Italian History in the Movies

by Burgwaechterchen | created - 24 Mar 2017 | updated - 25 Mar 2017 | Public

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1. Farinelli (1994)

R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of castrato opera singer Carlo Broschi, who enthralled 18th century European audiences under his stage name Farinelli, comes to life in this drama of high notes and even higher passions.

Director: Gérard Corbiau | Stars: Stefano Dionisi, Enrico Lo Verso, Elsa Zylberstein, Caroline Cellier

Votes: 6,089 | Gross: $2.12M

2. Night Sun (1990)

Unrated | 113 min | Drama, Romance

Young nobleman Baron Sergio Giuramondo, after discovering that his bride-to-be was the king's mistress, leaves Naples in disgust to become a monk. But his quest for perfect solitude is ... See full summary »

Directors: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani | Stars: Julian Sands, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Massimo Bonetti, Margarita Lozano

Votes: 634

3. Artemisia (1997)

R | 98 min | Biography, Drama, History

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) was one of the first well-known female painters. The movie tells the story of her youth, when she was guided and protected by her father, the painter ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Merlet | Stars: Valentina Cervi, Michel Serrault, Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic, Luca Zingaretti

Votes: 1,958 | Gross: $0.38M

4. Dolce far niente (1998)

119 min | Comedy, Drama

This movie depicts the two years that young Stendhal spent in Italy. Stendhal, that time still known simply as Henri Beyle, is living the life of a wanderer, looking for a direction in his ... See full summary »

Director: Nae Caranfil | Stars: François Cluzet, Isabella Ferrari, Margherita Buy, Giancarlo Giannini

Votes: 157

5. Many Wars Ago (1970)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, War

On the Italian/Austrian front during World War I, a disastrous Italian attack upon the Austrian positions leads to a mutiny among the Italian troops.

Director: Francesco Rosi | Stars: Mark Frechette, Alain Cuny, Gian Maria Volontè, Giampiero Albertini

Votes: 1,285

6. The Night of the Shooting Stars (1982)

R | 107 min | Drama, Romance, War

In 1944, the residents of a small Italian town under Axis control flee their homes to seek out the liberating Allied forces.

Directors: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani | Stars: Omero Antonutti, Margarita Lozano, Claudio Bigagli, Miriam Guidelli

Votes: 3,619

7. Malena (2000)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

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.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico, Matilde Piana

Votes: 84,661 | Gross: $3.43M

8. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

A former Roman General sets out to exact vengeance against the corrupt emperor who murdered his family and sent him into slavery.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed

Votes: 1,276,328 | Gross: $187.71M

9. Brancaleone at the Crusades (1970)

116 min | Adventure, Fantasy, History

After saving an infant of royal blood, knight Brancaleone forms a new army and sets out to return the baby to his father: a prince fighting in the Crusades.

Director: Mario Monicelli | Stars: Vittorio Gassman, Adolfo Celi, Sandro Dori, Beba Loncar

Votes: 1,600

10. Centurion (2010)

R | 97 min | Action, Drama, History

62 Metascore

A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is devastated in a guerrilla attack.

Director: Neil Marshall | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Andreas Wisniewski

Votes: 75,885 | Gross: $0.12M

11. Mediterraneo (1991)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, War

In WW2, an Italian Army unit of misfits occupies an isolated non-strategic Greek island for the duration of the war.

Director: Gabriele Salvatores | Stars: Diego Abatantuono, Claudio Bigagli, Giuseppe Cederna, Claudio Bisio

Votes: 13,098 | Gross: $4.53M

12. Year of the Gun (1991)

R | 111 min | Action, Romance, Thriller

Two young Americans, he a journalist and she a photojournalist, experience Red Brigades terrorists close up in Rome, 1978.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Sharon Stone, Valeria Golino, John Pankow

Votes: 2,268 | Gross: $1.18M

13. Dangerous Beauty (1998)

R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

A Venetian courtesan becomes a hero to her city, but later becomes the target of an inquisition by the Church for witchcraft.

