Here are our picks for the top ten classic Italian films, in case you’re an Italian film buff.
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Our selection of the greatest Italian films of all time, from De Sica to Fellini. There are so many classic Italian films to select from, so we’ve produced a list of the top ten:
1. Roma Città Aperta (1945)
Rossellini’s 1945 Italian neorealist drama film, Roma Città Aperta (Rome, Open City), is the subject of this essay. Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani, and Marcello Pagliero star in the 1944 film, which is set in Rome during the Nazi occupation.
During the Nazi occupation of Rome, book publishers, priests, and expectant mothers band together to fight back. As of 14 August 1943, Rome had become a free and democratic city.
The film was honored at numerous film festivals, including Cannes, where it earned the prestigious Grand Prix.
2. Ladri Di Biciclette (1948)
A 1948 Italian neorealist drama film, Ladri Di Biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) is the work of Vittorio De Sica. Following the Second World War, Antonio Ricci, a poor Italian father, is searching for a job in Rome.
When he begins his new job, he decides to acquire a bicycle that will be stolen the first day. After a fruitless search for the culprit, he turns to his son Bruno for assistance in recovering the stolen bicycle.
Bicycle Thieves begins with Antonio stealing a bicycle after a series of unfortunate events.
3. Vacanze Romane (1953)
Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn star in Vacanze Romane (Roman Holiday), which was directed by William Wyler and set in Rome in 1953.
A young princess on a European trip meets a gorgeous American journalist in Rome in this romantic comedy.
In an attempt to get a scoop for his story, the reporter falls in love with her when he understands who she is.
The Piaggio Vespa and Audrey Hepburn became household names because to the film.
4. La Dolce Vita (1960)
In 1960, Federico Fellini directed and co-wrote the comedy-drama film La Dolce Vita (La Dolce Vita), which was nominated for an Academy Award.
It chronicles the life of Marcello Rubini, a journalist writing for gossip publications, as he tries to find love and happiness in Rome’s “sweet life”.
At the Cannes Film Festival in 1960, La Dolce Vita received the Palme d’Or and the Oscar for Best Costume Design. It is now regularly cited as one of cinema’s greatest works.
5. Il Gattopardo (1963)
Luchino Visconti directed and adapted Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s 1958 novel Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) for the film in 1963.
On a noble Sicilian family’s life during the Risorgimento, this film depicts their narrative.
Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale, and Terence Hill star in the film, which was released in France and Italy.
6. Otto e Mezzo (1963)
Federico Fellini directed the Italian surrealist comedy-drama Otto e Mezzo (8 12 in English subtitles).
For an existential crisis, the film depicts a director who takes refuge in his imagination and in his inner self.
To this day, the film is considered one of Fellini’s most important works and among the greatest in cinematic history.
7. Matrimonio All’Italiana (1964)
It is a 1964 Italian film directed by Vittorio De Sica and stars Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Vito Moricone.
The story of Domenico, a wealthy businessman, and Filomena, a poor prostitute, takes place in post-World War II Italy and is a dramatic romantic comedy.
Eventually, Filumena chooses to marry him, and she does so by faking her own death in order to convince him to do so.
8. Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Giuseppe Tornatore wrote and directed the 1988 Italian drama film Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso). Since 1904, the Protti family has owned a movie theater in Mantua, Italy, and the film is based on their narrative.
By telling his childhood story through a sequence of flashbacks, the film director recalls his relationship with the proprietor of a modest Italian movie theater.
At the 62nd Annual Academy Awards, this picture took home the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
9. Il Postino (1994)
Massimo Troisi stars in and co-writes Il Postino (The Postman), a 1994 comedy-drama film directed by Michael Radford.
Pablo Neruda and a plain postman create a friendship in the film, which is based on a fictional story.
Mario is a local postman who is hired by Neruda to deliver the poet’s letters. It all comes to an end with him becoming Neruda’s pupil in order to win over a local woman.
Multiple BAFTAs were bestowed for the film, including Best Film Not in the English Language, Best Direction, and Best Original Score.
10. La Vita è Bella (1997)
La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful) is a 1997 film by Roberto Benigni that won three Oscars. In the 1930s, a Jewish family lives in Italy and is the subject of the film.
Guido and his wife and son appear to be living a perfect existence until the Germans overrun their town.
The father shields his son from the realities of their circumstances by making it into a game with a mixture of humor and creativity.
There are so many wonderful Italian films to choose from, and we hope this list will help you get started. If you’re a movie buff, check out our list of 7 of the Best Tuscany-Set Movies.