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Splendor (1989)

Jordan, forced to close his movie theater due to financial problems, recalls the events, the characters and the films that marked his life.


Ettore Scola


Ettore Scola
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcello Mastroianni ... Jordan
Massimo Troisi ... Luigi
Marina Vlady ... Chantal Duvivier
Paolo Panelli Paolo Panelli ... Signor Paolo
Pamela Villoresi Pamela Villoresi ... Eugenia
Giacomo Piperno Giacomo Piperno ... Il cavaliere Lo Fazio
Mauro Bosco ... Il padre di Jordan
Ferruccio Castronuovo Ferruccio Castronuovo ... Cocomero
Nicoletta Della Corte Nicoletta Della Corte ... Irritated young spectator
Giada Desideri Giada Desideri ... Friendly young spectator
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Don Arno
Giovanni Febraro Giovanni Febraro ... Le Fazio's administrator
Filippo Greco Filippo Greco ... Jordan age 11
Ilaria Liotta Ilaria Liotta
Benigna Luchetti Benigna Luchetti ... Giovanna


Splendor is the name of an old movie theater managed by Jordan (Mastroianni), who inherited it from his father. The theater is in decay and only generates debts and trouble, but Jordan gets aid in his almost quixotian quest from projectionist Luigi (Troisi) and ushurette Chantale (Vlady). However, Jordan is finally forced to sell the Splendor to businessman Lo Fazio (Piperno), which plans to transform it in some kind of furniture store. When Jordan leaves the theater for the last time (the very first scene), he recalls the glorious days of Splendor and movies in general. Written by Ivan Antezana <pcreat@amauta.rcp.net.pe>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Italy | France



Release Date:

9 March 1989 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Esplendor See more »

Filming Locations:

Arpino, Frosinone, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Finnish censorship certificate # 96186 delivered on 16-8-1989. See more »


Cocomero: [repeated exchange] The where and the when.
Jordan: The how and the why.
See more »


References Full Metal Jacket (1987) See more »


Grand March (Triumphal March) from Aida
Written by Giuseppe Verdi
See more »

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User Reviews

Ettore Scola's love letter to cinema
21 September 2017 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

Cut from the same cloth but right on the heels of CINEMA PARADISO (1988), Ettore Scola's love letter to cinema has been woefully wheezing under the former's colossal shadow ever since its untimely timing, SPLENDOR is the name of a one-screen movie theater in a parochial Italian town, managed by Jordan (Mastroianni) for over three decades, who takes it over from his father in the 50s, but plagued by low attendance when the allure of the celluloid starts dwindling and the competition from television swelling, a valediction is cut and dried, but (fake) snowflake embellished.

Alternating between monochromatic flashback and current affairs, the story-line jauntily takes liberty with its time-frame and welds episodes of Jordan's life with various screenings, from an open-air showing of METROPOLIS (1927) when he was a 12-year-old boy, to a silent tear-running moment as a prodigal son watching IT'S WONDERFUL LIFE (1946), not to mention the self- referential nod of Dino Rosi's IL SORPASSO (1962), of which Scola is the co-screenwriter.

A triad in Splendor includes Jordan, a French showgirl Chantal (Vlady) whom he is besotted with and a geeky cinephile Luigi (Troisi), who later becomes the projectionist. Affairs are approached with alacrity, the fling between Luigi and Chantal burns and fades just like a flash in the pan, and what conspicuously remains is Jordan's abiding pique towards a guileless Luigi who is never daunted by the bad blood, from whom Troisi projects a funny and thoroughly sympathetic persona through his wide-eyedness and just a scintilla of guile (that mustache always goes his way). A tangible connection has been building through the odd pair's quasi-father-and-son dynamism (a small anecdote, the same year, they did play father and son in another Scola's picture WHAT TIME IS IT? 1989) including a superlative poker-game scene where they carry out a bluff's bluff in tandem.

With Mr. Mastroianni in his usual competence and Ms. Vlady generously doling out her voluptuousness (although it turns out to be a stretch for both to play the full spectrum of a gaping 30-year span all by themselves, in spite of the rejuvenating effect of the silver magic), SPLENDOR is a fervent testimonial of cinema nostalgia and a toast to a bygone era, but also jovially taps into its national characteristic, for one thing, that bargaining for slap antics really could happen in reality if you bother to ask a honest-to-goodness Italian!

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