Cinema Paradiso (1988) Script

1990 - "Academy Awards, Oscar" Best Foreign Language Film

1989 - "Cannes Film Festival" Grand Prize of the Jury

1989 - "Golden Globe Awards" Best Foreign Language Film

1989 - "European Film Awards" Special Prize of the Jury

1989 - "CÚsar Awards, France" Best Foreign Language Film nominated

Yes, Salvatore. Salvatore DE Vita.

What do you mean you don't know him?

Yes, that's it. I'm his mother.

I'm calling from Sicily, the whole blessed day.

I see, not there.

Then please, can you tell me...


Thank you. Good-bye.

Mama, it's useless to call.

He's a busy man, could be anywhere.

He won't remember anymore.

Come on, let it go.

He hasn't been here in 30 years.

You know how he is.

He'll remember.

I'm sure he'll remember. I know him better than you.

If he finds out later we didn't tell him, he'll be angry.

I'd like to talk to Mr. Salvatore DE Vita.

I'm his mother.

Salvatore... what time is it?

Very late.

I'm sorry. There was no way to let you know.

Go back to sleep.

Your mother called.

She took me for someone else.

What'd you tell her?

I played along.I didn't want to disappoint her.

We had a long talk.

She said you haven't visited her in 30 years.

When she wants to see you, she comes to Rome.

She called just to say that?


She said someone's died... someone named Alfredo.

The funeral is tomorrow.

Who is he, a relative?

No. Go to sleep.

The boy will be my death. How can I say Mass?

Lord God, we ask you to be pleased with the sacrifice we offer you with humble and contrite heart.




Cleanse me from my sin.

Better late than never.

How often must I say it? Without the bell, I lose my place.

Always sleeping. What do you do at night, eat?

Father, at my house we don't even eat at noon.

The veterinarian says so. That's why I'm tired.

I know why you're tired. Don't think I don't.

Now run along home. I've something to do.

Can I come? No, you cannot.

Yes, yes! Toto, out!

I want to! I want to!




You can start.

Here we go again.

The frame!

Pepe, one day we'll have it all.

We'll go away together... live the easy life... where no one knows us.

Forget it.

You don't love me anymore.


One pair, two pairs!

100 lire! Real nylon!

You mustn't come here.

I told you and told you... like talking to a wall.

If the film catches fire... little as you are, you'll go up... boom!

"And turn into a chunk of charcoal."

Like to wag your tongue, eh?

One day, I'll cut it off.

Like that.

Can I have it?

Come on, can I have it?

Well, can I? No!

Deaf as a post!

I have to splice it back before I return the film.

What a pest you are!

Why didn't you splice these when you gave the films back?

Sometimes I can't find the right place, so they stay here.

Anyway, they kiss too much.

Then I can have them.

No. Now look, come here.

Before I kick your fanny, I'll make you a deal.

All those are yours... a present.


But one, you keep out of here, and two, they stay with me. Got it?

All right.

Right. Then we agree. Now scram.

What kind of a deal is that?

If they're mine, how come you keep them?

Don't come back, or I'll thrash you!

"Shoot first, think later."

"This is no job for weaklings, traitorous dog."

"Hey, you! Dirty swine, hands off that gold!"

"Black hearted pig, stay away from me... or I'll smash your face in."

Mama, the war's over, but... why doesn't Papa come back?

He'll come back, you'll see. One of these days.

I don't remember him.

Where's Russia?

It takes years to get there and years to come back.

Go to bed. It's late.

You can hoodwink your mother, but not me!

Get your diploma and join the police! Lazybones!

Good-for-nothing! Get in there and study!

Well? How much is 5 times 5?



Table of 5's, dimwit.

1 times 5 is 5...

2 times 5 is 10...

3 times 5 is 15...

4 times 5 is 20...

5 times 5?





Learn your tables, or you'll never get a job.

For the last time... what is 5 times 5?


I paid to get in. I'm seeing the movie.

Get down from there, you devil.

Go back to your seat.

Worse than rabbits. They're all over the place.

Little monsters.

I'm off to Oregon.

Wait for me at my ranch.

Wait for a dead man?

A star-studded cast... featuring John Wayne...

