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Retrospective: Massimo Troisi

Massimo Troisi

Legendary actor Massimo Troisi would have celebrated his 70th birthday this year. Remaining a revered figure in Italian cinema over thirty years after his untimely passing, Troisi had a successful career in cabaret, theatre, television and cinema and is best known for his films I'm Starting from Three (1981) and The Postman (1994).

Born into a large family in San Giorgio a Cremano, outside Naples, on 19 February 1953, as a child, Massimo Troisi suffered from rheumatic fever and serious heart conditions. His acting career started at fifteen, when he began acting on stage at the Centro Teatro Spazio, going on to set up an acting group with fellow Neapolitan actors Enzo Decaro and Lello Arena. 

A successful career ensued, with the group appearing on Italian television in the late 1970s, and Troisi perfecting his comic style in TV shows like Non Stop and Luna Park. 

Moving into cinema in 1981, Troisi achieved widespread recognition with his debut film I’m Starting from Three, which he wrote, directed and starred in, before starring opposite Roberto Benigni in their 1984 classic Nothing Left to Do But Cry. In 1989, he starred alongside Marcello Mastroianni in Ettore Scola's Splendor. 

Troisi was seriously ill during the filming of The Postman, and died of a heart attack on 4 June 1994, merely a day after filming was completed, resulting in an outpouring of grief in Italy.


Gaetano, a young Neapolitan, moves to Florence in search of new opportunities and soon finds adventure. This humorous and heartfelt exploration of self-discovery showcases Massimo Troisi in his film debut.

Roberto Benigni and Massimo Troisi star as two best friends who find themselves transported back in time to 15th Century Tuscany in this comedic adventure through history.

Marcello Mastroianni and Massimo Troisi star in this ode to the magic of cinema-going, with a touching story set within the aisles of a cinema named Splendor.

Closing Night

Critically acclaimed and loved by audiences around the world, Massimo Troisi’s final film is an engaging blend of easy humour and sunny romance that explores love, poetry and friendship in 1950s Italy.