The Betrothed
ItalianI promessi sposi
Based onThe Betrothed (1827 novel) by Alessandro Manzoni
Written byRoberta Mazzoni
Alessandro Manzoni
Directed bySalvatore Nocita
StarringBurt Lancaster
Franco Nero
Helmut Berger
Fernando Rey
Theme music composerEnnio Morricone
Country of originItaly
Original languageItalian
CinematographyŽivko Zalar
Running time450 minutes
Original networkRAI
Original releaseNovember 12, 1989 (1989-11-12)

The Betrothed (Italian: I promessi sposi) is a 1989 Italian television miniseries starring Burt Lancaster and Franco Nero. It was directed by Salvatore Nocita, based on the 19th-century historical novel of the same name by Alessandro Manzoni.


Set between 1629 and 1631, the adaptation tells the story of Renzo Tramaglino and Lucia Mondella, Lombard commoners forced to separate and endure a thousand vicissitudes due to the arrogance of the lord Don Rodrigo. However, during their journey they will find various people willing to help them, from Fra Cristoforo to the Innominato (first cruel and then converted), from Federigo Borromeo to Donna Prassede.


Actor Role
Delphine Forest Lucia Mondella
Danny Quinn Renzo Tramaglino
Jenny Seagrove The Nun of Monza
Burt Lancaster Cardinal Federigo Borromeo
Franco Nero Friar Cristoforo
F. Murray Abraham Innominato
Gary Cady Don Rodrigo
Helmut Berger Egidio
Fernando Rey Attilio's Uncle
Valentina Cortese Donna Prassede
Gisela Stein Lucia's Mother
Alberto Sordi Don Abbondio
Dario Fo Azzeccagarbugli (lawyer)
Walter Chiari Tonio
Renzo Montagnani Don Ferrante
Mathieu Carrière Count Attilio
Giampiero Albertini Nibbio
Gordon Mitchell Don Gonzalo
Roberto Boninsegna Monatto
Martine Brochard Mother of Gertrude
Piera Degli Esposti Badessa
Leopoldo Trieste Lucio
Franco Citti Grignapoco


The final episode had an audience of 12 million viewers in Italy.[1]


  1. ^ Groves, Don (20 December 1989). "Top pix score well against adverse conditions". Variety. p. 33.