Claire Trevor...

Hello, everyone!

Can't I say hello? Double feature today.

So? I'm here to sleep.

What's your smoke? Americans.

Cut the news, Alfredo!

The men and women who fought in secret... brave guerrillas, reunited in Rome... for the first Resistance Rally.

What does it say?

I'm illiterate.

You, too?

Twelve hours of blood and sweat... to bring home barely enough to keep from starving.

Yet their nets... when they pulled them up, were full.

I knew it!

Twenty years I've gone to movies and never saw a kiss.

And when will we?

Kiss my ass!

Don Vincenzo. You and you, to work.

What about me?

Go get a job from Stalin.

His day will come, even here. You watch.

I always get left out.

Good movie. The kid really acted well.

Too bad he was so unlucky.

What a jackass to buy that boat.

Idiot, you didn't get it at all.

Right, boys, you work from dawn to dusk.

And don't ask how much it pays.


I waited all day. You got milk?


The money?


You spent it on movies?

Movies, always movies!

Signora Maria, wait.

Leave him alone. Go easy.

And you, why do you tell lies?

You know you got in free.

Tell your mother.

Maybe he lost the money inside.

How much? 50 lire.

What'd you find tonight, under the seats?

A comb.

Two shoe lifts.

Can of tobacco... And?

50 lire.


Thank you, Alfredo.

Good-bye. Bye.

See you.

I understood right away.

The square is mine! It's my square!

It's midnight. Midnight!

Out! Shoo! I have to close the square.

Hard on the feet, eh, Father?

Going, it's all downhill and all the saints help out.

But coming back, the saints just watch.

If that's God's will.

See you tonight.

What's wrong?

Your foot this time.

Always something. What can we do?

Alfredo, did you know my father?

What a question. And how I knew him.

Tall, thin, jolly, with a nice mustache like me.

Always smiling. A lot like Clark Gable.

Now that I'm older and go to fifth grade...

I don't say I should come in the booth... but can't we at least be friends?

"I choose my friends for looks, my enemies for intelligence."

You're too foxy to be my friend.

I always tell my children...

"Be careful how you choose your friends."

You haven't got any children.

When I do, I'll tell them.

Don't cry, don't cry. It's all right.

The fire's out. It's over. I'm here.

What happened?


Your little sister could've burned to death.

And all your fault!

I told you not to keep your film under the bed by the fire pan.

Even the photographs burned!

Nearly set fire to the house.

You and your stupid movies!

Aren't you ashamed at your age to play with a boy?

Why look at me? What did I do?

Who gave him the film?

Don't do it again. He goes crazy. Crazy!

All I hear is movies, Alfredo.

Alfredo, movies!

Swear you won't let him in again. Swear it!

You have my word.

God grant me this.

Send your father home to whip you!

Papa won't come back, and I know why.

He's dead.

That's not true.

You'll see, he'll come back.

They smoke like chimneys.

No. Go buy a ticket.


What was that?

I'll make mincemeat of you! You'll reckon with me!

Signora Anna!


Don't blame me. Your wife told me to bring your lunch.

I told my mother you didn't give me the film.

It wasn't your fault.

I thought it was a joke about film catching fire.

I just wanted to tell you. Now I'll go.

Toto, come here.

Come on, come sit down.

Now listen. I got into this business at age ten.

Back then, we didn't have fancy machines.

Movies were silent.

You turned the projector by hand... with a crank.

The whole livelong day!

And it was hard, that damn crank.

If you got tired and slowed down a bit... like a shot, whom, everything burned.

So why not teach me?

Now that there's no crank and it's dead easy.

Because I don't want to.

It's no kind of job for you.

You're like a slave... and always alone.

You see a film 100 times. You've nothing else to do.

You talk to Garbo and Tyrone Power like a loony bird.

You work like a burro.

Even holidays... Easter, Christmas.

You only get Good Friday off.

And if they hadn't stuck Christ on a cross... we'd even work then.

So why don't you change jobs?

Because I'm a nitwit.

Who else around here could run a projector?

Nobody. It takes an imbecile like me.

And I never had any luck.

So! Want to be a stick-in-the-mud like me? How about it?

Atta boy, Toto.