Director: Marshall Herskovitz | Stars: Catherine McCormack, Rufus Sewell, Oliver Platt, Fred Ward

Votes: 15,434 | Gross: $4.53M

14. Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001)

R | 131 min | Drama, Music, Romance

36 Metascore

When a fisherman leaves to fight with the Greek army during World War II, his fiancée falls in love with the local Italian commander.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, John Hurt, Christian Bale

Votes: 32,057 | Gross: $25.54M

15. Lion of the Desert (1980)

PG | 173 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 1929, Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini appoints General Rodolfo Graziani as colonial governor to Italian Libya with orders to stamp-out all resistance from Libyan nationalists led by rebel guerrilla leader Omar Mukhtar.

Director: Moustapha Akkad | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger, Irene Papas

Votes: 13,159

16. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

After a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 209,748 | Gross: $74.70M

17. Ben-Hur (2016)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

38 Metascore

Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army, returns to his homeland after years at sea to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov | Stars: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi

Votes: 39,774 | Gross: $26.41M

18. Solino (2002)

124 min | Drama, Comedy

In the sixties Romano Amato, his wife Rosa and their two sons Giancarlo and Gigi emigrate from Solino in Italy to Duisburg in the Ruhr area and establish the first Pizza restaurant in town.... See full summary »

Director: Fatih Akin | Stars: Barnaby Metschurat, Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Tasche, Tiziana Lodato

Votes: 5,069

19. Golden Door (2006)

PG-13 | 118 min | Drama, History, Romance

74 Metascore

A Sicilian peasant begins the journey to the promised land and meets a beautiful Englishwoman. But neither is prepared for the harsh realities of Ellis Island. Can they make it through the golden door to the America of their dreams?

Director: Emanuele Crialese | Stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vincenzo Amato, Vincent Schiavelli, Aurora Quattrocchi

Votes: 4,616 | Gross: $1.06M

20. And the Ship Sails On (1983)

PG | 128 min | Drama, History, Music

In 1914, a luxury ship leaves Italy in order to scatter the ashes of a famous opera singer. A lovable bumbling journalist chronicles the voyage and meets the singer's many eccentric friends and admirers.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Freddie Jones, Barbara Jefford, Victor Poletti, Peter Cellier

Votes: 5,211

21. Vincere (2009)

Unrated | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

The story of Mussolini's secret lover, Ida Dalser, and their son Albino.

Director: Marco Bellocchio | Stars: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi, Fausto Russo Alesi, Michela Cescon

Votes: 5,134 | Gross: $0.62M

22. Mussolini and I (1985)

120 min | Biography, Drama, War

A compelling drama and documentary chronicling the life and death of Il Duce (Bob Hoskins), from his days as a terrorist, to his alliance with Hitler, to the betrayal of his son-in-law, and untimely demise.

Stars: Susan Sarandon, Anthony Hopkins, Bob Hoskins, Annie Girardot

Votes: 341

23. The Last 4 Days (1974)

PG | 91 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 1945, the dictator of fascist Italy and Hitler's close ally Benito Mussolini faces defeat. In a desperate attempt to avoid capture, he tries to flee the country with his lover Claretta Petacci, but Italian partisans are on their tail.

Director: Carlo Lizzani | Stars: Rod Steiger, Franco Nero, Lisa Gastoni, Lino Capolicchio

Votes: 594

25. Tea with Mussolini (1999)

PG | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, War

53 Metascore

An orphaned Italian boy is raised amongst a circle of British and American women living in Mussolini's Italy before and during World War II.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher

Votes: 10,682 | Gross: $14.35M

26. The Sicilian (1987)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Egocentric bandit Salvatore Giuliano fights the Church, the Mafia, and the landed gentry while leading a populist movement for Sicilian independence.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Christopher Lambert, Terence Stamp, Joss Ackland, John Turturro

Votes: 4,452 | Gross: $5.41M

27. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,524,608 | Gross: $134.97M

28. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,067,786 | Gross: $57.30M

29. The Silent Mountain (2014)

Not Rated | 94 min | Adventure, Drama, History

A young Austrian soldier in World War I fights his way through the Alps to rescue his first love and escape the impending explosion that will rock the mountain.

