×

La Dolce Vita

High and low life in modern Rome are seen through the eyes of a reporter, Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni), whose beat brings him into contact with a world-famous film star (Anita Ekberg); with an unhappy and over-rich nymphomanic society girl (Anouk Aimee); with a false miracle 'announced' by two lying children and exploited by press and TV; with the suicide of an intellectual (Alain Cuny) whom he's always idolized; with a debauched and tired party in a nobleman's castle peopled by ghosts of past and present; and finally, with an orgy (complete with a striptease performed by the hostess) staged in a futile search for excitement by a grostesque assortment of youths and grownups of all sexes. All the while, the reporter refuses the advances of the only woman (Yvonne Furneaux) who really loves him.

With:
Marcello Mastroianni Yvonne Furneaux Anouk Aimee Anita Ekberg Alain Cuny Lex Barker

High and low life in modern Rome are seen through the eyes of a reporter, Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni), whose beat brings him into contact with a world-famous film star (Anita Ekberg); with an unhappy and over-rich nymphomanic society girl (Anouk Aimee); with a false miracle ‘announced’ by two lying children and exploited by press and TV; with the suicide of an intellectual (Alain Cuny) whom he’s always idolized; with a debauched and tired party in a nobleman’s castle peopled by ghosts of past and present; and finally, with an orgy (complete with a striptease performed by the hostess) staged in a futile search for excitement by a grostesque assortment of youths and grownups of all sexes. All the while, the reporter refuses the advances of the only woman (Yvonne Furneaux) who really loves him.

Perhaps many spectators will squirm at the three-hour length of the film or of some of its sequences (though director Federico Fellini cut some 30 minutes from his final print), yet others will never notice they’ve sat that long.

The performances are uniformly excellent. Mastroianni is perfect in the key role of the basically good and honest boy who succumbs to the sweet life. Ekberg is a revelation as the visiting star, while Furneaux almost runs off with the picture as the reporter’s instinctive, possessive mistress.

A fine bit is turned in by Annibale Ninchi as the father, another by Magali Noel as a dancer he befriends, another by Lex Barker as Ekberg’s slightly inebriated, slightly separated spouse. Aimee is fine as the society girl who craves company, as is Cuny as Marcello’s craggy-faced intellectual friend.

A further nod must go to Otello Martelli’s mood-full black-and-white lensing, while Nino Rota’s musical scoring is another vital plus.

Popular on Variety

La Dolce Vita

Italy - France

Production: RIAMA/Pathe. Director Federico Fellini; Producer Giuseppe Amato; Screenplay Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Brunello Rondi; Camera Otello Martelli; Editor Leo Cattozzo; Music Nino Rota; Art Director Piero Gherardi

Crew: (B&W) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1960. Running time: 180 MIN.

With: Marcello Mastroianni Yvonne Furneaux Anouk Aimee Anita Ekberg Alain Cuny Lex Barker

More Film

  • La Rouei

    Lumiere Festival to Premiere Epic Restoration of 'La Roue'

    LYON, France  —  This coming Saturday and Sunday, the Lumière Festival will turn back the clock nearly one hundred years as the festival premieres a new completed reconstruction of Abel Gance’s 1923 masterpiece “La Roue” (“The Wheel”) that restores the classic to its original 7.5 hour length. Consisting of a prologue and four movements, “La [...]

  • Lina Wertmuller portrait

    Lina Wertmuller’s Exceptional Career Revisited

    In the still American-led realm of the Academy Awards, it’s unusual for the helmer of a film not in the English language to score a Best Director nomination. It’s far rarer still, meanwhile, for a woman to be nominated in the category at all: just five have done so in 91 years. Only one director, [...]

  • Fifth Seal

    Lumière Festival Honors Hungary, Screens Classics ‘Women,’ ‘The Fifth Seal’

    For the fifth year running, Lyon’s Lumière Festival will honor Hungarian cinema and invite guests of the Hungarian National Film Fund to present two classic Hungarian films from important national filmmakers, Márta Mészáros’ “Ők ketten” (“Women”) and Zoltán Fábri’s “Fifth Seal.” Both films will be presented by Lumière Festival special guest Marina Vlady on Oct [...]

  • Godzilla

    Criterion Collection President Peter Becker on Storytelling, Bergman vs Godzilla, B-movies

    LYON, France  —  The Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) kicked off on Tuesday in Lyon, France, with a keynote address by Criterion Collection President Peter Becker. The exec discussed the company’s storied history and evolution over the decades into a leading publisher of classic and contemporary films from around the world in high-quality [...]

  • Manuel Chiche

    Boutique Distributor Manuel Chiche Offers A State of The Industry

    LYON, France  — Manuel Chiche is riding high. Since June, his boutique distribution outlet The Jokers set admission records with Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” selling nearly 1.7 million tickets in France and still going strong as the film heads into its 19th week in theaters. Indeed, “Parasite” is now the second most successful Palme d’Or winner of [...]

  • Toni

    Italy’s L'Immagine Ritrovata Expected to Take Over France’s Eclair Cinema

    LYON, France  —  Leading Italian restoration company L’Immagine Ritrovata’s acquisition of renowned film lab Eclair Cinéma, announced last month, is expected to be approved by the French Commercial Court of Nanterre at the end of November or beginning of December, according to a source familiar with the deal. L’Immagine Ritrovata’s French subsidiary, L’Image Retrouvée, last [...]

  • Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

    Film Review: 'Jay and Silent Bob Reboot'

    In a film culture overrun by Marvel epics, wild-stunt action flicks, and other grandiose juvenilia, it is often said that the mid-budget, script-driven movie for adults is becoming a thing of the past. But don’t tell that to Kevin Smith, whose “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” a shaggy antic throwaway that premiered Tuesday in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content