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Luna (1979)

La luna (original title)
While touring in Italy, a recently-widowed American opera singer has an incestuous relationship with her 15-year-old son to help him overcome his heroin addiction.

Writers:

Franco Arcalli (story), Bernardo Bertolucci (story) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jill Clayburgh ... Caterina Silveri
Matthew Barry ... Joe Silveri
Veronica Lazar ... Marina
Renato Salvatori ... Communist
Fred Gwynne ... Douglas Winter
Alida Valli ... Giuseppe's Mother
Elisabetta Campeti Elisabetta Campeti ... Arianna
Franco Citti ... Man in Bar
Roberto Benigni ... Upholsterer
Carlo Verdone ... Director of Caracalla
Peter Eyre ... Edward
Mustapha Barat Mustapha Barat ... Mustafa (as Stéphane Barat)
Pippo Campanini Pippo Campanini ... Innkeeper
Rodolfo Lodi Rodolfo Lodi ... Maestro Giancarlo Calo
Sara Di Nepi Sara Di Nepi ... Concetta (as Shara Di Nepi)
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Storyline

Recently widowed American opera diva Caterina takes her teenaged son Joe with her on a long singing tour to Italy. Absorbed in her hectic work in various Verdi operas around Rome, Caterina is soon shocked to discover that her troubled and lonely son has become a heroin addict. Her desperate attempts to wean the youth off the drug result in an incestuous relationship, but also in a possibility to reunite Joe--maybe even herself--with his real father, whose existence she has kept a secret from him. Written by Markku Kuoppamäki

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Catherine & her son share a desire that will shock you. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

30 September 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Luna See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's "Luna" / "La Luna" title (translates from the Italian language as "Moon" / "The Moon") was derived from one of director Bernardo Bertolucci's earliest memories where he looked up to the face of his mother and then pivoted across to the moon and then saw the two images blend into one. See more »

Quotes

Joe Silveri: Your face is a mess. I'll clean it up.
[starts licking her face]
Caterina Silveri: It's good.
Joe Silveri: Hold still.
See more »

Connections

Features Niagara (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Un ballo in maschera
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
Soprano Martina Arroyo
Tenor Plácido Domingo
Baritone Piero Cappuccilli
Chorus of the "Royal Opera House," Covent Garden
New Philarmonia Orchestra
Conducted by Riccardo Muti
See more »

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User Reviews

Disturbing but excellent exploration of the Oedipal
3 April 2001 | by leventhal-1See all my reviews

This is one of Bertolucci's best films. After the sudden death of his stepfather, whom he believes was his real father, the teenager Joe and his famous mother (played by Jill Clayburgh) depart for Italy. There, the unresolved enigma of his real father, his erotic attachment to his mother, the narcissism of the mother, and his own inability to truly connect with anybody else drive Joe into the world of heroin. His mother discovers his habit, and out of a combination of guilt and her own narcissistic loss of boundaries, first colludes with him to procure the drug, and then attempts to soothe him in his despair through sexual stimulation, and gets drawn into the Oedipal vortex into which Joe has plunged. This film demonstrates with great power the devastating consequences of the failure to resolve the Oedipal conflict. The film is difficult to find in America, but is well worth the effort.


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