My Top 5: Italian Movies

1. La Meglio Gioventù (2003)

Italian Movies

This is the longest film in my Top 5 with a running time of approximately six hours. However, the length of the movie never even crossed my mind as I became consumed with this film and its characters. It originally aired on television as a 4-part “mini-series” and later was released to theatres. It has made many appearances at Film Festivals across the globe winning numerous nominations and awards. The film spans over four decades (1966-2003) and follows the life of two brothers as they journey from young men into adults. The film focuses on so many subjects including family, friends, politics, love, tragedy, and faith. It is one of my all-time favourite films.

2. Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo (2004)

One of my favourite Italian actors right now is Riccardo Scamarcio. So naturally, when it came time to find movies to watch in Italian I immediately turned to IMDB and searched for movies that had him in a starring role. This movie is your typical “bad boy meets good girl and they fall in love” type story but it also gives you a glimpse into their vastly different worlds and how it effects their lives and their decisions. It has all the elements of a good love story and yet isn’t all fairy godmothers and happily ever afters.

3. L’Uomo Perfetto (2005)

Romantic comedies get a bad rep sometimes don’t you think? Doesn’t matter, I still love them. This film introduces us to a young woman in advertising who has always been in love with her very good friend Paolo. But, when he gets engaged to her best friend she will do whatever she can to make sure this marriage doesn’t happen. So, what does she do? She hires a struggling actor and moulds him into the “perfect man” who will sweep her best friend off her feet. But in true romantic comedy fashion, things don’t go entirely according to plan. This movie is light-hearted and funny and sure it may be a little bit predictable but every now and then you need a good dose of predictable chick flick goodness 🙂

4. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Cinema Paradiso is definitely a classic – there’s a reason it won an Oscar in 1990 for Best Foreign Language Film. This coming-of-age story set in a small Sicilian town is heart-warming, beautiful and moving. A small boy with a passion for the movies spends countless hours in the local movie-house where he befriends the projectionist who would set him on a journey towards his destiny. The movie brings together so many elements that shape our lives – joy, pain, laughter and tears. If you love the movies, I highly recommend this one.

5. La Dolce Vita (1960)

An enchanting and glamorous woman dancing in the Fontana di Trevi late at night is probably one of the most recognized scenes in film history. “La Dolca Vita”, directed by Federico Fellini, has earned it’s right to be called a “masterpiece”. It follows a young ambitious journalist as he is swallowed up into the world of the wealthy in Rome. What does it mean to live “la dolce vita” and if we choose to live it will live up to our expectations or leave us empty?

I’ve showed you mine, now you show me yours. What are your Top 5 Italian Movies?


  1. Elzabe

    September 10, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Hi there Not sure if your blog is still going??? I am from South Africa and needless to say Italian movies are extremely scarce> I am looking for Sofia Loren movies. Did find La Ciociara – where can I download her movies from

  2. Lois

    September 3, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I’m trying to learn the language and have been immersing myself in Italian movies and music. La Meglio Gioventu is the best movie I any language and in many years. My nail tech, best friend and hairdresser are hooked and a friend who teaches Italian finds it perfect when teaching modern Italian culture…FYI: Laura Pausini and Eros are great! Good music and enunciation that is so helpful….

  3. Erina

    July 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I was surfing for best Italian movies of all time and found your blog again. This time I thought I’d leave a comment. I’ve only seen two of the movies on your list, Cinema Paradiso and La Dolce Vita, but would like to view the rest as well as many others…my long list just keeps on growing. I see that you were born in Toronto. So was I.

  4. Isabella

    November 24, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you heapzzzz 🙂 xxxxx

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  6. Susi

    November 4, 2008 at 11:27 am

    La meglio gioventù is a masterpiece!!! I’m watching loads of Italian movies right now. I also like Riccardo Scamarcio, although I wouldn’t pick Tre metri sopra il cielo as one of his best movies. By the way he’s not from Bari, he’s from Andria.

    Anyone who hasn’t seen La vita è bella – what are ye folks waiting for?????? It’s in my opinion the best film of all times!!

  7. Carla

    October 3, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Very good list, of course Cinema Paradiso is a classic! There are so many great Italian movies, but some that stand out to me (for comedy) are “Sono Pazzo di Iris Blond”, “La mia vita a stelle e strisce”, “My name is Tanino” (with Rachel McAdams actually!), “Sapore di Mare” (Christian De Sica is very funny!), but #1 is “Il Ragazzo di Campagna”. For some old-school classic humor, any Totò film is hilarious! For more dramatic movies “L’ultimo Bacio” and “La vita è bella” are great. So many, I could go on forever…

    Thanks for your list of movies!! It was SO hard for me to pick just 5 movies. I watched “L’ultimo Bacio” not too long ago and really enjoyed it…WAY better than the American remake!! Would you believe I still haven’t seen “La vita è bella”?!?! Sad but true!

  8. Piccola

    October 2, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    I agree with La Meglio Gioventu. I watched all six hours consecutively and I cried! Cinema Paradiso is a classic! Some of my other favs are Malena, La Finestra di Fronte, Ciao Professore, L’Uomo Delle Stelle, La Bestia nel Cuore. There are so many! I think you guys up in Canada get more Italian films than we do down here in the US. The only movie available here with Riccardo Scamarcio is Mio Fratello e Figlio Unico. Riccardo is Pugliese, from Bari like my Ale’s family. I really want to see Tre Metri Sopra il Cielo, but it’s not available here 🙁

    Thanks for letting me in on some of your favorites!! 🙂 I am always looking for new movies to watch in Italian. I watched a bit of a movie called “13 a tavola” while I was in Italy and it looked interesting but I haven’t been able to find it here. I’ve seen “La Finestra di Fronte” and really liked it too. You should be able to find “Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo” as a bit torrent for download because it seems to be a pretty popular Italian film.

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