The Night of the Shooting Stars

The Night of the Shooting Stars

Italian poster
Directed by Paolo Taviani
Vittorio Taviani
Produced by Giuliani G. De Negri
Written by Paolo Taviani
Vittorio Taviani
Giuliani G. De Negri
Tonino Guerra
Starring Omero Antonutti
Margarita Lozano
Music by Nicola Piovani
Cinematography Franco Di Giacomo
Edited by Roberto Perpignani
Distributed by United Artists Classics (USA)
Release dates
  • 16 September 1982 (1982-09-16)
Running time
105 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

The Night of the Shooting Stars (UK: The Night of San Lorenzo, Italian: La Notte di San Lorenzo) is a 1982 Italian fantasy war drama film directed by Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani. It was entered into the 1982 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Special Grand Prix.[1] The film was also selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 55th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[2]


The film follows several inhabitants of an Italian town during the end of World War II. Defeat is certain for the German army, and the front is retreating back to Germany, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The Germans plan to blow up several buildings in the town, and have told all the villagers to congregate in the town's church. Approximately half of the town decides to stay, and place their trust in the church. The rest of the town dresses in dark clothing, and go out to seek the Americans, who are rumored to be nearby, liberating towns as they come to them.



The film was given a rapturous review by the critic Pauline Kael in The New Yorker : " The Night of the Shooting Stars is so good it's thrilling. This new film encompasses a vision of the world. Comedy, tragedy, vaudeville, melodrama - they're all here, and inseparable...In its feeling and completeness, Shooting Stars may be close to the rank of Jean Renoir's bafflingly beautiful Grand Illusion...unreality doesn't seem divorced from experience (as it does with Fellini) - it's experience made more intense...For the Tavianis, as for Cecilia, the search for the American liberators is the time of their lives. For an American audience, the film stirs warm but tormenting memories of a time when we were beloved and were a hopeful people." [3]


See also


  1. "Festival de Cannes: The Night of the Shooting Stars". Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  2. Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  3. Pauline Kael, review reprinted in Taking It All In, pp. 446–451
  4. The song is sung by a German soldier.
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