I only tell you for your own good.

Cooped up here. Suffocate in summer, freeze to death in winter.

Breathing fumes.

And you earn chicken feed.

Don't you like anything about it?

Oh, it grows on you.

Sometimes you listen... and the house is full of people... giggling and laughing.

Then you're happy too.

It makes you feel good to hear them.

Like you're the one who made them laugh... who made them forget their troubles.

That part I like.

I might as well speak Greek! What're you up to?

Pretend to listen, then play the clown!

Your mother's right! You're a scatterbrain!

How'd the rascal do it? He learned by watching.

I'm telling the manager not to let you in!

And I'll see Father Adelfio! No more altar boy! Finished!


Up yours!

I got it! I won! I won the football lottery!

The Neapolitan won the lottery!

Hey, Ciccio from Naples won the lottery!

Always the northerners who hit it lucky.

The square is mine! All mine!

Hold still! Horseflies bothering you?

You got a lice factory up here.

Beat it.

What're you after? A smack?

Get out of here.

A merchant owns two stores.

In one, he sells fruit.

Be seated.

Professor... the auditors taking the exam for the grade school diploma.


Rotten little stinker.

Toto, help me. Silence!

I can't do this damn thing.



Francesco Messana... you're under arrest.

Good riddance!

Kiss my ass! Pencil pusher!

Right here is where it can catch fire.

If it does, cut here and here, or the whole reel will burn. Got it?

Yes. Alfredo.

Never. We'll never have that here.

Which side is the gelatin on?

It tastes good.

Shipping invoice for the film. Always keep them.

I will, Alfredo.

Don't ever forget.

This is for you. Today you load the reels yourself.

It's so high! Now you can run it alone.

Hold it.

What a build! My turn!

Say good-bye to Peppino. He's leaving for Germany.

Why don't you say good-bye?

My father says he's a communist.

God keep you, Mama.

Will he really find work in Germany?

You never know. Like playing the lottery... you live on hope.

Screw this country!

Go work in Germany, you and your Stalin.

Good-bye, Mama.

Good-bye, Peppino! Come back soon!

We'll see you.


Lucky thing Germany is closer than Russia.

After six years, the return of spring fashion.

Fresh and breezy... unlike the pompous styles of wartime.

I'll make mincemeat of you!

"You'll reckon with me!"

Another sad page... in the tragedy of our men in Russia.

The Defense Ministry... has released a new list of Italian dead... until now considered missing.

The names will be posted by local military authorities.

Families concerned will be notified.

However, we don't know where he's buried.

Here's the pension form. Sign it, please.

Out! Go home! We can't have another show!

It's late. Be reasonable. We can't show it again!

Some peoples at through it twice!

We've been waiting for an hour!

Tomorrow we'll have another movie.

A western. Word of Honor! Go home to bed.

They'll wreck the Paradiso! All hell will break loose!

Alfredo, let us in!

What can I do?

I've been waiting for three hours!

"A mob doesn't think.

It has a mind of its own."

Spencer Tracy said that in "Fury."

Well, what do you say?

Shall we let the poor devils see their film?

Fantastic. But how?

"If you have no faith in me, have faith in what you see."

Now get your fanny off that stool.

Get ready.


and we pass through walls.

Go look out the window.

Alfredo, it's beautiful.

Over there! It's the movie!

Bravo, Alfredo.

Thank you, Alfredo!

What's going on?

It's a movie!

To hell with you.

There's no sound!

Shall we make them happy?

Want to go down?

Go on.

Look. Good Lord.

And Nunzio, half price.

Have to buy tickets, folks.

Reduced rates.

Up yours! The square belongs to everyone!

Oh, no!

The square is mine! Don't joke about that! It makes me mad!


Alfredo! No! Alfredo!

Alfredo, Alfredo. Help! Help!

Alfredo, Alfredo!


Poor Alfredo. What a shame.

All burned!

It all burned down!

What do we do now?

We have no more entertainment. Nothing.

Where'll we get the money to rebuild?

Take a look at Ciccio. So spiffy, you'd hardly know him.

Who has that kind of money?

The new Cinema Paradiso!

Come in, come in.

This theater is for you!

