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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Begs the question: When is a movie too long?
I became aware of the existence of over 50 minutes of additional scenes in this film in the past two years. The original, pruned version received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990. I have owned the video for a decade. Then, last summer, the "new version" was shown in limited release, and a DVD was promised. With the addition of the deleted scenes,...
Published on Feb. 24 2003 by D. Movahedpour

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the director's cut was a great disappointment
Most director's cuts of movies have novelty values. Some such as Blade Runner or the Extended Version of The Fellowship of the Ring not only enhance the experience but also made one wonder why the original versions were released at all. Sadly, the director's cut of Cinema Paradiso was a major disappointment. The addional footage in the first half, such as Toto losing his...
Published on Nov. 26 2002


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Begs the question: When is a movie too long?, Feb. 24 2003
By 
D. Movahedpour "doeadear" (CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (DVD)
I became aware of the existence of over 50 minutes of additional scenes in this film in the past two years. The original, pruned version received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990. I have owned the video for a decade. Then, last summer, the "new version" was shown in limited release, and a DVD was promised. With the addition of the deleted scenes, an entirely different film is created. Owning this DVD is owning a brand new version of the film's events.
Initially, the film was considered too long, and massive scenes were cut, removing any and all references to whatever happened to Salvatore's great love, Lina. The original version of the film focused mainly on the young boy, fatherless in post-WWII Sicily, bonding with the childless cinema projectionist, Alfredo. The young Toto grows into the teen-aged Salvatore, who falls in love with the beautiful and unattainable Lina. They are parted. That is the last we see. Salvatore returns to his village many years later to attend the funeral of Alfredo, and the film is told nearly entirely in flashback.
In this version, Salvatore is reunited with his lost love when he returns for the funeral. To think that this entire plot was removed from the film initially is almost unthinkable. There are other parts of the film that could have been edited to keep these additional scenes in. I don't know what the producers, directors or the studio were thinking when they edited a huge part of the movie out.
Well, now the film is complete. Whereas the original version focused mainly on the relationship of Toto and Alfredo, we now see a conclusion to Toto and Lina as well. And, we understand the ending of the film in an entirely, much less sentimental light. Salvatore has spent the bulk of his life mourning his lost love, not returning to his village, and not knowing of Alfredo's hand in the matter. He is facing life-changing decisions, and must ultimately dip into a pool of acceptance and forgiveness. Without the addition of these scenes, the point is lost.
This was an excellent film to begin with, now it is nearly perfect. It is bittersweet and touching, and all the more realistic with the deleted scenes returned. If you own the original version, you must own this version. You will see this film in a completely different light.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As great as movies can get. Period., April 16 2003
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This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (DVD)
First of all, there are two versions of the film on DVD, and everyone has their own opinion on which one they like.
I had only seen the 2 hour version once, so while I loved the movie, I had no real sentimental attachment to that version. In my own personal opinion, once you see the "new" version, you can't go back. It answers the questions left open in the edited version - it's like seeing the original and the perfect sequel all in one.
Anyhow, as one who normally enjoys action films and comedies, this film is a real change of pace for me. But anyone who doesn't love it is completely out of their minds. It sucks you in and makes you an emotional part of it. The story, coupled with an incredible score, takes you away.
It will also take your date away if you choose a special someone to watch it with. The ending montage is fantastic.
I have a DVD collection of about 100 movies, and this one, by far, gets the most playtime. Get it. Best money ever spent on a movie.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both versions in one box!, May 24 2004
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso (Bilingual) (DVD)
I loed this film in its theatrical release in 1989. I certainly felt it deserved the Academy Award (for best foreign language film). I also loved seeing the full version that lays out all the details of the relationships, and their resolution.
