Italian Language Movies

It’s Movie Night!

Here are a selection of movies to surround you in Italy, including Italian language (for nights when all you want is Italy, but subtitles feel like too much work, check out my post on English language films set in Italy). When I posted this list on Facebook, Kris commented that she loves her subscription to mHz Choice (available via their website or through Amazon Prime Video). For less than $10 USD per month, you get dozens of foreign programming.

Let me know what movies you love in the comments, and please do like and share this post! Links lead you to the IMDB website so you can find further information…

And not in movies, but there is an Italian TV show on Netflix now called Baby… you can watch it in Italian with English subtitles!

Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips) A forgotten woman finds herself in Venice (one of my faves).

Palio Documentary about the famed palio races in Siena. Heart-thumpingly good.

Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch) A wacky story of a man and his mid-August “holiday”.

La Vita È Bella (Life is Beautiful) You’ve likely heard of this award-winner, since it was released for the big screen in English speaking countries. A heartbreaking story of a man’s fierce adherance to his loves during WW2.

Cinema Paradiso A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

La Grande Bellezza  (The Great Beauty) Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties find exquisite beauty.

My Country When his dying father reveals he had a son back in Italy, Lucky decides to find him. Sweet film with gorgeous scenery and great Italian phrases to pick up, narrative switches with ease between Italian and English (at the time of this writing, the movie is free with Amazon Prime).

Spettacolo A documentary about a town that performs an “autodrama”, a play about itself, every year. To no one’s surprise, my favorite parts our pici making and cute cats, but I also loved the idea of a dying village that creates art from its experience of, and in, the world (free for Amazon Prime customers at the time of this writing).

La Finestra di Fronte (Facing Windows): A melodrama centering around an unhappy couple whose life changes when they take in a Holocaust survivor.

Il Cuore Altrove (Incantato): A man invites his son to move to Bologna to meet a woman to marry and take over the family business, but the man does not approve of who his son falls in love with.

Il Papa di Giovanna (Giovanna’s Father): Giovanna’s father worries about his daughter who has just killed her best friend.

Summertime (English and Italian) A lonely American woman unexpectedly finds romance in Venice, Italy.

Don’t Look Now (English and Italian) A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

La Dolce Vita (Sweet Life) A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Corpo Celeste (Heavenly Body) A teenage girl moves to southern Italy and wrestles against the boundaries of a new city and the Catholic Church.

Il Postino (The Postman) An Italian postman strikes up an unlikely friendship with Pablo Neruda.

Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope) A story centered on the relationship between the newly elected Pope and his therapist.

Divorzio all'italiana (Divorce Italian Style) A Sicilian man must figure out how to off his wife so that he can marry his more attractive cousin.

The Leopard The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily.

Amarcord A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.

Malena Amidst the war climate, a teenage boy discovering himself becomes love-stricken by Malèna, a sensual woman living in a small, narrow-minded Italian town.

Ladri di Biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) Set in post WW2 Rome, this film about a man looking for his bicycle is on many “best movie ever” lists.

La Meglio Gioventù (The Best Youth) A six hour long odyssey set in Torino about two wildly different brother over a 40 year span of time.

Smetto Quando Voglio (I Can Quit Whenever I Want) Seven young university researchers cannot make a living out of their work because of lack of funding, so they start a smart drug racket and get carried away.

Roma Citta Aperta (Rome, Open City) WW2 about the brave few who struggled against Nazi occupation.

Matrimonio all'italiana (Marriage, Italian Style) An irrepressibly carnal businessman Domenico discovers a young prostitute and keeps her as his mistress and confidante. One of the most famous, and funniest, Italian comedies of all time (with Sophia Loren).

Fantozzi This film tells the story of an unfortunate accountant's life over the course of one year, shown in a variety of sketches, segments and provocative sequences making Fantozzi a very unlucky person indeed.

Il Comandante e la Cicogna (Garibaldi’s Lovers) Widowed plumber Leo is struggling to deal with the growing pains of his two adolescent children, when his life intersects with penniless artist Diana and her eccentric landlord Amanzio.

Mediterraneo A 1991 Italian film that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992. In WW2, an Italian Army unit of misfits occupies an isolated non-strategic Greek island for the duration of the war.

La Pazza Gioia (Like Crazy) Follows the story of two women at a mental clinic.

Il Gioiellino (The Jewel) Based on the fraud committed by Italian company Parmalat during the early 1990s. The facts and names have been changed throughout and the film shows much more than corruption at a multinational level. 

Ciao, Professore! (Hello, Professor!) A 1992 Italian "fish out of water" comedy film about an elementary school teacher from northern Italy who is sent by mistake to an impoverished town in the Naples region of southern Italy. 

Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto (Swept Away) A trip into the Mediterranean sea becomes something different, a discovery of how the rich and poor are societally conscripted.