He's just a boy. What about labor laws?

I got the license through connections.

Don't ask me how their minds work.

Officially, I'm the projectionist, but the money goes to Toto.

Stay on your toes, Toto. No sleeping.

We've had enough disasters.

Do what poor Alfredo taught you. And God bless you.

Thank you, Father.

What is this, a funeral? Life goes on! Gaiety! Music!

Get a load of that!

Our Father...

My God, they're kissing!

I won't watch pornography.

Three cheers for Ciccio!

Any room for me in this new paradise?


Bring him home after you close.

I'm going, Alfredo.

It's great you came.

How're things at school?

Fine, but now that I'm working... maybe I won't go anymore.

No. No, Toto.

Don't do that.

You'll end up with egg on your face.

Why? What does that mean?

It means... that this isn't your real work.

Right now the Paradiso needs you... and you need the Paradiso... but it's a stopgap.

One day you'll go on... to other things.


that are more important.

Definitely more important.

I know. Now that I've lost my sight...

I see better.

Things I never saw before.

All thanks to you, who saved my life.

I won't forget it.

And don't look like that.

I'm not senile yet. Want proof?

Yes. Well, let's see.

For example... right now, the film's out of focus.

Go check.

You're right, it's out of focus.

How'd you know?

Too hard to explain.

What's the idea? Watch the screen. Animals, rapists!

Look, don't touch.

I told you... it doesn't catch fire.

Progress always comes too late.

Workers of the world...

She's new.

Not bad.


Father's the bank manager. Pride, pomp and circumstance.

Jerks off with his shirt, not to get his hand dirty.

Go, man, go!

Excuse me. Yes?

You dropped this.

Oh, thanks.

I didn't even notice.

My name's Salvatore. What's yours?

Elena. My name's Elena.

I wanted to tell you, well, the other day at the station...

The small projector? Your footage?

What do you see?

Slaughterhouse workers killing a heifer.

Blood all over the floor, like a lake.

Over the lake comes another heifer... about to die.

Why'd you stop? What do we see?

Nothing. We don't see anything. It's all fuzzy.

A woman.

It's a woman.

Yes, a girl I saw at the station.

What's she like?

She's very nice.

My age, slim, long hair, brown.

Big eyes, very blue, honest and direct.

A little beauty mark on her lip.

Very small. You only see it up close.

When she smiles, you feel like... I don't know.



I know how it is... The blue-eyed ones are the worst.

No matter what you do, they'll never be your friends.

Nothing for it.

The bigger the man, the deeper his imprint.

And if he loves, he suffers, knowing it's a dead-end street.

That's nice, what you just said.

But sad.

I didn't say it. It was John Wayne in "The Shepherd of the Hills".

You old pirate.

Hello, Elena. Hello.

Why're you running?


I wanted to tell you... you remember when we...

Nice day, isn't it?

Yes, really nice.

Excuse me, I have to go. Bye.

What a jerk. What a jerk!

"Nice day, isn't it?"

Of all the assholes!

I told you so.

You thought I was joking.

But take it from me, the blue-eyed ones are the worst.

But why? There must be a way to make her understand.

Don't even try. With feelings, there's nothing to understand... and no way to explain.

Oh, you made the world!

With due respect to the Lord... who made the world in two, three days...

I'd have taken a bit longer... but in all modesty, I would've done it better.

Like I said... you always have an answer.

Just for you, Toto, I'll tell you a story.

Let's sit down a minute.

Misery of miseries.

Once... a king gave a feast... for the loveliest princesses in the realm.

Now, a soldier who was standing guard... saw the king's daughter go by.

She was the most beautiful of all... and he instantly fell in love.

But what is a simple soldier... next to the daughter of a king?

Well, at last he succeeded in meeting her... and he told her he could no longer live without her.

The princess was so taken by the depth of his feeling... that she said to the soldier...

"if you can wait..."

"for 100 days and 100 nights under my balcony..."

"at the end of it, I shall be yours."

With that, the soldier went and waited one day... two days, then ten, then twenty.

Each evening the princess looked out... and he never moved!

In rain, in wind, in snow, he was always there.

Birds shat on his head, bees stung him... but he didn't budge.

