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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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5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect movie, Aug. 10 2009
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
World War II has just ended and life in the Sicilian village of Giancaldo centers around the Cinema Paradiso where townsfolk gather to see the exciting and glamorous life outside. Young Toto spends all his free time sneaking into the theatre for the movies and most especially for the old projectionist, Alfredo, who loves him like a son. Toto wants to grow up and show movies just like Alfredo, but one night, there is a terrible fire in the projection box.

This movie is simply perfect. It's nostalgic and sentimental and quite touching. The actors are uniformly excellent, especially the beautiful and wide-eyed Salvatore Cascio who plays Toto as a child and Marco Leonardi who gives a sensitive performance as teenage Toto. Philippe Noiret is the wonderful old projectionist who teaches Toto about life. In some ways, this movie is similar to The Last Picture Show; it's about the passage of time with the one constant being the local theatre. We watch as Toto grows up and the town modernizes, but the villagers retain their close bond with one another.

The soundtrack alone is enough to send you running for tissues; it's simply beautiful and heartbreaking. The direction is outstanding, with nary a single wasted moment. In Italian with English subtitles, it's a universally-appealing story of a boy who falls in love with movies. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A passion for film and filmmaking, June 21 2004
By 
Rocco Dormarunno (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso (DVD)
I have not seen the "new Director's cut" version, and based on what the other reviewers have been saying, I'm so very glad. This movie has always had a special place in my film heart.
The theme of love has never really been so subtly and wonderfully dramatized. And the love is on so many levels: love for the opposite sex, love for filmmaking, love for family, love for one's hometown, etc. The plot is deceivingly simple and traditional but there are elements that are very unique. What particularly appeals to me isn't just the developing relationships among the main characters, but the relationships going on among the townsfolk. The extras are not anonymous here: all the patrons of the Cinema Paradiso have a slim storyline that are quite amusing. (In one sequence, a young couple are kissing. Next time we see them they're doing something more than just kissing. By the end of the film, they have a family in tow.)
Anyway, the story aside, CINEMA PARADISO is so gorgeously filmed, it's so pleasing to the eye that it's almost unbearable. This is a film for lovers of film and filmmaking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, Jan. 19 2004
By 
TomAssini (San Juan, Puerto Rico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso (DVD)
This is the most enchanting movie I 've crossed paths with. The plot is beautifull and the end will leave you breathless. Once we grow up we tend to forget from where we came and that we were kids once. Certainly a movie you will never, ever, forget...
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5.0 out of 5 stars MASTERPIECE!!!!!!!, Jan. 14 2004
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso (Bilingual) (DVD)
This movie will make you laugh,cry and look back at your own life. You will never forget this movie!!
Probably one of the best movies ....ever.
BRAVO!!!!
BRAVO!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story, Nov. 2 2003
By 
chicoer2003 "chicoer2003" (Fresno, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso (DVD)
Cinema Paradiso is a beautiful coming of age movie. Worth seeing just for the film montage in the last scene.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, April 4 2003
By 
Paul Date "bane" (California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A story about falling in love and meeting people who change our lives forever. It tells the story of growing up and moving away from home, while never forgetting our past and where we are from. The main character (Salvatore) returns to his hometown after 30 years of being away and discovers that he was never really gone. His feelings are unchanged about the people he had affection for while growing up - mainly his first love Elena and Alfredo, the projectionist and his father figure. During his visit, he learns he must let go of some longings and desires that can never be fulfilled. The ending I will not soon forget. I was amazed and felt this is more than just a movie, it is hard to describe in words.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No Words, March 30 2003
By 
Juliet M. Grigsby (St. Paul, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cinema Paradiso (VHS Tape)
For me, there is no movie in existence that compares with Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso. It is beyond cinema; it is nothing less than pure art -- painting, music and poetry --in its most sweepingly beauteous form, the soul of which is weakened in attempt to convey here through words. Others before me have reviewed this work of genius, and from them you can take the plot, but if you want to know what this movie is really about, you must see it and only then will you be captivated and beguiled.
I lived with the older, shorter version for over ten years and had no idea I would be even so much more moved with the longer, more recent, uncut version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real classic., Feb. 17 2003
By 
Even if you're not one to enjoy foreign films, make a point of seeing this one. This movie is truly a modern classic. It slowly endears itself to you, and the ending is beautiful -- leaves you with a lump in your throat that you just can't shake.
Also noteworthy is the score, which is easily one of the best filmscores of all times. There's no way you CAN'T like this music -- pick up the CD and I guarantee it will become one of the permanent CDs in your 5-disc player.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed with the New Version, May 27 2003
By 
Britni Reinhold (Pinetop, Arizona United States) - See all my reviews
Cinema Paradiso is one of the best films I have ever seen. However, I recently bought the New Version on DVD and was completely disappointed with it. The original plot and version were what made the film so good, the new version is too much. It tells too much of what happens afterwards and makes the most heart-warming character, Alfredo, seem like a bad guy. A terrible dissapointment, buy the original if you want to purchase this film.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New version - Stories better left untold, April 29 2003
By 
S. Park (Bay Area, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is for the "new version." If you are like me and absolutely have to watch the new version no matter what, then I suggest not reading the ongoing. On the other hand if you don't mind peeking into the new version before purchasing the DVD, read on.
The 51 extra minutes in the new version is devoted to the rendez-vous of Toto with Elena -- Toto's first love, whom he met as a teenager -- in their later years. These scenes are inserted around the scene in which Toto converses with his mother after returning home from Rome after 30 years. In brief, Toto runs into a young lady who surprisingly resembles the young Elena; he pursues her and finds out that she is indeed the daughter of Elena. Toto meets with Elena and talks about days long past...
Many minutes of the extra footage are wasted on Toto trying to find out how he and Elena missed each other on the day Toto departed for Rome. Equally if not longer minutes are spent on explaining how all that happened. It turned out that on the day of departure Elena did come to see Toto at cinema paradiso, albeit a bit too late. She greets Alfredo instead. Alfredo persuades her to allow Toto to leave. As had been portrayed in the original version, Alfredo sees a great future in Toto, and for this he asks Elena to understand. He pretends to Toto that he did not hear from Elena.
I am tempted to make an intellectual argument that, by creating an additional character -- the old Elena -- important to Toto, Tornatore had made the plot of the wonderful original messy (Remember the scene where cinema paradiso gets blown up? The poignancy of that scene gets lost due to the additional footage). However I won't use this argument. I was disappointed by the fact that Alfredo had to be reduced to a liar, whereas in the original Alfredo had remained the one who cared for Toto the most, the one who believed in Toto the most. Ok, ok, I admit that I am attached to Alfredo. But if you weren't, you wouldn't be reading this to begin with, would you?
There are stories better left untold. I had no concrete examples of this saying till I watched the new version.
If you are like me, you'll watch the new version regardless.
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Cinema Paradiso [Import]
Cinema Paradiso [Import] by Giuseppe Tornatore (DVD - 2011)
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