What are the best Italian films?

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-03-10 21:01

I am posting this in the hope that I will receive some good suggestions. I should add up front that I have never been a big fan of Fellini though of course I am open to any opinions or suggestions. I have never seen any of the movies directed by Vinconti. I have also never seen a movie directed by Bernardo Bertolucci that wasn't an English language film. And I'm sure there are other great Italian films and directors that I am unaware of. So my own top list is incomplete. Here are my favorites :

1. Life is Beautiful -- One of the great sense of life films ever made. The lead actor and director is the great Roberto Benigni.

2. Nuovo cinema Paradiso -- A very good movie made great by Ennio Morricone's musical score. Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.

Sergio Leone should receive an honorable mention though it is hard to designate the great spaghetti westerns -- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West as Italian movies since the lead actors are all Americans speaking English dialogue.

 - Jason

( categories: )

Where is Master Bates?

Jameson's picture


Which seems to imply Andrew

Hayden Wood's picture

That you either:

a) Hate capitalism, or

b) Should be called "Andrea" from now on after the operation and hormone replacement kick in.



Jameson, 'MALENA' was

Erik Christensen's picture

Jameson, 'MALENA' was spectacular, thanks for reminding me. Monica Bellucci-huminah, huminah, huminah!


Jameson's picture

For the romantics out there...

... especially "Mediterraneo" - I'm hanging out for the widescreen version. Smiling

We The Living and Life Is

Erik Christensen's picture

We The Living and Life Is Beautiful. Magnifico!

Re: Death in Venice

Chris Cathcart's picture

I should add that I will likely be giving this movie another chance soon. Particularly since a poster on alt.movies.kubrick has just likened it, as a visual experience, to my favorite movie, Barry Lyndon. Perhaps it was inexcusable that I watched it on VHS, presumably prior to its being released on DVD.

Death in Venice - Mahler connection

Chris Cathcart's picture

I already brought up Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits and the masterpiece Spagetthi western Il Grande Silenzio over in the music thread. Now to bring up Mahler in this film thread. I'm not at this point much of a fan of Mahler at all, but Mahler fans should see Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice. Ample, ample use of Mahler's 3rd and the Adaghietto from the 5th are made throughout. Not saying I'm much of a fan of the movie, either....

Bertolucci I'm not big on, either. His most acclaimed work is Il Conformista and he's got at least one Morricone-scored film with the very long (and too-hard-for-me-to-follow) 1900.

Anyone see Francesca e Nunziata?

Andrew Bates's picture

Anyone see Francesca e Nunziata? I liked it, notwithstanding its being made for TV.

It touched on a subject that's close to me - a commercially astute woman sacrificing her fortune for the love of business-hating husband.

Once Upon a Time in America

Jason Quintana's picture

Once Upon a Time in America is a strange one. Very good movie, but not something I look forward to watching very often. Certainly not your typical mobster movie. But now that you mention it, I might pop this one into my DVD player this evening.

Kenny -- I have never seen We the Living! What kind of an Objectivist am I?

- Jason


Prima Donna's picture

Yes, Jason, I agree that Life is Beautiful is one of the most fantastic Italian movies ever made -- if not one of the best overall.

Re Sergio Leone, I have the DVD of Once Upon a Time in America, which is one of my favorites (more for the period setting than anything else). Though the story is also quite dark, I like its theme of redemption and choosing the good. DeNiro, in the final confrontation, is brilliant.

We the Living

Kenny's picture


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