I also enjoyed reading everyone's opinion as to whether the original version or the longer one is better. I can't decide myself. But a critical point to make is that THIS DVD contrains both versions (on either side of the DVD). So regardless of which you prefer (and here is the perfect opportunity to find out), it is on this version.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story, Great DVD, Feb. 25 2003
By 
Douglas Broehl "Delafield Doug" (Delafield, Wis.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (DVD)
The New Version is great. The added scenes in which Toto meets his teenage love, Elena, are wonderful and add a soulful richness that was lacking in the US version. The resolution of their relationship completes the film as a whole and makes the final scene where Toto watches the missing kissing scenes even that more powerful. The film is filled with such a warmth and genuine feeling of nostalgia; like so many great Italien films, this movie is very moving and touching on many levels. Simply put, this is a great film watching experience. The DVD transfer is excellent; it is extremely sharp, and the color is rich and very natural. If you loved the US version released in 1989, I highly recommend getting this expanded version. You will not be disappointed at all; just make sure you have a box of Kleenex for the ending!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Version, Same Results, Nov. 19 2002
By 
MisterHowie "misterhowie" (Falls Church, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (DVD)
This movie is the director's cut that Miramax Chief Harvey Weinstein chopped down into the US theatrical cut with which most American audiences are most familiar. The "new version" adds in extra bits here and there throughout the movie, but the most noticeable change is in the third act, where Toto's adult life is given more screen time. The story takes a darker tone here than in the rest of the movie, but it does not diminish the power and beauty of the ending, which has remained intact. This DVD is highly recommended for fans of the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Homage To Cinema, May 31 2003
By 
Luis M. Ramos "Soundtrack and Film Freak" (Caracas, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (DVD)
In spite of some extra scenes that I think are unnecessary, this extended new version of "Cinema Paradiso" stills makes a great impression on me. This Italian masterpiece about the growth of a Sicilian kid (Salvatore Cascio, in a brilliant debut) from childhood, adolescence (in the person of Marco Leonardi), to manhood (in the shape of French actor Jacques Perrin) through movies is marvelous, touching, and truly entertaining.
When I first saw "Cinema Paradiso" back in 1990, I fell in love instantly with it, thus becoming one of my favorite movies. The innocence of Toto as he wants to learn how to handle a projector, thanks to the help of Alfredo (French acting legend Philippe Noiret); the tough times in his adolescence, working as a projectionist, having an impossible romance with Elena, doing military service; and his loneliness as a movie producer in his adulthood. Everything caused me a great impact, and still does everytime I watch this film by Giuseppe Tornatore.
Now, in this extended version, I like the fact that Toto -as an adult -has the chance to see Elena again and discovers why they failed to meet at the Paradiso prior to his departure for Rome. In my opinion, that's the most important new scene of the movie. I really wanted to know that, and now I feel satisfied.
All in all, I still like this great work of love everytime I see it. A work of love towards life, innocence, romance and, above all else, movies. A great homage to cinema.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost unbearably poignant, May 8 2003
By 
Paul S. Brewer "Paolo of USA" (Grand Rapids, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (DVD)
This film should reach straight into the heart of every man who has loved his father or who has loved the man who stood in for his biological father who, for whatever reasons, couldn't be there. There have been many films about father-son relationships and some of those films have been great. Cinema Paradiso is one of those. It expresses in the most touching and beautiful images and with the most tender and powerfully moving music, the need of every man to find and cherish the love that lives in the deepest realms of his heart, of his soul. The final scene of this film expresses one man's discovery of this love.
Along with the final scene in Alan J. Pakula's film, "To Kill A Mockingbird", Cinema Paradsio's final scene is the most profoundly meaningful and touching visual metaphor found in any film I've ever seen. A treasure. Cinema Paradiso is a masterpiece of love and affection about - and for - the whole family of human souls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming..., Jan. 29 2003
By 
Amanda J. Sollenberger "amanda_sollenberger" (Curryville, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (DVD)
Last year, a good friend of mine, her boyfriend, and her best friend were in a terrible car crash. My friend along with her friend were killed and her boyfriend was seriously injured. Since both my friend and her boyfriend were in my film class, my professor showed this film.
At the time, I was impressed with it, the pain of what happened was all too real... but looking back, she made a good choice in showing the film. It showed me a little bit about dealing with loss as well as fulfilling your dreams... It's a wonderful movie about life, love, and passion... check it out for yourself!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the director's cut was a great disappointment, Nov. 26 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (DVD)
Most director's cuts of movies have novelty values. Some such as Blade Runner or the Extended Version of The Fellowship of the Ring not only enhance the experience but also made one wonder why the original versions were released at all. Sadly, the director's cut of Cinema Paradiso was a major disappointment. The addional footage in the first half, such as Toto losing his virginity were inconsequential, however the addition of a major sequence in the second half, when after the funeral, Toto met and rekindled his relationship with the now older Elena altered the trajectory of the movie and worst of all, diminished the emotionally charged ending.
The original version of Cinema Paradiso is one of my favourite films of all time. There is also little doubt that Tornatore is a wonderful film maker, however, in this case, the original editor(s) deserved praise.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A More Complete Movie, Feb. 4 2003
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (DVD)
The extended DVD version has been released in some countries for many months. For those who loved the original theatrical release, this extended one is a MUST. See for yourself.
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