I'm Italian. In a discussion with some international friends, they mentioned that they have seen Life Is Beautiful in English, and I guessed it was dubbed. The production is Italian, and the actors too, but at least in the Wikipedia page the English and German languages are mentioned, and no list of dubbers is provided.

Was it ever dubbed into English? In that case, were the actors themselves doing it?


When looking at IMDb only, there are many hints that it was dubbed.

First of all, the list of releases as also mentioned in santu47's answer lists an entry

USA 6 August 1999 (limited) (dubbed version)

So there seems to have been a dubbed English version, even if that was not the only version released in the US, seeing that the list also has entries for other releases (including non-festival releases that don't mention a dubbing):

USA 22 October 1998 (AFI Film Festival)

USA 23 October 1998 (limited)

USA 12 February 1999

UK 12 February 1999

The dubbed version was also not the version considered for the Academy Awards that the movie won, since IMDb's trivia section says:

Roberto Benigni's Oscar win for Best Actor was the second time a performance completely in Italian had been awarded.

Furthermore, it also says that

Horst Buchholz did his own dubbing for the English and German dubbed versions.

Which again references an existing English dubbed version. But the explicit mention of Horst Buchholz doing his own dubbing seems to suggest that this was not the case for all the other actors, though that is entirely specualtive deduction.

When digging a bit further I found various articles clearly mentioning a dubbed version of the movie that the studio Miramax released (with mixed responses, though) after the subtitled version already ran in US cinemas (which would be in line with IMDb's release list). This dubbed version was completely supervised by Roberto Benigni, since

Reaching a wider audience has always been a priority for him.

Yet Benigni for one didn't do his dubbing himself, but had it done by the American actor Jonathan Nichols, likewise with the role of Guido's wife Dora, who was voiced by Italian actress Ilaria Borrelli, and thus most probably with most of the rest of the cast.

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As of my research in the web, I just found it's the same movie from Italy dubbed into many languages across the world. You can see the complete list of releases of this movie across the world at this IMDB link.

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  • Yet that IMDb link doesn't say anything about dubbing, only that it was released all around the globe. So do you have any other source that confirms it was actually "dubbed into many languages across the world"? – Napoleon Wilson Apr 15 '14 at 9:37
  • @NapoleonWilson would it be safe to assume that a change in title may correspond to dubbing? – clabacchio Apr 15 '14 at 9:44
  • @clabacchio "would it be safe to assume that a change in title may correspond to dubbing?" - I don't think so, but the IMDb list indeed contains an entry "USA ... (limited) (dubbed version)", which you may want to point out. – Napoleon Wilson Apr 15 '14 at 9:47

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