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La Dolce Vita (1960)
"La dolce vita" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 April 1961 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 45,729 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 161 user | 115 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.



(story), (story), 6 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #247 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maddalena (as Anouk Aimee)
Fanny (as Magali Noel)
Alain Cuny ...
Annibale Ninchi ...
Il padre di Marcello
Walter Santesso ...
Robert - marito di Sylvia
Jacques Sernas ...
Il divo
Nadia Gray ...
Valeria Ciangottini ...
Riccardo Garrone ...
Ida Galli ...
Debuttante dell'anno
Audrey McDonald ...
Jane (as Audey McDonald)


Journalist and man-about-town Marcello struggles to find his place in the world, torn between the allure of Rome's elite social scene and the stifling domesticity offered by his girlfriend, all the while searching for a way to become a serious writer. Written by Jeff Lewis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The film that shocked the critics...uncut, uncensored for all to see! See more »


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

19 April 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Dolce Vita  »

Box Office


$19,516,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (premiere) | (re-release) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Federico Fellini:  [vaudeville]  The dance routine/circus act in the Cha Cha Cha Club. See more »


At the top of St. Peter's dome the wind blows Sylvia's hat off. The wire on her hat used to achieve this effect is clearly visible trailing off to the right during the scene. See more »


Steiner: We must get beyond passions, like a great work of art. In such miraculous harmony. We should love each other outside of time... detached.
See more »


Referenced in Edge of Outside (2006) See more »


Mama (He's Making Eyes At Me )
Written by Sidney Clare and Con Conrad
See more »

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User Reviews

life imitates art? art imitates life? a bit of both?
30 November 2004 | by (Dobbs Ferry, NY) – See all my reviews

I just saw a new print of this wonderful film after not having seen it for maybe 20 years and it is still spellbinding. Fellini sums up an era and an attitude here, and succeeds in doing something that ought to be impossible: he makes a full and meaningful film about empty and meaningless lives. Mastroianni seems to have been to Fellini what DeNiro has been to Scorsese--a perfect embodiment of a personal vision. What a wonderful actor he was--brilliant in his youth and in his age. Many other performers are hardly less fine here, and the cinematography and composition are stunning throughout. There are so many indelible images from this film, images that have become iconic over the decades: Ekberg in the Fontana di Trevi, the statue of Christ flying over Rome, the astonishing, candlelit procession at the castle, to name a few. It seems plot less and yet it isn't plot less at all; Marcello's ultimately fruitless search for meaning, a search that he abandons in the end, as he stares across a slight and yet unbridgable abyss on the beach at a lovely young girl who seems to possess the knowledge and understanding that is denied to him. I'm astonished at the number of people who don't get this movie, who seem to think that Fellini expects us to admire the bizarre characters who people the film, or who think that a movie about worthless individuals must be a worthless movie, or who don't seem to understand that movies that are full of what become clichés usually do so because they capture an important vision. Fellini made several exceptional films: 81/2, La Strada, Amarcord, and The Nights of Cabiria come to mind, but La Dolce Vita may be, when all is said and done, his masterwork.

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