Director: Ernst Gossner | Stars: William Moseley, Eugenia Costantini, Claudia Cardinale, Emily Cox

Votes: 550

30. The Name of the Rose (1986)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

54 Metascore

An intellectually nonconformist friar investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger, Elya Baskin

Votes: 97,542 | Gross: $7.15M

31. In Love and War (1996)

PG-13 | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

A bitter love story between a talented writer and a gentle nurse.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Sandra Bullock, Chris O'Donnell, Mackenzie Astin, Margot Steinberg

Votes: 7,912 | Gross: $14.48M

32. Baarìa (2009)

Not Rated | 163 min | Comedy, Drama

Baaria is Sicilian slang for Bagheria where Tornatore was born and this is an autobiographic epic of three generations in the Sicilian village where he was born.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Francesco Scianna, Margareth Madè, Lina Sastri, Ángela Molina

Votes: 6,648 | Gross: $0.00M

33. The Leopard (1963)

PG | 186 min | Drama, History

100 Metascore

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.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale, Paolo Stoppa

Votes: 21,560

34. Death in Venice (1971)

GP | 130 min | Drama

While recovering in Venice, sickly Composer Gustav von Aschenbach becomes dangerously fixated with teenager Tadzio.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Romolo Valli, Mark Burns, Nora Ricci

Votes: 17,604 | Gross: $0.15M

35. Quo Vadis (1951)

Not Rated | 171 min | Biography, Drama, History

Fierce Roman commander Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) becomes infatuated with beautiful Christian hostage Lygia (Deborah Kerr) and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero (Sir Peter Ustinov).

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann | Stars: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 12,888 | Gross: $24.29M

36. 1900 (1976)

Unrated | 317 min | Drama, History

70 Metascore

The epic tale of a class struggle in twentieth century Italy, as seen through the eyes of two childhood friends on opposing sides.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Francesca Bertini

Votes: 21,322

37. Il Divo (2008)

Not Rated | 110 min | Biography, Drama

81 Metascore

The story of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti, who has served as Prime Minister of Italy seven times since the restoration of democracy in 1946.

Director: Paolo Sorrentino | Stars: Toni Servillo, Anna Bonaiuto, Giulio Bosetti, Flavio Bucci

Votes: 15,183 | Gross: $0.24M

38. The Best of Youth (2003)

R | 366 min | Drama, Romance

89 Metascore

An Italian epic that follows the lives of two brothers, from the 1960s to the 2000s.

Director: Marco Tullio Giordana | Stars: Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Jasmine Trinca, Adriana Asti

Votes: 19,717 | Gross: $0.25M

39. Spartacus (1960)

PG-13 | 197 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

87 Metascore

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton

Votes: 118,788 | Gross: $30.00M

40. Cesare deve morire (2012)

Unrated | 77 min | Drama

77 Metascore

Inmates at a high-security prison in Rome prepare for a public performance of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."

Directors: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani | Stars: Cosimo Rega, Salvatore Striano, Giovanni Arcuri, Antonio Frasca

Votes: 5,910

41. Caesar (2002– )

PG-13 | 240 min | Biography, Drama, History

Twenty-year-old Julius Caeser flees Rome for his life during the reign of Sulla, but through skill and ambition rises four decades later to become Rome's supreme dictator.

Stars: Jeremy Sisto, Richard Harris, Christopher Walken, Valeria Golino

Votes: 2,508

42. The Good Pope (2003 TV Movie)

180 min | Biography, Drama

Angelo Roncalli, born in Sotto Il Monte in 1881, is known for his profound spirituality as well as his extraordinary goodness from the young years of his life. When he feels a need to serve... See full summary »

Director: Ricky Tognazzi | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Carlo Cecchi, Roberto Citran, Fabrizio Vidale

Votes: 267

43. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

PG-13 | 149 min | Mystery, Thriller

46 Metascore

A murder inside the Louvre, and clues in Da Vinci paintings, lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years, which could shake the foundations of Christianity.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno, Ian McKellen

Votes: 385,819 | Gross: $217.54M

44. Angels & Demons (2009)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

48 Metascore

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works with a nuclear physicist to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican during one of the significant events within the church.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 262,694 | Gross: $133.38M

45. Inferno (I) (2016)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

42 Metascore

When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan, Ben Foster

Votes: 148,619 | Gross: $34.34M

46. The Young Pope (2016)

TV-MA | 546 min | Drama