Trivia - Life Is Beautiful (1997)
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Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, War

Taglines: An unforgettable fable that proves love, family and imagination conquer all.

Director: Roberto Benigni

Writers: Vincenzo Cerami, Roberto Benigni

Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano, ...

In 1930s Italy, a carefree Jewish book keeper named Guido starts a fairy tale life by courting and marrying a lovely woman from a nearby city. Guido and his wife have a son and live happily together until the occupation of Italy by German forces. In an attempt to hold his family together and help his son survive the horrors of a Jewish Concentration Camp, Guido imagines that the Holocaust is a game and that the grand prize for winning is a tank.
Guido's wife, Dora, is played by Roberto Benigni's real-life wife, Nicoletta Braschi.
Roberto Benigni says the title comes from a quote by Leon Trotsky. In exile in Mexico, knowing he was about to be killed by Joseph Stalin's assassins, he saw his wife in the garden and wrote that, in spite of everything, "life is beautiful".
In Italian, the answer to the "Snow White" riddle is seven "minuti" - a play on words between "minutes" and "dwarves".
Roberto Benigni's Oscar for best actor marked only the second time that an actor had directed himself in an Academy Award winning performance. The other was Laurence Olivier for Hamlet (1948).
Roberto Benigni's Oscar win for Best Actor was the second time a performance completely in Italian had been awarded. The previous winner was Sophia Loren for La ciociara (1960).
Before they go to sleep Guido and Ferruccio have a few jokes about the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, a favorite writer of Adolf Hitler.
Horst Buchholz did his own dubbing for the English and German dubbed versions.
Roberto Benigni was so excited to receive his Academy Award for Best Foreign Film that he stood up in his chair and leaped across several more chairs to get to the stage.
Roberto Benigni's Oscar win for Best Actor was the second time a performance completely in Italian had been awarded. The previous winner was Sophia Loren for Two Women (1960).
After Z (1969), this is the second film to be nominated by the Academy for both Best Film and Best Foreign Language Film.
After its Oscar win, the film increased its box office tally by 45% and added nearly 500 theaters to its US run. Not bad for a movie that had been on general release for 22 weeks.
Box office of the film reached more than $225 million internationally.
Roberto Benigni became only the fourth person to be nominated for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay. The other recipients of this accolade are Orson Welles for Citizen Kane (1941), Woody Allen for Annie Hall (1977) and Warren Beatty for Reds (
Roberto Benigni became only the fourth person to be nominated for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay. The other recipients of this accolade are Orson Welles for Citizen Kane (1941), Woody Allen for Annie Hall (1977) and Warren Beatty for Reds (1981).
The screenplay by Roberto Benigni and Vincenzo Cerami was published in Italy in 1998. The published version featured a few more scenes that were not in the final movie, most notably a scene in which Guido inadvertently witnesses a mass execution of Partisans, spotting his friend Ferruccio among them.