 2006
By 
J. Muncie - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
Some of these Amazon reviews have got it wrong. The Director's Cut is the original version of the film, the way the director wanted it. It was then shortened because it was thought to be too long for an American audience. The method of shortening was basically to cut off the end of the film, thus distorting, really removing, the plot.

If you have seen the short version, you will find very few changes or additions in the first two hours, but the extra section near the end will give you a new perspective on the main characters.

The original version is certainly darker but Alfredo is not manipulative in a selfish way, he simply interferes once in Toto's life for, as he sees it, Toto's own good. At the end, Toto realises that this is the real message of the "kisses": Alfredo has cut out the love from Toto's life.

Will Toto and Elena continue their relationship? She says no and he says yes.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate filmof lost love, 30 Jun 2005
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Is this the ultimate film about lost love? Guiseppe Tornatore explores the nature of love, its ability to flicker, burn, consume, then slip through your fingers because of a moment missed, a second's inattention ... and she's gone, and you're left with a lifetime of dreams and might-have-beens, and, occasionally, her reflection in your most private tears.
Set in a small town in Sicily, there is an autobiographical element as Tornatore pays homage to his youth. It's a setting anyone brought up in a small town or village will understand - a place of certainties, of warmth, or safety, of claustrophobia. Here we find young Toto (Salvatore Cascio), waiting, still believing his father will return from the Russian Front. He's too sleepy to be an altar boy - he spends his nights at the local cinema, watching the films and pestering Alfredo, the projectionist (Philippe Noiret).
The local priest runs the cinema and censors it, cutting out any pornographic images such as kisses. He notably fails, however, to censor Left-wing messages or to rob the films for their political content. Toto watches Jean Renoir and Charlie Chaplin. It's an evocation of the fascination of the cinema, the whole town packing the theatre each night to laugh, cry, cheer, and share experiences and passion. It's an intimate world where the public and the private overlap and live in harmony.
Toto longs to be a projectionist - Alfredo reluctantly trains him. The boy loves the cinema, loves its romance and power. At one point, Alfredo projects a film outside onto a white wall, so people locked out of the cinema can see it. It is one of the magical moments of cinema: I can watch this again and again and the magic remains fresh!
Toto grows to adolescence as the town's projectionist. The old cinema has burned down, the new one is glitz and glamour, no longer within the control of the Church, but run for profit by a speculative outsider, a man from mainland Italy. Toto knows his father will never return, that he lives only as charred memories. He is taking pictures himself, now, and his attention is captured by a beautiful newcomer, Elena (Agnese Nano). He is confident and adept at everything to do with the cinema, but inept at expressing his love for this girl.
When he is called up to do his national service in the army, Toto loses touch with Elena. It is his baptism into a world beyond his small town, a real world beyond the safety of the cinema screen. But the army cuts him adrift, leaves him alone. He doesn't fit in the way he fitted into his community ... and now he cannot go back. Alfredo tells him to leave town, to follow his talents, his dreams, never to come back. The central irony of the film is Alfredo's insistence that Toto should not be made a slave to nostalgia - memories should be liberating, enlightening, should be the fuel for the mind, not a mawkish prison for it.
And so the film starts with Toto, now a successful, renowned film-maker in his own right, being given the news of Alfredo's death. Can he return? His home is the scene of so much love, of so much loss. He has been prepared to wait for love all these years ... or, at least, to try to escape from it - he has a string of failed relationships. Surely his home will simply rekindle the pain of loss?
Here is nostalgia as a motivating force in life, as cherished memory. Here we have love - and the loss of it. The joy, the pain, the anticipation, the dreams. This is a film which will make you cry, make you laugh, fill you with hope ... and trigger a few memories.
The "Director's Cut" restores the 51 minutes raped from the film during its first US release. Why did they do that? Most of the cuts are at the end, robbing the film of its conclusion, its meaning, its depth of emotion! The cut version is magnificent, the restored version more so. Could the American film industry not understand emotion? Were they determined to impose their definition of a happy, or at least cerebral ending? Was it an ironic take on the priest cutting out the naughty bits?
If you can, try to watch the shorter version first. Then watch the restored version. It will double your enjoyment of a magnificent piece of cinema. "Cinema Paradiso" will stir your emotions. Watch it with hanky in hand ... and be prepared to laugh loud and cry openly.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradisiac, 1 Dec 2005
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
This has to be my all time favourite foreign movie. It is the story of a young boy called Salvatore who grew up in a small Sicilian village in the forties and fifties. As an older man and successful film director, he returns home for the funeral of Alfredo, his old friend and surrogate father, who was also the projectionist at the local cinema in the town throughout his childhood. Salvatore remembers his childhood and his friendship with Alfredo. We are taken back in time and into his memories of love and understand why it took the death of his old friend Alfredo for him to return to his home after 30 years.
This film by director Giuseppe Tornatore, who also produced Malena in 2000. It is a film which is stunning, charming and utterly absorbing. It not only vividly shows life in a small village in Sicily during the 1940's but also shows the passage of time and how progress, industrialisation and technology can change people's lives and not always for the better.
It won an Academy Award at the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, five Baftas, a Golden Globe and several other nominations and awards. It is also currently one of the most bestselling dvd's on amazon.co.uk. This is a definite must-see movie that will have you watching it again and again.
Some Sicilian is noted within the film but the bulk of it is in Italian that is easily understandable if you've been learning it for a while. In Italian with English subtitles.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Word. SUPERB!, 10 Oct 2003
By 
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
What can I say about this wonderful movie because, quite honestly, my words wont do it justice. It is easily my own personal favourite of all time. A film that reminds us why we love film. It tells many stories mainly centred around one main theme - the cinema. The film conveys every emotion. It has passion, humour, love, hurt, joy, sadness and many more that combined give us a movie classic that's a pleasure to watch…
Giuseppe Tornatore's beautiful 1988 film is about a young boy's passion for movies. It rightly won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film and a Grand Jury Prize at Cannes as well as many awards worldwide because its issues are universal. Philippe Noiret is outstanding playing a tough old projectionist who takes pride in presenting movies for an Italian town still reeling after WW2. The communal viewings help bring the people together and give rise to many wonderful moments as does the nostalgia of the clips they see. When young Salvatore, known as Toto, develops a consuming fascination, not only for the movies but also for the nature of showing them, a lifelong friendship begins between the firm projectionist and the excitable boy. Salvatore Cascio as Toto conveys so many emotions with his face alone - a wide grin, a frown or a grimace portray his feelings. His smile and laugh are infectious. It’s a remarkable performance by such a young actor but the film is alive with great acting and characters that make the movie so incident full, so memorable, so happy and also so sad that it is the treasure it is. As Toto grows up, his heart is torn as new loves come into his life - including the beautiful Elena...
This Director’s Cut has added scenes that give light as to why Toto left the village and how his return answers so many unresolved questions that lead us to the most poignant and memorable endings of any film I’ve watched. I love this movie and admit I cry every time I watch it. I hope you will too as it is a film that rekindles your own memories of earlier years and the dreams and passions you had - and the feelings are so strong and ultimately so rewarding. Don't mistake this as just a movie for those already in wildy in love with cinema but if you are then the combination of emotions in Tornatore's world and the images we enjoy on Noiret's screen will seem all the more personal and powerful - and the ending will mean oh so much more to you. Rated PG it is 170 Minutes of pure movie magic. An absolute masterpiece.
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Cinema Paradiso [1989] [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Cinema Paradiso [1989] [Blu-ray] [Region Free] by Giuseppe Tornatore (Blu-ray - 2009)
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