LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
The Abridged Script
VARIOUS. PART 1 - THE FALLING-IN-LOFE STUFF
ROBERTO BENIGNI, a pre-WWII Italian Jew, drives through the countryside with his FUNNY SIDEKICK. They lose control of the car and it swerves through a crowd, which mistakes him for a fascist official.
This was funny. When Charlie Chaplin first did it. Eighty years ago.
ROBERTO meets NICOLETTA BRASCHI, a pretty schoolteacher, who falls on him.
NICOLETTA looks at him adoringly. ROBERTO moves to the city and has many cute adventures. He becomes a waiter and has cute accidents. He gets around the city on a bicycle and has cute run-ins with a man whose hat ROBERTO likes. He woos the cute NICOLETTA, pretending to be a visiting official at her school. She looks at him, adoringly. This is all very CUTE.
This was all very amusing. When Keaton and Chaplin did it. Eighty years ago. Maybe we should have stayed home and rented 'City Lights.'
No! Please stay! I am different from Keaton and Chaplin! For one thing, I am alive! Also, I'm in color and I speak Italian! And I love you all! And I want to take you all out into a field and make love to you all!
But your shtick is exactly the same as Keaton's and Chaplin's.
But there is something in this movie that they never did! Physical comedy in a concentration camp!
What the hell?
INT. PART 2 - THE HOLOCAUST STUFF
ROBERTO and NICOLETTA have married and have an adorable son, GIORGIO CANTARINI, who looks exactly like one of those cheap motel room paintings of children with really huge eyes.
I love my toy tank!
On GIORGIO's birthday, the Nazis come and take ROBERTO and GIORGIO away.
Where are we going, Papa?
This is all a contest we made for your birthday! All of us are going to a special camp, and if you do exactly what I say, we win points! The person with the most points wins a tank!
Umm...Roberto? This sounds suspiciously like it's going to be an uplifting fable..
Yes! It is!
But should a movie about the Holocaust be uplifting?
I love you! I want to take you into my cellar and give you a blowjob! I love you all!
NICOLETTA comes to the train station, looking for her husband and son.
Your husband and son are on the train.
I want to get on that train.
You're not Jewish. Go home.
My family is on that train. I want to get on.
Before getting on the train, NICOLETTA spots her husband and son. She looks at them adoringly. The train reaches the concentration camp. The men and women are separated. As she is lead away, she looks at her husband adoringly.
Here we are at the special camp! Isn't this wonderful? We stay in this tiny room with all these other men and the German people yell at us! If you don't cry, you get 10 points! If you don't complain about being hungry, you get 10 points! If you hide, you get 20 points!
Roberto? This is supposed to be touching, but it's just really weird.
Papa? A man told me the Germans are killing the Jews. Why don't I see anyone being killed?
I told you! We're playing a game! If we win we get a tank--
I'm not talking about the game, I'm talking about this movie. It's about the Holocaust, yet we don't see anyone being tortured or raped or shot or gassed. Nobody is even starving to death. Isn't it a little weird--
Oh, be quiet. Here comes the next scene!
ROBERTO and other men are carrying heavy anvils around.
Boy, this anvil is heavy! Perhaps after the war is over, we should open our own anvil factory!
Now you're making jokes about Nazi slave labor!?
Hey! He stole my shtick! No one had better start singing 'Springtime for Hitler' or I'm suing!
Slowly, some of the Jewish prisoners start disappearing, but this is never addressed.
ROBERTO and GIORGIO wander around the camp in the dark. There is a heavy fog. We see what looks like a huge pile of dead naked bodies, but we barely see it, because the fog is so thick and because this movie is rated PG-13.
The war is ending. ROBERTO tries to get to NICOLETTA, but is caught. GIORGIO, who is hiding, sees his father led away. ROBERTO sees his son watching him and does a comic impression of the Nazi goosestep. ROBERTO is lead offscreen and we hear bullets, but we don't see him killed.
The war ends and the Americans show up!
ACTOR WITH TERRIBLE AMERICAN ACCENT
Howdy pardner! Ya'll wanna ride up in this here tank?
My tank! I won!
He rides out of the camp on the tank. NICOLETTA, who is alive and miraculously looks just as healthy as when she went into the camp, sees GIORGIO and hugs him adoringly.
You see! I've accomplished a great artistic work! I've shown the triumph of the human spirit over evil!
WHAT evil? You've managed to make a Holocaust movie that doesn't show anyone being tortured or raped or shot or gassed! You turned the Holocaust into the background for a physical comedy! You've managed to make the darkest episode of the 20th century look like a really intense summer camp!
Oh, shut up. I won a bunch of Oscars. AND I LOVE YOU ALL AND WANT TO BURY YOU IN A COFFIN AND GET INSIDE WITH YOU AND GIVE YOU A SNOWBALL! WEEE!! I'M ECCENTRIC! IT MEANS I'M BRILLIANT!