Roberto Benigni became the first Italian actor in more than 35 years to win an Oscar for an acting role. The last winner was Sophia Loren. His unexpecting Oscar win for "Best Actor" marked only the second time that an actor had directed himself in an Academy Award winning performance. The other was Laurence Olivier for Hamlet (1948). Benigni also became the first actor to win a best actor oscar for an non-English speaking role. See more...
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Continuity: In the rain scene after Guido & his princess are in the rain, the steering wheel becomes detached, and he holds it up, and you see hardware still connected to the steering wheel. When he puts the pillow on top of it for her to use as an umbrella, you don't see the hardware. During this scene, Guido places the pillow directly on top of the steering wheel, and in the following shots, you don't see the actual steering wheel; only the stick.
Continuity: When Guido is caught in the spotlight during the liberation of the camp, he climbs down from his hiding place on the wall and falls to the ground. When the guard prods him to stand up the blanket around his waist hangs down to his feet, but when the camera cuts away and back just before he starts walking, it is several inches shorter. When he play marches for Giosuč it is hiked up even farther.
Other: When Giosuč discovers the German boy in the metal box Guido says that his name is Schwarz (Black). The German subtitles translate the name as Schwanz (Tail or - rather - Dick), and that's how both Guido and Giosuč refer to the boy later. Even if the different naming later was intended the first subtitling was too anticipatory.
Continuity: When Guido is being trained as a waiter by his uncle, Guido walks off "pretending to attend to a customer call" for the first time, there is a woman behind him walking behind to the left with a small pile of towels. The 2nd time Guido does this routine, just a few seconds later, the same woman walks behind him again, with the same pile of towels.