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Malèna (2000)

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.



(screenplay), (original story)
2,746 ( 198)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Luciano Federico ...
Matilde Piana ...
Pietro Notarianni ...
Professor Bonsignore
Gaetano Aronica ...
Nino Scordia
Gilberto Idonea ...
Avvocato Centorbi (as Gilberto Idone)
Angelo Pellegrino ...
Segretario politico
Mantenuta del Barone
Pippo Provvidenti ...
Maria Terranova ...
Moglie Dott. Cusimano
Marcello Catalano ...
Lieutenant Cadei
Elisa Morucci ...
Domenico Gennaro ...
Moglie farmacista


Malèna is about the peril of a beauty through the eyes of a 12 year old kid named Renato. He experiences three things on the same day, beginning of war, getting a bike and sees the arrival of Malèna in town. Through his eyes, we see the curse of beauty and loneliness of Malena, whose husband is presumed to be dead, and through his soul we see his love for her. Written by Paul

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A world at war. A young man coming of age. And the woman who changed his life forever See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

2 February 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Malena  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$62,282 (USA) (29 December 2000)


$3,429,045 (USA) (1 April 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Guiseppe Sulfaro stated in a interview that he had never seen a live naked woman and that Monica Belucci was the first. See more »


Renato's bike changes position when he helps Malena pick up oranges. See more »


Renato's Mother: But he'll have no pockets!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie is dedicated to Tornatore's Father See more »


References Stasera niente di nuovo (1942) See more »


A mio padre
Written by S Rossi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Another (though smaller) masterpiece from Tornatore
8 January 2010 | by (Dallas Tx United States75214) – See all my reviews

Directed by Guiseppe Tornatore one of my favorite film makers who made the Oscar Winning best film Cinema Paradiso. In this film Italy is just about to enter WWI after being dominated by Mussolini for several years. Suppose you were a 12 year old boy who was not yet as mature as your friends but at least you got yourself a new bike & then you find yourself really attracted to an older woman in town. (Malena played by extremely beautiful & well built Monica Bellucci) This 13-year-old boy (Renato) & his obsession with a small-town outcast woman in World War II Sicily make for a beautiful tale. Renato catches his first glimpse of shapely Malena , the daughter of his deaf Latin teacher (Notarianni). Instantly hooked hormones raging, Renato starts following her everywhere, indulging in keyhole spying & frantic masturbation. Though he never catches her attention she is drawn into elements of the war to survive & is outcast & beaten by local women at the end of the war. In the surprise ending her husband arrives alive after all at the end of the war. Malena combines a coming-of-age story with the sad journey of a woman punished for her beauty. With strong erotic elements & nostalgic cinematography it gives us a great (though simple) story & great views of a vanished pre-war Italy. These are the traits of film maker Tornatore used to make international hits of Cinema Paradiso & Il Postino. Production wise this film is a class act showing rich period detail of Fran. Frigeri's production design & Maurizio Millenotti's costumes. Cinematographer Lajos Koltai's gives us a truly beautiful warmly lit screen making the most of the Sicilian locations & the long stretches of the sun drenched port a(which was reconstructed in Morocco) Music Wise there is Ennio Morricone's insistent score which works well to enhance up the poignancy & emotional resonance of the film especially in the final scene. Many panned this movie I disagree I loved it & found it enchanting. Five stars

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