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.
One year in a small northern Italian coastal town in the late 1930s is presented. The slightly off-kilter cast of characters are affected by time and location, the social mores dictated largely by Catholicism and the national fervor surrounding Il Duce aka Benito Mussolini and Fascism. The stories loosely center on a mid-teen named Titta and his household including his adolescent brother, his ever supportive mother who is always defending him against his father, his freeloading maternal Uncle Lallo, and his paternal grandfather who slyly has eyes and hands for the household maid. Other townsfolk include: Gradisca, the town beauty, who can probably have any man she wants, but generally has no one as most think she out of their league; Volpina, the prostitute; Giudizio, the historian; a blind accordionist; and an extremely buxom tobacconist. The several vignettes presented include: the town bonfire in celebration of spring; life at Titta's school with his classmates and teachers; ...Written by
The first movie ever released on home video in the "letterbox" format (on an RCA SelectaVision CED videodisc, January, 1984), preceding the letterbox laserdisc release of Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979) by eight months. See more »
When the carriage is hidden behind the farmhouse, its position in relation to the shadow changes between shots. As it is driven behind the building, it is in shadow; when next shown it is out of the shadow. See more »
An exclusive digital restoration of the film was done by Criterion in 1995 for their laserdisc. The disc contains a before-and-after demonstration of the restoration process and has the option of either the original Italian soundtrack or the English-dubbed soundtrack. See more »
When I attended the premiere, I felt this was the best film ever made.
When "Amarcord" had it's American premier at the Plaza Theatre on East 58th Street in New York, I was working as the manager of The Paris Theatre, also on 58th Street, just 2 blocks west, behind Bergdorf's and facing the front of the Plaza Hotel.
Both theatres were part of the Cinema-5 circuit of first-run theatres in Manhattan. I often took advantage of the pass privileges that theatres extend to one another and always attended every other theatre in the city to sample their fare.
As I often worked as 'relief' manager of The Plaza, I was well known to the the crew there and had easy access to that theatre at all times. When I first sat through "Amarcord" during it's opening, I realized that I had just seen "THE Finest Film Ever Made". When I told this to others, I was often scoffed at. I was told that the 'Finest Film' hadn't been made yet. That was until the scoffers saw the film for themselves. Every friend I brought to The Plaza to see "Amarcord" was as enchanted with the film as I was.
During it's opening run at the Plaza Theatre in 1974, I must have seen the film at least 50 times. I next saw "Amarcord" at an art house in another city in 1980. Yes, it was still the best film. In the 6 years since it's USA premier I can't say I saw any film better than "Amarcord."
Then, when it was at long last released on videotape in the 1990's, I purchased the tape. When I watched the tape I wept. Yes, it was STILL the finest film ever made. I DO think the world of "Nights of Cabiria", "La Strada", "La Dolce Vita" and "8 1/2". But "Amarcord" is more than just Fellini's greatest work. It is greater than ANY other film, made by any other person or group of persons. I know now, 27 years after I first saw this film, that I will certainly say, 27 years in the future: This is THE film that no film-maker can top.
..In my humble opinion, of course....
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