At the end... of 90 days... he had become...

all dry, all white.

Tears streamed from his eyes.

He couldn't hold them back.

He didn't even have the strength to sleep.

And all that time, the princess watched him.

At long last, it was the 99th night... and the soldier stood up, took his chair... and left.

What? At the end?

At the very end.

And don't ask what it means. I don't know.

If you understand it, you tell me.

Only one print?

You know I need two. One for the Paradiso... one for the next town.

You promised. I put up posters, made commitments!

If you screw me, watch out!

One print for two theaters!

You'll pay for this!

I'm from Naples, and you will see it and die!

We see the crib. The child's asleep.

"Do something!"

The lawyer told me. Now I know.

"The lawyer told me. Now I know."

And everyone must know. Yes, everyone must know.

"Everyone must know."

You believe me?

"You believe me?"

Yes, I believe you.

"Yes, I believe you."

Our own home. How I've dreamed of it.

"Our own home." "How I've dreamed of it."




The End.

I don't like it. I don't like it.

I cut the end credits to go faster.

Hurry back with part one. I'll show a newsreel.

I'll call the police. Take him.

Just a minute. Just a minute!

Give me part two. Here's part one.

Hurry, the house is packed.

Come on, slowpoke. Get her rolling!

Bunch of animals. Quiet!

Come on, Toto, they'll explode!

It's been a half hour!

What can I do?

Where is that son of a jackass? I'll be ruined.

Calm down, calm down.

I'll have you know, just to see this movie...

I left my wife homesick in bed... and I haven't seen a thing.

If it's not here in ten minutes, give us back our money.

Me and everyone here!

Or with this, I'll wreck the place!

Calm down! Calm down and let me talk.

Tell you what. I'll show part one another time.

Quiet, quiet!

I've seen the whole movie. I'll tell you the plot.

Alfredo, what is it?

I can't. The Host is on the altar.

Father, I need you urgently... because I have doubts... terrible doubts tormenting my soul.

Your soul.

Father, I've sinned.

Do that after. But who...

Stay there. Don't move.

Just act normal. It's Salvatore.

How'd you get here?

Alfredo, that's a terrible thing to say.

I know.

But take the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

What about it?

I always wonder... how is it possible?

I had to talk to you.

You're beautiful, Elena.

That's what I wanted to tell you.

When we meet, I can't say anything right... because you give me the shivers.

I don't know what others do in these cases.

It's my first time.

But I'm in love with you.

Father, I have sinned.

I absolve you, in the name of the Father...

Son and Holy Ghost.

Go in peace.

When you laugh, you're even prettier.

Salvatore, you're very sweet, and I like you very much... but I don't love you.

I don't care. I'll wait.


For you to fall in love with me.

Now listen.

Every night after work, I'll come stand outside your house.

And I'll wait. Every night.

When you change your mind, open your window.

That's all. I'll understand.

You understand now?

Yes, finally, I see the light.

Next time, don't talk heresy.

You survived the theater fire, but from the Eternal Fire... that is, Eternal Fire... no one can save you.

Fifteen seconds to the new year!

14, 13, 12

11, 10, 9, 8...


Oh, great. Never been driven, he said.

How'll we get home?


Oh, God, it's my father.

Hello, Mr. Mendola.

Hello. Hello.

Play at an open-air theater.

Standing room only!

Come on in. The show just started.

Have your tickets ready.

Salvatore, my love.

A whole summer with my family, far from you, my days here go on forever.

I see your name everywhere in a book, a crossword puzzle... a newspaper.

You're always before my eyes.

Today, alas, I have bad news.

In October we move to Palermo, where I'll go to university.

So we won't see each other every day.

But don't worry, whenever I can get away...

I'll come to you at the Paradiso.

I'm blind!

By God's might, by man's running! Rise up!

When will this rotten summer end?

In a film, it'd already be over.

Fade-out: cut to storm. Wouldn't that be great?

Tell them I am Odyssey!

Elena... But when?


You can't imagine the excuses I made up to come here.

I'm doing my military service in Rome. I leave Friday.

I'll come to say good-bye at the Paradiso.

I'll arrive Thursday, by 5 p.m. bus.

