The 1988 coming-of-age drama film Cinema Paradiso,
also known as Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Italian: [nwvo tinema paradizo], meaning “New Paradise Cinema”), was written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.
The story is about a young boy and an aging projectionist who both work at the same movie theater, and it is set in a small Sicilian village. Philippe Noiret, Jacques Perrin, Leopoldo Trieste, Marco Leonardi, Agnese Nano, and Salvatore Cascio are the stars of this joint Italian-French production. Ennio Morricone and his son Andrea wrote the film’s score, commencing a working relationship between Tornatore and Morricone that would remain until Morricone’s passing on July 6, 2020.
One of the best movies ever made, Cinema Paradiso is credited with reviving Italy’s film industry. It was a financial success and garnered numerous honors, including the Grand Prix . Five of the 11 BAFTA Awards it was nominated for—Best Actor for Philippe Noiret, Best Supporting Actor for Salvatore Cascio, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Foreign Language Film—were awarded to the movie.
Salvatore Di Vita, a well-known film director in Rome in 1988, arrives home one late night to find his fiancée groggily informing him that someone named Alfredo has passed away. Salvatore avoids long-term partnerships and hasn’t visited his Sicilian hometown of Giancaldo in thirty years. Salvatore is unable to sleep and remembers his early years while his fiancée asks him who Alfredo was.
Salvatore is an educated, naughty eight-year-old who is the son of a war widow a few years after World War II. He earns the moniker “Toto” and develops a passion for movies, spending all of his free time at the neighborhood theater, Cinema Paradiso. He makes friends with the middle-aged projectionist, Alfredo, who frequently allows him to view movies from the projection booth, despite the fact that their relationship initially begins on tight terms. The audience may be heard booing during the performances because there are missing scenes, which causes the movies to bounce and skip over scenes with passionate kisses or embraces. Alfredo cuts the deleted portions from the film reels and stacks them on the floor of the projection room. He keeps them there until he can splice them back in so the movie can be transported to the next town. The local priest, who owns the movie theater, had ordered these sections to be censored.
Salvatore eventually learns how to operate the movie projector from Alfredo. One day, as Alfredo is showing The Firemen of Viggiù on the wall of a neighbouring home after hours, Cinema Paradiso catches fire. After a reel of nitrate film explodes in Alfredo’s face, permanently blinding him, Salvatore saves Alfredo’s life. A village resident named Ciccio Spaccafico invests a sizable football lottery won in the reconstruction of the movie house. Salvatore, who is still young, gets employed as the new projectionist because he is the only one who is capable of operating the equipment.
Salvatore, who is now in high school, is still running the projector at the “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” some ten years later. As their friendship has grown, Salvatore frequently seeks advice from the blind Alfredo, who frequently offers it by quoting famous movies. Using a home video camera, Salvatore has been experimenting with filmmaking. While doing so, he met and captured on camera Elena Mendola, a girl who is the daughter of a wealthy banker, and he later fell in love with her. Elena’s father disapproves of Salvatore, and he loses her despite winning her heart.
Salvatore departs town for mandatory military service (despite though, as a war orphan, he should be exempt from it) as Elena and her family leave. His letters to Elena are returned as undeliverable, despite his best efforts. Salvatore is advised by Alfredo to permanently leave Giancaldo after his discharge from the military because the community is too tiny for him to fulfill his aspirations. Furthermore, once Salvatore departs, he must pursue his destiny entirely, never looking back and never going back, even to visit; he must never give in to nostalgia, even if only in writing or in his thoughts. They share a tearful embrace before Salvatore departs for the city to pursue his career as a filmmaker.
Salvatore returns home to attend Alfredo’s funeral after realizing that, while professionally, he is quite content with his life, this is not the case personally. He now comprehends why Alfredo felt it was critical that he leave the town, despite the fact that it has altered significantly. Salvatore’s widow informs him that Alfredo was a proud supporter of his achievements and that the old man gave him two items: an unlabeled film reel and the previous stool that Salvatore used to run the projector. Salvatore hears that a parking lot will replace Cinema Paradiso after it is demolished. He sees many of the attendees from the movie theater while he was the projectionist at the burial.
When Salvatore returns to Rome, he views Alfredo’s reel and learns that it contains every amorous moment that the priest had asked Alfredo to remove from the films. Alfredo has joined the sequences to create a single uncut film of aching yearning and passionate frenzy. Salvatore reconciles with his past in the film’s closing moments, crying.
As Alfredo, Philippe Noiret
Salvatore Cascio as a youngster Serafin Di Vita
a young Marco Leonardi Salvatore
Adult Jacques Perrin Salvatore
As Elena Mendola, Agnese Nano
Adult Elena as played by Brigitte Fossey (extended cut only)
Maria Di Vita is played by Antonella Attili.
As old as Pupella Maggio Spaccafico is played by Maria Enzo Cannavale.
Isa Danieli portrays Father as Anna Leopoldo Trieste Adelfio
As Lia, Roberta Lena
As Peppino’s father, Nino Terzo
The Usher Leo Gullotta
Blacksmith Tano Cimarosa
The Village Idiot, played by Nicola Di Pinto