Maybe the army made a mistake. Anyway, Rome is beautiful.

Load the reels for tomorrow, ready for the new man.

Hey, cheer up.

I'll wait for you. Don't worry.

The job'll still be here.

I'll wait, you hear?

Don't look so gloomy.

Come on! Hup!

Radioman Di Vita, 3rd Battalion, 9th Company, sir!

Transferred her father? No way! And no one knows where?

Screw you if you won't tell me! Asshole son of a bitch!

You're thinner.

Put you through it, eh?

They tell me you never go out... and you never talk to anybody.


You know how it is.

Sooner or later the time comes... whether you talk or don't talk... it's the same thing.

So you might as well shut up.

It's hot here.

Take me to the sea.

At a party, a lieutenant pinches this girl's ass.

She turns around. It's the colonel's daughter.

Terrified, the lieutenant says...

"if your heart is as hard as what I just felt, I'm a dead man."

You haven't seen her?


And no one knows where she is.

Probably that's how it was meant to be.

We, each of us, have a star to follow.

Get out of here.

This land is cursed.

Living here day by day... you think it's the center of the world.

You believe nothing will ever change.

Then you leave... a year, two years.

When you come back, everything's changed.

The thread's broken.

What you came to find isn't there.

What was yours is gone.

You have to go away for a long time... many years... before you can come back and find your people.

The land where you were born.

But now, no. It's not possible.

Right now you're blinder than I am.

Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda?

No, Toto.

Nobody said it.

This time it's all me.

Life isn't like in the movies.

Life... is much harder.

Get out of here.

Go back to Rome. You're young... the world is yours.

And I'm old.

I don't want to hear you talk anymore.

I want to hear talk about you.

Don't come back.

Don't think about us.

Don't look back. Don't write.

Don't give in to nostalgia. Forget us all.

If you do and you come back, don't come see me.

I won't let you in my house. Understand?

Thank you.

For everything you've done for me.

Whatever you end up doing, love it.

The way you loved the projection booth... when you were a little squirt.

He's left. Toto! Good-bye!

Got here too late, what a shame.

It's Toto. I knew it.

See how nice the house is?

We had it all redone, all thanks to you.

I have a surprise for you. Come.

Are you tired?

You have time to rest before the funeral.

No, Mama, it's only an hour by plane.

Don't tell me that after all these years.

Come. I put everything in here. All your things.

He must be glad you came, Toto.

He always talked about you. Always.

Right up to the end.

He really... He really loved you.

He left something for you.

Before you leave... come see me.

How have you been?

When did you close it down?

Six years ago in May. Nobody came anymore.

You know better than I, Mr. Di Vita... the economy, TV, videos.

The old movie business is just a memory.

The city bought the site for a parking lot.

They're demolishing it Saturday. It's too bad.

What's this "Mr. Di Vita"?

You used to order me around.

Now that you're a big shot, it's a little different.

But, if you insist, Toto.

Excuse me.

Who would've believed it... little Toto.

This is... what he left for you.

He never asked to see me?

No, never.

Once your mother said to him... that if he wanted it, you'd surely come.

He was furious. He said, "No."

"Toto must never come back to Giancaldo!"

He didn't say it to be mean.

He was a good man.

Who knows what was going through his head.

Towards the end, he said strange things.

A moment before he closed his eyes... he told your mothers he mustn't let you know.

What're you thinking?

Just that I've always been afraid to come back.

And now, after all these years, I thought I was stronger... that I'd forgotten a lot of things.

But in fact...

I find I'm right back where I was... as if I'd never been away.

Yet when I look around, I don't recognize anyone.

And you, Mama...

I deserted you.

Ran out on you like a bandit... without any explanation.

I never asked for any.

You don't have to explain to me.

I always thought it was good what you did. Why harp on it?

You were right to leave.

You did what you wanted to do.

When I call you, a different woman always answers.

But I never heard in any of their voices... that they really loved you.

I would've known.

All the same, I'd have liked... to see you settled... loving someone.

But your life is there.

Here there are only ghosts.

Let go, Toto.

It's my square. It's mine.

Check the leader. Roll when you're ready.

Right. And I liked your film. Terrific.